By Mark David Blum, Esq.
How dark is your heart? How evil are your fantasies? Of what do you think about when you are alone and pondering your life situation? Where is that magic line where the slow poisoning of your employer remains in your head and does not materialize at lunch tomorrow?
First of all, I need to say some things about children. I love children. Anybody who has known me at any point in my life knows how much I just love children. ‘Roasted’ is my favorite way. Children also make for great fishing bobbers and bait for shark fishing.
Nobody has to be told about how evil children are; the way they terrorize you throughout their lives. Impressive is their ability to suck the life force out of you (and every last penny in your wallet).
The very young ones freak me out the most. With their bald heads, shirtless bodies, endless wailing, and white bags of stinky crap strapped around their waist, the amount of damage they do is directly proportional the cost of the clothes you are wearing or the furniture you just purchased. As parents, you hold your breath for years waiting for your kid’s first words, and then you spend the next 16 years wishing they would just shut the hell up.
Make no mistake; I love my own kids. I have two beautiful daughters and two drippy nosed grandsons. They each know I love them with all my heart and soul and would do anything for them. Yet, each also knows well quickly I would trade them for a tank of gas and a pack of smokes. I am patiently awaiting the arrival of the white slavery caravan.
I am not alone in my dislike for children. Every comedian to ever hit a stage, every parent when in private discussion with friends, nearly every television show, movie, song, or book … at one time or another, contains therein references to doing some very horrible things to children. (Not that there is anything wrong with that).
The point is that adults talk about children all the time. We do not and should never be compelled to speak of children with reverence. I prefer ‘righteous indignation’ but that should never stop an adult for sharing how much they need to put their daughter to work on the streets to help pay for all those $600 pair of jeans she likes to wear.
NOBODY should go to prison for speaking out or using words which to a reasonable person would be so ridiculous as to be an obvious attempt at sarcasm or humor. ‘Funny’ is telling your kid that the whole family is moving to Iraq this summer because the new Iraqi constitution REQUIRES children to respect their parents and to support their parents in old age. It keeps my daughter on her toes.
Back in 1989, I found my way onto the internet; though it was not then known as such and few people knew about it. Few were the means of access and the technology was barbaric by today’s standards. Mostly universities had access through their own intranets and AOL was just giving birth to a new industry. I was there; before MIRC, before DALNET, before audio, video, Google, cable, or internal modems.
Over the years, I have explored all four corners of the internet. I have peeked inside it’s every nook and cranny. Based on all that experience, I have come to a single conclusion. ‘The internet is a vast wasteland of nothingness, that exists nowhere but within the confines of your own fantasies.’ I have held to that statement for more than a decade, and everything I have seen or experienced confirms that analysis.
To this day and despite the billions of discussions in which I have engaged, there is a single line that stands out to me that best exemplifies the point. In describing her recently failed ‘internet relationship’ with someone, a woman once lamented to me how, “the greatest lover” she “ever had” was a man “whose face I never saw and whose lips I never kissed.” Putting aside the sheer ickyness of that statement, I believe it best summarizes the reality of what is going on everywhere at any given moment on the internet.
I do not believe that in a free society, we should be imprisoning our citizens for their thoughts and fantasies; so long as the fantasies remain fantasies. Orwell’s ‘1984’ said it was the thought that was the crime. We are not quite there yet.
Should I expect a knock at the door from my local constable for posting here on the internet? In case some judge is about to sign a warrant, let me make it absolutely clear that I would never do anything to harm any child whatsoever! There is no justification for hurting a child. Why would anybody want to cause injury to a kid when instead it is so much safer to just cause a lifetime of emotional suffering? But, I should also state that I feel the same way about adults. As a class of persons, ‘children’ are no different than the rest of us.
We have to allow the cyberspace freedom of expression to reach out for its’ zenith. There can be no limits on content of DISCUSSION. If two people are masturbating (“cybering” as it is known in the industry) and are sharing an active yet private role playing fantasy; what role should police and government play? Dreaming of government and police bent down on all fours and braying like a mule might be an interesting fantasy. Maybe one of them will email me and we can discuss it further.
What if a cyber friend shifts the fantasy to a darker side? There are not many adult males who have been to the State Fair who, while hiding behind sunglasses, have not ogled the thrusting breasts of a nubile young teen. Every adult has fantasies. Some fantasies are dark and morally unacceptable.
This is the interesting capacity of the internet. It is also called ‘ski-lift’ syndrome. For a short period of time, while locked in a secluded environment with a total stranger, each of you has no limits as whom and what you are and can accomplish. Two healthy adults can ‘fantasize’ in a chat room about playing doctor and nurse, master and slave, or teacher and student. What is really happening is just a furious exchange of trigger words and a rush of visions inside the mind of the writer. But, the writer is writing to themselves.
What is not happening is that no criminal activity is afoot. When one of the participants is not involved, the other cannot be criminalized. It is not unheard of on the internet (not that I would know anything about it) where only one person in a conversation is actually engaged in the discussion. The other person can at the same time be cooking dinner, talking on the telephone, or pretending to be someone they are not.
Pretending to be a 13 year old girl engaged in a sexual role playing fantasy on the internet is not a crime so far as I know. If it is, it should not be. First of all, being able to discuss and confront an immoral and illegal fantasy in the safety of the internet perhaps provides the necessary release for the criminal minded that prevents them from actually engaging in the destructive behavior. Arguments to the contrary are just as sound. Since nobody I know is a pedophile who cybers on the internet, I really have nobody to ask and learn what impact these little sessions have upon manifestation of behavior.
Second, because it is a fantasy, it is at the core of human dignity and privacy. How many husbands and wives play ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ in their bedroom conquests? In my opinion, you can rank the privacy of personal fantasies right up there with keeping a diary, pillow talk with your partner, and religious privilege. Fantasies are at the core of the human psyche. They are our Id. They are the driving force behind so much that has been accomplished. Fantasies, I believe, are what set us apart from just about every other critter on the planet. Being able to confront them, see them before our eyes, and thus “out” them makes us healthier in our ability to deal with such ideas in the real world.
Before you sit in judgment on the fantasies of another, look back into your own dark hearts. What fantasies do you have now or have you had that if splashed across the front page of the newspaper would destroy your life? Obviously you never intended to live them out. You cannot control the thoughts that fly through your mind. Only your reaction to these thoughts is within your control.
The danger arises when police themselves become an active participant in the sexual fantasy. Like cooking dinner, the police officer participant is not actually involved in the fantasy. Instead of feeding the fantasy of the target out of benevolence, police instead solely engage in the fantasy discussion to draw out someone where statements will be made that can be used to incriminate. The target cannot see with whom he is dealing and has no choice to get out of the discussion. Not only is that cruel, but it cannot be tolerated in a free society.
When your pants are down around your ankles and a police officer is posting and engaging you, you cannot be imprisoned because you go along with the game. We do not allow police officers posing as hookers to arrest a ‘john’ for prostitution AFTER the cop and the john have completed a sex act. Why is such behavior tolerated on the internet?
The internet is a very safe place. What is said and done online stays online. Actual manifestations of anything that happens in cyberspace requires a secondary line of thinking and action. A plan has to be made. Actual conduct must occur. Just saying “we’ll see” or begging for pictures and typing, “ahhhhhhhhh” while in cyberspace has to be seen as being way too far outside the purview of government and police.
Otherwise, I am going to have some new policies and rules in my house. No children will be allowed. We will not discuss children. We want to know nothing about children. Since the State has assumed itself to be their primary protector based on my every thought, fantasy, and idea, the let the State finish the job and raise and feed the children as well. It simply is getting too dangerous to be a parent.
Don’t you ever look at your kid and fantasize about the way Homer Simpson applies his trademark stranglehold on his son’s throat? What stopped you – the threat of arrest?