The Daily Pennsylvanian has published an editorial by Andrew Rennenkamp discussing Quake magazine (which I discussed previously here). As far as I can tell, they have decided not to publish Phil's letter, but I was unable to find out for certain as they do not seem to post letters to the editor online. If you look at the comments to Andrew's editorial, you will find that it is drawing quite a bit of flack, with a lot of criticism (a large percentage of it ad hominem) and relatively little support. This is, of course, typical of the attitude to sex in just about any university environment.
Now, Andrew is a personal friend of mine and on the whole I agree with him, but I can't say I'm 100% in support of Andrew's comparison of pornography to heroin, or of his decision to completely ignore Quake's claim to be "literary erotica" as something distinct from porn. The latter may be attributed to the limited space he has to make his point, but without this discussion commenters may be correct in claiming that Andrew's general discussion of pornography has little to do with Quake. His argument would be much stronger if he successfully collapsed the distinction between "literary erotica" and pornography in the case of Quake, but I'm not sure he can, and the issue isn't even addressed. As to the other issue, the comparison between pornography and heroin, I think that Andrew is correct that pornography is highly psychologically addictive and damaging, and the editorial page isn't a bad place for a bit of hyperbole. But is comparing porn to heroin just a bit of harmless (perhaps even helpful) hyperbole, or is it a gross misrepresentation of the issue? I'm honestly not sure.Posted by Kenny at November 29, 2005 11:21 PM
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