View Full Version : [adult] can it just be fantasy

10-01-2006, 12:03 AM
Seeing the new UK laws coming through about extreme pornography I have been wondering. I am watching 'Wire in the Blood' I read the books also and they contain extreme violent and sexual material. However nobody would look twice if you read it on the bus--or assume you were a sadist.

Yet there are some types of pornography not treated that way. One is assumed disordered enough to act on them as soon as you read them. Or tha writing these acts somehow excuses, encourgaes or creates the desire to do these things.

Do you think it is possible to have a fantasy in fiction for which there is no equivalent real life motivation? Or might reading about them replace or reduce any desire to do them for real?

10-01-2006, 03:25 PM
I think it is possible to devise new things in fantasy, but to reach the reader, it always has to be grounded in something real. Few people would be intersted in a book written entirely in a contrived language, but give them tastes of this language in a familiar context (a la Lord of the Rings) and you entice them into this new place.

If we could contrive nothing new, society would not continue to change and develop. And writers are a crafty crowd. Think of the things HG Wells envisioned, and in a sense, inspired.

That said, in the states, there has been a tendency to point to violent video games and certain rock music as culpable in the shadow of horrific events such as Columbine.

Can the actions of ill meaning people be formed by violent games, music or writings? I think not. Can they be inspired? Certainly.

In the end, people who mean to do ill will do ill. On the 70's American sitcom "All in the Family", liberal and intellectual Mike Stivic argued gun control with blue collar Archie Bunker. Mike said something like "Do you know how many people have died from gunshots in the last year?" Simplistic Archie retorted, "Would you rather they were pushed out of windows?"

It's a complex issue with no easy answer, but I do not believe that the arts can drive people to do evil. The seed has to be there for the tree to grow. The soil can impact how the tree grows, but it won't turn a pine into a chestnut.


10-01-2006, 04:18 PM
I think fiction can inspire people to do things but not things they wouldn't have considered in the first place. Maybe it simply inspires them to act.

Say someone reads a thriller and the MC kills someone with a car bomb...the reader may decide this is a great way to get rid of his ex-wife. Did it inspire him to blow up his ex? Sort of, but the seed was already planted in his head. It probably wouldn't have been the first time he thought about killing her. So yes, I believe it can inspire people to do things they normally wouldn't but it doesn't necessarily make them do it...it simply gives them ideas on how to act out their fantasy.

However, other kind of fantasies may well be inspired by fiction. Reading erotica, for instance, can give the reader all kinds of ideas they may not have thought of on their own! :)