02 June 2006

Why, this will ONLY lead to wrack and ruin!

Ahh, entertainment posing as news... or at least as something that interests a single reporter or news reader. Well, I am pretty sure Bill O'Reilly fits into that last and also as some sort of satirist (not to be confused with Satyrist), commentator (or common 'tater, just a regular potato) or some other form of muckraker/do-gooder/crusader of causes he feels worthy of/loofah addict with phone attachment. Any way you cut it, the thing he does NOT report is *news*. Still, it can be fun, once you get away from the idea that any news station actually shows *news* and does not try to make them into *stories*. They ALL do that, even if there is no story you now have to have one. So our dear friend Bill got on his soapbox about the internet, causing and spreading all sorts of social problems and making them available and giving them a growth medium and otherwise *destroying all that is good*.

I am sure it will 'all end in tears' as the cliche goes.

And while I vituperated at the TV, and was joined in doing so by my lovely Other, (come on! YOU don't vituperate at the TV? for shame! it is FREE stress relief!) we started to list the things that were going to cause all the social ills and ruination of all that was *good*, destroy *civilization* and corrupt *the youth*. And, egads! It is a HUGE list dating pretty far back and I am absolutely sure that it goes back to the dawn of civilization where 'that crop growing thing will come to no good and why can't they just be honest hunters and gatherers like the rest of us?' But from there technology took over and social custom and things just got out of hand. So, in no particular order, here are some of the things that were going to cause the downfall of 'civilization as we know it', 'corrupt the youth', and 'lead to no possible good'.

A few large sections to start, as some things just show up again and again and again....

Yes, the humble printing press and movable type: this was going to lead to no good whatsoever and put honest scribes out of work! Actually it gave rise to literacy and the spread of handwritten documents and inflicted cursive writing on generations to scrawl around with. But even more than that is the basic 'concept' of what the press does.

A press requires set-up time and that is a cost investment. This is beyond mere type setting and, later, the checking of lithographic printing plates. There is time needed to wash up the press, inspect it, mix ink, put on the pieces for the next print run, check ink mixture, print, insure that it has good fidelity and that the paper sets properly and is removed properly and the ink doesn't smear... Most of the money for a press run is taken up in the half-hour or more to actually get the press READY. And if you only want ONE COPY it has to absorb the entire cost of that labor. But, and here is the neat part, the more copies you print, the more that these compies absorb the up front cost and the lower the cost per sheet. Print more, pay less per copy. Out at the Very Long Press Run the cost of the original clean-up and so on work is miniscule and the actual cost for printing approaches that of the cost of paper and ink. When presses began to get automated by animal or water power, their output increased exponentially and the cost per impression dropped drastically. This is a logarithmic decay curve with the zero x-axis having the actual cost of paper and ink on a single copy just above it and the cost for an actual copy approaching that as more is printed. And it decays very quickly to that line after 1,000 copies is barely above the cost of paper and ink alone. In modern presses with short clean up or *automated* clean up, that drop off place is heading into the 100 copies range.

Be that as it may, the press allows via this a wide distribution of just about anything you can print at a low cost. And so the first to feel its bite was the Roman Catholic Church, as many in the hinterlands really did not care for its authoritarian practices, gathering of monies to itself, indulgences and all sorts of other things that only got whispered about in the clergy. Until, of course, someone got fed up with it and wrote them down and got them *printed*. Suddenly the scribe monopoly for holy texts and their criticism was no longer the sole domain of the Church and any workman who made a press could be his own publisher and work as a tradesman. This, of course, was roundly denounced by the Church because it led to non-Latin texts, formal criticism outside of its control and a wide dissemination of its wrong-doings out to towns where more *copies* were printed and many read to the public.

Yes, no good would come of *this* now, would it?

Next up is a bit further down the line and the printing of *fiction*. Previously the sole domain of the bards and storytellers, fiction was the common folklore and stories of the people and their society. First these got printed. And *then* people started putting out their OWN fiction and SELLING IT. This was horrible! You couldn't depend on what was going to happen in a story! It was new! The 'old ways' would be totally forgotten as the youth read these new stories. And, even worse, some people who could not tell *truth* from *fiction* would actually believe in the FICTION. Because a well told reality looks better than the one you have to actually *live* in.

Needless to say, fiction became a huge seller with penny-novels and stories selling immensely. And back in those days a penny could get you an entire good meal, ale included! Worse, those with 'two pennies' to rub together could read while eating! Awful, that. Breaks up family conversations. Poor papa coming in from the fields was no longer gruff and irritable, but hiding with his nose to a one-sheet... and that was a scandal rag as it brought in NEWS from far off lands! These damn things called 'news papers' would be the ruination of society! Bringing troubles from far off lands to the home and disrupting the peace and quietude and leading to unrest and revolution. Where were the good old days of the ignorant peasantry?

Then this entire thing became WORSE! And it was already headed to no good, so this must be a 'hell in a handbasket' sort of thing. Fiction *expanded* from mere speculative journeys or wars to become a whole slew of thing from the original romance tradition (in the old form of romance, not this new-fangled 'love you and only you' thing that cropped up along the way) into all sorts of things that were of worlds that DID NOT EVEN EXIST! Yes, the fantastic led to fantasy and the speculation rooted in well known basics became science-fiction, and BOTH were gutter level, cheap works of fiction with garish covers that would only corrupt the youth and lead to the destruction of all culture. People would get strange notions and think about if the things they read about were worthy goals and then on how to actually try to carry them OUT! Awful! Never mind that *real* authors did the same... that was just... 'playing around with a concept, but not meant to be taken seriously, dontchyaknow?'

And today the internet allows ANYONE to sit down at an internet cafe or public library and run a news/opinion/variety/vituperation/cat worship site all on their lonesome and make it available at NO COST to those looking for same. Why this will be....

Fair credit to the Romans on this! They did not invent pornography, but they made it acceptable by painting it nearly every damn place and making statuary of it and disseminating things that were, frankly, pornographic. Of course, it was part of their cultural discourse as sex was mostly just a biological function with some deep links to the Deities here and there. But, mostly fun 'n games. It did get out of hand and by the late parts of the Western Empire, as it degenerated into debauchery. And this new monotheistic religion wanted no part in it, so porn was shorn from public discourse. Except for those people making 'artistic' painting and statuary. Then it was 'an item of beauty'... until you see what the Three Muses are actually looking at and doing... then... well... it's porn.

But it took 'artists' to make pornography, although bawdy stories were the realm of the common man as the works of Chaucer makes clear. From highest noble to lowliest ploughman, porn was a verbal tradition. Until it got printed. Then it was everywhere. Got that? It was everywhere, got printed and then got everywhere. Perfect sense, huh? But, like in the printing section above, porn spread from pure common folk stories and retold stories, to brand NEW stories and no good was 'ever' going to come of that. Bad enough the Old Bad Gods frolicked with youth as animals, even worse was when the youth were told of doing it on their lonesome as no one wanted to teach them what this 'sex' thing was all about as the Church didn't like it.

Of course, wooden printing plates with pornographic scenes *also* spread and what was once the sole realm of the artist was now hidden away in the common man and woman's house. And kids, being youthful, found it and had fun... which would never lead to any good! And so printed stories with illustrations became more and more detailed and their audience... ummm... expanded. And since people grew bored by the 'same old, same old' these new stories started to venture into realms where only the holy books of the Far East could compete. And *those* gained a certain air to them... and were thus translated and printed. Why that entire 'Kama Sutra' book became totally divested of its religious underpinnings and became a mere sexual 'how to do it yourself with a friend or group' sort of book.

Porn will actually show up highly in following sections, but to just hold to the printed material for just a bit, it must be pointed out that people still actually PAID for this stuff. Markets grew, commerce expanded and new literary forms were closely examined to see if there was any literary worth to them. And, of course, getting people hot and bothered in many ways, often sweaty, for centuries now.

Next came things a bit more sophisticated in the way of Magazines or Periodicals. Now most of these were compilation works or news oriented vehicles with a bit of a time lag to them. But, things progressed here and that fiction stuff started to really take hold. And when fantastical stories hit the news stands as short stories or serialized publications, the populace went wild. An industry was born and trees were cut down on scales heretofore unimaginable to the human mind. And with the advent of color printing, well, those garish and ghastly covers of women being taken off in skimpy clothing by demons, devils, aliens, robots, etc. were everywhere. Even *normal* magazines would often sport something a bit more tasteful along those lines just to compete. And at a penny per word, authors now lived on output. LOTS of output. I will pick this up in a later section as while this stuff is still printed, it is now really in another realm all together.

But do remember the vast array of magazines to cover every interest under the sun, under the sheets and in dungeons all came from something that would come to no good on its own, so these modern day spawn must be truly awful. Or, just colorful clutter on the magazine stand that no one pays much attention to.

Oh, my yes! Dancing!!! Those spring time dances to the ascendance of the God/Goddess of spring and moving around the maypole wrapping streamers around it like fingers... hmmm... are we *sure* we have left the PORN section? Then those late night frolickings under moonlight! Oh, my! Just horrid! Who 'knew' what they were doing out there, dancing in the dark?

No, apparently we HAVEN'T left the PORN section yet. Because, lets face it, all that dancing involved 'the body', and no good could ever come of that earthly form we have. It was a burden, a pestilence, a corrupter of our souls... no, this dancing was quite awful and would lead to NO GOOD. And then those commoner dances to music in barns and meeting halls and, yes, churches... at *least* they weren't touching!

Until The Waltz was invented for upper society. Truth be told all sorts of 'touching dances' even in public, had been going on for ages, but The Waltz, by giving the upper crust a means to actually get close to members of the opposite sex while dancing and, oh so close to touching, why that was going to be the absolute and total ruination of all civilization, bar NONE. Women wore 'gloves' to the dance... until their ummmm... hands got hot and sweaty. But organized dancing and.... interchanging of couples while doing so... would become a mainstay of more than just the common man and soon *everyone was doing it*. The gloves went by the wayside for youngsters although they took on airs when older and put them back on again. And then larger and more organized dances by dance groups started and they actually touched and writhed and did all sorts of unseemly things ON STAGE and IN PUBLIC! Purely awful, this movement of the human body in lighted areas.

From the Square Dance to Ballet, dance has, obviously, degenerated society. Then The Charleston came around and things started to go completely bonkers. I mean, look at those skirts! Legs are being shown! Feet, knees, calves and hands placed in all sorts of places they really shouldn't be placed in while in public. Oh, how awful! Completely so and would lead to the corruption of the young on a scale never before imagined. Add that to the large varieties of dances where people actually touched each other and moved together and pressed bodies together. Unseemly! Of course Elvis came along for pelvic motion and the staid society went overboard. NO GOOD WOULD EVER COME OF THIS!

Until The Twist. Needless to say the Dance of the Seven Veils was completely passe although Belly Dancing as a whole was seen as acceptable, unless you really thought the way that belly flexed was just a bit too much. And a lot of THAT was in Adult Clubs and disrobing kept behind closed doors and painted over windows which kids would find the darkest and scratch off the paint to look into the smoking miasma and maybe catch a hint of flesh on the move. You can blame other media by bringing these out into the open. But, in the mainstream of Rock and Roll, couples were no longer.... ummmmm... coupling on the dance floor and dancing started to move back to its 'do your own thing while the music played' roots. Until Madonna went 'Vogueing' and slid the sultry dances relegated to Adult Clubs onto MTV.

Today, dance is pretty much everywhere. Utter and absolute corruption. Because it is *fun*.

This one covers that wide swath of things seen that are depictions of reality via the image concept. Paintings are the, ummm, big one to start with. Somehow PORN gets everywhere once you start thinking about it. And that was as true of our cave dwelling ancestors as it is of us, today. Look at the phallic depictions of many things on cave walls and you come to realize that the... ummmm... roots of this are... hmmmm... deep.

Move through the ages and visual depictions of people doing all sorts of nasty things are seen. Making beer! Now that is something that is seen on a fort wall of an ancient Egyptian town. Obviously the recipe book needed to be invented, but until then pictures would do so that anyone looking could figure out what was going on. As mentioned before the Romans put images everywhere to brighten up daily life and tell people what sort of goodies they could get where. Needless to say the Church limited depictions to all things Holy, unless you hit upon an illustrated 'Song of Solomon'. Actually, come to think of it, there are some parts of the Bible itself that are more than a bit racy and sordid and get quite descriptive of things. Strange thing to have in a Holy Book that has Chasteness built around it. One does get to wonder what there is, exactly, under those chaste exteriors.... and strange looks were given to the clergy, to boot.

But, poverty and desperation could not last forever, and the Black Death killed so many people that wealth got concentrated and people wanted to celebrate actually being alive. And painting and sculpting came back from their excursion into Divinity and started to spread everywhere. And, at first, things kept pretty tame. Unless it was some Duke or Viscount or some such wanting something for His private rooms. And then the wonderment of the human form was rediscovered and things definitely went to hell on the most direct route possible. 'Artistic nudes' and depiction of same to celebrate the human form soon became a 'standard' for artistic work. Unfortunately it took some centuries for multi-color printing to come to be reliable, so the movement of 'pure art' no matter how impure the subject matter, to the common man, took time. But it did spread with art schools flourishing and people learning how to paint and control their hormones just enough to make things that looked beautiful.

Until some bright person realized that silver halide reacted differentially with light, spread some on glass in a dark room, put a lens in front of it to get a subject at a proper distance away to image clearly on the silver halide. Process, remove the waste, put on paper with an inverted chemistry and you have... Photography. Yes, this would be the ruination of all Civilization, all Culture and an END to privacy. Mind you, it would document daily life and keep a historical record. And, at one point in the 19th century, the most commonly imaged person in the family was the child. Unfortunately it was the deceased child as illness swept through cities. Memory books of children were created and soon gain wide acceptance as a fitting memorial to those taken so young.

On the other hand, the 'French Postcard', mostly did not come from France and did not depict anything French, save some Frenching now and again. Yes, for that dreaded penny, you could buy somewhat artistic nude grayscale or contone photographs of... various things. If people would stay still for it, it was photographed and sold. Men with that capability were highly prized. Soon, faster and faster photo-imaging came into being and a non-glass substrate was used and with that suddenly photography was spreading like wildfire. One could even make their own little home photoprocessing lab and image anything they pleased, without oversight. Nothing good would ever come of that!

Then that awful inventor Edison took strips of film, made a device to image a frame at a time continuously and MOTION PICTURES would be the ruination of all that was good in the world. The first motion images were put into small displayers for one person only and you paid a nickel for your 3 minutes of film. Entire boxing matches would be lined up on side-by-side machines for the first PAY-PER-VIEW of actual events. And that *fiction* stuff went wild on film. And you thought the PRINTED stories were bad!! The goings-on for these 'movies' were just beyond being described! And things translated to movies were being cut, chopped and all original artistic vision lost to the vulgarity and limits of time!!

Now the Four Process Color Presses were also coming into their own. Original artwork made for color separation of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK (CMYK) color channels moved forwards and ingenious folks put filters on still cameras to take multiple shots of artwork and render it in four colors! Thus the artwork that was on exhibit was imaged and PRINTED and the economics of printing now moved into this realm as well. And a leading seller was, for some reason, artistic nudes. Nothing good was to come of this, not ever and the Four Color Press was the Work of the Devil. And if you had ever seen what happens when the plates are misaligned or the inks not kept true, you would be hard pressed to say otherwise. But the work of mankind went on and soon new photochemicals were developed to give color to film! And thus Color Movies! Pure and utter debauchery! Why its just impossible to describe all the nasty things that get shown in those movie houses, and not even speak of the ones you have to pay for a 5 minute reel in a booth!

And then the mass produced cameras started to proliferate. Cheap and easy, shoot the film send the camera back and get the prints a week or so later. And then there were the 'no questions asked' labs that popped up in newspaper ads under 'Services' or 'Personals'. And in magazines. And in magazines that no one wanted to talk about, but that still sold well. Funny how that works, isn't it? Luckily World War II put a curb on these hideous things and only a few, grand old magazines survived. But the post-war era saw the full and compliant marriage of color photography and four color process printing. No, these two technologies were up to no good and were going to decay the morals of society and ruin the youth forevermore. Too bad Playboy sold so well and became the new definition for artistry for nude photography for a decade or more. You should have seen the work they had to get through to actually make a photographed body *look* beautiful after it was photographed. It was artwork on a mass scale, but, as time went on it gained more and more and more competition that diversified and went into market niches and some only sold at specialty shops in places where 'nice people just don't go'. Although you could find their ads in the backs of other magazines where nice people did go. Go figure.

Back to the homefront! With the advent of the Polaroid Instant cameras there came much that worried many people. Why, in just a few seconds you could have an 'instant' image of someone doing just about anything and NO ONE ELSE would ever see it unless you wanted them to! Oh, dear me, that would devour civilization complete and totally in months! Who *knew* what was going on behind those closed doors and then getting photolabs to reproduce the images so they could be distributed? Not that a single one of these photoprocessing places ever, once, made duplicates for themselves. Heaven forbid! Why all sorts of prurient goings-on were being done with NO OVERSIGHT, although much direct seeing. And the young got their hands on these things and who ever knew what was going on with them?

Yes, civilization certainly ended. Until it brought forth digital imaging and storage and recording and distribution and mass distribution via the internet. No good was ever going to come of this!

First off, a drug is a substance which changes the nature of goings on inside your body. Food is a drug, although very necessary. Coffee is a drug, and if you need it to wake up in the morning tea will never, and never substitute, so give me instant or give me sleepiness. But, onwards and downwards as we have descended from some Golden Age where surviving to 30 was a rarity and we were infested with all sorts of parasites and bacteria and other things that made you ill and uncomfortable and this is not even to speak of the vermin that infested the body! But it was a Golden Age.

Now many folks gnawed on willow bark and got soothingness from pain. Others in Africa actually ate the dirt as it was high in kaolinite and that soothed their bowels. Some found weeds that you could dry and smoke and get pleasant effects from. And others you could chew and get likewise. Needless to say, many died going after the latest new thing, but anything that took from the pain and discomfort of the Golden Age was seen as a BOON to life.

Luckily, someone found that slightly old fruit that was high in sugar content fermented naturally and had a pleasing effect upon the mind and body. In no time at all people were picking up grapes, smashing them, getting the liquid and letting them ferment. Wine was born and it was an evil, evil drink. And then those people who had barley and wanted to make a liquid form of bread found that it also fermented and the malt beverage with alcohol was formed. Beer and later ales were invented as people started to put in all sorts of things into them to get rid of its taste and keep the effects and enhance it. And as a bonus, fermentation killed of nasty things that got into the gut in normal water. Yes, you were actually healthier, though somewhat more dehydrated, from drinking wine, beer and ale, than just drinking plain water that had not been boiled. Throw some plant matter into boiling water and you get tea. And some had this 'making you awake' effect that made it highly desirable to those so debauched enough to drink it.

So the age old medications of aspirin, alcohol and caffeine, along with various others were discovered, but not really used to excess and things that really disoriented a person were kept for religious use or for other things. Now, this isn't to say the maybe a practitioner using, peyote, say, didn't just do it on their own to get a good time out of it and make out like it was really to get in better tune with the Spirit World, instead of just raise their own spirits. And, speaking of which, the wonders of distilling alcohol brought a much more purer form of it to the marketplace and soon such things as brandy, gin, vodka, akvavit (aquavit), grappa, amongst many, to be made. Lo and behold one could get completely drunk on just a small amount of same, which used to take buckets and casks and kegs and cases of the wine and beer heretofore. A boon to civilization! Wild parties not only got wilder, but they calmed down much faster as everyone was soon drunk under the table. But mankind always loves excess and soon Poles, Russians, Scandinavians and many others were swilling this stuff like it was wine or even beer. Ah, the liver problems that must have caused! For a long time if one did not know about willow bark, then the only way to lessen hurt was by that wonderful surcease brought by Bacchus which eased all sorts of pains, increased the libido and decreased the performance. And thus the first use of 'No pain, No gain' was invented!

Generally drink was an accepted part of life in the Old World and their colonies in the New. Unfortunately in the Far East and their descendents in the Americas many lacked the gene to process alcohol which made it last in the system much, much longer than their European counterparts. And so alcoholism, which was looked upon as a minor social state of continual inebriation in the Old World was a major problem in the New World. Now, the Far East, to compensate, had used the drippings from the opium poppy to do all sorts of wonderful things. And in no time at all the folks who came in from the West were soon buying *that* by the shipload. Markets flourished! Trade increased! And more people were getting high and addicted than ever before. In the US this showed up on the West coast during the middle of the 19th Century as immigrants from China fled the awful state of affairs there and looked to get *any* freedom whatsoever in America. Perhaps looked down upon at first, they soon made a niche and name for themselves as the 'Little People Who Could' working on railroads and in mines. And they brought Opium with them and Opium dens and all sorts of crime and mischief associated with it and soon their inebriated counterparts in America were joining in!

For ages, then, mankind had sought ways to use ointments, ungents, perfumes, smoke, powders, teas, and all sorts of other things that could be drunk, rubbed on, snorted, smoked, or given via enema to change their outlook on life. The discovery of the coffee bean and chocolate soon addicted the entire Western World, seemingly within a generation, EACH. Ditto on tobacco. Fair is fair and these things are a two-way street as a vice is a vice no matter where it is invented or enjoyed. But these things changed with the advent of morphine and the hypodermic syringe. When the West got ahold of morphine the fledgling science of biochemistry wanted to know *exactly* what it was that allowed it to have its effects. And soon they did and tuberculosis sufferers soon had a cough medicine to mask their disease! And in the quest to discover the perfect delivery method this newest of mankind's creations was teamed up with a way to deliver it directly into the bloodstream and mass addiction was born!

Of course not instantaneously as it took the US Civil war to spur on the high use of injected morphine for all the necessary surgery that was taking place. And it served to ease the pain of the millions of wounded who had survived, but the surgery still left them in pain. Over time other drugs and medications and ways to get high evolved and by the early 20th Century the 'boon to medicine' was soon seen as 'demon spawn' which was being used in nearly everything to get nearly everyone high. The growing anti-drug movement and temperance movements were soon on the warpath to squelch the use of drugs and get the demon drink out of the Nation. The anti-drug folks went the Congressional route and got the regulation of inter-state commerce along with taxation powers put together and made all sorts of rules and regulations on drugs. To their benefit, actual, medical uses had to be described for medications. To their detriment, this soon became an entire operation within the Federal Government to tell people just what they could and could not put into their bodies.

The temperance and anti-saloon folks went the harsher method of actually getting the Constitution amended and outlawing the production, sale and transport of demon drink. And by driving it underground, this medication of the ages that was socially acceptable to all but teetotalers who blamed everything from poor work performance to murder on alcohol, the modern Crime Syndicate needed to be formed to meet this industrial level demand for something that could easily be made and shipped and consumed. By the time of its repeal the Mafia became a fixture in the crime world, as one illegal activity, like drinking, also got associated with gambling, prostitution and all sorts of other nefarious activities like the Lottery called 'numbers running'. By the repeal of Prohibition the modern American saw little difference between betting on the ponies, shooting up heroin, playing the lottery and meeting up with a prostitute. The *social* prohibitions were still there and so were the laws, but the attitude was changing on those. And it is no wonder that the lucrative criminal element soon moved on to the harder drugs which were now proscribed for use via the Interstate Commerce provisions of the Constitution enacted by Congress.

Thus we get to the modern era where the harshest elements have taken control of the criminal money flow, use terrorist-like tactics to push drugs at anyone, use criminal gangs of youths to do these things, and have, generally, started the deterioration of social structure and National Sovereignty as they have had no compunction NOT to work with Transnational Terrorists. Because, if the modern Nation State can be brought down, then they can basically take commercial control of large portions of it. So to keep people from getting high and *keep the young from such drugs* and all sorts of other reasons, we are now in extreme peril from having the capability of our Nation to exist endangered as the worst of the Criminal element teams up with the worst of the Terrorist element.

And many, many drugs which are addictive in one form cannot be studied to find out WHY they react that way in the body, what their chemical effect actually IS, and then understood so as to make more useful medications from them. In theory one can go through all sorts of paperwork for years, if not decades, and then get miniscule amounts of these things to test on.... well, very, very few people if any. That is not to say that drugs are not dangerous and that many can cause a physical and psychological addiction. I would point out that many people are fully addicted to alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and all sorts of herbal 'remedies' that have whatall in them to do who knows what in your body. So to regulate the harshest of medications we now endanger the entire Nation and the entire international system of Nation States by making a business so lucrative that some Nations cannot crack down on it as it is a vital part of their economy.

Places hold a special place in the heart of those worrying about everything. Now, one can see those awful and nasty places of worship way out in the middle of nowhere, where strange people gather due to the rising and setting of the sun and perform strange rituals often involving medications and altered states of consciousness. But, outside of those saloons and bars kept at the edges of town, those nature worshippers have been a relatively feeble lot, while their more civilized brethren dispensing goods for use or services have become a strong force in society. So much so that they were shut down for a period of time by the temperance movement... but this is just one incident in a long line of them.

Previously the Opium den was the place where the inscrutable folks from the Far East practiced that medicine and their criminal element flourished. And so all sorts of laws were passed against such... and mostly ignored. Of course even *that* was a late comer to western civilization and the Coffee House, in previous generations, was a place where all sorts of people would congregate to no obvious good beyond being awake and twitchy. Artists, nobles, peasants all had become addicted to this demon drink of darkness which the Turks had made palatable through the use of spices and sugar. Yes, dark and rotting teeth were the order of the day, and all to the attempt to just get a bit more energized about life. No good ever came of that!

Before that you actually do have to go out into the wilderness and find the heathens, pagans, and worshippers of all sorts of strange things which the established Church had condemned, one and all, as devil worshippers. Yes, paying homage to an ancestor on the ancient homestead was soon a form of devil worship! And so was giving the small offering to Poseidon before heading out to sea. Yes, no good ever came of such things and they had best be stamped out completely before the 'Wrath of God' came upon mankind to destroy us all... which, notably, hasn't happened yet.

Before that this sort of thing was seen as a part of life and not really something out of the ordinary. So, too, were brothels and such. And the use of sexual activity itself was seen as something more or less a part of the everyday during the earlier periods of man's history. Luckily the Church came along to condemn it and thus drove it underground into the criminal element where it has sat for large sections of the world for ages. And the 'houses of ill-repute' are still with us today in the form of massage parlors, escort services, 'personal services' and exotic dancers (if you know the right type to look for). And actually showing a naked body, outside of a painting or artistic sculpture was... well! Just not done in polite society! Nudity, sex and alcohol... mix well... the topless bar results! You can break one taboo, one law and get pleasantly inebriated ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

But these things would *corrupt the morals of the youth*. So, evidently, would pool halls and billiards establishments. Not so long ago, youths that frequented those things were seen as being rough, crude and from the 'wrong social element'. Mostly, from what could be seen from the distance of time, they enjoyed companionship, getting booze, smoking, fooling around with girls looking for fun, participate in minor criminal activity, and, of course, shooting pool. Actually, one tends to believe that it is that latter which is the worst of it as that activity is addictive and fun and completely unregulated by Law. Check out any college campus and you will find a surprising number of pool tables in and around the campus, not to speak of commercial establishments nearby.

But mere pool halls could not compare to pinball arcades! Now *that* was a drain on society and addictive and kept smoking down as two hands had to be used for the most part, and generally did not attract some people due to loud noises and such. Throw a few in a bar or pool hall and you then get an *instant* youth-corruption site... a 'one-stop, all-service' entertainment facility to help relieve the youth of nickels, dimes and quarters at a steady rate. Criminality eased out as the highly time consuming and addictive nature of pinball brought on high adrenaline levels which tended to make other drugs useless. No good would ever come of this!

So when the pinball machines started to get replaced by digital video games, things really went downhill at a rate so awesome that the entire world has now been interconnected electronically and completely. The very same kids who played video games wanted to know damn near everything about how they were made, repaired and programmed and the influx of that interest into academia changed the entire world. For today the INTERNET is now a PLACE.

And I am sure, that for Mr. O'Reilly, no good will ever come of it unless you can make some money on it or a loofah is involved....

The upshot of all of this? How about something along the lines of: hormonal increase in *the youth* will lead to behavior not sanctioned by adults, there are some bad adults in the world, and the actual reportage of events that had gone unreported or were even sanctioned in previous times, has made the world seem a worse and more dangerous place.

Those stodgy adults always do see a problem in *the youth* which will come to no good.

Other stodgy adults really don't want people to have much fun in life.

And a very few people are very sick mentally, but are put under the microscope to fill the screen for air time so as to be seen as a pervasive threat... because they are shown everywhere from a common studio.

When was the last time you heard a news broadcast with actual *good news*? Or a newspaper that reported good and bad goings-on in their proportionality to real life?

And those with the loudest mouths get the most airing, no matter how idiotic their ideas because it fills air time the fastest and produces the most column inches for newspapers.

Perhaps, with equality of capability to produce content and of distribution, we can move from that era to a new one.

But, no matter what the era, there will always be *something* that will corrupt the youth, *come to no good* and *destroy society*. That has been going on for AGES now.

As my Uncle Edward had said to many such things after a glance out the window: "Still no dead bodies laying in the streets, so it can't be that bad."

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