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Crunchy Con

Friday February 1, 2008

Category: Culture, Decline and fall, Media

2 Girls, 1 Cup, 0 Boundaries

Slate has a disturbing and provocative feature on a new Internet meta-fad: making YouTube videos capturing the reactions of people as they watch on the Internet an extremely disgusting bit of pornography. The clip in question is called "2 Girls, 1 Cup," and don't worry, I'm not about to link to it from here, nor do you have to worry about looking at it if you go to the Slate site. I looked at the Wikipedia entry for "2 Girls, 1 Cup," and suffice it to say that it's really too disgusting even to describe here. There is no way I'm going to watch it, because I don't want those images lodged in my brain. If you watch the reaction videos Slate has compiled, as part of a discussion of how in the Internet age we process taboos, you'll get an idea of how unutterably grotesque this video must be.

The reason I bring it up is this: Before the Internet, you would have had to have looked very, very hard to find such material, and most of us wouldn't even have been able to imagine that it existed. Now, it's only two clicks away from anyone -- of any age -- who has an Internet connection. If my kids got onto an unfiltered Internet connection, and put the phrase "2 Girls, 1 Cup" into Google, within seconds they could be watching something so horrible it beggars the imagination. (I know that the way I'm writing about it will make lots of readers want to see the clip. I'm sorry about that, but there's really no other way to write about it. If you are bound and determined to let your curiosity win here, please at least go to the Wiki entry to understand what kind of images you are going to have burned into your brain forever if you watch the clip.)

What kind of society do we have when that kind of information is easily available to people, especially to children? What kind of society can we hope to have?
The lesson for parents today is this: we have to start building within our children the kind of internal moral strength that will cause them to resist the temptation to expose themselves to this kind of thing. Because the technological and social revolutions have already happened, and this garbage and much worse will always be with us. I suppose it always was with us, but until the Internet, it was relatively easy to control. Those days are gone, and they're not coming back. It's important to understand that, and act on it.

One of the reaction videos Slate has shows a teenage girl dealing with the video by sort of rolling her eyes at it, defanging its horror with ironic distance. To be honest, I find that the scariest reaction of all. The idea that we process the horrifying by ceasing to be horrified by it strikes me as a psychologically understandable reaction, but one that goes a long way toward deadening our consciences.


Filed Under: 2 Girls, 1 Cup,, children

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Comments

Max: "I don't want to disprove your causal chain because I agree with it. What I disagree with is any claime that the chain is either comprehensive, or mutually exclusive of what I'm saying."

I agree. As I said above, I don't see it as an 'either/or' but as a 'both/and.'

"You see, morality comes from within, not terror of being caught and punished by your imaginary friend in the sky."

Ignorant Myth About Theism No. 1732: theistic morality is based on fear of punishment.

Rob and Max: your both/and logic is reasonable. Part of my attitude is in working to look at it from a practical angle, and desiring to apply Occam's Razor. I must admit I can be rather stubborn about it. Well said, both of you.

"Ignorant Myth About Theism No. 1732: theistic morality is based on fear of punishment."

Wow. It's a universal truth that no member of any theistic religion fears punishment for sin?

I might join back up, after all.

"It's a universal truth that no member of any theistic religion fears punishment for sin?"

That isn't what I said, and anyways, the universal fact that some theists fear punishment for sin doesn't mean that theistic morality is based on fear of punishment.


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About Crunchy Con

Rod Dreher is an editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and author of "Crunchy Cons" (Crown Forum), a nonfiction book about conservatives, most of them religious, whose faith and political convictions sometimes put them at odds with mainstream conservatives. The views expressed in this blog are his own.

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