Let's Talk Porn Part I

About a year and a half ago, a friend mentioned a phrase to me that has continued to captivate my imagination and conscience: verbal masturbation. He saw it in a Facebook post by his previous painting teacher. In the quip, his teacher expressed his frustration with the self-importance of contemporary representational painters. He commended their work, but saw getting together as artisans to pat each other on the back for being such wonderful people, for making such wonderful work, as pointless. They weren’t developing their craft in those moments, weren’t moving forward towards anything. They were simply pausing to celebrate themselves—to indulge one another. His naming of this action as “verbal masturbation” has captured me because the metaphor is continues to bring a startling amount of clarity to several contemporary problems.

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Cool Title Here

By choosing to listen to pop music, I am constantly bombarded with a variety of mainstream messages. Sometimes they perplex me, and many at least require more than just a passing thought. For example, how does one shake it off, and what exactly is “it”? Or when is it appropriate to listen to the father of your beloved, and when is it appropriate to marry her anyway, and how exactly does one navigate such a situation without being impolite?

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