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  1.  (9973.21)
    Acting on sexual preference is what makes child molesters, not reading questionable manga. Manga is manga, It is depictions on paper, of non-actual (fantasy, ie : NOT REAL) activities that range from dreaming about flying kites, to piloting fantastically designed robot armour to anally raping giant mutants with the Tokyo tower.

    I'd be interested in seeing genuine figures on the ratio of people owning material that is qualifiable as drawn "child pornography" and the actual people on offenders lists who are actually convicted for child molestation or the ownership of photographic child porn material.
    I would suggest that most "normal" people would find Guro deeply disturbing, but I very much think that the number of people eating people during sex is rather lower than the amount of people who actually "own" such material. And what of the question of intent to own, I've bought a number of Japanese anthologies of comics that contained seriously questionable material, though when I was purchasing them I couldn't tell, as they were shinkwrapped, and I buy my Japanese artbooks like I buy my novels, by judging by the cover-art and I'm not going to throw out a £25.00 anthology because of one part of the content. Anyone downloading (naughty, naughty! Different argument) manga en masse, is going to stumble across such material, because it's not a niche market in Japan. It's as common as Wolverine is in every single Marvel product, So, think about the amount of guest appearances Wolvie will make this month (845) and replace it with issues of comics about violating schoolgirls.

    It's not the laws job to "prevent perversion of the mind". It's part of the law's role to prevent harm, apparently. Perversion of the mind is a persons own business till they are lubing up the neighbours cat, committing an actual action, which is where the harm comes in.
    There's a great difference , I'd say about 100%, between having interests and desires and acting on them, Noone should question for an instant that acting upon them is not categorically wrong, but, If it is so important that such censoring be done due to a belief that drawn images can incite deviant behaviour. I find it absurd that child pornography specifically is targetted at the exclusion of all else, when there is other, massively disturbing and traumatising acts in manga that don't seem to raise any concern at all.
    •  
      CommentAuthorD.J.
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2011 edited
     (9973.22)
    @agentarsenic

    As much as I definitely agree with it being messed up (we live in a messed world), a lot of people who read those types of things don't want to be attracted to children. They delve into fantasy because they can't have reality, knowing that it would be wrong. It's a long line to cross. There's plenty of people, probably even someone you know, who often roleplay rape underneath the sheets, but should we be worried about them all going out and raping someone? Not really. In a way, someone being attracted to children isn't really different than someone being attracted to redheads, the problem is that they can go to a bar and pick up a redhead without hurting anyone. The same doesn't apply to going to the park and picking up a child.

    @VertigoJones
    While maybe not in quite the same category, there's also loads and loads of disturbing shit that we've all read in comics by Warren Ellis and etcetera. Should I be worried about crossing the border with my trade of Crossed?
  2.  (9973.23)
    My opinion is that if someone is sexually aroused by drawn images of child sex, he probably needs help. Help from a professional, and maybe a support group.


    Or someone to buy them a bullet for their pistol so they can do the right thing.
  3.  (9973.24)
    Or someone to buy them a bullet for their pistol so they can do the right thing.

    You're saying that a person can never change, nor be trusted to master and contain their own demons?
    •  
      CommentAuthoraike
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2011
     (9973.25)
    Or someone to buy them a bullet for their pistol so they can do the right thing.


    You would have to shoot 95% of the male population of this planet. Biological attraction is generally triggered by far younger ages than our social system deems appropriate (normal adult males will be biologically attracted to females of late tweens/beginning teens age group, when fertility begins). In the vast majority of cases, it is normal and perfectly harmless - social constraints and protective measures prevail. In the cases where an adult is sexually attracted to a child and is not in control, or the attraction is obviously warped (either age or manner of attraction), there are invariably serious psychological issues at work (more often than not as a result of sexual abuse) that can be worked with. Help and intervention is needed prior to it getting out of hand. Overblown outrage and stigmatization is not helpful, either to the inevitable victims or the perpetrator. That does not mean that any such intent is okay nor can any action be excused, but a functional pre-emptive help system is far more effective than knee-jerk "Look at me, I'm more outraged than you." reactions, that just drive people underground and away from help. The message should be "Don't do it, we'll help you." before it is too late, not "Fuck you, die." after it is too late.

    Is there a place for Art here? Absolutely. Is it a problem/topic worth taking about rationally, recognizing, discussing, out in the open without frothing at the mouth? Absolutely. Is there a place for real kiddie pr0n and child abusers? Absolutely not. It's a pretty easy distinction to make in my mind.
  4.  (9973.26)
    @aike

    You seem to forget that lolicon is not the standard 14 year old Japanese schoolgirls in their uniforms. The material that man possessed undoubtedly included depictions of children under the age of ten, pre-pubescents. That doesn't fall under the realm of healthy adult lust, it falls under utter depravity and invokes in other people, parents especially, the basic human instincts of protecting our young ones.

    If a man in my community was outed for possessing lolicon, and showed up at my community's public pool - I believe the reaction I and others would take would be the same as in the film Little Children - get the kids out of the pool and behind us.

    As for the subject of Art, with a Capitol A, lolicon artists draw pictures to be certain, the pictures themselves may be technically proficient, but that hardly makes them "Art". I doubt you'll see a gallery featuring lolicon anytime soon. To be clear, some of the same type of situations found I. Lolicon can be found in Lost Girls, but Lost Girls treated the subject matter deftly and did not feature children.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2011
     (9973.27)
    @agentarsenic

    I'm not defending the guy but statements like this bother me:

    The material that man possessed undoubtedly included depictions of children under the age of ten, pre-pubescents

    Do you know what images the Canadian border police found? Were they actually what you describe? Until you know what material he actually had, perhaps you shouldn't start assuming you know?
  5.  (9973.28)
    Having a young daughter makes my knee really want to jerk with stuff like this. I really want to take the "what kind of sick fuck would have this stuff? Hangin's too good fer 'im!" stance, but I can't. I don't know Canadian law, but based on some of the other comments, it sounds like he's right screwed. That being said, the law gets it wrong all the time and this is a case where it sounds like it did.

    I have no idea what's in those comics, but at the end of the day they're comics! I am much more uncomfortable with the end of the slippery slope for preventing perversion of the mind than I am the one where we let sexual deviants see comics that feature their perversion. The law is never going to protect everyone. We live in a dangerous world, where there are bad people. Trying to preemptively prevent the bad people from being bad is doomed to failure and will harm a lot more innocent people in the process.

    Count me among the "no one was harmed, there is no crime" camp.
  6.  (9973.29)
    but Lost Girls treated the subject matter deftly and did not feature children.

    You may want to revisit it, like half the naked bodies in 'story-mode' are pretty clearly underage.

    That doesn't fall under the realm of healthy adult lust, it falls under utter depravity and invokes in other people, parents especially, the basic human instincts of protecting our young ones.

    I am not sure where you are going in this part, if you are making a point about the court case and legal issues. Is your comment here a point in of itself or something that related to what you think police and courts should do to people based on media consumption habits?

    If so, I defer to what sellmeyoursoul just said about danger and preemption

    Typed on mobile
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2011 edited
     (9973.30)
    @James Pucket-no need to search for it, I just wanted an idea on how long that was.

    In the case of the manga seized was an american translated edition, isn't it policy of comicbook publishers to have a statement saying all the characters depicted are adults? If this is the case, I could see this all flushed out quickly due to those statements.
    Edit for typos
  7.  (9973.31)
    Or in manga it wouldn't be even novel if all the characters were physically stunted immortals who are actually thousands of years old. See 'Rin: daughters of memawhatsit.'

    A funny twist to this case would be that the publisher of whatever this dude had could just release some new issues wherein that becomes the backstory.
  8.  (9973.32)
    You seem to forget that lolicon is not the standard 14 year old Japanese schoolgirls in their uniforms. The material that man possessed undoubtedly included depictions of children under the age of ten, pre-pubescents.

    You seem to be very familiar with this stuff. How come you aren't in prison?
    •  
      CommentAuthoragentarsenic
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2011 edited
     (9973.33)
    @James

    Because I don't transport my non-collection across international borders. Kachow!

    In all seriousness, after reading the original article, I thought the guy was the one who had like bookshelves full of the stuff that got busted a little while ago. This guy, might have got a bad torrent or something. I wish I could find a link on the other guy, but I'm on a mobile, and it's him
    I was concerned with.

    This guy: http://www.japanator.com/man-arrested-for-manga-collection-the-comic-book-legal-defense-fund-will-take-the-case--8753.phtml

    The comments section seems to take a similar stance as most of you, ie, drawings aren't a crime.
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2011
     (9973.34)
    thats the case in which Gaiman wrote his Law is a Club post
    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2011
     (9973.35)
    Maybe if we're going to investigate where the line is we should establish the line for...what, exactly?

    Taking legal action? Punishing someone? Withdrawing them from society for psychiatric attention? Telling kids to steer clear of them? Not allowing anyone to associate with them?

    We should be specific if we're going to expect anyone else to toe the line. Otherwise any of us who've ever enjoyed a violent revenge movie should get hauled in to a Subcommittee on Potentially Bad Thoughts Inimical to a Well-Ordered Society.
    •  
      CommentAuthoraike
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2011 edited
     (9973.36)
    @Agentarsenic No, I understand. I also understand that mostly because I don't have children I can be academic about it where if I did I probably couldn't. Of course the content of the standard lolicon faire is a sign of some unhealthy psych issues of both the reader and the creator. Of course, some psychologists would argue that even those issues, much like sadism or masochism, are present in every adult. For example, it is fairly well documented that every father goes through a stage in the development of his daughter where he becomes sexually attracted to her. Most fathers quickly put this aside and bury it deep, many never actively realize it, nonetheless it is there - that does not make them incestuous lechers.

    But, as long as it all remains a matter of fantasy, this is part of what Art is for, to live out the things we cannot live out, to see the things we cannot see in reality. Here is food for thought: Why do we see a comic/book/film where someone brutally hacks children to pieces as one thing, but a comic about a guy raping them as a different boat? I can think of a number of comics where children (or adults) are shown being shredded to bits. Also, why is adult rape/violence less problematic than with children? Or, why is a fantasy of consenting sexuality with children not okay when showing rape and violence is? I'd say they all are pretty twisted and indicative of some latent psychological issues. Then again, any psychologist or psychiatrist can tell you that every human being on the planet has a good collection of latent psychological issues and is, at some level, pretty twisted.

    I don't think the "shoot them all" mentality saves children from harm. I guess I am a bit jaded, too. I've dealt with a reasonable amount of child abuse, I know of several cases where an open support system would have prevented harm. (Yes there are some support groups, but being branded a potential pedophile is the modern equivalent of having leprosy - not even the doctors who could cure you will see you) I don't want to excuse those twisted individuals that harm children, beyond seeing that they are probably victims themselves, and yes, they need to be locked away - in the same way a murderous sociopath needs to be locked away, even if he cannot help it. But then again, check out the rape statistics in any country, underage and otherwise, and you will see that locking the fuckers up or shooting them is not a solution - there are just too many. There needs to be another solution.
  9.  (9973.37)
    A series of questions that always pop to mind when discussions like this happen:

    1) What if the style of a pornographic comic makes characters tend to look younger than they actually are meant to be as far as the story is concerned? (as is the case with a lot of manga - especially if you're not familiar with the style of the series in question).
    2) What if a woman or man who is clearly sexually mature and otherwise indistinguishable from older characters in the comic is identified as under 18 in the story?
    3) What if a woman or man who is clearly less sexually mature than other characters but is identified as over 18?
    4) What if the style of a comic means that the only way to distinguish between sexually mature and sexually immature characters is the size of breasts and hips? Are depictions of small breasted, narrow hipped women in that comic then child pornography? (I guess this would also be more of an issue in material from Japan where a greater percentage of women are slight of figure).
    5) A live action piece can dress a porn actress up as a school-girl for the purpose of make-believe, but remain legal if the actress is over 18. An equivalent sequence of drawn images might be illegal if it were clear from the script that they were a depiction of an underage schoolgirl, or they might be legal if it were clear that they were a depiction of an older woman dressed as a school girl. How should such a case be resolved?

    Fiction bends the rules of reality, and ways of identifying reality for legal purposes crumble in a similar manner when discussing fiction. There is obviously a vast range of drawn material that might be considered a depiction of a minor in a sexual situation, one end of which deals with characters who are sexually mature, but identified as underage and is extremely borderline, and one end of which deals with characters who are clearly pre-pubescent and is very cut-and-dried. As other people have pointed out, it's impossible to tell where this case falls within that range without seeing the material itself, and without that certainty I don't want to make a moral assertion about this particular example

    In general, I agree that anyone in possession of drawn images of a sexual nature in which the bodies of the characters depicted are clearly pre-pubescent must have a problem, and I object to such images morally - I don't think it's natural to find them sexually attractive. I do however have no illusions about human sexuality: it's perfectly natural to find depictions of a sexually mature woman attractive - and many people would be hard pressed to accurately arrange a group of women whose ages were between 16 and 20 on the basis of appearance alone - the same goes doubly when those depictions are drawn and the style must be taken into account. Furthermore, because sexual maturity doesn't rule out women who look young, or who are slight of figure, there must be a psychological borderline that every sexually aware individual has to deal with personally - doubly so for images that are drawn for the reasons laid out.

    I also remember that even if someone has seen or owns a sexual image of someone who looks pre-pubescent, they have not nessacerily done harm to any individual. I question whether the purpose of the law should be to pre-empt the future actions of such a person - after all, we don't prosecute people for owning fictional depictions of murder, or even the rape of a human over 18, and I doubt there is anyone here naive enough to think that watching or reading that material makes you significantly more likely to commit either crime. I'm hard-pressed to think of a reason why that fact should change significatly for depictions of pre-pubescent sex, even if I am morally disgusted by it. However, moral-outrage plays a large part in law-making, and I've got no illusions about that or the reasons for it either.

    These issues are contentious and extremely complex, and personally I would like to see more of the emotional fervour that tends to surround them being channeled into rational discussion in which no human being is considered to be less worthy of understanding than we would consider ourselves to be. For the most part this discussion seems remarkably progressive in that respect.
  10.  (9973.38)
    I don't think it's really that complex. It comes down to whether you believe in a police society that governs what you can and cannot see, or a free state where you are free to own/view whatever. If you choose the former you have to accept that the law won't always perfectly conform to your own personal standards of decency, and you may in fact go to jail for what is essentially a thought crime. Whereas in the latter you may risk deviants biding their time waiting to do ill will to younger members of society.

    I tend to personally err on the side of freedom, because it's too easy for me to imagine a situation where someone isn't deviant or criminal but owns some kind of art that is deemed deviant or criminal. Easier for me to imagine that than the notion that making harsh obscenity laws actually will curb true violent abhorrent behavior.

    I would hate to go to jail because I own Lost Girls. Especially since nothing about that book turns me on in the slightest.
  11.  (9973.39)
    On the topic of pedophiles;

    The message should be "Don't do it, we'll help you."


    Pedophiles are as "born that way" as gays and straights. If you claim you can cure their sexual orientation, then you must also be able to "cure" homo and hetrosexuality as well. Since we know these cures are really deep repression that won't last, we have to deal with the situation as is. Unlike gays and straights, consenting adults are not involved with their desire at any point. So you're left with the hope they can contain their desire to abuse children for the entirety of their lives. Or you hope they remove themselves from the world before they lose that self control and join the Catholic Church.

    Obviously killing them off if they've done nothing isn't an option either. But that doesn't mean we should feel pity for someone jacking off to kiddy porn. And you're not going to convince me they're worth of pity either, so don't bother.

    So, the message I'll gladly give is, "Kill yourself before you ruin someone else's life before it gets started."

    On the arrest;

    The problem with the current situation is that we don't know what the material actually is he was stopped for. Canada Customs is well know for being the dumbest branch of the Canadian government... which is saying something... So they could have seen anything from Yotsuba&!, to the kiddy porn mag called Lo, to an issue of Dragonball. So in this case we can't call the guy a pedophile until we know what he's been carrying around with him.

    I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt because, as I said above, Canada Customs are a collection of dumb assholes. But if he gets off on kids, he can rot.
    •  
      CommentAuthoraike
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2011
     (9973.40)
    Pedophiles are as "born that way" as gays and straights.


    That is a very unsubstantiated statement that is far from proven either way. The truth (much like any nature vs. nurture debate) is that a) there is far more at work than we are able to quantify or qualify and b) it is almost always a combination of both. Most actual cases child sexual abuse, at least to my knowledge and as far as anyone I have ever read has been able to prove, have had less to do with genetic predisposition, and lots to do with personal past, history, environment and culture. Like I said previously, in the large majority of cases of child abuse (perhaps even all) I have worked with, the perpetrator was him or herself a victim. Of course, also in the vast majority of sexual abuse cases (similarly to rape), the sexual attraction has very little to do with the actual act. It is about power, damaged self-image and a diminished capacity for distinguishing reality from fantasy. In virtually all cases I am familiar with, the actions were accompanied by massive distortions of perception and reality, splitting and projection, all baseline indicators for severe mental illness. Those are things that are treatable, though indeed perhaps not entirely curable. In the same way as a person who has suffered through torture, a schizophrenic, a paranoid delusional, or someone with a borderline personality disorder, they can be treated and lead good, productive, healthy lives - and wouldn't it be great if that happened BEFORE someone got hurt?

    That is as much as I really want to say on the matter, except for two points in general on the whole outrage thing. We are too easily outraged these days. It prevents learning, understanding and actually solving problems. When the government gets all outraged at things, it is simply a protective measure, but as a public body we have come to expect and have fostered that behavior... I think, while because it is indeed a standard defensive mechanism it is sometimes unavoidable, we might want to be somewhat cautious of how we employ it. It rarely is constructive or helpful. Locking up an Artist (or anyone) to serve/appease the Outrage(TM) is a bad thing.