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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The government can take away my freedom, but if they take away my internet porn, they’re going down

- @arabist

32 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • They are not going to – that’s the problem. Bread and circuses.

  • Bod

    Not so sure about that – Glenn Reynolds references some correspondence stating that Egypt has indeed severed Internet links here.

  • lucklucky

    Heheh excellent.

  • Regional

    Define Porn, if your talking about people being scewed, governments are doing it big time all the time

  • Polar Camel

    No, porn really don’t need to be defined to understand this quote of the day

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Do prisoners, who are denied their freedom, have access to porn? how cum they aren’t rioting?
    Maybe you have it the wrong way round, as Alisa suggested- whilst you’re scouring porn sites for the well-written articles, the government is quietly taking away your other freedoms (laws are more often passed than repealed, and a law is a restriction on something).

  • Python, then Internet porn. The link couldn’t be clearer – both are marvellous time savers, freeing man’s energies for higher pursuits.

    Can anyone still remember what it was like when you had to draw your own porn? God that was a pain (as the likes of Velazquez and Goya would probably attest).

  • Dale Amon

    Word in the international network is that internet in down in much of Egypt as well as cell phones in Alexandria and Cairo. The security forces are out in force to make sure no one messes with the status quo.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    If I recall, we lucky Western taxpayers give aid to Egypt. Worth every penny, I’m sure.

  • Alisa, bread and circuses were provided by the Roman State to purchase the support of the population, whereas porn is a universally private sector product suppressed by the State. Bad analogy.

  • Also, ‘Nuke’ Gray, I can now say with absolute confidence that in that grammatical context, you have used the wrong spelling of the word “cum”.

  • Polar Camel

    Do prisoners, who are denied their freedom, have access to porn? how cum they aren’t rioting?

    Because they are in prison cells rather that in the street

  • Ian, you talk about source, I talk about purpose. I think a smart government would want to have its populace’s hands full with things other than forks and torches, and it shouldn’t matter whether those hands are filled by private market or government, um, organs.

    With all due respect to Egypt, (…or maybe without it), I was talking about the West. Besides, it’s not porn that got the internet cut off even in Egypt (extremely Islamic states like SA may be different). What Nuke said (grammar excluded).

  • Polar Camel (…love it!): prisoners do riot.

  • Polar Camel

    Yes riot but are still contained in prison. Streets of Cairo are a little different. Am surprised have to point this out.

  • Yes, Polar, it does go without saying. But, Nuke asked why are they not rioting, and you said that’s because they are in prison – I merely pointed out that they actually do riot.

    Still, thinking further, I do remember some big regional riots somewhere some time that started in prison – where was that? My old brain…

  • RAB

    I used to draw my own Porn Endivio, there was only Health & Efficiency and the underwear section of the Littlewoods catalogue in my young day. ;-)

    Jesus! can you imagine what Goverment approved and promoted porn would look like? Argh!

  • I doubt there would be anything like that, RAB – not that it’s impossible, just not very likely (been there, although was too young to do that). What is likely to happen instead is your old regular porn, either smuggled from the outside (Assuming world government, from where? Aliens anyone? Ian?), or locally produced. It would of course be illegal, but the gov would turn a blind eye on it – except when a person involved is otherwise undesirable (looking at Ian again).

  • All that presuming the internet is taken over by the gov – which it would be, of course.

  • RAB

    And so we would have come full circle Alisa, erm, doing it by hand again. ;-)

    Ian B and I could make a bloody fortune!

  • I’m not sure what point you’re making Alisa. Calvinist-marxist governments don’t turn a blind eye to porn. They loathe it. Here in Ukay right now, people are going to prison for having the wrong type of porn, “dangerous pictures” and hentai, for instance. Controlling the most personal is the central stratagem of the modern State.

    I may be wrong, but you seem to be cleaving to a quaint old idea of the masses being stupefied into compliance by decadent pleasures. That is itself, ironically, a calvinist conspiracy theory. The reality is that the primary drive of Statists now is to reduce the population to dependent penury and a state of permanent want for all things. That is the very purpose of the Green Movement. Less bread, less circuses, and you work harder and harder for the crusts you are allowed by the State, while the circuses are strictly designed only as “educational” propaganda.

    All work and no play makes Jack a compliant boy indeed.

    That’s why it’s very heartening if an Egyptian is rioting for porn. He’s saying, he has this freedom and he’s determined to hang onto it. The struggle for all of us now is to defend our decadent pleasures. This is the battle for beer and skittles.

  • You may be right Ian, and I may be looking in the rear mirror (both chronologically and geographically).

    As a point of information, Egyptians are rioting for bread, not circuses – but I do see your point. Either way, bloody depressing.

  • The interesting thing for me about this wave of crisis in the Muslim world, is whether it’s going to turn into a wave of Islamisation, or a wave of democratisation. Egypt is after all the home of the famous Brotherhood. But things look fairly positive at the moment.

  • Egypt is after all the home of the famous Brotherhood

    It is, but – paradoxically, perhaps – but that’s because it is so fundamentally secular in the first place (compared to other Arab countries, and excluding Lebanon, obviously).

  • Apparently the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities is under threat from fire and looters. I hope it survives this okay.

  • Laird

    Porn in Egypt, Tater Tots in the US: when will the madness end? Thank goodness one man is standing up for Tot Rights!

    “You can nationalize our car companies. You can spend our country into oblivion. But mister, when you go after my Tots — you’ve gone a casserole too far. That’s why I’m declaring January 28 to February 3 National Tater Tots Rights Week and asking you to stand up with me against the Tot-grabbers in Washington. Let’s let ‘em know they’ll get our Tater Tots when they pry them from our cold dead greasy fingers!”

    Let’s all join Iowahawk in making a stand!

  • Hope so – it is a real treasure. Although they like bitching about how the Brits stole(?) most of the good stuff.

  • RAB

    Ha! Ancient Egyptian grave robbers had it away with the really good stuff long before any of the French and Brits turned up to excavate it again for them.

    Tutankarmun was a terribly minor Pharaoh who didn’t get beyond 18, and look at the magnificent stuff that they found in his tomb. Can you imagine what was in Ramses the Second’s ?

  • Can you imagine what was in Ramses the Second’s ?

    It’s rumoured that he had a complete collection of Star Wars figures all mint condition in their original boxes.

  • Bod

    Bet he didn’t have an iPod loaded with all of Obama’s speeches, or a set of Hollywood’s Greatest Movies in Region 1

  • Paul Marks

    Bod – there is a big “cock up” versus “conspiracy” argument over the Obama gifts to Britain.

    “Cock up” people have to explain the other insults that Obama has directed at this country (starting with sending back the bust of Winston Churchill – and that was day one).

    Ian B.

    I liked that line.

    Quite an impressive achievement.

    I have long learned to smile and laugh (because people expect it), but it is almost always fake (as some people have noticed – “your eyes are not smileing”), but I felt genunie amusement over that line.

    Although I still would like to have seen the things that RAB is thinking of.

  • Bod

    Paul,

    Oh, I’m pretty sure that the whole ‘gifts to Britain’ wasn’t a deliberate attempt to piss people off, it was simply the act of a worthless, vacuous narcissist and his advisors (none of whom seem to have any understanding of protocol) coming up with something to trumpet the awesomeness that is this administration.

    The Churchill Bust – I’m not sure that matters either way. It was either a forced, or unforced error by same said narcissist who wanted to make a point that this scion of a victim of British Imperial Hubris was going to give the Brits the finger.

    Of course, in Obama’s defense, he’s never had to consider that such actions have real-world consequences before, so why should he now?

    I think the problem with the “Conspiracists” is that if all these events are carefully calculated slights to the UK, one must assume that there was some cunning objective, and not just the actions of a childish parvenu.

    So I’ll invoke Occam’s Razor.

    The man, his camp followers and his administration are just ignorant blowhard narcissists.