2/25/09

The men who get paid to watch porn - and complain how hard it is

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Have you ever noticed how we use words, without really considering their true meaning. I was thinking about just that when I was looking for my keys. Today, after a three-and-a-half months stay in Prague, I will return to Holland, to try and pick up my life again over there. Back to work and all of that. Anyway, I have two sets of keys: One for Prague and one for Holland and I now couldn’t remember where I had put my Dutch set.

I’m a neurotic, so I like to worry about stuff. So, instead of starting with the more obvious places, I went down the other route, first checking the most unlikely hiding spots and then working my way down - or up - that list. Of course, I did find the keys, in that last and, indeed, most likely place, working my way up to a state of self-induced panic and hysteria.

Ah well, I have never claimed that I am normal. Still, while I was searching for those keys, I was thinking about language - the word ‘key’ in particular. Also, I became freshly aware of how much of our identity is linked to those pieces of metal. When we carry them with us, they open the doors to our homes, our work place and vehicles. Without them, we are as lost as illegal, paperless immigrants at a well-guarded border.

So, it’s no wonder that we use the word ‘key’ as something that describes the singular importance of this, that and the other - as in: ‘This is key to…’ Most of the time, of course, we tend to use these kinds of words without really thinking about them. Looking for stuff in, as I said, an ever growing state of self-induced panic, helps to concentrate on the meaning of certain things.

Anyway, all of the above was just to say that I, like most other people, am quite good at creating my own problems. Almost all of humankind’s troubles and miseries are, in one way or the other, self-induced. From war to famine, from addictions to heartbreak: We do insist to afflict these and other wounds on ourselves.

All of which suits us very well, of course, because if there is one thing that we humans like, it is to complain about stuff. It can be the weather, the food, the government, our family, our Gods or our employers but all of these things and more are fodder to our complaining mills.

As the following story shows.

Work is what we love to hate and to complain about. Sometimes, with good reason but we tend to do it as a matter of principle. I mean, most men who do not work at the British Board of Film Classification would consider the following more as an enviable perk than a reason for complaint. The actual staff, however, are complaining, rather excitedly, about their lot:

“Staff at the British Board of Film Classification are not easily shocked, but they are in revolt over a management plan that would require them to watch hardcore pornographic films alone in a bid to save money. Examiners say films that are refused an R18 certificate often include scenes that many find disturbing, including sadomasochism and sexual violence. Some are concerned that viewing pornographic content alone will increase the chances of being sexually aroused by the material.”

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