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I certainly take no pride in being the only restaurant-based website in the world that has two different threads dealing with Zoophilia, but so it is. Having watched - and, surprisingly, enjoyed - "Dolphin Lover," I took a morbid fascination in dracisk's comment: not because I care about Zoophilia, but because the film "Zoo" supposedly won an award at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, which is an honor I trust *much* more than an Academy Award - although I can't find out what it won. It was also represented at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival (I understand that many of my film threads are "Academy Award-heavy," but that means very little - I value both of these film festivals more than I do the Academy and its pandering to the masses, and I hope others here do also). I can't believe I'm saying this, but if you wish to watch only one of these films, make it "Dolphin Lover" - first of all, it's only 15 minutes long, but more importantly, it's a *much* better film - the lighting is better, they're not using actors (Michael Minard's "interview" in Zoo is painful to watch, knowing he's just an actor), Dolphin Lover is succinct and articulate, and it's actually enjoyable and fascinating to watch; "Zoo" is, quite frankly, pretty damned boring. And I'm not saying it's boring because it isn't graphic (although the one graphic part was very well-done, in a restrained and elegant manner); I'm saying it's boring because it's *boring* - dull, ponderous, dark, ambiguous, and just hard work to finish. Forgetting the subject matter, I simply did not like the film *as a film* - it was trying too hard to be "artsy," and fell flat on its face. It is now, however, nine years old, and a lot has changed in the past nine years in terms of what we've become numb to - think of "The Walking Dead" as an example. I'm debating whether or not I want to broach the topic of Zoophilia, because that's really a separate thread (yet, I'd prefer not to have three threads on this arcane subject). There are all kinds of profound philosophical implications with Zoophilia: Is it consensual? Is it animal abuse? (I think this is *the* key question if laws are to be enacted.) Is it natural? Is it innate? Is it developed? Is it immoral? Should it be illegal? These are all questions for someone more qualified than I am, but I do have some thoughts - not strong opinions; just thoughts. In the middle ages, i.e., about twenty years ago, most people thought that any type of sex that wasn't between a man and a woman (of the same race) was abnormal - some going so far as to think that unmarried sex was not only immoral, but also abnormal - I'm still trying to figure out how a marriage certificate might lend "normalcy" to a particular type of sex drive. It is clear to me - now - that just because something isn't in the majority, doesn't make it wrong. Most people aren't gay, but *relatively* few people remain who would disparage those who are. I suspect that, twenty years ago - much less five-hundred years ago - gay people would have given *anything* if they could "push a button and no longer be gay" - not because there was anything wrong with it, but because societal pressures were so brutal that their lives were a living hell. I feel *so sorry* for my gay friends who were forced to remain in the closet for fear of being ostracized by society - that type of mentality was cruel and unfair; yet, it's the type of mentality that most people had earlier in *this century*, and I'm talking about the 21st century. In my opinion, it is the internet that helped to open people's eyes, about this, and about many other things. After millennia of cruelty, our society has finally educated itself to the point where being gay is considered to be perfectly natural and moral, and one reason is that it involves two consenting adults, not hurting anyone. In this "age of enlightenment," and I say that with something of a grain of salt, whoever would deny gays and lesbians their basic right to be happy is <insert your own negative epithet here>. You know exactly where I'm going with this, which is exactly why I'm putting in this dividing line: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I put that dividing line there because I'm now going to go from discussing subjects which are perfectly moral, to discussing subjects which are, at best, uncomfortable; and at worst, completely immoral. Just to be perfectly clear, the *only* correlation I'm making with people living out of wedlock, or people who are gay, is the way that society has mistreated them over the centuries. Please do not read anything more into this post, because there's nothing more here. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zoophilia. Does the animal consent? I don't know. But I suspect these people would give *anything* not to be in the situation they're in - if they could "push a button and be normal," I'd bet the farm (yes, pun intended, with apologies) that they would. If you watch "Dolphin Lover," you may well feel sorry for the subject of the movie - I certainly did, though I can also easily see how someone else might not. One thing that's clear to me is that the man in that film feels his sexuality is perfectly natural, and not something to be ashamed of. One fetish, compulsion, proclivity - whatever word you prefer - I've *never heard of* is the desire to have sex with inanimate objects (unspeakably macabre things such as necrophilia notwithstanding). Nobody wants to have sex with a coffee table or a daffodil - so is Zoophilia a variant of legitimate sexuality, forever-ingrained in the person's basic psyche? Has it been there since birth? My gut feeling is, perhaps so; or, perhaps not. Even if it is, does that make it right? Not by itself it doesn't: Many people have a natural tendency towards violence, and they are legally obligated to keep that in check; otherwise, they go to jail. So clearly, there are lines which cannot be crossed and explained away by "it's been there since birth." But what are those lines? I've had red hair since birth, some people have been left-handed since birth, and some people have been gay since birth - that makes us all minorities, but it doesn't make any of us immoral. There's nothing wrong with being abnormal, but where do you draw the line of immorality? Is it their fault that they have strong urges to have sex with animals? I just cannot imagine that anyone would wish to have this "condition" (or whatever it is). There are videos - documentaries - on the internet of people bringing elephants to orgasm for the purposes of insemination - how different is that? I must stress that I do not have any answers, and honestly, if I never think of this subject again, that would be perfectly fine with me. Pedophilia. This seems about as clear-cut to me as it can possibly be: There is absolutely no consent given, and it must be considered a "crime" or whatever you want to call it. Whatever you want to call it, it must be stopped, immediately and decisively, by any means necessary - if I had caught someone in the act of abusing my son, I probably would have killed them. That said, I do think pedophilia is an uncontrollable compulsion, urge, drive - whatever the term is - and that these people are mentally ill. They need help more than they need punishment, and I honestly believe that voluntary castration should enter into the discussion, because "once a pedophile, always a pedophile" ... that's how I see it until I'm convinced otherwise. For a long time now - maybe a decade - I've felt that pedophilia is often an illness, perhaps even existing since birth. Yes, pedophiles must be locked up - but in my eyes, they need to be locked up not "to punish them"; rather, to get them off the streets at all costs because it is too difficult to control sexual urges, and the consequences of *not* controlling them are just too severe. Castration must be discussed as a potential option to the convicted pedophile, rather than only locking them up for twenty years, and having them do the exact same thing as soon as they walk out of jail, because I don't think they can be "rehabilitated" or "taught a lesson." If that constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment," I would personally rather be surgically castrated than to spend the rest of my life in prison - others may feel differently, I don't know. I took a big chance writing this post, and I beseech people to read it for what it is: a way to get things out in the open, rather than burying our heads in the sand, and pretending they don't exist - intelligent discourse is the only way to move forward. Apr 25, 2007 - "Into the Shadowy World of Sex with Animals" by Manohla Dargis on nytimes.com "Zoo" on rottentomatoes.com --- Summary: All this philosophical crap aside, this movie, as a movie, is terrible - good luck finishing it: It's one of the worst films I've seen in a long, long time. If you're a masochist, you can find the entire thing here on YouTube. I'll also add that I've tried to be as non-judgmental as possible in writing this, as it's the only way I could suffer through it.