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620. Peace (XII)

I once knew a psychologist who sat in an office with a little serving-hatch window to the next room—the type that was popular in the 70s so that you could pass a meal direct from the kitchen to the living room, no need to skirt through the doorways and the hall. The hatch dated from the same time period, except back then—since this was a prison—a psychiatrist and a nurse sat in what became my friend’s office and watched a prisoner in the other room strapped to a reclined dentist-type chair. Wrapped around his penis, in discreet fashion, was a miniature armband of the sort they use to take your blood pressure—with a little fluffy velcro strip and a squidgy inflatable centre.

The nurse would click through the slides projected onto a screen before the prisoner; she used a big mechanical trigger <<clunk>> “And…next slide, nurse…” <<clunk>>. Slide projectors were loud in them days, real clunkers. The slides displayed child pornography, with varying degrees of severity—recovered from England’s finest collections by Her Majesty’s Constabulary.

The psychiatrist recorded the penile engorgement, as measured by the tick-tick analogue numerals through a little plastic window—the numerals rolled on their rotational drums…“Yes, nurse…blood pressure 120-129 and…that’s a 0.19 on the penile erection scale. Yes, I said turn it off. Now, let me just…hmmm…yes, Mr. Chorley is an 8 on the Haeckel-Meyers Perversion Instrument. Make a note of that, nurse.”

The next step was a mild electric shock when the subject was presented with overly intensive images. “No, it’s not worked this time, so what I propose is that we try Ukodol PO…Yes, it will create mild nausea…Now, Mr. Chorley, you’re going to feel a little sick in the tummy next time, okay?” “Ain’t got much choice, Doc.” “Very good. That’s the spirit, Chorley.” A Clockwork Orange.

Yesterday, I mentioned interracial couples in adverts—almost always a black male and white female pair. What goes on here? Please stop, you’re making me uncomfortable. “Now, now, Chorley nothing to be frightened of. Just hold on for a sec and you’ll feel much better.” At one level the adverts are aversion training: the ads trigger the disgust centre until it is exhausted and no longer reacts—overstimulate the amygdalae of more ethnocentric people until they are desensitised; and I notice these ads come round in patterns—they pull back for a bit, part of the programming; just like Chorley would occasionally be shown an adult pornographic image to check his baseline. This is why I only use my iPad in grayscale mode—the bright primary colours on Twitter appeal to your child-brain, to comfort and sooth. When I flick back, the garishness really strikes me—usually, I live in a black-and-white world.

Secondarily, the ads are about social class: I am more than educated enough to know better than to notice and report disgust—by writing what I did I lowered my social class precipitously with the people who matter. The ads are put out precisely so a slightly inarticulate and ethnocentric plumber says, “What do you think about…that?”. “Why what could you mean by that?” says the Oxford-educated postgraduate; it seems we have an uneducated person here—still suffused with latent white supremacist and Eurocentric notions. The ads are designed to trip people up who cannot play the game and so say gauche things like “I don’t like it, mate. It’s unnatural.” Well, if you had a postgraduate degree, if you were educated, you would understand the difference between “normal” and “normative”…

Child sacrifice is real: I knew children of professionals sent to the local comprehensive schools by their (privately-educated) parents so the parents could signal “we’re progressive” at dinner parties (“Private? Oh no: we believe in the comprehensive model.”). The children were naturally smashed up for being “posh twats”, but what does that matter when fashion is at stake? Similarly, I see progressive academics who proudly marry their daughters off to black Africans…très chic, darling…

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