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Abu Ghraib scandal rooted in porn?

The New York Times > Arts > Frank Rich: It Was the Porn That Made Them Do It:

The […] hypocrisy of the blame-the-culture crowd is that “normal Americans” . . . . don’t partake of the “secular” entertainment that is doing all this damage. In other words, the porn that led to prison abuse is all ghettoized in the blue states. The facts say otherwise. Phil Harvey, the president of the North Carolina-based Adam & Eve, one of the country’s largest suppliers of mail-order adult products, said in an interview last week that his business has “for years” been roughly the same per capita throughout the continental United States, with those Deep South bastions of the Bible Belt, Alabama and Mississippi, buying only 10 percent fewer sex toys and porn videos than everyone else. Even residents of the Cincinnati metropolitan area — home to Citizens for Community Values and famous for antismut battles over Larry Flynt and Robert Mapplethorpe — turned out to be slightly larger-than-average users of porn Web sites, according to a 2001 Nielsen Internet survey.

If late 20th Century porn is responsible for the Iraq prison scandals, explain the picture below the jump from August 1930.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/30/arts/30RICH.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5007&en=e1cb8f560adbc451&ex=1401249600&partner=USERLAND
[click for larger image]

Look at the faces in the crowd. There are young couples there, possibly on dates. No one seems horrified or disgusted. This seems as innocent as a picnic.

The Musarium has more on this, including an account of how the two men in the picture met their ends. There are 70+ images of “strange fruit” but I couldn’t look at more than half a dozen. If you can handle it, take a look at the ones in public places and the everyday crowds. And ponder what it would be like today to receive one of these images as a postcard, which is what these are. The Abu Ghraib images have been used as screensavers and wallpapers, after all: same thing, I suppose.

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