The latest attack on Jim Webb by George Allen is in a word — ridiculous. Webb’s a best selling author of historical novels, which from what I understand are from “Triple X” novels. Anyone who reads fiction, including historical novels will find scenes in those novels that are sexual. Some racier than others. One would be hard pressed to find many best selling novels that don’t contain some level of even sexual innuendo.
The Allen attack has renewed the debate once again on Lynne Cheney’s out of print “Sisters,” which does contain “scenes of rape and a lesbian love affair.” My objection to the right wing holier-than-thou crowd slinging mud over Jim Webb’s books is that they are a bunch of hypocrites. Lynne Cheney was outraged during the ’04 debates when her lesbian daughter came up in one debate, yet she had no problem writing a piece of fiction with lesbian characters. That’s hypocrisy.
For years we’ve been subject to the mores and morals of those uptight conservatives who claim a moral higher ground, but indulge behind the scenes in their own sordid perversions. Case in point the Foley affair. Conservative voters tend to watch more pornography in fact then liberal voters. And the GOP rakes in the cash from the porn industry as well.
It’s one thing thing for writers to write about sex, for producers to use scenes with sexual overtones in movies and TV and it’s yet another thing to use it for exploitive purposes — like driving up ratings. Case in point, political bloggers who post Playboy covers and photos of scantily clad starlets to drive up traffic and then blatantly boast about their blog whoring.
As Margaret R. Soltan, an English professor at GWU, points out in a WaPo piece on the Allen’s assault on Jim Webb, “voters should not regard Webb’s novels as indicative of his views, any more than voters in England should have been deterred by some of Winston Churchill’s more shocking writing.”
“To think along those lines exposes you as a person who has no culture,” she said.
And, best-selling author John Grisham, who held a fundraiser for Webb in Charlottesville along with Stephen King, said yesterday in an interview: “This is a clear sign of a desperate campaign if they plow through novels trying to find evidence of character. I seriously doubt George Allen is much of a reader, but if he would read more, maybe he would understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction.”
The WaPo reports that Webb’s books, “including “Lost Soldiers,” “Something to Die For” and “Fields of Fire,” are historical novels that describe wartime horrors in Vietnam and people dealing with the aftermath of combat. Webb is a decorated Marine who served in Vietnam.”
Kudos’ to Jim Webb for writing “about disturbing scenes that he witnessed on the battlefield or as a journalist in Southeast Asia.”
“It is an observation about how the human species lives,” Webb said after Mark Plotkin, the radio show’s host, read one of the more lurid passages, prompting objections from the candidate.
That’s a far cry from using sex for exploitive purposes. There’s a huge difference between the two and the Republican party holier-than-thou crowd are infamous for their exploitation techniques.
UPDATED: The Times Online reports that the porn industry is booming under the Bush administration and “anti-porn campaigners in Bush’s own party say that since then the president has been distracted by the war on terror and has done little.” BushCo “accused Bill Clinton of being “soft on porn”" — yet again we see the hypocrisy in action. Bottom-line is they won’t stop the industry because the industry lines their coffers with filthy dough.