Thursday, January 27, 2022

Viewing porn in public turns heads

When looking at YouTube prank videos after the twentieth time or so, it’s easy to spot the trends they all boil down to, whether they are asking people out awkwardly or acting like obnoxious employees. Out of all these trends, a popular one is a prankster watching porn in public at full volume at a library or while on public transportation.

This phenomenon isn’t just relegated to silly Internet videos but is sometimes encountered in our non-YouTube prank world. This ballsy public act raises quite a few questions to those observing it. Is it for the story? Are you catching up on a riveting series? Is it to get uncomfortable looks from others? Or for the “lolz,” as some Internet residents might say, “Is it just a movie like any other? Is it that big of a deal?”

The first answer to that question is surprisingly maybe. One example of this can be seen in a recent pornographic parody of “Pirates of the Caribbean” simply called “Pirates,” which has a recut version that was released without any of the porn scenes. Making it just some B-grade schlock for the bargain bin to stand with such classics as “Bermuda Tentacles” and “Mega Shark Versus Mecha Shark.”

Taking a trip back in time, this can also be seen in 1972’s “Deep Throat,” which is considered a cult classic film in some circles and even has a review by late film critic Roger Ebert.

Are these films created to make others feel uncomfortable? It depends on how often we are exposed to this type of material.

In the 2013 movie “Don Jon,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character gets into this debate frequently. In one scene, he’s caught watching porn on his phone during class, which he retorts back by explaining it’s just acting and entertainment just like any other.

He has a point. Do you react the same way when someone’s watching a violent film in public or listening to obscene music? I guess there is a time and a place for all of these, but as long as you’re keeping quietly to yourself, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Why wince at the person viewing porn while being totally calm with the other person next to you watching a gruesome murder scene from “Dexter.” Though there are some not OK with either of these activities, nothing can be done about the people who watch them. While others may resort to the Helen Lovejoy mentality, “Think of the Children,” most people know better than to watch the offensive material in question when there’s children present. Though it may be a bit awkward or uncomfortable for some to have someone watching porn next to them, it’s OK — they’ll live.

Part of public life means that sometimes it’s going to get awkward, and we’re going to hear or see things that we don’t like or agree with. If it bothers you, the thing to do is to talk to the person, just ignore it or try moving somewhere else if possible.

While watching any movie or consuming any media in public, the rule is keep it to yourself, put headphones in and enjoy whatever it is you may be viewing.

Email Luis Reyes at luis.reyes@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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