An Open Letter To Graduates On Why Porn May Have Ruined Your Future

Dear Graduate:

Congratulations on graduating from high school or college. You are about to take your first steps into the “real” world. Maybe you’re feeling worried and scared about what your future might hold. And you know what…you should be frightened. The world is such a fucking mess right now and you may be ill-equipped to do anything about it. All those “inspirational” speakers at your commencement ceremony who talk about how you’ll be successful if you just follow your dreams or embrace your dreams or make sweet love to your dreams…I’d forget about that. If you’re lucky, you’ll be living in your parents’ basement until you’re 40. And that’s if you’re lucky.

Look, I’m not just saying this to be cynical or to shock you or because I’ve just done four lines of coke and downed a six-pack of Corona. I’m trying to treat you like the adult that you now are and tell you the truth–warts and all. And it’s not completely your fault that you’ve been denied the tools to help you successfully navigate your way through this cruel world. You just happened to have had the awful luck to be born at a bad time. You were born into an era of quick and easy access to porn and that may very well be the root of your problems.

Because you grew up with the internet, you could access porn 24/7 just by booting up your computer. You want to watch adult star Tera Patrick having sex? All it takes is a simple google search of her name and you have 3.5 million options. You want to watch the scene from Fast Times At Ridgement High where Phoebe Cates climbs out of the swimming pool and takes off her top? Google “Phoebe Cates” and “pool” and you’re set.

Hell, you don’t even have to make an effort to find porn because it will find you whether you want it to or not. Do a google image search of a simple word like “Asian” and see what pops up. It’s not going to be a photo of a Ming vase or Genghis Khan. Nope, what’s most likely to appear are images like this (seriously, this is an actual image from the first page of a google image search for “Asian” and it’s not even one of the more graphic ones):

When I was a kid, we had no internet. If we wanted to get porn we had to work for it. You had to pool together your lunch money with your friends walk ten miles through the snow and find some shady 18-year-old who’d be willing to go to the liquor store to purchase the latest issue of Whoriental Jugs for you. You had to search every inch of your uncle’s house to find his hidden back issues of Playboy. You had to watch an hour of scrambled, fuzzy porn on TV to maybe get a one second glimpse of nipple.

But what does your lifetime of quick and easy porn access have to do with the fact that it’s fucked up your future? Simply put: it may have robbed you of your ambition and creativity i.e. the very qualities that have made America great.

Now, I know some of you youngsters are thinking, “this mofo’s just an old relic who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” And you’re probably right. But look, I totally acknowledge all the great advances that technology has brought. I can’t imagine life without something like the internet and wouldn’t think of giving it up. Hell, a blog like ours wouldn’t have existed just ten years ago. But amongst all the positives, we can’t ignore the negatives either.

I’m not saying this easy access to porn is bad in a moral sense. Regular readers of my blogs know that when it comes to sex, I have a pretty liberal attitude. I think having a strong interest in sex is natural for a teenager and we should be more open and healthy about it. But American culture is still deeply conservative when it comes to sex, and porn is the ultimate taboo. So what happens when that “ultimate taboo” suddenly becomes so accessible? What happens when you can get your porn anytime, anywhere for free? When you can watch Better Fuck Tomorrow or Anal-apolis on your ipod in church while the preacher is giving his sermon? There’s no mystique or excitement or danger to it anymore. You don’t have to put in any effort or hard work to access porn. When I graduated from high school, it was still a big deal to even catch a fleeting glimpse of a woman’s breasts. But if you’re graduating today, you’ve probably seen hundreds thousands millions of boobies already.

I know some of you will think this is a ridiculous leap in logic, but if something that is the ultimate taboo becomes that commonplace and almost mundane, then everything else becomes even more commonplace and mundane.

When I was a kid, we had to walk ten miles in the snow to go to the library to do research for a report. Now, you can find everything on the internet including pre-written reports that can be downloaded with a click of the mouse. If we wanted to go shopping, we had to walk twenty miles in a snow storm to physically go to the store. Now, you can buy anything you want online (well, except Girl Scout cookies as Saturday Night Live recently pointed out). If you wanted to watch a specific music video, you had to keep MTV on until it played. Now, you can pretty much find any video on YouTube whenever you feel like watching it.

As I said before, I appreciate all that modern technology has brought us, but it’s also when things come too easily that we run the risk of losing our ambition. Of losing our creativity. Of forgetting that most times we still need to work hard to achieve something.

So call me a dinosaur if you want. Accuse me of making an idiotic argument that makes no sense. But of all the clichéd advice you’ll be hearing as you graduate, there is one that’s as true as it’s ever been…you are our future. You will soon be inheriting this world and be responsible for it. And of the many qualities one needs to successfully take on such a task, ambition and creativity would be at the top of the list. So consider what I’ve said even if you think it’s bullshit because we’re going to desperately need leaders with real imagination who are willing and able to work hard. And if you fail at that because of internet porn, then America loses. And you know what that means, don’t you? The terrorists would win. And that would suck.

Happy graduation!

6 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Graduates On Why Porn May Have Ruined Your Future

  1. yeah man, i had to grow up with the damn jc penny catalog, and then finally moved up to the good stuff.. victoria secret catalogs. and they dont even show nipples. for that, we all know national geographic is the way to go hahahhhhh

  2. I’m graduating this summer and I agree with you in many points. We can get almost everything very easily. We find information for our reports in the internet, we skype each other instead of going for a walk, we can even make friends in the internet instead of doing it in real life. We can buy pizza or sushi or anything else without leaving our homes. And it’s not always good. But when I was at school I didn’t have the internet, I got it only in the 11th form. I we had to think ourselves, to go to the libraries, to go to the shops and to cook, to go for a walk with friends. So my generation can “fight” to get something. But the teens of now get accustomed to get everything in the net, they have never done anything themselves and they don’t want to. They can’t analyse and think creative. I am a teacher and every day I come to school and see it and it frightens.

  3. not sure why this Philip is quoting examples always from America, he is talking about Asian..

  4. Does that mean we would all succeed if we didn’t look at internet porn? By my calculations, that means there are 150 million latent Bill Gates in the US alone (yes, I’m excluding women here – we have porn, they have the A and E miniseries Pride and Prejudice box set). Balances out.

  5. You guys sound like those elderly people from mid 20th century who called our generation lazy because we didn’t have to work for anything. Greater and faster access allows greater and faster progress. Imagination doesn’t die from access to info. It actually grows.

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