Dear Natalie Oliveros,
After watching the feature about you this week on ABC I felt strongly compelled to contact you and voice some opinions I hope that you are aware of, but that I suspect noone is voicing to you at this time. These opinions will - I believe - be helpful to you, and while they will not be mainstream by any means they are both valid and tangible nonetheless.
I must first address a comment made during the interview comparing your job to a(nother?) social pariah, a comment clearly designed as much to sabotage as to support. The Bernie Madoff reference voiced by your neighbor made me physically cringe, as should have you, and – in a just world – the reporter as well. In fact, it should not have been allowed on the air. It is impossibly difficult for me to believe we live in a society so intolerant of sexuality that we equate the practice thereof, surely the most normal and necessary of all human endeavors, with the acts of not just a convicted felon, but a universally despised one as well. Insensitive? More like incendiary!
Well then, Ms. Oliveros, let me take this earliest possible opportunity to apologize to you on behalf of my fellow humans, fools though they be. In their efforts to clear a wide berth down the middle of society for an unfortunate majority deluded by mythology and unable to see that they are in fact the problem and not the solution they have managed to place sexuality in our culture into such an oddly shaped box that they may never find a comfortable place for it.
It is hardwired into our humanity to all deserve and desire the respect of others, and to deny you that is to treat you, in no uncertain terms, as something less than human. This is a failure of society, not of yours, and should be seen as such. For you to equate the errant moral judgements being made by many against you, however overwhelming they may be, with any edict of human nature would be to lend more weight to the arguments than they deserve. Morality is a recent human concept, not an ingrained genetic trait, and has throughout our history been used as much to oppress and segregate as to care and connect. Remember that for many of us, the moral majority is NOT in fact moral, but is instead a hard lump in the throat of human social progress that we will eventually manage to swallow down and work our way past.
I find myself more and more these days at odds with the rest of my society over the most fundamental of things. It sometimes seems to me that our country as a whole has abandoned the ethos of fairness and instead opted for the efficiency of profit. As a singer I know once said to me, “Often as not we take the easy road, when perhaps the harder road is best”.
I find what you and others in your field do is not only acceptable, but integral to our evolution as a people. That’s right, I said, it, porn will save us all. If anything can show us what is truly important it is the joining together of two people in sexual union, because in that moment we are not black or white or muslim or atheist or fat or skinny, we are simply joyous. If we could live all of our lives in joy, how many of us would choose not to do so?
The only remedy to our deeply ingrained fears and prejudices must lie in the eradication of segregation and stereotype. The madding throngs who are working to cripple your aspirations and cast a shameful shadow upon your accomplishments rely on certain widely held illusions in order to assure their message is heard. Chief among these are organized religions and civic groups, both of which claim morality as their ‘killing field’. Morality by its nature must fear sex and sexuality, for only it has the power to wipe away their illusion and reveal to us all the true beauty of ourselves.
It is my deepest belief and sincerest hope that sexuality holds the key to this transformation. And therefore you, and others like you equally as open and courageous, find yourselves not in the trenches and alleyways of society – as the throngs would have you believe, but on the front lines of a war for truth. Truth cannot abide restriction but instead fosters connection and caring. What could be a greater harbinger of these than sexuality? It is by the results of your actions that we will find our joy, and in the pursuit of joy our brightest future lies.
Thank you for your courage, your caring, and your beauty. Excelsior!
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