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Author Topic: The Lolita Affair  (Read 67186 times)
alexjones
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« Reply #120 on: May 17, 2007, 08:34:32 AM »
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The title is your main problem.  Now you know.  So fix it!
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Ray
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« Reply #121 on: May 17, 2007, 08:51:50 AM »
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The title is your main problem.  Now you know.  So fix it!
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I think the title is your problem. You're the one who is upset about it. Fix your own problems. Don't expect the world to comply with your wishes.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #122 on: May 17, 2007, 09:59:34 AM »
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If some underground group or subculture highjacks a word from a normal language and gives it its own and twisted meaning... does it mean the rest of the civilized society is immediately prohibited from using it in its original or common meaning? Must we all then get some continuing education credits in our community colleges in order to keep track of the latest (mis)use of our standard vocabulary? And even if we are from time to time aware of those marginal meanings, must we give in to the linguistic high-jackers (or, to paraphrase, let "terrorists win")?

And for some posters who think we are using aliases to hide something, my name is Slobodan Blagojevic (and I approved this message... as well as all others in this thread with the same user name).
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John Camp
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« Reply #123 on: May 17, 2007, 10:03:43 AM »
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I was (and am) totally unware of that usage [of the name Lolita]. My mental framework for the word is the 1954 Nabokov novel (which I'm old enough to have read when it was new), and that's how I used it. A sexually provocative young girl/woman.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118167\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I was on a radio program Wednesday (in the US) talking about detective novels, and asked the host off-air if I could mention a language change since the seventies, which I'd found to be pretty funny. Robert Parker, in his first novel (from 1973) constantly uses the word "dicks" to mean detectives, with no double-entendre or pun involved: "A couple of dicks came walking down the hall...."

We were laughing about it, but the host asked me not to tell the anecdote because the language change made the use of "dicks" to be questionable under FCC rules...

JC
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Pete JF
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« Reply #124 on: May 17, 2007, 10:51:09 AM »
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One more comment....

I received an email this morning from an academic who went into some detail about how Lolita has become a word in the pedophile underground for their "prey". (As some others here have recently noted).

That indeed seems to be the core of the issue. I was (and am) totally unware of that usage. My mental framework for the word is the 1954 Nabokov novel (which I'm old enough to have read when it was new), and that's how I used it. A sexually provocative young girl/woman.

So it seems that this is primerily about language and the way in which words change. We no longer says black or negro, we say African American (though not in Canada). We no longer say Indian, we say Native American (though not in Canada). We no longer say Oriental, we say Asian, though the train is still the Orient Express and we buy oriental carpets.

Words change. If I am guilty of anything, apparently in this case it's not keeping up with underground pedophile jargon.

Michael
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Yes, it is about language. It's about taking responsibility for the words that you, when you are a writer, put on the page. Every writing teacher I've ever had has stressed the point, --You, as the author, are responsible for every word, down to the last indefinite article, that appears in your work--

I don't think it should be taken lightly, especially on the internet. It is a plain fact that, of all the "industries" in the world, pornography and the sex trade have flourished the most with the streamlining of the internet. It has become the perfect vehicle for the guys and gals who ply sex in every form, including the aberrations. Sub-industries have been created just to battle this crap.

Frankly, I'm surprised that the connotations of this charged word, "Lolita", are not recognized by more of you. It might be wise for some of the demographic on this and other sites to, as Michael stated in his explanation regarding the image and it's title, "Try pulling your heads out of that dark place where they are so obviously stuck".

And Ray, it does not take a pedophile to recognize the connotations of this word, even the light version. As Michael tried to explain, language constantly changes...in the cases that he cited, they moved towards the politically correct end of the spectrum..Obviously, as illuminated here, this is not always the case.

I read quite a bit in many different arenas and I am, as most of you are, painfully aware of the "porno" presence on the web...I have two boys of high school age and I have to be on the watch and up to speed with the technology, most parents deal with this.

I am not a prude though, I know that young boys are very curious about this stuff...However, what is available to kids via the internet is not old school Playboy. It is rock gut, hardcore, and it involves the serious objectifying of young girls...the men in these things..well, scary fuckers is all I can say. I have tuned into our house computer several times and found links sent via chat windows from their friends, that contained  some of the most  graphic porn I've ever seen. Obviously, most folks, with or without kids, are aware of these issues.

When you decide to publish an article, or caption a photo with sexually charged word like "Lolita", you might want to consider going beyond Wikipedia for your research. Word's like this are the ones that get morphed most easily and things move fast.

Michael, I do appreciate the fact that you have posted a recognition of the fact that this word might have been a bad choice. One question, Why in the hell did it take an "academic" to make your light bulb go off? After reading all the posts questioning this title, didn't you start to think that you might have pressed a questionable button?? Are you a stubborn man?

Your posts and your official rationalization of the issue seem to indicate that you slammed your foot down and rejected all of the opinion on this issue. It makes me question your general objectivity, your ability to ask yourself tough questions regarding the material that you edit and post/publish. I'm feeling that the man at the helm might need to consider some of these points.
I post once in a while here but i read this board voraciously for tech info. and I would like to feel that the proprietor is consistent in his objective status.

As for your sly bashing of the U.S., (and I've noticed this on other sites regarding this topic) fine, you are entitled to your opinion on that and as a progressive American, I agree with some of your sly comments. Our country is a mess right now in many ways. It's ok to make cracks about it, i do it myself. However, our situation is a worry for the whole fucking world at this point. It gets a bit rough when everyone starts jumping on the pile like a bunch of school kids trying to kick the fat kid's ass. No culture/society/government is perfect.

I think you're just jealous that we invented the Twinkie™.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #125 on: May 17, 2007, 10:52:10 AM »
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The limitations that some people place on what artists can do is the real issue here, be it in regards to the work, to the title of the work, or to some other aspect of art. 

There's way too many censors these days.

We need a few more artists -quite a few more- to balance things out.
Oh please. Why is it that so many artists think freedom of expression only applies to them?  

MR had the right to express himself by taking the photo and titling it as he sees fit. Others have the right to express themselves by saying what they think of it. Negative opinions and criticism are not censorship.
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hcubell
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« Reply #126 on: May 17, 2007, 11:14:11 AM »
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I've got no experience of child porn. I don't know any of the catch phrases or turn-on phrases, whatever you want to call them. I've got no idea if the term 'Lolita' is frequently used in connection with child porn as I'm sure Michael hasn't either.

If this is the objection that the moral police have, who have viewed lots of child pornography and seen frequent references to "Lolita", then say so.

Let's not beat about the bush.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118133\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You are right, Ray, we should not beat around the bush. All of this trashing about over the meaning of the term "Lolita" in the pedophile community(what a "community"), the potential legal issues, the morality police,  cultural arrogance, etc. is a big smoke screen that is obscuring the basic issue, perhaps by design. The issue is not whether MR has the "right" to publish such a photograph with any title he wants or should be sued or somehow punished for it. Simply because you have the right to say something does not mean that you should.
The real issue to me is, by his choice of title for the photograph, did MR hold up the young woman to public view without her consent and impliedly(though I am sure inadvertently) categorize her as a young slut, and, if so, do you feel that is perfectly OK?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #127 on: May 17, 2007, 11:54:22 AM »
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... Negative opinions and criticism are not censorship.
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You are right, negative opinion is not censorship. But that is not what is happening here. Negative opinions are not stopping there, they are asking Michael to change or remove the title, to apologize and repent... some are even hinting at visiting him in his gallery and physically persuade him he did something terribly wrong. Those additional demands and threats represent a disguised censorship, or a request for self-censorship, which many would argue is worse than an official one.
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Slobodan

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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #128 on: May 17, 2007, 12:10:48 PM »
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Michael, I do appreciate the fact that you have posted a recognition of the fact that this word might have been a bad choice. One question, Why in the hell did it take an "academic" to make your light bulb go off? After reading all the posts questioning this title, didn't you start to think that you might have pressed a questionable button?? Are you a stubborn man?

Your posts and your official rationalization of the issue seem to indicate that you slammed your foot down and rejected all of the opinion on this issue. It makes me question your general objectivity, your ability to ask yourself tough questions regarding the material that you edit and post/publish. I'm feeling that the man at the helm might need to consider some of these points.
I post once in a while here but i read this board voraciously for tech info. and I would like to feel that the proprietor is consistent in his objective status.

Hmmm.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #129 on: May 17, 2007, 12:30:31 PM »
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...
The real issue to me is... did MR... categorize her as a young slut...[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118220\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree with you, this IS the real issue here. And my answer is no, MR did not do that. Unless, of course, we are speaking the jargon of Peruvian Amazon, where, as one of the posters on this thread explained, the term Lolita refers to a prostitute of any age (on the other hand, another poster said that in Spain Lolita is a diminutive for Dolores, and definitely not a big deal).

MR posted it on his usual site, for his usual photographic community, assuming the original and usual meaning of the word, and assuming his visitors have the usual education and therefore familiar with the usual meaning of the term. Little did MR know his site is also frequented by those with a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of porno terminology and the mission to spread it and impose it on the civilized world.
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Slobodan

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Don Libby
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« Reply #130 on: May 17, 2007, 12:33:15 PM »
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This horse has died!  Can we please move on?Huh
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Rob C
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« Reply #131 on: May 17, 2007, 12:33:27 PM »
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Well, well, well! I´ve been off the air for a few days due to a dead laptop computer (the desktop one is Photoshop-only) and a certain reluctance to join again with endless arguments and quests for the last word, only to discover that the world is indeed full of crazy people.

I have a daughter of my own; I have grand-daughters of my own; I am a pro photographer and have made a long, reasonably successful career out of photographing women often revealing a hell of a lot more of themselves than the subject of the debate. With that said, perhaps I might have some slight credibility when I propose the idea that there is nothing wrong with the Lolita picture nor is there anything out of place with the title. Women, and young girls too, are always playing mind games with men, even when the men might just be tiny tots of six or seven, just like some of the girls doing the playing. It is simply part of growing up; the title of the photograph only refers to that fact and puts it into a particular pigeonhole which has bugger-all to do with pederasts and everything to do with an adult seeing and being amused enough by a young person´s little attempt to play adult. It´s a rather cute little shot similar to millions of others - I don´t rate it high art, nor is that any reason to either praise or condem it.

As for how the odd-men-out in this world react to the use of such names and however much they subvert the meanings of words, the problem is indeed within their own minds. To argue that it´s fine to steal words such as ´gay´and make them specific to what many do believe to be an abberation is no more morally defensible than any other form of hijacking. Words like that have been around for much longer than just the 60s when the corrupted usage began to appear in print. I refuse to allow anyone the right to subvert my language. If you need euphemisms for what ails you, then create your own words and try not to steal what already exists and belongs elsewhere and don´t project your problems onto others shoulders.

Lighten the hell up!

Rob C
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nicolaasdb
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« Reply #132 on: May 17, 2007, 01:21:13 PM »
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OKAY...I have asked my wife.....not about the image (image is fine...looks nice and is just another image)

BUT I told her about the tittle and she flipped out!! She is pregnant and told me that whomever would photograph her daugther with a sexual thought..she would kill that person (her words not mine!)

I think the tittle and the idea that you have taken that image with a sexual thought is the problem....if you did and kept the thought to yourself....no harm done...but you vocalized this thought in writing, calling an innocent 12 year old girl with big brown eyes and half a smile a Lolita....

English is my second (actually 3rd) language and certain words don't hit home that hard....maybe the lack of understanding of the true definition....but my wife is American ( and let's face it americans are known for their moral values ( I am being sarcastic!!)...everything that has to do with sex is taboe (that is why the USA is the biggest porn producer!!).

I still see no harm in the image and only a little bit in the tittle....but I have to stand behind my wife and make sure we get ride of the body!!! because I can't have her go to jail....because than I have to change the diapers and do all that nasty stuff!!! And once you change diapers on a little girl... I don't think Lolita is the first thought in your head..smelling the dirty diaper..
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hcubell
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« Reply #133 on: May 17, 2007, 02:01:02 PM »
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Lighten the hell up!

Rob C
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OK, let's lighten up. My first reaction on seeing this photograph was that I could not believe that MR travelled 6,000 miles on a two week photographic expedition to the other side of the world, and this was one of the first photographs he felt was worthy of being selected to exhibit on the net from many, many thousands of captures. The poor guy deserves a refund, and instead he is being accused of being a pervert! What a trip.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #134 on: May 17, 2007, 02:05:07 PM »
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OK, let's lighten up. My first reaction on seeing this photograph was that I could not believe that MR travelled 6,000 miles on a two week photographic expedition to the other side of the world, and this was one of the first photographs he felt was worthy of being selected to exhibit on the net from many, many thousands of captures. The poor guy deserves a refund, and instead he is being accused of being a pervert! What a trip.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118248\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Great post  Amazing no-one's popped up to demand how many trees Michael's planted to offset the carbon burnt on this trip.

John
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Rob C
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« Reply #135 on: May 17, 2007, 02:28:30 PM »
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Great post  Amazing no-one's popped up to demand how many trees Michael's planted to offset the carbon burnt on this trip.

John
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Thank God for a little humour at last!

Rob C
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josayeruk
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« Reply #136 on: May 17, 2007, 03:05:58 PM »
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One more comment....

I received an email this morning from an academic who went into some detail about how Lolita has become a word in the pedophile underground for their "prey". (As some others here have recently noted).

That indeed seems to be the core of the issue. I was (and am) totally unware of that usage.
Michael

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=118167\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thats a little puzzling Michael as you used a page on Wikipedia as your justification of the term which also includes large sections on its use in popular culture.
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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #137 on: May 17, 2007, 03:57:29 PM »
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Hasn't this topic been beaten to death? Why don't we let it die out? Let's get back to photography.
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blansky
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« Reply #138 on: May 17, 2007, 04:08:58 PM »
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When I was growing up in Canada in the 1950s we often went to the store and bought Nigger Babies, called each other retards, and my dad was hooked on fags.

Now I believe the candies are called gummy bears (not sure), we have more respect for mentally disabled and fags means something other than cigarettes.

Words and their pop culture meanings change.

As for Lolita, well, when you grow up with a term, and it changes meaning to some extent, we still often stick with the meaning that was burned into our heads at the time. A tease, perhaps.

Some of this debate comes down to intent. A person can have a innocent intent saying something, and it can be received as something else. In this politically correct age we sometimes all get annoyed at the perceived stupidity of some of the "rules" but many times the words we are using DO have an insulting component to them that we need to censor ourselves about.

It's an interesting picture of a young girl seemingly expressing her sexuality to some extent and the name Lolita does seem to capture her expression.

Remember, we weren't there. We can only judge her "behavior" by her photograph.

Personally, I'd delete the name. Not worth it.


Michael
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alexjones
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« Reply #139 on: May 17, 2007, 04:31:32 PM »
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Michael,

You are so right.  Words do change and the ones that we can use do as well.  I dislike political correctness but do think we should be considerate in the words we choose to use and what we call people.  I grew up in the South during the end of desegregation, and in that growing up saw the language change a great deal.  It changed for the better for sure concerning ethic groups of all kinds and I'm glad for it.  This discussion has centered on a child, and that child should be shown a greater measure of decency.  Just a measure of kindness which will not cost a cent.  Her title of shame should be removed, it's not for the host to bestow.

a
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