Saturday, January 21, 2006

Google Porn Killed My Computer. Does This Mean The Terrorists Win?

I would first like to say that as a 40-something liberal-somewhat-feminist woman, it pains me to know the definition of “M.I.L.F.” I believe I shouldn’t know that little tidbit of pop culture. Yet I do.

And Big Woop. I looked.

In 2004, I had to write a paper for my sociology class that involved the search and research of various “Internet Databases” that covered the material needed for said paper. Google got a wide variety of hits from my address over the course of a week that covered French newspaper articles on a disturbing gang rape phenomenon occurring among Muslim teens in the projects of Paris called “tournante,” meaning “Take your turn.” Because the scope of my paper involved reported theories linking the phenomenon to the accessibility to minors of porn on the internet, I decided to do a little surfing. My textbook did state that one could find anything if one looked. I used Google as my search engine, and brought up sites on bestiality (the textbook referenced bestiality, so I HAD do try that one), rape, incest, hillbilly sex (since a Google search on “incest” brought up a bunch of sites depicting “first rights” pictorials of father-daughter, brother-sister violent acts) and for my own non-paper related curiosity, since I’d heard the term but didn’t know what it meant, sites devoted to the fabulous “M.I.L.F.” Who knew the average suburban soccer mom could be so limber? All the sites came with little MPEGs showing little film shorts of the various acts and practices. None of the MPEGs required a credit card – they were up and running when I hit on the site. Eezy-peezy – a child could do it.

I was reminded of that painting of Kramer on “Seinfeld” that goes something like: “It’s like a train wreck. One is horrified, yet cannot look away.” I felt a little - okay not just a little - sick to my stomach – yet I kept surfing. It also occurred to me that perhaps I should contact the SPCA to ask what the hell they were doing to protect defenseless horses and dogs from what I was seeing. I told Manpants that I had been surfing these sites, and in that distracted Manpants-is-doing-other-things kind of way, he said, “Mmmm. That’s nice dear.” One little film after another – and of course the MPEGs somehow saved on my computer history, despite my going through what I thought was everything and deleting cookies, history, etc. . . so that the very same week when Manpants went to review something on Real Player, he got an eyeful. I remember coming home and him sitting at the computer looking a little green. He looked at me, and I knew in an instant. HE HAD SEEN.

“You saw them, didn’t you.”

“Yup. They stayed in the computer.”

“I feel so dirty.”

“Me too.”

“I may never want to have sex again.”

Well, I turned in my paper, (got an A) and about a week or so later, the computer seized up, crashed and died. No amount of technical savvy on the part of anyone could get the thing up and running again. Data was lost that hadn’t been saved elsewhere and we were greatly inconvenienced – not to mention having to shell out a few grand for a new computer. We were informed by my fabulous (and thankfully non-judgmental-porn-surfing) computer wiz friend that my various landings of various sites was the culprit. I haven’t touched The Porn since. At least not on the internet.

Imagine my relief to know that all my searches were on Google and not on Yahoo or MSN. Can you imagine the flags going up over my searches back and forth from Porn to Muslim teenagers? What WOULD they think; those mental giants who are running our country? The mind boggles.

I believe in free speech. I am capable of being in favor of our constitutional rights, while simultaneously finding some of that free speech disgusting, depraved, hateful and loathsome on more levels than words can express. It’s my own damn responsibility for seeking it out and looking at it. Should such sites be readily accessible and available to children? No – but they are out there and parents have a responsibility to supervise their children and speak to them frankly about all things that can effect them today – not to use the computer and television as a means of getting the child out of their hair – then blame everyone else if their child is exposed to something under their watch that they could have prevented by being, oh, a PARENT. Between internet predators that troll children’s chat rooms and a plethora of disturbing images that could seriously jar a child’s first impressions about sexuality – the parent has a tough job staying on top of that – but guess what? It’s their job. The government demanding the web addresses of those who might surf this stuff is NOT going to protect children, anymore than the idea that listening to our boring-ass phone conversations is going to actually protect us from a terrorist attack.

I applaud Google for refusing to release the web addresses of internet surfers to the government. I am also, personally, mighty relieved.

9 Comments:

Blogger Tom Harper said...

Wow! Sorry your computer crashed on you. I guess those free viewings weren't free after all :)

Do you use a program called Window Washer? It's made by Webroot. It deletes all temporary internet files, cookies, document history, etc. I only bought it because it's supposed to make you less susceptible to virusus and spyware by erasing all your "footprints" in cyberspace. But now with Big Brother watching, maybe it's got other uses.

22 January, 2006 15:57  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Window Washer, eh? I might just have to sign up!!! Thanks for the tip!

22 January, 2006 16:26  
Blogger R said...

I don't have to look up "Hillbilly sex" to know what that looks like. I married a hillbilly. We practice it often. lol. Kidding.
Anyway, yes I agree with the whole "Be A Parent" thing by God. Although it is completely and utterly exhausting. You never even know how many inappropriate things your child is confronted with in the course of a normal day until you have one. It is beyond the weird. The hooker girl toys, the wierd double meaning sponge bob's (Seriously, watch that cartoon. It is almost a South Park. Hilareous. But not for babies)And I am by no means anyones prude. I believe a child should remain one as long as it can. Plenty of time for grown up stuff later. I plan on being all up in her stuff when she gets older as well. (This horrifies my non child having friends by the by. The fact I flat out plan to snoop) But hey, I've only got a few years to get her ready for prime time. I need to know who she is and how she thinks to do that.

22 January, 2006 16:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Boot Knoppix off a CDR distribution

At least that's what the geeks on slashdot.org recommend, tongue-in-cheek.

Run off the live CD, there are many Linux distributions that do the same thing, entirely in RAM, with no writes to your computer (unless you enable them).

Your water bed surfing is between you, God, and Google.

26 January, 2006 08:48  
Blogger Snave said...

Ugh. Similar experiences had here at the House of Snave. I'm guessing that the computer here runs slowly due to some searches I have made and a few sites I've been to. It isn't even something I have done habitually or on a regular basis... maybe 4 or 5 times ever... I've had to take the computer in to have it cleaned off a couple of times. Such a price to pay for brief moments of... well... ahem.

I'm convinced that Bush and his fellow puritans want to see what we've been searching, not because of "national security" matters, but to see how many of us are godless deviants who need to be publicly stoned, have their offending hands cut off, or have their sinful eyes plucked out. I hope Google can hold out until Bush and his fundamentalist creepazoids are out of office, at least.

31 January, 2006 22:01  
Blogger Laura said...

Hilarious entry, Mil. I'd like to read that paper. I'd say you totally earned your A for that one, sounds like you really went above and beyond for your research. Poor horses and dogs. As for google porn, yahoo porn, and any other kind of porn....sometimes enquiring minds want to know.

03 February, 2006 05:39  
Blogger Seamus said...

Reading this post reminded me of us losing 2 computers in a week - my wife's PC and my laptop. Both had been used by our niece and nephew, both were hijacked, both rendered useless for all intensive purposes and both the result of not being properly protected by tools that were available. We were glad we had the forsight to BU but it was painful to Fdisk the entire system and start from scratch. The internet has become such a useful tool, but it certainly has it's perils. I, too, have less issue with the availability of porn, but more with parental controls. As Rhonda stated it is "exhusting" but it is now part of the landscape. The whole "big brother" threat I find far more terrifying. It annoys me to think that I would ever have to feel like "I must cover my tracks".

05 February, 2006 11:23  
Anonymous pia said...

Thanks TomH for that very useful tip

Both my desktop and my laptop crashed to the point of no return after I began blogging, and very coincidentally or not,just after BIO began

Guard the new ones as I have never guarded anything in my life. Put every document I want to save in a disk, on a blogging platform, and in GMail

Really wanted to thank you for that most beautiful and thoughtful comment. I was very moved.

To me blogging was first just about writing; a way to practice. Then I found a small audience and always do better with one.

Then something amazing happened; I realized I had made new and wonderful friends. Friends not made because of geographic closeness or jobs or the like, but true commonalities--and differences. but blogging gives me a place to explore all that also.

And am very happy to have met you frstlymil

14 February, 2006 16:57  
Blogger Seamus said...

Just checkin' on you Mille! :)

20 March, 2006 23:22  

Post a Comment

<< Home