Monday, February 16, 2004

Here's a thought, or an extended preamble to a question, regarding the 'Janet Jackson boob-flash' thing:

Nietzsche contends (in On the Genealogy of Morals) that early societies envisaged 'punishment' as a sort of debtor-creditor relationship, whereby punishment was sought for crimes in order to 'repay' the 'debt' of the crime. He makes the point that rich creditors seek the repayment of their debts more calmly than poor or unstable creditors (indeed, they even forego some debts) - this also applies to societies when they seek payment from their constituents, for the protection this society has offered, or for the crimes individuals may have committed...

The inexplicable reaction to the Janet Jackson boob thing (Boobgate, has it been christened?) may make sense within this - it reeks of American baying for blood. It would seem to be acceptable to characterise America as an insecure society. The question becomes, then: what makes America so insecure? And, given that this 'American' trend is exhibited in many countries, to greater or lesser extents, what makes these sorts of societies insecure?


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