Now, how about a word on me and Internet pornography?
I think I first became aware of that because of a book; some kind of a computer-use overview on a loan from the library, by a Finnish author, the usual much-illustrated black-and-white book sold by a small tech publisher at a high price, explaining things at the level of managers, children and other immature folks. It had a section about something, probably the use of trademarked characters by non-trademark-owning persons online, and to illustrate this, it had a softcore porn picture of Ariel, the Little Mermaid.
Let me say in explanation that this book was loaned and read by me; dad had no need for semi-patronizing introductory textbooks like this.
I think I recall having a thought like, “Can things such as this be?” — because though by then the joys of the wrist through pretty much any material featuring a female were familiar to me, it was so weird to see a picture that combined that which was not porn (Disney) and that which clearly was (I think there were titties, or oral sex; something pretty tame, though).
And this stuff, the book said, was to be found online?
In the years since, I’ve drank deep from all the pornography that the Internet has to offer; I think it has made me a more tolerant, nice and less frustrated person. (Then again, who am I to judge myself?)
Before there was the Internet, there were shareware CDs, either sent along magazines or then found in big bins in computer stores. One could have hundreds of shareware versions of games and useful programs, and all manner of text files and clip-art directories and the like. All that was in English; but one managed, mostly through repeated mistakes. The CDs were a treasury: I didn’t understand what most of the contents were, I didn’t have the language or the technical or social experience, but they were full of stuff that people full of passion had done. They were the very definition of cool; they were like a non-interactive Internet before the Internet.
On one CD the pictures folder included a picture, I think it was called “popping.jpg” (or gif?), of a very bodacious young woman in a bikini, and some other smutty pictures.
One happened to be accidentally left behind, extracted, on the computer hard-drive and was found by dad (“But goodness, her tits and everything are showing!”). He asked me about it; I mumbled the utterly transparently bullshitty excuse of an excuse that maybe, uh, maybe it had extracted itself or been extracted along with some other thing; and because he was a good man, he dropped it at that.
I made sure I deleted or hid my discoveries better after that.
(Some young people apparently feel the need to build a cache of porn. I didn’t feel that; there was always more, and fresher stuff, to be found online, just a wave of the mouse away. Plus that stuff can’t be found by a relative.)
Footnote: That was then; now is 18,114 items and 22.6 gigabytes; having your own computer is grand.
Footnote to the footnote: It isn’t pretty when a dull person tries to write a tell-all memoir!