Now I’ve Actually SEEN “Cuties,”So I know What I’m Writing About…

What does Barbara Streisand have to do with “Cuties,” you ask?

And, from my perspective, I have been taught, once again, that I should not rely on the opinions of others. Why is that such a difficult lesson to process? I bet I’ve “learned” it a thousand times, and yet here we are.

I initially wrote about pundit Rod Dreher’s angry assessment of the Netflix hit (it is one of the most streamed productions in its history) in this post. I think it was clear that I hadn’t seen “Cuties” myself, but I should not have written that he was disgusted “with good reason.” Veteran commenter Humble Talent provided Ethics Alarms with his critical assessment of “Cuties” in his Comment of the Day; it was negative as well. Having now watched the film with my wife last night (I regarded the session as work, not recreation), I understand what Dreher’s perspective was, and  I cannot say that Humble’s critique is “wrong.”

I disagree with both of them, however.

My thoughts on “Cuties”:

1.  I did not enjoy the movie. I would not watch it again. I would watch “1918,” “Parasite,”The Circle“…even “JFK,” “Ghost” and “La La Land,’  all movies I felt were at best disappointing and at worst ridiculously over-hyped, before I would sit through “Cuties” again. (I would rather watch “Cuties” than revisit “The Deer Hunter,” but then I would rather have my fingernails  pulled out than revisit “The Deer Hunter.”)

2. That doesn’t not mean I think “Cuties” is a bad movie. It’s a very good movie, for the audience it was made for. (“Ghost” is not a good movie, and anyone who thinks so is a tasteless sap.) This isn’t just a “chick flick,” it is a flick that men should be warned not to see, and possibly banned from trying.

3. As a man, I felt like a voyeur watching these semi-pubescent girls try to navigate their emerging sexuality and the corrosive influence of the culture. It’s not that I’m uninterested in this aspect of a reality I didn’t experience, it’s just that…ick. My wife, on the other hand, who grew up with three sisters, kept asking, “So what was supposed to be so objectionable about this?”

4. If art is supposed to convey truth, “Cuties” succeeds, I suspect. Of course, just because a story is true or embodies truth doesn’t mean it needs to be made into a movie. This precise topic has been dealt with before, but never so directly, at least in any movie that has been widely publicized.

5. I agree with Humble’s complaint that the director—a woman, of course—focused the camera on the girl’s bodies as they gyrated and twerked to the verge of salaciousness. I’m sure she would have a good answer for why she made this choice, and why it was artistically valid, but it was still a troubling choice.

6. I thought the girls were all excellent, and several were remarkable. That does not mitigate one of my ethical objections to the film, which is that juveniles were given this kind of material to absorb and experience. It doesn’t matter that they performed it well, and it doesn’t matter that the movie could only be made with pre-teen actresses. Nor will it change my view if they all grow up to be well-adjusted and happy adults: that’s moral luck. The actresses were below the age of consent, and should not be asked to/ compelled to perform such material. The parents who consented for them are irresponsible and unethical, just as Dakota Fanning’s parents were unethical to allow her to be in a  graphic rape scene in “Hounddog,” just as Brooke Shields’ parents were unethical to allow her to appear as a pre-teen prostitute in “Pretty Baby,” just as Linda Blair’s parents were unethical to allow her to play the possessed girl in “The Exorcist.” I  may ask child performer advocate Paul Peterson to author a guest column on his view of “Cuties.” I think I know what he will say.

7. One of the major complaints about the film is that it will appeal to pedophiles. That’s an unfair reason to criticize a movie: the fact that sick people will like it for the wrong reasons. I refuse to believe that pedophiles are the intended audience, nor that either the director or Netflix were seeking to entertain men who have a sexual fixation on little girls. I’m sure “Seabiscuit” titillated some people who fantasize about having sex with horses.

8. The runaway success of “Cuties” is as fine an example of “The Streisand Effect” as we are likely to find. The only reason a film like this, focusing on a Muslim pre-teen coping with her family stresses by becoming obsessed with sexually provocative dancing that is rampant among girls just slightly older, becomes an cultural phenomenon is if it is controversial. Critics like Dreher guaranteed that many more people would watch “Cuties” than the subject matter would normally draw. It’s not titillating or enjoyable to watch 11-year-olds get into sexually provocative costumes and make-up and act like go-go dancers in a cage. It’s creepy, and it’s supposed to be creepy. But Dreher and the other would-be conservative cultural gate-keepers made sure that the pervs would find “Cuties” and settle down to watch with their lotion handy. Good job, everybody!

35 thoughts on “Now I’ve Actually SEEN “Cuties,”So I know What I’m Writing About…

  1. #7. Roger Ebert made the same argument against the movie version of John Grisham’s “The Chamber.” He said something to the effect that it was racism porn, and that by the time Gene Hackman’s Sam Cayhall dies (unjustifiably, it turns out, and unnecessarily) in the gas chamber, there would be a lot of people who had already gotten what they came for. I don’t recommend the movie, but I don’t recommend it because it isn’t a very good movie, not because the content might appeal to hooded jerks who listen to Johnny Rebel.

    • It’s a problem with that type of movie– and book. Mass appeal means a certain amount of blandness. I haven’t read The Chamber but I did manage to choke down The Firm, A Time to Kill, and The Ranmaker before deciding Grisham was most defiantly not for me.

      I gravitate to the stuff that appeals to me not that appeals to everybody. Life’s short, why waste the time? And I try to respect people’s time when I make my recommendations. Base it on what they seem to like or said they like. I sent you to the Farseer books, not the lesbian space necromancer book that knocked my socks off.

      Movie are harder. The budgets involved mean, make it bland enough to sell a gazillion tickets and make back the CGI budget or make something niche and not have the money for top shelf actors and effects limiting what niches can be filled. Good for people who like art house films, less good if you want to see dragons and space battles.

      C’est la vie.

  2. Re: No. 8; Muslim Girl Comes of Age.

    I haven’t seen the movie and probably won’t because the subject matter is not interesting to me (remember, when Madonna was all the rage, I was not interested in her stuff because I thought what limited voice she had was one-dimensional and atonal). I wonder, though, if the movie would have been controversial had it feature a standard-issue French or English or US girl coping with her family stresses by becoming obsessed with sexually provocative dancing. Is the film supposed to be a criticism of Western society’s imposition of its secular and sexualized excesses on the more virtuous cultures based on Islam?

    jvb

    jvb

      • It would be a rough sell, Amy ultimately rejected the Islamic perspective as well, and there were several really raw scenes where the family acted out the misery of fundamentalist Islam’s position on women. I don’t see an argument for Islamic virtue anywhere in there, even when compared to secular excess.

            • We, the Rushinati, encourage dedication to the Canadian Triumvirate and welcome new members to mission. “Beyond the Lighted Stage” convinced my long-suffering wife that Rush is a different experience. They are three really decent, kind, and dedicated musicians and business partners, who respect each other and their respective crafts, and, at the base of it all, they are dear friends. She still doesn’t like their music but respects them as people and kind of “gets” by affinity.

              jvb

  3. Watched “Cuties” only because of all the ‘outrage’ about it. Appeal to pedophiles? What about all the little girl beauty contests, with pre-teens and younger girls dolled up like women and dancing around like pole-dancing “exotics?” Where’s the outrage there? Lots of things — including other movies — appeal to pedophiles. Lots of movies appeal to rapists, murderers, thieves, and anti-social demonstrators. Why pick on this one? Because it is not politically correct to portray a young Muslim girl moving outside that culture? I can’t figure it out. Need more insights.

    If there is any outrage to be had, it’s the parents who allowed their young daughters to perform in the way they did. For the money? Who got the money? Is it in trust for the girls, or are the parents their ‘managers’ and paying themselves? I just cannot imagine any parent putting a child in that situation. To me, that’s the real outrage.

    • “If there is any outrage to be had, it’s the parents who allowed their young daughters to perform in the way they did.”

      In my observation, I’ve noticed that most people object to this in particular. An overwhelming majority of complaints. That there is no way girls that age can make any sort of informed consent to sexualize their pre-pubescent bodies.

      The “it will appeal to pedophiles” seems to be a small minority of complaints elevated to straw-man status by the defenders of the film.

      Anyway “What about all the little girl beauty contests, with pre-teens and younger girls dolled up like women and dancing around like pole-dancing “exotics?” Where’s the outrage there?”

      I oppose those as well.

  4. One of the major complaints about the film is that it will appeal to pedophiles. That’s an unfair reason to criticize a movie.

    Oh no sir, it absolutely is not!

    Yet it would need to be said and understood that you as a movie-watcher and as a reviewer of all art and film creations (one of your fortés) have no objections to what others regard as *immoral representations*, at least not on that ground.

    Nor do I imagine that you have or could have an objection to the creation and distribution of pornography for moral or ethical reasons. (This is speculation on my part as I have not read anything you have written on this topic).

    If I have read and understood you right over the years you would not have agreed with the need for the Hays Code and would have advocated that it be lifted. But some say that the release of such controls — censorship one would have to say — began a slow and steady decline into the prurient. And with a wide range of ramifications.

    The specific issue is not so much that this movie or any other movie appeals to pedophiles or *could* appear to pedophiles, it is rather that the pornography industry will move into any territory or zone where there is an *interest* or where these lusts and desires can be aroused. These become *business decisions* and if there is money to be made, and nothing standing in their way, these productions will be made. And if the distribution of pornography is, as E Michael Jones asserts, a tool of political control, then it seems to me that these issues must be looked at carefully.

    Now, one of the thing I notice in your general ideological stance — your position in regard to these issues, and of course to homosexuality as well as other issues — is that you are not in regard to these issues, a conservative. And the reason I mention this is not to be a creep (though of course I suppose I really am a *creep at heart* but a semi-charming one, at least I hope so!) It is to point to an important and a larger issue that is affecting American culture but also world culture and this through the influence of American liberalism — or ‘hyper-liberalism’ as the term should really be: a thorough ungrounding from sane Liberal principles classically understood. The opening of the roads to genuine deviancy.

    If you cannot take a stand against a film that tends toward pedophiliac-lite — and whether this film does that or not is not the point, but rather that this is the direction things are going — you cannot be said to preserve or to conserve what had been, and still are for some, necessary and needed conservative principles.

    • Ugh. The film isn’t pornography, and the fact that a legitimate work of art may appeal to fetishes of one kind or another is 100% irrelevant to its artistic value. Your argument is why misguided censors put drapes over copies of “Davis’ and Rubens’ nudes.

      • No, it absolutely is not the same argument. In no sense is it even similar!

        This film arouses, with sound justification, concerns about child porn and about the sexualization of children’s culture.

        They may indeed have over-reacted to what is in this film itself. This over-reaction would be typical in an hysterical culture.

        I do certainly agree that some portrayals that I would see and label as ‘deviant’ can also be highly artistic.

        The issue here is not a child’s body in a classical work of art. The issue here is one that I defined (to some degree) in what I wrote.

        You do not respond to any of that. Why?

        • The movie isn’t about children’s bodies, nor is it deviant. If anything, it is about something normal that adults don’t like to think about. It’s about growing up, the influence of culture, peer group influence, and making mistakes. The fact that a perv may see it as something else is not the film’s problem, nor the filmmakers.

          • I am relatively certain that you do not believe in nor trust my judgments and assessments about many different things. Over the years you have certainly indicated as much. I have always and I do respect your opinion.

            I do not find good reasons to believe in the judgments and assessments that you make about issues having to do with sexuality and sexual deviancy nor about a wide range of things. So I guess we see each other is a similar, and slightly prejudiced, light.

            Yet this is also true across the board and culturally. We are in the midst of cultural wars and value wars. These battles a re on-going in America right now and they will definitely heat up and will not abate.

            The things that I write about, you cannot even comment on. When you comment, you don’t really comment. Because — this is my interpretation — you do not grasp what I am saying and why.

            But this too fits into the Culture Wars going on. They are wars about values.

          • I wrote:

            The specific issue is not so much that this movie or any other movie appeals to pedophiles or *could* appear to pedophiles, it is rather that the pornography industry will move into any territory or zone where there is an *interest* or where these lusts and desires can be aroused. These become *business decisions* and if there is money to be made, and nothing standing in their way, these productions will be made. And if the distribution of pornography is, as E Michael Jones asserts, a tool of political control, then it seems to me that these issues must be looked at carefully.

            I do not suppose that you are interested in the depth-view of the problem I outlined in my post, but that does not necessarily mean that my concerns — *our* concerns if you wish — are not important.

            Kieth Woods always has interesting perspectives: “Why you should be concerned about Netflix Cuties”. The segments he includes within his presentation are especially relevant.

  5. I can respect the opinion, one of the things that came up in the comments was that people were confused as to the moral of the film, and I made a point of correcting that a couple of times: The point of the movie was moral, it is actually a very conservative arc, as you say, demonstrating the act of growing up and rejecting fundamentalist religious values and hypersexuality.

    My point was that it was hard to get past the booty shots. And while there might be an artistically defensible explanation for the preteen body hugging camera shots, they did not actually add to the narrative. They were designed, I think, to make people uncomfortable, by simultaneously making people (straight men) reconcile “they’re kids” with “that’s kind of hot”. It’s emotionally manipulative. Again, that reconciliation might be artistically justifiable, but it’s not necessary, and I think it’s morally bankrupt.

    No one who watches movies for personal enjoyment should watch this, and in my opinion, life is too short for self-imposed misery.

    Which leads me to the recent development of Republican lawmakers attempting to *do something* about this film: Stop. Jesus Christ, not everything we find morally objectionable needs to be illegal. Every one of them is wretchedly out over their skis on this, and it’s just giving the blight that is Cuties more oxygen.

    • If it constitutes child abuse of a sexual nature, it seems like something we should consider as being the kind of “morally objectionable” activity that should at least have a conversation about it’s legality.

      And as long as the debate is whether or not little girls can consent with the parallel conversation of whether or not what they did is “sexualizing”, then there is an opening to have that conversation.

      • Sure, but then the problem is the law, not Cuties. Punishing people for objectifying the incomplete nature of law isn’t something we should entertain. A law proactively restricting future child abuse would be, in my opinion, a better solution, but good luck getting consensus on it.

        • Have any of the Republican legislator’s in question called for punishing Cuties? Or have they mostly called for investigating whether or not any established laws may have been breached in the production and distribution of Cuties?

          • I think they’re trying very hard to find a law they can use to punish Cuties, but I think they’ll have a hell of a time proving it.

            Ted Cruz said “If you have child pornography, if you have kids engaged in sexual activities, if you produce it, if you distribute it, you face criminal penalties. I guarantee you every pedophile in America is going to watch this movie.”

            Well, he’s right, not a single one of those words are untrue. The problem is that Cuties almost certainly will not qualify as porn. Bill Barr tried to sell the case that a scene with a girl stripping off her shirt might count, and I have to admit when I saw that scene, I assumed that person was a minor and was horrified, but I’ve since learned that she was actually of age. Tits alone do not pornography make.

              • My opinion? The 20 year old playing the 16 year old is a representation of something bad, but it isn’t the thing it’s representing. Half of my disgust at this film was in the borderline abuse inherent in the education of the actors. If all the actors were adults who could pass for teenagers, the movie would be less unethical, even if it never reached the bar of ethical.

            • Be that as it may, if any one of us had daughters and filmed them doing these things for YouTube, we’d be visited by CPS and probably arrested. And rightfully so.

              • The million dollar answer! If the act is reprehensible, it doesn’t matter at all what the ultimate end is claimed to be. I can’t use my grand scheme to save the world from the ideas tearing it apart, an end which would save countless lives and produce a future of untold material prosperity, as a defense for placing a gun against a random individual’s head and pulling the trigger.

                It’s obvious phrased that way. Change out the murder with child pornography and reduce the end to ‘critiquing widespread and normalized child pornography’ and somehow the matter becomes befuddled.

                Pornography as art, is a clever defense, of course, but equivocation, though clever and often effective, is beneath us. Pornography is art. Blenders are toasters. Topiaries are the Platonic ideal of the value ‘7’. Grunge rock isn’t low-effort, glorified, self-sustained misery. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

                People can put any word at all next to any other word. The trick is arranging them to conform with what’s real. Magic is the expectation that reality conforms to our word-arrangements, and these days everyone’s a magician.

    • Reading your and Jack’s comments and analysis, I see more clearly what we are up against. I mean within one aspect of the Cultural Wars. Neither of you are seeing fully nor correctly and that also means, for me, that you are not seeing ethically (and in my lexicon morally).

      The ‘homosexual revolution’ led by corrupt, but devilishly intelligent men like Foucault, in combination with the Sexual Revolution generally, has by its nature established frontiers that must be, and will eventually be, transgressed. That is the nature of corrupt desire, it proceeds from one forbidden frontier to the next. And at each point it seeks to justify itself with use of corrupt *logic*.

      The normalization of homosexuality and attendant behaviors, however supposedly *humanitarian* is the motive to create a space for these people, has led and will always lead to pushing the frontiers that I have mentioned. Watch the clips of the debates in the video by Keith Woods above. Read the manifestos of those working within the ideology of sexual liberation and the normalization of deviancy. You can find 1,000 pseudo-logical arguments to defend it, and each one of them will have a certain element of logic, but you will not be able to defend where it all tends to go, and what this sort of corruption does and where it leads a people and a culture. I am unsure if I should say that *the next frontier* is that of normalizing adult desire for children, since this has already become part of the culture through incremental processes, but it definitely looks to be the case.

      And that is why, at this juncture, and under a whole range of different pressures, there has arisen such resistance to the content of this film. Adjudicated in and of itself what would one conclude? Well Jack concluded this:

      The movie isn’t about children’s bodies, nor is it deviant. If anything, it is about something normal that adults don’t like to think about. It’s about growing up, the influence of culture, peer group influence, and making mistakes. The fact that a perv may see it as something else is not the film’s problem, nor the filmmakers.

      Right there is a whole structure of justification and rationalization. But it is not completely inaccurate nor is it completely untrue. But in actual fact this is precisely how sexualization of film and movies, and the concomitant and attendant introduction of perverse and perverting elements into Occidental culture over a relatively long time period (100 years or so), has come about. As I mentioned somewhere else it was during an old film on the topic of the Holocaust where fi one of the first instances of showing the naked female body occurred. That was (according to E Michael Jones) how this sort of thing starts. Now similarly, in Cuties, and though as Humble Talent says there is a ‘moral arc’ to the film, that is only incidentally relevant. The very term Cuties (Mignonnes in French) has in popular usage no other sense except a sensual or a sexual sense. The very title is an invitation to sexualize and lust after these chidren-girls. And the whole issue began by the fact that none of this was lost on those who created the movie poster.

      Now, you can trick yourself — and trick yourselves you likely will — but when the issue is examined rationally and with some distance the larger, important elements are not hard to see: What you allow to happen to your women, and what you yourselves allow yourselves to do, eventually filters down to your children. This is a law and a rule.

      And when you corrupt your women, you corrupt the very base-block upon which culture is built. And with that said, and if that is understood, a great many other things can be understood and said about what the rot of Hyper-Liberalism has done to women and to men and of course to children.

      If you become aware of this, and if it concerns you, the elements of your ethical and moral conversation will change. Kind of a *no-brainer* when you think it through.

      You are now living in the consequences of whole chains of causation, choices, that are now comint to fruition as les fleurs du mal. The perversion of your daughters, and of your sons, is one part of many different elements of perversion. And as I have been trying to express for years now these are culminating at these social and technological junctures. The ultimate aim? No-different from what it had always been on the Earth. It has to do with your enslavement.

      So perhaps *one* might choose to consider the Larger Picture operative here.

      But in fact this does not interest either of you. It is not on your *radar of concern*. So once again, I notice a focus on the superficial aspect while the more important aspect is deliberately not considered. And then the whole tactic of *stony silence*. I suggest that the proper and necessary way to see this *Cuties* issue is to step back from it and try to see it in a larger frame of reference. True that there is over-reaction (what I have been naming ‘hysteria’) about the movie and its content. But this fits into a time in (literally) world-culture and certainly Occidental culture where people are, to varying degrees, taking long and hard looks at what corrupt *liberalism* has created within culture. The Christian faction within America, though one might note that they are quite confused and even ‘hopelessly confused’ is gathering together in a sort of resisting strength. They might be, and often are quite directly, corrupt themselves and profoundly confused about Christian categories of morality and ethics, but this moral and ethical confusion — a sort of lostness — is part-and-parcel of the dynamics of the present chaos and social confusion.

      And no one who writes here is outside of this.

      • Have I put this here before? The sense that I’ve run out of things to say is a frequent companion of mine:

        But the Thomist is bound to judge that mere intellectual error is not the only problem. For it’s not just that people in contemporary Western society commonly disagree, at an intellectual level, with the natural law theorist’s judgments about what is disordered. It’s that they commonly act in ways that natural law theory says are disordered. And if such behavior has a tendency to impair one’s capacity to perceive what is true and good, especially where sex is concerned, then it follows that widespread rejection of traditional sexual morality is bound to have as much to do with the sort of cognitive corruption that Aquinas calls “blindness of mind” as it does with the making of honest intellectual mistakes. That people who don’t behave in accordance with traditional sexual moral norms also don’t believe that these norms have any solid intellectual foundation is thus in no way surprising. On the contrary, that’s exactly what natural law theory itself predicts will happen.

        https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/02/whats-deal-with-sex-part-ii.html?m=1

    • No one who watches movies for personal enjoyment should watch this, and in my opinion, life is too short for self-imposed misery.

      What an odd bit of advise to give. What is the purpose of literature and art? What is the purpose of the novel? What is the purpose of the great tragedies? I would suggest that you have largely lost, and possibly completely lost, a sense of what art does, or in any case how one should approach it.

      If you go to a novel or to a film for purposes of ‘enjoyment’ you are likely not going for the right reasons.

      Probably this points in the direction of quite universal and quite predominant debasement of even the desire of what one seeks in seeing a film. But that dove-tails into the ideas about Bread & Circuses and lower-level social appeasement or something along those lines. Is this not what has become of Hollywood? I mean, when looked at closely and carefully.

      This points, of course, to the entire process and cycle of *dumbing down*.

      And this illustrates that this film Cuties has an audience, and has an audience primed to receive it. Netflx as a business-enterprise certainly grasped this when they tarted it up in its obviously prurient direction. The *purpose* is right there! That is its purpose. The moral arc is incidental.

      I would suggest, in respect to Cuties, focusing on it as a form of *trickery* or deception. It functions through a trap or strategy (dolos in Greek) but also through lies (pseudologoi) and deceptions (apate).

      Apate = ἀπάτη = deceit and fraud.

      And please don’t tell me these are not relevant concerns. We live in an age in which deceit and fraud rises from all directions, outside of us and inside of us. It is wise to begin to pay attention. And to the degree possible not to cooperate with it.

    • As HT once wrote to my poor little self: “Write in a way that makes sense to me and I can understand or get bent!”

      How bent I have gotten! I am a human pretzel! 😂
      _____________________

      The basis of our cultural problem today, the basis of the crisis that we observe, is based in things to which we are *deeply related*. You cannot get around the problem of ‘complicity’. You cannot — not for long anyway, and not in a sustained manner — point to a *them* and an *over there* to see the problem. Because we have integrated these problems, through our own errors and omissions, into our very selves.

      So what I say is that in order to confront the *problems of our day* we need, as the first order of business, to understand our complicity with them. We would get more *mileage* (as Slick Willy used to say) if we can see that we are products of long causal chains. Ideas Have Consequences.

      The way I am coming to see these issues is that the origins of the corruptions have occurred within the realm of ideas. And it is in the realm of ideas that one has to construct and revitalize a ‘response’ — a counter-movement. I think that those who are practicing Christians understand this. I do recognize other religious and spiritual modalities though. And I do also recognize, to a point, that a sincere philosophical orientation can function, to some degree, self-transformatively. Christianity (Catholicism predominantly) has been described as “Platonism for the masses”. It is true. Greco-Christianity is infused with Platonic notions through-and-through.

      So, and in this case, to be able to understand the so-called Sexual Revolution requires a confrontation with the *devilish intellects* that are the ‘fathers’ of its ideation.Foucault is a necessary starting point.

      In this sense to confront the corruption of our age will not occur, and will not be possible, until we can successfully and self-convincingly confront the pseudo-logics (pseudologoi) through which we ourselves, in one degree or another, have become complicit. We give our ‘assent’, in one way or another, and we now must retract the assent given. We quite literally have to deconstruct the pseudologoi.

      Once you begin it is even sort of fun!

      Cardinal Newman wrote a somewhat difficult book outlining the giving of assent. The Grammar of Assent. The building blocks, the intellectual platform, the rising steps. It has everything to do with *agreements* in the sense of ‘giving agreement’.

      Newman’s aim was to show that the scientific standards for evidence and assent are too narrow and inapplicable in concrete life. He argued that logic and its conclusions are not transferable to real life decision making as such. As a result, it is inappropriate to judge the validity of assent in concrete faith by conventional logical standards because paper logic is unequal to the task. “Logic is loose at both ends,” he said, meaning that the process of logic initially depends on restrictive assumptions and is thus unable to fit its conclusions neatly into real world situations.

      Part I

      Assent and Apprehension
      Modes of holding and apprehending Propositions
      Assent considered as Apprehensive
      The Apprehension of Propositions
      Notional and Real Assent
      Apprehension and Assent in the matter of Religion

      Part II

      Assent and Inference
      Assent Considered as Unconditional
      Certitude
      Inference
      The Illative Sense
      Inference and Assent in the matter of Religion.

    • HT wrote: “The point of the movie was moral, it is actually a very conservative arc, as you say, demonstrating the act of growing up and rejecting fundamentalist religious values and hypersexuality.

      First, ‘the rejection of fundamentalist religious values’ is generally not understood as ‘conservative’. A conservative, if really a conservative (as I say you very certainly are not a conservative in the truer sense of the word), might reject some formal aspects of ‘fundamentalism’ but would more likely than not be interested in preserving, expanding and explaining the reasoning behind holding to a ‘fundamental’.

      So, the process by which a young Muslim child in a secular culture like France is *converted*, as it were, to areligiousness could be said to have little to do with conservatism.

      Sexual seduction has been one of the primary tools of undermining a philosophically-based religious orientation. The processes through which that occurs have nothing at all to do with ‘conservatism’. And everything to do with Hyper-Liberalism as I would define it.

      And ‘hypersexuality’ has obviously no connection to a classically-defined conservatism nor of the ‘golden mean’.

      I would suspect, being at least familiar with the *narrative lines* in many American films that trace the so-called ‘progression’ of women from ‘stifled & repressed to liberated, that Cuties operates within a narrative arc of that sort. That is, to liberate from intellectual ties to social conservatism through establishing the superiority of a more free relationship to modern notions and ways of life.

      This the little girls use the twerk as a way to break the bonds with their past, not to identify with the traditions of their fathers, and certainly not to modify the externals while holding to the internal logic of the religious modality. This is a common formula, I think, and has been used in other, similar *coming of age* narratives.

      What I notice in your pseudo-definition of conservatism is that it is in no sense conservative! You do not know what ‘conservatism’ is or what it means.

      This is something I point out in regard to many who contribute their perspectives here. You are ‘displaced progressives’! 😳

  6. Jack, regarding part of your point 6:
    The actresses were below the age of consent, and should not be asked to/ compelled to perform such material. The parents who consented for them are irresponsible and unethical,…

    Do we know for a fact that none of the girls in the movie were emancipated minors? Maybe it is just my ignorance, but it is not clear to me that “age of consent” (14? 16? for sex? for employment?) is necessarily relevant if the minor is legally emancipated.

    Maybe the movie-makers ought to be required to display certain representations regarding the girls and their parents, similar to what we often already see, such as “No animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture.”

  7. “Porn is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s not porn for me.”
    By that logic, it’s officially and definitely porn for pedophiles.

    “The film’s message is that exploiting children is wrong.”
    The film literally exploits children. That is the problem.

    “Their parents approved it.”
    Many immigrant parents literally sell their children into sex slavery.

    “What about other TV shows with girls doing sexy dances?”
    Nice whataboutism. They’re trash too. Any grownup questions?

    “Why all the fuss about this and not some other thing?”
    Because this is exceptionally bad, because more people notice what’s on Netflix than what’s on Reality TV Channel 3027, and because who cares?

    “Surely the producers and director didn’t do this intentionally to appeal to pedophiles.”
    This movie comes from France, aka Roman Polanski’s safe space, aka the place where pedophilia has long been celebrated, practiced, and openly bragged about by mainstream authors, filmmakers, and other cultural elites. They knew.

    Fin

  8. <What you allow to happen to your women, . . .

    And when you corrupt your women . . .

    Thank you, Alizia, for so clearly exposing the medieval roots of your thinking.

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