This news, or news or rumors, immediately made me think of Big Red Son*, a non-fiction David Foster Wallace piece about the Adult Video News Awards, which are like the Oscars for porn. Stay with me.
Wallace’s style is heavy with footnotes. (Someone once admitted to me she DIDN’T READ THE FOOTNOTES, which I found shocking because well, they are the best.) Despite reading this essay collection nine years, four cats and three children ago, one of the footnotes in Big Red Son never left me. It was about how porn defined itself by being subversive, and the more acceptable it became, the more depraved it would have to get in order to keep its status.
When I saw the headlines about a possibly “crazier” version of Fox News, my mind jumped right to that old footnote:
“Respectability creates a paradox. The more acceptable in modern culture it becomes, the farther porn will have to go in order to preserve the sense of unacceptability that’s so essential to its appeal. As should be evidence, the industry’s already gone pretty far … it’s not hard to see where porn is eventually going to have to go in order to retain its edge of disrepute.”
I’m pretty worried that since we’re in an age when Nazis are up for debate, where would a “crazier” Fox News even go with its discourse? You know what, don’t answer that question.
*The piece is found in Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, a collection I recommend wholeheartedly.