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Art and Pornography

When it aspires to art, mediated work [artistic work that is not personal experience – COG] takes us into its world. We don’t consume it; it consumes us, and after the fact we can reflect on an experience we’ve had, in a kind of fantasy. That’s what losing it at the movies is all about.

Pornography goes the other direction, away from art. It is designed to move us to action – not to invite us into an experience, but to cause us to do. That’s why I talk about jihadi websites as being essentially pornographic – their purpose is to incite violence, just as the purpose of pornography is to incite sexual release.

The porn viewer is “free” of what makes him most essentially human – his communion with other human beings. And porn – inasmuch as it is porn (because nothing in life is all one thing or another) – is designed to exacerbate and deepen that isolation.

– Noah Millman: Conforming to An Idea

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