Thankful for Jpop 9: U15 Love

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

If I’m thankful for anything about Jpop, I guess it’s making me feel okay again about lusting over underage girls.

Ha! I love saying outrageous shit like that.

Sooner or later, I’m going to write a dense, allusive essay about the U15 girl group phenomenon, my very vocal appreciation of it, and what that says about Japanese culture vis-a-vis American culture. I’ll make sure to explain the history of teen sexuality, covering such milestones as the Victorian cult of childhood and this past century’s slow march of raising the age of consent (itself a relatively new development). I’ll argue that modern culture has extended childhood to the point where true adulthood – out of school, in the work force, have your own family – often happens ten years later in a person’s life than it did a century ago, if not longer (I went to graduate school, after all). And that while biology and centuries of past social behavior make girls in their teens the ripest of mates, our current situation – that is, the fact that nowadays girls that age simply aren’t as emotionally or psychologically prepared for sex as their counterparts in earlier eras (though their biological ripeness remains the same, and may even have been enhanced by better living conditions) – means we need to respect the boundaries now set, as strange as it may seem to folks who take the long view on this issue.

Anyway.

I’ve been re-reading some Marquis de Sade lately, and it’s reminded me of the value of shocking writing when it’s in the service of a truly empowering, revolutionary philosophy. Sade is one of the most easily understood writers in broad strokes, but also one of the most frequently misunderstood on the finer points that make his ideas… well, pragmatic. Perhaps even necessary.

I’m not saying that writing "I love when Hinoi Asuka shakes her ass" is anywhere near the level of, say, Justine or Philosophy in the Bedroom – but it does keep a few things clear in my head. One, it reminds me that my oft-expressed "depravity" has a logic of its own, and that logic is worth rooting out and questioning. Mostly in this blog, as things turn out. Two, it does make me feel good to express my deep-seated appreciation of a beauty that others find scandalous. (Especially if the scandal strikes me as silly, given the distance between me and my lust objects.) Being bad has its own satisfactions, as Sade elegantly informed us, time and again. Three, the line between reality and imagination is as porous or as opaque as each of us wants it to be – and in my case, the reality of everyday life impinges very little on the imagination which basks in the loveliness of Asuka and Haruna and Chinami and Momoko (o Momoko!). That’s how I want it to be, that’s how I allow it to be, and that’s how I can still consider myself – after a fashion – a moral person.

So I’m thankful for U15 girl groups because it keeps me on my toes and makes me think as well as feel.

But most of you already knew that.

Which sets the stage for my tenth and final installment in a couple of hours…