Commentary on sadism:

I noticed many years ago that my fellow Texans (and most everybody else) seem to really enjoy watching other people suffer, provided they think the victim deserves it.

I’ll never convince anybody they’re wrong by arguing against societal evils that make people feel good. So instead of writing essays to show the people how wrong they are, I draw these pictures.

"Look!" the pictures say. "This is what you enjoy, eh? Have an eyefull, this is OUR prisons, OUR fundamentalist church schools, OUR immigrant family detention facilities. ADMIT YOU LOVE IT!!!"

Lots of terribly normal middle-aged people have healthy, happy BDSM fun with willing adult partners. That's the only outlet sadism should have--in a safe, sane adult relationship.

Personally, I think it's fun to think about cheerleaders being mean to each other, and the coach dominating girls in plaid mini-skirts. Wow! It's kind of like thinking about nekkid girls wrestling in Jell-O. But I don't want it to happen for real, to real people.

Sadism has millions of loud, angry defenders. I live among them. They have false beliefs in the usefulness of sadism to enforce order in children, prevent crime, and fight terrorism. I won't argue with them, because they illustrate my point: sadism FEELS GOOD.

That’s why real-life sadism should be anticipated, and prevented, in hierarchical settings like school, church, family, prison, the military, etc. Sadism ALWAYS happens, sooner or later, when people are given absolute power, in ANY setting.

I think anybody on the bottom of a hierarchy—students, children, prisoners, soldiers, hospital patients—need to have the legal right to non-abusive treatment. Just like it was fucking Sweden or something. More importantly, the people have to insist on oversight and enforcement to stop the natural occurrence of sadism from happening in those likely settings.

That won’t happen soon. In the meantime, look at my images of officially-approved violence, rape, torture—crimes that happen in our midst all the time, carried out by our collective will—and see if you think it’s kind of enjoyable. You might consider that maybe we should not always do, as a society, what feels RIGHTEOUS and makes us warm and tingly. Maybe our sadism is a collective act of masturbation, at the cost of other people's humanity.

--SDE