Jim Webb, a Democrat candidate for US Senate, was busted by his opponent for depicting sexually explicit acts in some of his novels. As shocking as much of this material is to middle class sensibilities, many of the things depicted in the press release attacking Mr. Webb’s writing are common in some parts of Asia.
I cannot comment on the specific content of Mr. Webb’s books but the fact is that many types of sexual acts, which would be considered perverted by American standards, are and have been common in places frequented by American soldiers, sailors and airmen.
I spent six years in the US Navy and can tell you that if the average American knew how their military personnel behaved in places such as Subic Bay in the Philippines, Thailand and other ports, our military folks would be confined to base and not allowed into town.
Subic Bay was described as “sexual Disneyland”. There was nothing that could not be had for a few dollars. The banana episode is tame compared to things that really happened every night just outside the base. Especially when the Westpac Fleet was in town.
While Mr. Webb likely portrayed things that happened, I don’t know what his purpose was in using these acts in his book. I think it would be wrong to glorify various types of exploitation as “good”; however, it is a reality that the vast majority of military folks took advantage of such off base entertainment.
I have heard both Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh spend much of their programs today on Mr. Webb. Without a context for Webb’s writing I won’t comment too much on the specifics but “a text without a context is usually a pretext for error” a saying that might ring true in this case.
This might be a suitable payback for the Mark Folly fiasco but whether it is “fair” to Mr. Webb at this point seems irrelevant. This issue has taken on a life of its own and Mr. Webb’s campaign is taking on water fast as a result.