In ancient times, public executions and orgies were the mainstay of entertainment. From the Greeks to the Egyptians, there was no shame in admitting to delighting in sex and violence. In modern times we came to see ourselves as more civilised, distracting ourselves with music, art and sport. Entertainment was cleansed in favour of pastimes that refined and improved us. But now, the internet offers the diversions of the Colosseum to anyone who wishes to be so entertained. You want to see people killed, decapitated, tortured? It is all there. And of course online pornography is a $100 billion industry serving every conceivable sexual taste.
Where is this new uncharted space taking our entertainment and our morality? Should we see a return to the explicit desires of the ancients as a deeply troubling challenge to our culture that should be reined in and controlled to contain exploitation and human misery? Or is it a welcome overturning of a repressed and hypocritical culture, providing, in the parallel universe of online space, a safe way of expressing deep human desires?