Last week was kinda slow for me, so I spent a lot of time googling stuff, because that's what human beings do now rather than being constructive. I also spent quite a bit of time talking about drawing dicks and balls on school tables, which my friend calls "schoolboy penises", so we decided to google that phrase to see what the world had to offer in the way of crude genital art. Obviously that's not something you should type anywhere on the internet, but I forgot about that until I'd hit enter.
One of the many hugely disturbing websites that greeted me was breakingboynews.com, which is essentially made up of violent, sexual headlines about young boys, illustrated with pictures of pre-pubescent boys in sexualised poses, half-naked and occasionally not wearing any pants. It's not technically child porn, but it is really fucked up. And the pairing of headlines about 14-year-old boys' anuses with pictures of 10-year-olds in skimpy Speedos only seems like it's intending to provoke specific thoughts from a specific group of people.
Turns out the guy behind the website – Karl Anderson, a Swedish artist – also publishes a printed version of the website (also called Breaking Boy News), as well as another magazine featuring slightly older naked boys and manga about older men having unprotected sex with little boys. He's like the Larry Flynt of sexualising children, which totally isn't a good thing. I spoke to him about just what the hell he thinks he's doing.
Note: It's made clear on the Breaking Boy News website that the boys featured in the images aren't usually the ones written about in the articles.
The last page of the printed Breaking Boy News.
VICE: Hi, Karl. Can you explain Breaking Boy News to me?
Karl Anderson: An idea came to me one evening: ‘What about making a cheesy news tabloid with boy news only?’ I searched for news stories about stuff like “boy murders” and “boy rapes”, added pictures and wrote smashing headlines. The men at the printers were quite surprised.
I bet. Why did it have to be about little boys?
I have this philosophy of the boy as the essence of humankind. The boy is the one who does all the things we learn later in life not to do. He discovers things, tests limits, helps people, but he also robs, rapes or even murders. And they're cute, of course. Boys are like kittens, it's hard to take your eyes off them.
Where do you get the borderline child porn from to illustrate the articles?
Child porn is a legal term, not a view, and none of my publications contain that. I consider Breaking Boy News an artwork. Even when I did Destroyer, I hardly had any contact with the models directly – only with the photographers. If there's a red line in my publishing, it's that it deals with fantasies and ideals. Reality is so bland.
Tell me about Destroyer. It features naked photos of pubescent boys, right?
Destroyer was my first self-published project, and it started out of frustration of the current politics of the gay movement, which becomes ever more non-inclusive of the less flattering expressions of homosexuality, most notably male attraction to boys. Destroyer always sold very well and it still does. I counted readers in 37 countries on all continents, even Africa. Breaking Boy News is more of a fun side-project.
Who reads this stuff?
I’d say 99.9 percent of my readers are male. They’re mostly gay men, boy-lovers and artists. A boy-lover is someone who self-identifies as a man who loves boys. He considers it a sexual orientation. I don't personally like the word since it implies that there are people who don't love boys.
How do you get away with selling it? Surely nobody wants to stock this stuff.
My publications are legal. Some Swedish bookshops stopped selling Destroyer after it made the headlines, but Adlibris – the biggest bookshop – concluded that it was legal and went on selling it. I was denounced by children's advocates for allegedly "sexualising children", but I said that teenage boys aren’t children, but are in fact sexual – something I enhanced in my magazine, which was a tribute to the teenage boy. What is it anyways, to "sexualise children" and what’s bad about it? It's not a real argument.
A typical story on breakingboynews.com.
So you think sexualising children is OK?
I think I already answered that one. Before we decide if something is good or bad, we must decide on what it is we're discussing.
What other publications do you produce?
I now publish two shotacon artists with English translations. Shotacon manga are comics where boys have sex, either with each other or with older boys or men. What I like about shotacon manga is that it's an extreme fantasy. Not only are the characters young, which is illegal in reality; they also have unprotected sex and they have orgasms all the time and shoot what seems like litres of sperm, which is impossible in reality. I love it. I think fantasies should be as extreme as possible. We should let them flourish.
Some of the shotacon manga Karl publishes.
Is this all a fantasy to you or have you previously acted on it?
I prefer not to answer that. I did in some interviews, but I don't want to comment on my sex life publicly now. It’s interesting that people want to know that. I don’t think I would have got that question in Japan – they have another relation to fantasy than we do in the Christian West.
Yeah, they’re all about animated paedophilia.
Please don't bring the "P-word" into this. Actually, this isn’t a subject that interests me very much. It's quite far away from a discussion about my magazines.
How would you explain your magazines? A lot of people would say they appeal almost exclusively to paedophiles, which obviously isn’t a good thing.
I do my thing and I'm used to people disapproving. It's funny how it's totally okay, even the norm, for a teenage girl to pose in a sexy way on magazine covers, but as soon as it's a boy people get upset.
I think it's the homosexual eye that scares people; a man looking at a boy with a possible sexual interest provokes an instinct to protect society's most valuable. The ancient Greeks had sex with boys, but the boy had to stand up during the act; if he lied down, he would be degraded to the role of a woman. So the current will to protect boys from being treated as sexual objects has actually quite misogynistic roots.
Okay mate, whatever.
Follow Chloe on Twitter: @chloecrossx
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