I’m going ahead with my retirement but I’m not going to disappear. I won’t be in any political party. I was getting tired of the low level of thought and the talking points and negative ads. It’s stultifying. I’m not going to miss that. I don’t fit in politics. I’m politically incorrect wherever I go. Universities are the best asylums for someone like me. Maybe I’ll go back and concentrate on pure research. Maybe it will lead to another controversial book.
Q: Is this a subject you might pursue?
A: I’ve thought there is a book here about correctional policies and the notion of moral panics.
Q: Do you see moral panic happening here?
A: I do. My situation is just a small part of a bigger moral panic about child porn. We’ve had this crackdown on child porn as an aftershock of exposure to child abuse. At the same time that we’re getting tough on child pornography, we’ve had this massive sexualization of childhood—images of children portrayed as sexual beings for commercial purposes. It’s horrible. What’s happening is a divided consciousness; on one side, society wants to be more punitive; on the other, [it’s] becoming much more open to treating small children as sexual entities. I think they’re related somehow. Maybe the sexualization of childhood we see drives people to be so ultra-protective. That’s something I’d like to explore.