Mar 7, 2012

Wednesday is Link Day! John Waters, GOP asshattery, double features (with porn!), and the First Amendment

My lovely, lusty, lovelies! I bring you links of joy and tidings of excellence in general!

First of all, I want to thank Jiz Lee for bringing it to my attention that one of my favorite John Waters quotes ever (which is saying a lot; that man is a great quote machine) now exists in FB-friendly meme graphic form! Please, share with your friends:

Secondly, the obscenity trial of Ira Isaacs was just dismissed due to a hung jury of 10 (guilty) to 2 (innocent). If you haven't been following this one, Isaacs is a small-time pornographer known for making... shall we say... controversial movies. Corpophilia, bestiality... Not exactly the kinds of things that get you accolades from the artistic community, or really any community. And though Isaacs is happy to be let off the hook (for now--the trial may be brought again), he's disappointed that the porn community isn't rallying around him in his time of need. "I should be a hero, not a pariah, in the industry," he stated to Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon. "I’m fighting for their empire, but they don’t realize it." He brings up an interesting point--when a pornographer stands trial for obscenity, it's rare for the community to come to their aid. Similarly, while Max Hardcore was on trial a few years ago, nobody testified against him, but the porn contingent didn't exactly show up to stand in solidarity, either. He was left to hang, and to spend over two years in La Tuna federal penitentiary. Lots of people, however, stood beside John Stagliano, whose "obscene" movies tended more toward milk play than Isaacs' poo porn or Hardcore's piss siphoning. I guess the question becomes less one of freedom of speech and its importance to the porn industry as one of levels--the general public doesn't put pornographers on a spectrum from "more" to "less" respectable. Porn is pretty much lumped into the "bad people" end of the larger scale of things. So when someone is brought up on charges for doing things that push the very furthest boundaries of the uncommon and looked-down-upon kinds of pornography, it might seem to behoove other pornographers to stay away from the whole thing to avoid being lumped in at that end of the spectrum. And it probably does, in many ways. But at the same time... freedom of speech is what the porn industry survives on. There may be lines in all of our minds that indicate where the acceptable limits of First Amendment protection stand, but for an industry that's already maligned as the dark corner where the freaks hang out, a little solidarity might be of greater service than careful selectivity. Interesting tidbit that helps my point: the people who stood up for Isaacs on the jury? Little old ladies in Christmas sweaters.

Thirdly, what the FUCK is going on in South Carolina? Thank the gods of reason that the Laurens County "purity pledge" has been knocked down at the state level as the piece of horse shit it clearly is, but let's reflect for a moment on how far afield from reality conservatives are going: not only is Rick Santorum--RICK SANTORUM, for crying out loud--a real contender for a Presidential nomination, but a county in South Carolina wanted to enforce a "purity pledge" that any GOP nominee would have to sign, stating that the candidate must: have "a compassionate and moral approach to Teen Pregnancy" (hm, you mean like supporting reproductive health rights? probably not); oppose abortion under any circumstance (didn't think so); practice faithfulness to one's spouse, who cannot be of the candidate's gender (ohhh, blatant bigotry! nice, GOP, very nice); abide by abstinence before marriage; and--the kicker--swear that they don't "look at pornography." I think, between these and the other 23 rules they were going to stick in there, this rules out every human being on the planet. Jackasses. "Purity pledge." They must be talking about "purity" as in "pure, unadulterated dedication to intolerant bullshit." What are conservatives trying to do? Create some kind of fantasy land where they can all walk around talking about how none of them ever fucks around on their spouses, slapping each other's asses about how great it is that they never have "gay" thoughts, and acting like they've never jerked off to Belladonna? What is the damn point of creating such an elaborate system of lies? I don't get it.

And lastly, dude. Check this out. Double feature of The Graduate and The Graduate XXX, with popcorn and wine, at my art show. April 4. It is going to be GREAT. Details at the link.

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