aliaras: (teal deer)
[personal profile] aliaras
I just learned today about this case going on in Washington, DC. To sum up: John "Buttman" Stagliano is accused of making some really freaky porn. Well, really, he's accused of shipping it across state lines, since this is federal court, but the point is that it's freaky -- milk enemas, squirting, watersports, and some scat play. If you want more info, the Wall Street Journal law blog has a nice summary of the case, and Salon goes more in depth and linky. Anyways, it's a First Amendment deal that goes into whether or not it's "obscene" and thus no longer speech.

The obscenity bit is really what I wanted to talk about. Obscenity in the US (Wikipedia) refers to stuff which is so gross, weird, and out there (and otherwise un-meritorious) that it's not considered speech, so therefore congress shall make whatever law they damn well please about it. Which...doesn't quite make sense to me. I am all for prohibitions on where you can do/present your obscene materials, and will slightly less enthusiastically support bans on minors having access to them (they can lie about their age, anyways). But bans on producing or distributing the material at all? The porn in the Stagliano case went from one private individual to another private individual for some unspecified amount of dollars. It wasn't out in any non-porny spaces, it wasn't going to minors, it was just going from one individual to another for the purpose of boners.

The Miller test which determines what's obscene doesn't say anything about boners being an acceptable purpose -- if anything, it says the opposite. Which again, doesn't make sense. Nobody's sexual tastes should be censored for being too weird, and nobody's porn should have to aspire to artistic merit if it's just wankfodder. And yes, that even applies to porn that I find very distasteful and wrong and downright distressing. That porn should be perfectly legal, just as any scathing essays I post on the internets describing how terrible it is are.

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July 2011

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