Kenny Moore of Florida R.O.C. (and member of the board for Florida Coalition Against Censorship) recently attended a FCAC conference in Orlando, at which comic book artist Mike Diana talked about the mind-boggling sentence he received for the "offense" of drawing and publishing his BOILED ANGEL comics 'zine, including a $3,000 fine, three years of probation, community service, psychological evaluation and (particularly surreal) participation in an ethics-in-journalism class! Meanwhile, Mike's art and personal papers remain subject (by court order) to warrantless searches. Such is the state of the First Amendment in America, 1995. An interview with Mike, plus more on his case and a mini-gallery of some of his maniacally funny works can be found in ROC #16. Mike's publisher, Michael Hunt Publications can be written to at Box 226, Bensenville, IL 60106 or called at (708) 794-2723. Donations to help appeal can be sent to: The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, P.O. Box 693, N. Hampton MA 01601...
CURFEWS & CENSORSHIP
In related Sunshine State notes, civil libertarian attorney Luke Lirot's recent pointing to the connection between the "steady onslaught of regulatory and prohibitory legislation" aimed at curtailing free expression and the current spate of "curfews on all juveniles (regardless of their activities, demeanor, or interests)" in Florida's X-Citement magazine was right on the money. This connection is what prompted Rock Out Censorship, to join with the Orlando Alliance for Cultural Freedom and the Central Florida chapter of the ACLU to file a lawsuit against a curfew making 12 blocks of downtown Orlando off-limits to those 17 and younger after midnight (The lawsuit was rejected but as R.O.C.'s Kenny Moore told Rolling Stone, "We're still here.")
Lest you think curfew mania is a Florida phenomenon, think again. There are reports of similar legislation targeting America's youth in localities throughout the U.S. These ordinances are inevitably the handiwork of grand-standing city officials shamefully playing on such phoney current buzz words as "gang crime," STATISTICALLY, INACCURATELY associated with young people in today's sensationalistic media. (See "Bashing Youth: Media Myths About Teen Agers" by Mike Males of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) in ROC #16.) (Remember to keep R.O.C. posted on curfew activity in YOUR town, folks; we can even hopefully put you in touch with help from your area in fighting it, or at least offer suggestions at 740-946-2011.) At press time, across the river from R.O.C. HQ, the Pittsburgh city council is about to vote on a mandatory, city-wide curfew for persons 18 and younger,.effectively putting the skids to future "all-ages" shows at already-skittish clubs around the 'burgh.
From curfews to music and arts censorship, society's Control Freaks and Morality Thugs aim to grab hold of the citizenry's gonads --TIGHT! Meanwhile, the old saw about our hanging together or "surely we shall all hang separately" has never been truer... --R.P.
SPECTATOR in the SPOTLIGHT
In the anti-censorship press spotlight of the month is California's SPECTATOR. Absolutely NO ONE involved in free expression issues in any way should be without a subscription to this, California's original Sex Newsmagazine. The SPECTATOR keeps up with all the various anti-censorship skirmishes and players nationally (author Pat Califia's "Topping the News" column). Also much-appreciated are the regular on-the-mark perspectives by Carol Queen and David Steinberg, resident "sex-positive" columnists, for lack of a better term, though as resident porn hound Dave Patrick pointed out in his recent piece "Al Goldstein is God!," sex-positive doesn't necessarily translate as innocuous sweetness and light (and Queen and Steinberg prove just that). Publisher Kat Sunlove is a gutsy lady taking on campaigns effecting First Amendment rights -and winning! The SPECTATOR's lineage in fact goes back to the hell-raising 60's, founded (in 1978) as an offshoot to the classically 60's radical paper the (now-late) Berkeley BARB. An article in the latest (March 31-April 6) issue compares women's erotica (the popular director Candida Royalle's newest Revelations) to "good ol' male porn" (John Leslie's 1994 Dog Walker, with four stars from Rational Editor Wayne Winklebleck, though Royalle and even Mistress Kat herself are reported to think this was "one of the hottest videos to come along in years," as well!) As I said, you learn a lot from the SPECTATOR- $34 for a year's sub to PO Box 1984, Berkeley, California 94701.
The anti-censorship project is kept alive at both national and local levels by it's newsletters. Bobby Lilly's editing of the Californians Against Censorship Together newsletter, Marsh and Ballinger's Rock & Rap Confidential, Jello Biafra's No More Censorship newsletter and Zappa's Z-papers all greatly informed the direction of R.O.C. from our founding in late '89 onward. In the mail this time around we have CENSORSHIP NEWS No. 57 with news on the current Arts Defunding Sweeps and the poignant 1991 testimony of author E.L. Doctorow to a Congressional Committee (as relevant to decisions on funding for the arts today as it was then) and more. Published by the National Coalition Against Censorship (Executive Director- Leanne Katz), 275 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, (212) 807-6222, e-mail: email@example.com...
The ARTS CENSORSHIP PROJECT NEWSLETTER Spring 1995 issue carries news of the ACLU's expansion of its online offerings, to be called Constitution Hall, on America Online that will include a real-time chat room, the Free Speech Zone, and bulletin boards dedicated to a variety of civil liberties topics, including censorship. AOL users will be able to reach the ACLU Forum using keyword ACLU. Currently, the ACLU offers a Free Reading Room (gopher://aclu.org 6601) on the Internet, which contains censorship news and useful explanations of free speech issues. Write: ACLU Arts Censorship Project, 132 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036, (212) 944-9980, Ext. 704, 706. Project Director: Marjorie Heins...
We just got the latest newsletter of Parents for Rock & Rap, an association of over 700 folks fighting censorship of music around the country. This issue looks at the new bills criminalizing the sale of labeled recordings to minors, a piece on racism by Tom Morello, guitarist and lyricist for Rage Against The Machine (who also happens to be son of PFR&R founder/editor Mary Morello) and more. Write PFR&R, Box 53, Libertyville, IL 60048...
THE NEW FEMINISM
The old-line pro-censorship Feminist Establishment is having to take it on the chin these days, courtesy one Ms. Camille Paglia, the up-front pro-porn cultural historian and author of the ground-breaking tome SEXUAL PERSONAE, wherein Professor Paglia, with breath-taking historical sweep, slashes and burns the no-brainer myth that feminism equals sex-negative puritanism. Likewise, current ACLU president Nadine Strossen in her new book Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex and the Fight for Women's Rights sends the passe, puritanical pseudo-pheminists running for cover.
And now, hot off the presses, is a new book The New Victorians, A Young Woman's Challenge to the Old Feminist Order by Rene Denfeld, boldly declaring that the blame for young women's withdrawal in recent years from what was (in the 70's) known as "the Women's Movement" can be layed squarely at the feet of out of touch (and out of gas) feminist misleaders, like Gloria Steinem to NOW' s Patricia Ireland on down.
In the Women's movement's current various, obsessions (such as with the antipornography crusade which has "lead the movement toward a dangerous alliance with the religious right") Denifeld finds "a complete reversal of the movement's progress made since the 1970's. This decade's hypersensitive feminist - fearful, disillusioned, and adamantly anti-male - bears a strong resemblance to the dainty, sheltered, chaste Victorian lady of a century ago."
THE NEW VICTORIANS is a passionate rallying cry for young women to take back feminism. When Katie Roiphe's The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus (questioning some of the stale bromides, outright lies and "victim" ideology of current feminist leadership) was published in 1993, the Feminist Establishment squealed like stuck pigs. They hit back with charges that the young Ms. Roiphe was simply a dupe of "the Backlash" and worse. THE NEW VICTORIANS author Rene Denfeld can likewise expect such typically huffy denunciations from these forces. While Katie Rolfie seemed a bit of the shrinking violet when I saw her on TV, I'll lay money that Rene, a freelance journalist studying amateur boxing in Portland, Oregon, could handily kick ANY of her inevitable detractors' asses, in debate OR in the ring! We love you, Rene, and look for big things from you sister!....