Community Standards Bill Still Looms in Pennsylvania Legislature
The Mind of the Censor
When is someone going to write a treatise on the underlying psychology motivating the would-be censor'? F.M. Christensen starts to get at this question when he suggests (in his excellent 1991 study Pornography: The Other Side) that people promoting anti-pornography campaigns are in fact the victims of "irrational attitudes" and tragically mistaken beliefs about sex." Yet, the question still begs: what REALLY makes these characters TICK?
I couldn't help but ponder this question as I sat down to write (again) about H.B. 881, the so-called "Community Standards!" (i.e., censorship) legislation poised to be reintroduced to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania this Fall after failing to make it to the Full House in the last session (though it HAD -quite frighteningly- passed the State Judiciary Committee).
As I punched in this legislator's list of Articles of Probable Transgression included in his bill ("...any literature, including any book, magazine, pamphlet, newspaper, storypaper, bumper sticker, comic book or writing; any figure, visual representation, or image, including any drawing, photograph, picture, videotape or motion picture" as well as "any play, dance or other live exhibition performed before an audience" which a vaguely-defined "average person" would find as appealing 'to the prurient interest') I got an impression of this bill's author as one truly pathetic bastard in the middle of the night somewhere drawing up this list of various favored means of expression utilized by all those he hopes to one day soon "get." Who else could have come up with this nasty, spiteful, little list aimed at (no doubt, in his mind) artists, musicians, the young, women, gays and other "Transgressors" who (upon this legislation's passage) would stand to be deemed guilty of a felony of a third degree, all because of a chosen cultural expression which some backward citizen somewhere in the state might find "objectionable?"
As Emotional Plague-ridden as framers of legislation like 881 obviously are, it's OUR forces which unfortunately must remain on the defensive, fighting the efforts of these creeps to re-mold American society in their own grotesque, sexually-deadened images. It's important that we start thinking how to better fortify our OWN forces to such a degree that we and our fellow citizens can begin simply laughing these characters right off the set!
In the meantime, however, we've got to nip H.B. 881 or whatever it is re-named in the upcoming session- in the bud. During the bill's last time in the Judiciary Committee, R.O.C. had a petition going around the state which we will be circulating again in the weeks ahead. We're happy to report people representing dance clubs, book stores, and other targeted establishments around the state have come forward to support our efforts via circulating petitions and (in the case of Fantasy's nightclub in Pittsburgh) contributing funds to R.O.C. to help with printing, travel and postage bills ran up in fighting this thing. (As Bill Margold says, "freedom isn't free!") Our pals Eric and Ron at The GO-GO! magazine in Pittsburgh have also been taking an active role in fighting 881 and this lively adult entertainment mag (available free around the 'burgh) is a good place to keep abreast of the bill's status between issues of THE ROC. Rock Out Censorship will continue to act as a clearing house for info on what's being done to mobilize against this legislation at P.O. Box 147, Jewett, OH 43986 or at (740) 946-2011. Subscriptions to The (monthly) GO-GO! can be ordered for $20 from P.O. Box 524, McKees Rocks, PA 15136...
I don't know where the Republican Party would be without "The Children".., the centerpiece of the Republican platform to turn this country around. As Governor John Ashcroft of Missouri said, if our children are not instilled with a moral purpose, "they will turn to the selfish gratification of drugs, promiscuity, rioting...and even mindless TV"
I closed my eyes for a moment to imagine such gluttony and realized that the hedonists passing across my mind's eye were not tiny tots or even petulant teenagers, but great big grown-ups. When it comes to drugs, sex, violence, and even passing out cold in front of the television set, you can't beat the over-eighteen crowd.
"The Children" doesn't mean the little ones who have to be in bed by nine -it means us, the big guys. In the GOP family values tent, George and Babs are Mom and Dad, the Reagans are doting grandparents, and we voters are the babies. William Bennett, former drug czar and Education Secretary, spelled this out Wednesday night. "There are things children simply should not see," he said. But Bennett's not talking about your baby niece, he's talking about you, adult citizen.
from Susie Bright@ Sexwise
Cleis Press, Pittsburgh, PA
(Just out - & recommended!)
The following comes from Batteries Not Included Vol. 11 , issue #8, available for $3 per issue from Richard Freeman, 130 W. Limesione St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Recommended!
BNI's Tammy Cole notes that "it must be getting close to election time again because all over this great land of ours politicos are trying to get at the adult entertainment business as well as Hollywood in general."
The latest episode as of June took place in Atlanta, GA where "Chief of Police Beverly Harvard removed between fifty and seventy-five police officers from their regular assignments and 'raided' all porn bookstores and seized all vibrators, dildos and inflatable dolls from all of them under a provision of Georgia law that classifies these as obscene as being 'anything that stimulates the genitals.' One reporter assigned to cover these pursuits of justice had the audacity to ask while his cameraman was filming the overflowing shelves of video tapes, magazines and books, 'Why aren't you confiscating these obviously obscene materials?' If he received an answer it was not broadcast.
The owners and clerks in the Atlanta bookstores appeared in court and paid their $500 fine and went back to work"
So far, BNI hasn't gotten in trouble with the law...we have not been chased by the police of several countries (what are we doing wrong,?). Pan, the publisher and far flung correspondent for Asia File, has had his share (and my share, I should think) of police intrusions. Eventually, after much time and money, the judges throw the cases out of court, but "eventually," in legalese, is a synonym for "money."
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police Vice Squad is hard at work making London safe for Democracy by burning books, while customs does its part by keeping EIDOS out of the country. Hurry Hurry, read all about in in Caress. Send $25 for five issues to The Write Solution, Flat One, 11 Holland Rd., Hove, BN3 1JF, England.
It's difficult for me, living in Ohio, where the temperature is searching for one hundred degrees and is just about to find it, to think about leather. But in Washington, where, apparently, it must be as cool all year as it is to wear leather, there are seemingly thousands of events for leather people. All of this is well covered in Leather Pride. (If there were a newsletter like this for SW Ohio, it would be called Polyester Pride.)
We are also alerted in Leather Pride that Iran's parliament has just voted to ban the sale of seedless watermelon...which is deemed corrupting by Moslem clerics (I think they just want to spit seeds at each other, like I did during my first childhood). Apparently, seedless watermelon promotes homosexuality and asexuality.
The things one learns.
One assumes that if there is leather being worn in Iran, it comes from camels. Or sheep.
Leather Pride comes out monthly and can be ordered from 1202 E. Pike St., Suite 707, Seattle, WA 98122.