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Monday - November 03, 2003
Before launching into what is destined to be a tirade, let me get a couple things out of the way:
1. I'm going to be at a wedding this weekend. I know I've been hard to reach lately, and I'm sorry, but this is likely my last outing until the hardcore holiday season.
2. I don't care if you think the holiday décor is hokey, I like it, so stop teasing me.
3. There is a fledgling PSO forum/information site that has come to my attention: http://psoboards.com. I haven't had time to check it out thoroughly, but I wanted to make other sluts aware of it.
The ranting will now begin.
As many of you may or may not know, the week of October 25th, 2003 was the first ever United States Protection From Pornography Week.
DarlingBri has written a very eloquent journal entry on the subject, and has encouraged all members of her femme pro-sex erotic site Satin Slippers to engage in civil disobedience by purchasing porn and having a wank. There is also a wonderful Yale Herald article you might enjoy which was written back in September to address the Extreme Associates federal lawsuit.
While the power of the US consumer (and thus, the US dollar) is a mighty weapon, it is becoming obvious that Herr Ashcroft (or, Citizen Ashcroft to his "friends") and the rest of this despicable administration are working as hard as they can to make America into their own image, regardless of what the existing America wants or pays for.
And that image is a frighteningly narrow one. It is an image that promotes pro-American propaganda with an almost Hitler Youth zeal (Don't think so? "America is strong, and therefore right and the rest of the world is either 'with us or against us'" is frighteningly familiar to some.) It is an image of corporate greed where CEOs that embezzle and defraud the public get high-publicity handcuff portraits, but serve and pay little restitution while teenagers caught shoplifting less than $100 worth of CDs get hard jail time. It is an image where Christianity is given more air time than Constitutional rights. It is an image where a hardcore coke addict and military deserter gets to lecture the American public about how marijuana funds terrorism, while knowing full well that cocaine and his family business - OIL - funds more global terrorism than any other industries. It is an image where "no child left behind" means that children will be shuffled into barely-funded programs, or expelled to pad school test scores. It is an image where choices are limited to what lobbyists deem acceptable. In short, it is an image where aging baby boomers insist that the world was once a simpler place and that they can make it so again, despite the fact that the world has evolved and become more complex and they have not. And while they insist on trying to shove our well-rounded world peg into their square holes, we are faced with the options of either burying our heads in the sand, or dealing with it.
The porn industry takes in an estimated $10 billion per year and while that number might be somewhat inflated, it is obvious that people WANT to spend money on their sexual fetishes and fantasies. Instead of just being content to collect the taxes this industry generates, however, Ashcroft and HAWK Company are proposing to limit our rights as individuals to define our own definitions of taste and pleasure.
Why? Because they know we live in a republic and not a democracy and as long as they have the numbers in office and the will to do so, there is very little we can do to stop them short of expensive lawsuits and controversial protests.
Civil disobedience and putting our money where our mouths are isn't going to cut it this time. These people like to use the world "Crusade" and are being funded by organizations that want school prayer, outlawed abortions, and ten commandment decorations in our courthouses (despite the fact that only three of said ten have any applicability in law).
Picking on porn is about as easy a fight as picking on pot smokers. As Americans we mostly want to shy away from the light when it comes to our sexuality. They know they can prey on our inherent sense of privacy. They know they can hold up our naughty pleasures in the light of day and present them as immoral and ugly given the right audience. They know that secretly we WANT what is immoral and ugly, and therefore we cannot win. And the reason they know is because they are no different from the rest of us. No matter how they protest too much, both Bush and Ashcroft have their own dark pleasures, as certainly as every other human that walks this earth. And the more the self-hating egomaniacs push, the more clear that becomes. As certainly as priests molest children and right-wing maniac talk show hosts abuse pills, anti-sex crusaders have demons. Their hatred for those of us that have intellectualized our taboo appetites and bucked the cycle of self-loathing knows no bounds.
Protecting children from exploitation is a worthy and much-needed goal, but it is one that should not be pursued blindly. It is a complex issue that should not be reduced to simplicity that steamrolls the rights of consenting adults. And all the flawed Amber Alert laws in the world aren't going to change the fact that the only thing that is really going to protect our nation's children is AMERICANS BECOMING BETTER PARENTS. Setting examples, opening dialogs, keeping tabs, taking the time to actually be a parent instead of falling back on the rest of the nation to babysit. The best way to "protect" children from porn is by not making it interesting. By talking to children about sex and making them comfortable with their own bodies, with nudity, by explaining to them that two individuals of whatever persuasion having whatever kind of exchange they prefer is absolutely natural so long as both are consenting and of legal age. You protect kids from porn by saying the world is scary and sometimes people escape from their fears and frustrations in different ways. By explaining that every mind is a complex universe in itself and we will never comprehend its mysteries and quirks and should not expect to. And, by making it so that they are comfortable asking questions and bucking authority figures that try to abuse them.
Those of you that enjoy reading my journal, or that work in the sex industry, or who enjoy having the freedom to decide for yourself what you want to wank to, please find the time to write a letter to your federal, congressional, state, and local representatives (see below how you can write them all while only drafting a single letter). Tell them you want more emphasis placed on preserving our actual freedoms than touting false ones. Tell them you want John Ashcroft and his crusade against consenting adults stopped. Tell them you want to express yourself and engage in legal, consensual sex-positive activities without looking over your shoulder. Tell them you want to see corporate billionaire criminals brought to justice before law-abiding pornography dealers get dragged into court. Tell them that you are shocked that the day has arrived that you, a regular American citizen, has to take up pen and paper to request the protection of rights that are guaranteed to you as a member of the human race.
Or, very simply and calmly, tell them that you disagree with the direction that John Ashcroft is taking in regards to pornography, that you feel it infringes upon the Constitutional rights of American citizens and provides no logical reasoning that it will actually protect communities, marriages, families, and children.
Thank you in advance for any action you take.
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