Reason.tv: Should Obscenity Be Illegal? Lady Chatterley, Milk Nymphos, & John Stagliano

Porn producer John Stagliano faces up to 32 years in federal prison for distributing the adult films Milk Nymphos and Storm Squirters 2: Target Practice and a promo reel for similar material via his website for Evil Angel Productions (adults only). (Full disclosure: Stagliano is a donor to Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.)

As Stagliano gears up for a court case due to begin this July in Washington, D.C., it's worth asking whether obscenity prosecutions make any sense, especially when dealing with material created and consumed by consenting adults in private. The definition of obscenity is notoriously slippery—works as varied (and sexually inoffensive) as Lady Chatterley's Lover, Ulysses, and I Am Curious Yellow have all been deemed obscene—and its prosecution is famously subjective and selective. Material is considered obscene only when a jury finds it to be so; the same book, movie, or song can be illegal in one region and totally fine in another. As Stagliano, whose website followed all legal restrictions imposed by federal mandates, notes, "I didn't know I was breaking the law."

Despite the liberating technology of the Internet, free expression remains under attack by religous zealots who threaten death to blasphemers and government regulators who threaten jail time. The prosecution of porn is "another area where the government thinks it should be able to run our lives," says Stagliano. "They could easily extend that from looking at porn to consuming fast food" and other activities.

"Should Obscenity be Illegal?" is produced by Dan Hayes and Nick Gillespie, who also hosts. Approximately 6.15 minutes.

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For a 2008 Reason.tv interview about the case, go here.

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  • .||

    Milk Nymphos and Storm Squirters 2: Target Practice

    "Obscenity is notoriously slippery." Thanks, Nick.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    If Buttman goes to jail, I start shooting people.

  • Jake Witmer||

    If you're planning on taking George Carlin's advice, you might not want to talk about it online, leaving a forensic trail. Your posts, traceable to your whereabouts in time, maybe your real name, your computer, your IP, etc...

  • Jordan Elliot||

    "...like me, you may have never purchased a porn dvd in your life."

    Went from VHS directly to digital huh?

  • Jorgen||

    that line made me laugh too.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stagliano should be prosecuted for not filming the Storm Squirters series in widescreen.

  • Abdul||

    Despite the liberating technology of the Internet, free expression remains under attack by religous zealots who threaten death to blasphemers and government regulators who threaten jail time.

    To be fair, it's not just the religious zealots. See, e.g., "Any scholars that write press releases and propaganda for pornographers disguised as law review articles, and rely on pornographers for legal analysis are unlikely to be taken very seriously by anyone with much intelligence, and indeed it doesn’t appear that they are. "

    As i remember, when California facilitated adoption for gay couples, it was gay parents who started lobbying for sex shops to be zoned out of their neighborhoods. [Too lazy to google link for this one].

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "feministlawprofs"?

    Well, that explains a few things.

  • Ska||

    Yet leaves several questions unanswered.

  • Boor||

    Yeah, like "Are they hot?"

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Darn my biases! I just assumed a feminist law professor must have a terrible personality.

  • d||

    I assumed they wouldn't be hot either.

  • parse||

    Irony abounds. Less than a year after posting the message you linked to, the Feminist Law Professors blog had to move from servers in South Carolina to avoid running afoul of a new state law that criminalized "material containing words, language, or actions of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious, or indecent nature." The link to their website annoucing the move is posted below.

  • Hazel||

    Well, of course the feminists hate it. It's "demeaning"!

    Demeaning: 1) Any depiction of women that men enjoy viewing. 2) Any activity involving women that men enjoy participating in.

    rofl.

  • ||

    The name "hazel" is taken.

  • TP||

    The standard of what offends 'the common conscience of the community' conflicts, in my judgment, with the command of the First Amendment. Any test that turns on what is offensive to the community's standards is too loose, too capricious, too destructive of freedom of expression to be squared with the First Amendment.

    Under the test [of community standards], juries can censor, supress and punish what they don't like...If the First Amendment is to mean anything...it must allow protests against the moral code that the standard of the day sets for the community.

    - Justice William O. Douglas

  • Jake||

    "Lenny Bruce got arrested for saying cocksucker in the Sixties, but Meryl Streep got an Academy Award for saying it in the Eighties." -- Paul Krassner

  • fish||

    Now if we just get her an award for doing that! Now that's your fetish porn!

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    NOT BACK DOOR SLUTS 9!

  • Xeones||

    First they came for the milk nymphos...

  • BeavisAndButthead||

    I think it was "on the milk nymphos" ...

  • Ted S.||

    Stagliano should have worked for the SEC instead.

  • fish||

    Yeah, How do you get a job with them. I like to think that I'm fully qualified for the difficult job of financial regulator.

  • Jake||

    I'm no longer a teenager, but I'd bet that I can still qualify multiple times per day...

  • fish||

    In a tough economy it's important to maintain your skills!

  • ¢||

    free expression remains under attack by religous zealots who threaten death to blasphemers

    That's a slightly unkind characterization of "net neutrality" crusaders, Mr. Jacket.

  • Jerry Springer||

    "taken as a whole"

    That's why I always end my porno with a morally-uplifting sermon.

  • ||

    Should Obscenity Be Illegal?

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • SugarFree's wife||

    Are they trying to ban you again, my boy scout?

  • ||

    Yes. And the parking lot at work smelled like rotting maple syrup this morning.

    Bastards.

  • ||

    consumed by consenting adults in private

    So what if its in private? Don't you know that watching porn increases a persons healthcare expenses! Thats ALL of OUR business, and I for one refuse to pay for corrective surgery for "spankers' wrist" for a bunch of people who can't masturbate to something decent like an Obama SotU speech.

  • Paul Krugman||

    Word

  • Obama||

    You lie!

  • ||

    Eh, good enough....*fap* *fap* *fap*

  • Obama||

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Wylie.

    And you are too big to fail.

  • ||

    Thanks, I've been working on my beer gut. Hang on, there's a loud knocking at my door...

    *HANDS UP, DROP THE BEER AND THE COFFIN NAIL! DEPARTMENT OF HHS!*

  • submandave||

    I'd aplaud, but I only have one hand free.

    (no zen jokes, please)

  • ||

    There ought to be difference between the public sphere and the private one. There should be absolutely no controls on what people watch in their own homes. In public, municipalities can and should be able to zone for sex shops just like they zone for any other business. Zoning is not an issue. There is always one municipality in every metro area that is willing to allow virtually anything. But it ought to be a local decision and not even a state let alone a federal one.

    And as far as the internet, since it is consumed privately, no government ought to be controlling any of its content.

  • ||

    I got a personal message from Canada, just for you John.

    WOOOOOOOOO!

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, the very fact that you can think of a way to use zoning legislation to limit expression is a very neat proof of the argument that property rights and human rights are one and the same.

    I realize that was not your intention, but still - Bravo.

    "Hey guys, we don't have to worry about controlling expression - we'll just control how people use their property instead! Problem solved!"

  • ||

    That is just nuts. There is nothing wrong with municipalities planning. And Democratically elected government passing zoning laws to increase collective property values.

    If you start a strip club in your house, you are fucking your neighbors. No one wants to live next door to a strip club. You are basically stealing from them. If you watch porn on your computer, you are doing nothing of the sort. That is the difference.

    When your use of your property affects the value of my property, you are effectively stealing from me. And the government has a right to zone and set rules up front so everyone knows how their property and the property around them can be used and can value it accordingly. If I know upfront that there is a risk that my neighbors can turn their homes into strip clubs, I will pay less for my house and you are not stealing from me anymore. In the same way, if I know that both mine and my neighbor's uses are limited, I can price the property higher or lower depending on how I value peace and quiet or the ability to run a strip club.

    Zoning laws are not an affront to liberty.

  • ||

    How is starting a strip club in your house "fucking your neighbors"? As long as you aren't being loud, it isn't any of their business what you do on your property. My discomfort at you having a strip club in your house next door does not equal you "stealing" from me. That is ridiculous.

    There is no right to keep the value of your property at the same level. Whenever the value of something changes, there is always some action that causes it. If the value of your stock goes down, can you collect damages from all the people behind the market forces that made the value go down? No, you can't, because the value of something going down is not equivalent to it being damaged or stolen. Value is not a physical part of your property, it is dependent on factors determined by everyone else in the market.

  • submandave||

    No, there is no guarantee of steady or rising property value, but a wise municipality will use zoning to try and better secure property values in order to encourage community investment. Recognizing that the general public perceives the proximity of these sorts of businesses as detrimental to value, the municipality acts in both its citizens' and its own interest by zoning them outside of residential neighborhoods.

  • Nicholas Adams||

    "Hey guys, we don't have to worry about controlling expression - we'll just control how people use their property instead! Problem solved!

    We'll see how you feel when somebody starts a meth lab in the house next door to yours and an all night dance club in the house that used to be your other neighbor.

  • submandave||

    "Limiting expression" my ass. Porno is a commercial enterprise, like any other. Is operating a concrete factory a form of "expression?" Neither is runing a smut shop or massage parlor.

  • Barbera||

    Should Obscenity Be Illegal?

    Is that even a question? Porn is offensive and degrading to all womyn. It should absolutely not be allowed, it promotes rape and violence against womyn. Pornography has a variety of harmful effects, such as encouragement of human trafficking, desensitization, pedophilia, dehumanization, exploitation, sexual dysfunction, and inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships. Pornography contributes to the patriarchy-centered objectification of womyn and thus to sexism, pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of womyn, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment. All pornography is a violation of all womyns civil rights, the personal is political. A community has the right to define what the limits of free speech are.

  • ||

    I blame Suger Free for this. He keeps going over to Feministing and now one of them has followed him back.

    And don't write about women if you can't spell the damned word.

  • .||

    It's a spoof, you fool.

  • ||

    so was mine.

  • .||

    So was mine.

  • Federal Censor||

    Prove it.

  • That's why I like it||

    Should Obscenity Be Illegal?

    Is that even a question? Porn is offensive and degrading to all myn. It should absolutely not be allowed, it promotes rape and violence against myn. Pornography has a variety of harmful effects, such as encouragement of human trafficking, desensitization, pedophilia, dehumanization, exploitation, sexual dysfunction, and inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships. Pornography contributes to the matriarchy-centered objectification of myn and thus to sexism, pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of myn, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment. All pornography is a violation of all myns civil rights, the personal is political. A community has the right to define what the limits of free speech are.

  • ||

    This is a spoof. Third wave feminists are so touchy about being called what they are (humorless prudes) that they bend over backwards to accept all the porn they can stand. At the very least, a modern feminist would carve out exceptions for FF and MM porn.

  • ||

    Last month National Review for some reason took away Kathryn Jean Lopez's adult supervision and she promptly went on a porn bender. She published an "anonymous" letter from some women who was convinced that her husband ran off with another woman because he was "addicted to porn". You could have posted it on The Onion and no one would have noticed.

    The porn addiction people kill me. If you don't suffer withdrawals, you are not addicted, you just like it.

  • ||

    That was an inevitable consequence of both defining addiction down and calling it a disease.

    If something is a disease, how could possibly be your fault?

  • ||

    Exactly. And they don't even follow a consistent logic on it being an addiction. If you are a drunk or a drug addict, you don't leave your wife to go be with another woman. You leave her to go drink or do drugs. Same with porn. If you were truly addicted to porn, you would leave your family and go off into some fantasy world watching porn all day. You wouldn't leave your wife for another woman.

  • Forrest||

    It could be that the other woman is more tolerant of his greasy little secret.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Ha ha ha, that barely even makes sense if you think about it for more than a few seconds.

  • Joe C||

    I believe Mitch Hedberg pointed this out when he said that alcoholism is the only disease you can be yelled at for having. If "Dammit, Otto, you're an alcoholic" is okay, then why isn't "Dammit, Otto, you have Lupus!"

  • Joe C||

    ?

  • Forrest||

    If you don't suffer withdrawals, you are not addicted, you just like it.

    That means a smoker who hasn't missed his hourly cigarette for 30 years isn't addicted - he's never suffered a withdrawal!

  • ||

    Smokers do suffer withdrawal when they quit you idiot. Nicotine is very physically addictive.

  • Forrest||

    But if they don't quit, they don't suffer withdrawal. So if we go by your test for addiction, they're not addicted unless they quit.

  • ||

    No. You are not addicted if you can quit without withdrawal. Since anyone can stop watching porn without such effects, it is not addictive. Since anyone who quits smoking has such effects, smoking, unlike porn, is addictive.

    Are you slow?

  • Dick Joker||

    "...I once knew a girl who smoked for eight years and every day of it she swore she could quit effortlessly and any time she wanted. Addicts tend to be the last to know they're addicts.

    She didn't realize she was hooked until she tried to quit.

    So that's what we did. When I asked for volunteers I told them they would have one task: to try to quit porn. Then we'd see how long they could go without going in search of photographic nakedness, either on the web or on their hard drives or at the back of their closet shelf.

    If there is a better way to gauge addiction, I don't know of it.

    We paused after two weeks and calculated the results. How do you think we did? How would you have done?"

    "....Of 94 subjects, 52 (or 55%) failed to go just one week without porn."

  • ||

    Most Americans probably couldn't go a week without eating meat if it was available. That doesn't mean they're addicted to meat.

    Addiction presupposes that the activity in question is harmful AND that there is a real physiological response when the activity is abstained from. Many of the situations termed "addiction" (sexual, gambling, etc) are more properly termed obsessions, that is, when the subject has strong psychological desires to resume the activity whenever it is abstained from.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    So what was the incentive supposed to be for quitting porn? Like Tulpa says, there seems to be a legitimate distinction, however subtle, between an obsession and an addiction.

  • Dick Joker||

    "....
    Also, part of the premise of porn addiction - or any addiction - is that indulgence only makes the need grow. A person may be using porn to help him masturbate but porn also makes him want to masturbate and the desire to masturbate makes him want porn. It's a cyclical mechanism that runs and grows on plentiful boobs and testosterone (interestingly, the internet itself can be descrbed in the same way).

    Or, think of it this way. Even in a country where food was scarce, you'd think something had gone wrong if you saw people making billions selling pictures of food. Clicking on naked Luba won't let you pork her. The real woman is likely on a different continent and you're only porking yourself.
    ...."

    "....
    There's a distinct difference between simply enjoying a thing versus having a compulsion to do it. It's "want" versus "need." I like wearing jeans, for instance. I would wear them every day if allowed. But when my workplace banned them and I went three straight years without wearing a single pair, the lack of jeans didn't cause me anxiety. I didn't sit there at my desk and fidget and have to constantly turn my mind away from my jeanlessness. I didn't have to constantly stop myself from reaching for them in my closet.

    Compare that to John, who had to be virtually restrained in a straightjacket when he tried to quit smoking. Or compare that to the guy who loses $20,000 at the blackjack table and has to sell his children on the Thai sex market to pay off gambling debts. That's addiction. When you come back and do something again and again because your brain has gotten hooked into thinking you have to, everything else be damned.

    Or, to put it the way the American Heritage Medical Dictionary does, an addiction is a "Habitual psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or practice beyond one's voluntary control." It goes beyond simply losing the enjoyment.

    Note: I assume the writers of that volume figured we wouldn't be so moronic as to think "air" and "food" are included in that definition. You'll fall over dead without them."

  • ||

    I couldn't go a week without drinking a cup of coffee unless I had one hell of a good reason. And no, participating in some douche study to prove I could is not a good reason. Am I addicted? If I am, does the term really mean anything?

  • Dick Joker||

    Wow. Apparently I'm surrounded by addicts.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    If the thought of being surrounded by "addicts" is surprising to you, I don't know what to tell you. I guess the key question is, "what kind of addict(s)?"

  • ||

    Appetizing food makes me hungry which makes me want to eat appetizing food which makes me hungry. OH NOES I M ADDICTED!!!!!111

  • William J.||

    You don't suffer withdrawals?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The porn addiction people kill me. If you don't suffer withdrawals, you are not addicted, you just like it.


    There is no biological mechanism for such an addiction, unlike cocaine, heroin, or whiskey.

  • Zeb||

    What is "womyn" and why should I be concerned about degrading it?

  • ||

    A good share of these porn companies are OWNED by women.

  • Jim||

    Did he make Lord of the Asses 13?

  • Jim||

    Or was it Dirtpipe Milkshakes?

  • Fred||

    Yummy!

  • Colin||

    A better link to the Politico story: http://www.politico.com/blogs/.....ml?showall

    What's interesting is that it appears they went after him not because he filmed pornography, but because he filmed fetish pornography.

    Once again it shows that the federal government can prosecute anyone. All they need is a particular desire.

  • MNG||

    What kind of a world do we live in where this guy faces 32 years in prison and Michael Bay is allowed to walk our streets?

  • ||

    A pretty sick one.

  • MNG||

    Don't they understand: he will film again.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    And he will make millions of dollars from stupid rubes. Apparently MSG, you need to get a bunch of hired guns and at least threaten death on those who see his movies for they are the real enemies. Ends justify the means.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Bravo, MNG. Bravo.

  • Colin||

    Great Nico song at the end of that video!

  • Warty||

    How do you know you're not transgender?

    Also: the musical equivalent of Milk Nymphos.

  • ||

    Don't Date A Feminist, Episode 27

    I identify as femme, but not high femme, more like kinda butch femme. I have a lot of testosterone which is why I have a deep voice and I grow a lot of facial hair, which I think is partially ethnic/racial, but also because I have a lot of testosterone. It is something I have only recently come to terms with, and sometimes I grow out my facial hair and I enjoy playing with it, but just like my leg hair, I get rid of it, generally if I have a hot date, relying ultimately on what my perceived/privileged gender is. I am also generally drawn to women with more testosterone and men with less, at least sexually.
  • ||

    Wow.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    ^What he said.

  • WTF||

    I wasn't really thinking "wow" so much as "urk," as in that little hitching, gagging sound you make when you puke in your mouth a little.

  • Warty||

    You left out the best part:

    And being a person of color and a big girl I have never felt like I lived up to white standards of beauty, and after working to shed off the pain of internalized racism and fat hate, I came to a place where I had to accept who I am for who I am. Being femme almost helped me come to terms with being beautiful on my own terms since I knew I was always living outside of societies dictates of normative beauty for women.

    By the way, when did "person of color" become the correct term? Can we start calling POCs "coloreds" again?

  • ||

    I did that to Tony once. He trotted out the "people of color" phrase. In my response I said "colored people (your term not mine)". He went bat shit insane.

  • T||

    He went bat shit insane.

    How could you tell?

  • fish||

    ALL CAPS!

  • Warty||

    My grandma still calls black people colored. And when we're out in public and see a nice looking, clean-cut young black man, she'll point at him and loudly announce to me that there's a handsome colored over there. Oh, grandma.

  • Coffee of cup||

    Yo.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    My grandma still calls black people colored. And when we're out in public and see a nice looking, clean-cut young black man, she'll point at him and loudly announce to me that there's a handsome colored over there. Oh, grandma.

    Ha ha, that's just awesome. So old-school.

  • Ernie the Bear||

    My dear, sweet old Granny, who never had an ounce of malice in her, referred to anyone who was even vaguely-sort-of-Asian-looking as a "Chiney-man".

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Ha ha. I tend to give people born a few generations ago a pass on that sort of thing. It just seems quaint rather than derogatory.

  • Warty||

    My grandma once recited some old poem about chinky-chinky chinamen and pelicans while we were walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, surrounded by Asians. She actually got a little embarrassed when she realized what she had said, which amazed me. My grandma is awesome.

  • Thomas O.||

    Reminds me of an old Bloom County comic involving Steve Dallas and his mother.

    Steve: Everybody just calm down. Let's agree to use the the New-Age term "People of Color."
    Mom: People of Color.
    Steve: People of Color.
    Mom: Colored people.
    Steve: NO!!

  • ||

    ...and after working to shed off the pain of internalized racism and fat hate,

    Why not shed off the pounds instead?

  • ||

    If Feministing were to suddenly and unexpectedly go offline today, how many years worth of material do you have stored up with which to gall us?

  • ||

    An interesting case of folks having way too much time on their hands.

  • Reformed Republican||

    Cisgendered? It is called normal, people.

  • ||

    "Normal" is now the ultimate dirty word.

  • Warty||

    I benefit from cis-privilege but I have also had people be shocked and surprised to find out that I am more "tomboyish," like I hid it from them and sprung it on them (from behind, HAR HAR), but you know what I mean!

    No. No we don't.

  • ||

    I'm glad I don't.

  • Jordan Elliot||

    I'm offended by her rape joke.

  • Warty||

    His cisprivilege blinds her to the hurt his jokes cause rape victims. She should be ashamed of himself.

  • ||

    Gillespie looks like he just swallowed a milk enema in the video freeze frame. I hope the Jacket has Scotchgard!

  • ||

    Storm Squirters 2; didnt it win a Golden (G)lobe or a Palm?

  • ||

    Not that anyone cares what I think, but I have to say that the debate over obscenity bothers me in the same way that the debate over "medical marijuana" bothers me. The tack taken by those who are defending liberty is always one of apologetics (don't know if that's an appropriate use of the word, but you know what I mean) and the compulsion to justify freedom on utilitarian grounds, ie. (and I don't know if that's right either) "Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol." or "Marijuana is non-addictive." or "No link has been shown between porn and sex crime." and so on, blah, blah, blah.

    It is not those of us who believe in liberty who need to defend ourselves or to justify ourselves. It is those who presume that they have the right dictate what others ingest or read or watch or whatever. There are those who believe in liberty and those who do not and all debates should be framed in this way. We don't need to justify ourselves with respect to not feeling a compulsion to tell others how to live. It is those who presume to have that right who need to justify themselves.

  • Comrade Zero||

    Is it apologetics or simply combating the negative stereotypes that are so deeply ingrained in our culture? To say, for example, that you're into BDSM to a vanilla person is to say that you are a child-molesting, axe murdering satan worshiper. That's what people have been indoctrinated to think. Same with marijuana. No one really knows the positives, they just think of Cheech and Chong (at best) and dismiss the whole subject as something the government "should be doing something about".

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    I'm with you 'Kuff but the apologetic route is taken in a (vain) attempt to logically convince others that censorship and prohibition are bullshit. Unfortunately, some people read books about angry space gods and take it to heart at their convenience while ignoring contradictory passages. Resultantly, they see some activities pursued by consenting adults as immoral and practically equivalent to stealing from and murdering people. The apologetic arguments are used simply because some assholes don't believe you have a right to do what you want with your own body. Now thanks to healthcare, THEY have a "logical" argument to care how you live. What a bunch of fuckers.

  • BeavisAndButthead||

    Philosophically you may be right, but I've tried the alternative response to these objections. "So what?" may be technically correct, but it didn't really get me anywhere.

  • ||

    I notice nobody is addressing the topics of whether kiddie porn and snuff videos should be legal...

  • Jordan Elliot||

    Did you actually watch the video or is the brain damage becoming worse?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Because filming two adults (the woman being relatively well paid considering her job requires little conventional education) have disgusting yet sensual anal sex is the equivalent of filming children get raped or a person being murdered. Maybe nobody addressed the legality of your favorite videos (snuff and kiddie porn) since they are clear violations of inidividual rightsthat have nothing to do with consenting adults. Sweet Christ, go suck a bag of dicks you toolbag.

  • Dick Joker||

    Even if it's fake snuff porn?

    Even if it's just line drawings of children being raped in a purely fictional setting by other line drawings?

    Who needs to suck a bag of dicks now, faggot?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Why, you do "Dick Joker".

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    "Even if it's fake snuff porn?"

    Like most rated R movies showing people getting brutally murdered? Who gives a shit?

    "Even if it's just line drawings of children being raped in a purely fictional setting by other line drawings?"

    Honestly, I don't give a shit about this. If people act on their fantasies generated by fake kiddie porn, it is no different than someone acting on something horrible they read in a novel. Hell, most Japanese cartoons and manga can be construed as kiddie porn since the characters having sex are usually under 18 even though they have adult dimensions. Restricting "fake kiddie porn" is not going to prevent some black market from springing up full of aspiring pedophiles. I'd rather have them drawing horrible shit behind closed doors than actually doing any horrible shit. Point is, if you restrict this, you have to restrict violent video games, movies, etc. etc.

    "Who needs to suck a bag of dicks now, faggot?"

    No need to resort to such crude platitudes. Just because I had sex with your hermaphrodite mom doesn't mean you need to be pissy like the cum filled herpes ridden cunt flavored colostomy bag you are. Tell your mom the condom broke.

  • WTF||

    the cum filled herpes ridden cunt flavored colostomy bag you are

    See, THIS is why I keep coming back to Hit & Run.

  • Dick Joker||

    You're not taking this incontrovertible proof that you are addicted to having a huge sack full of dicks in your mouth too well, I see, faggot.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    "...incontrovertible proof..."

    Cite please.

    "...huge sack full of dicks in your mouth..."

    I can't afford any of that on my salary. Just because you enjoy that expenseive luxury does not mean you have to look down on those too poor to afford the dick-bags you currently enjoy and promote.

    "...faggot."

    You already used that one. I thought chlamydia covered dog raping mung-mongers were more creative than that. Guess not.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Well said, Drax.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Except for all the typos and misspellings...

  • ||

    Murder, rape, and child abuse we all agree should be illegal, but I'm talking about the videos themselves.

    Once the video has been produced, what right does the government have to say people can't buy, sell, and watch it?

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm not really sure that work someone produces in the commission of a crime is protected by any sort of free speech law, but I'm not a lawyer.

  • Seventh Son||

    I asked the same question on this blog before, and the libertarian response was pretty much unanimous: there IS a privacy right and such videos violate that right, since consent was never attained.

    What should be punished, in my opinion, is deliberate distribution. Whether consumption should be a crime is a more utilitarian question, simply because it can be harder to ascertain deliberate consumption.

    If we are to maintain individual rights, videos of abuse to which the victims don't consent must be subject to some regulation.

  • otherhmm||

    The problem is with stuff like hidden services on The Onion Router, people can put up sites hosting such material and there is no way to trace who runs them without draconian wiretapping laws and extreme use of resources, and even then it would be near impossible to trace them.

    Plus you have the problem of people's computers trojaned with malware and used by spammers to spam such material. Also, there have been cases where people have downloaded files off of p2p aps that were not labeled as child pornography, but were.

    I'm highly skeptical of any laws prosecuting possession of any material, regardless of intent. Distribution I think should be treated as a copyright... also... what if the child involved in the video is now an adult and doesn't mind the material being distributed.. at this point hasn't consent been established?

    I also am very skeptical of AoC laws as well. I don't see how having sex with someone under 18 is automatically "rape", I don't understand how you do not have a right to your own body just because you have not yet reached the voting age.

  • ||

    Can't see the videos from my work computer.

  • Warty||

    “I’m not going outside,” Janet said. “If I go outside I’ll die, just like the kitties are all dying.”

    Terri rolled her eyes. “Girl, you are out of your goddamn mind. Nobody’s going to die from being outside. Now get out of my sight, you’re pissing me off.”

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I don't get it, Warty. But whatever it is, it's awesome.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Wait, so Dan T. is also tarrant. The plot congeals!

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Er, not tarran. Nevermind.

  • BeavisAndButthead||

    There are currently 69 comments on this thread about obscenity. This is obscene. Therefore I am posting to correct this obscenity.

  • Moz||

    I'd be interested to see what the current SCOTUS would do with this case. The recent US v. Stevens decision involved a law that used the "Miller Test" for obscenity and Roberts' opinion for an 8-1 majority took it on pretty directly:

    "The First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative costs and benefits. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the costs. Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it."

  • MrGuy||

    +10!

  • MrGuy||

    Stupid Internet Explorer.

    Speaking of obscenity, when did using curse words on Reason get the attention of spam filter?? Here's some irony for you...

  • ||

    Stagliano could've avoided a lot of grief if he simply injected some derogatory display of religion (well, except islam) in his films. If he had done that, he would've not only avoided potential prison-time, he would've also won an award from the Southeast Center for the Contemporary Arts, AND he could've made the films with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (Piss Christ?).

  • ||

    I hope you are not a christian scumbag

  • Death Panelist||

    That youtube still makes it look like Gillespie is channeling Bill Shatner.

  • E.H. Munro||

    So what if its in private? Don't you know that watching porn increases a persons healthcare expenses! Thats ALL of OUR business, and I for one refuse to pay for corrective surgery for "spankers' wrist" for a bunch of people who can't masturbate to something decent like an Obama SotU speech.

    Thank you, kind sir, for reminding the perverts that peruse this site that carpal pummel syndrome is a growing health care problem that must be rubbed out before it's too late.

  • Ernie the Bear||

    By the way: "Anal-Crazed MILFs" should have been the greatest bit of cinema, EVER. It was not. So much potential, so much disappointment.

  • Anomalous||

    Does the First Amendment protect you if you hand out flyers about jury nullification outside a courthouse?

  • ||

    If they start screwing with my porn, I'm gonna kick some ass!!!

  • E.H. Munro||

    They can have my porn when they pry it from my cold, sticky fingers...

  • Jake Witmer||

    Not if "Nick Reynolds" is your real name, and you're posting this from your home's IP address, with a computer you bought with a credit card, you're not! In fact, statements of "I'm gonna kick some ass", are the best indications that no ass is gonna be kicked. Too bad, because these state prosecutors deserve to have their asses kicked, just like the people in the "red rose" case did. So much for freedom!

  • ||

    Fuuuuck no. (pun intended)

  • ||

    Obscenity SHOULD be made illegal!

    As soon as we can come up with a definition of obscenity that EVERYBODY agrees on.

  • tony||

    I think most can agree that your comments are totally obscene in the face of our first amendment rights to UNABRIDGED free speech...(keep that in mind Mr. Fuller, UNABRIDGED...thats the key word). The question is, should YOUR OBSCENE ANTI FREESPEECH REMARKS BE BANNED?

    Of course not brother! You have the right to say that my speech should be banned, and I have a right to say 'shove your fascistic philosophy where the sun don't shine!

  • tony||

    I had no idea that Buttman was a Reason Foundation Donor...very interesting. 32 year???? That just goes to show how insanely immature some folks are about sex and artistic depictions of sex acts, no matter how sleazy. Let's not forget Mr. and Mrs. Manners, the Victorian Era was many decades ago...get with the vibe!

  • ||

    If you don't like Billy Graham, you'll really be ticked off at sharia courts...

    Until they behead you...

  • ||

    So, if your mom did porn when she was young and you didn't know about it and you were wacking off to her in a porno without realizing it was her in a wig when she was young but found out the truth later would you need therapy?

  • Jake Witmer||

    Gillespie does a disservice in mentioning the jury in a bad light, as if the jury wasn't the only thing standing in between the state and individuals like Paul Little and Stagliano. He should have mentioned that the jury Little faced was a false jury, hand-picked by the prosecutor, and instructed by the judge to convict. Moreover, the jury refused to allow the state to steal Little's home, even though they had been instructed to do so.

    So now our government follows Hitler's minions into the territory of prosecuting "degeneracy"? Paul Little and John Stagliano deserve their freedom. Freedom does not exist unless the brave, innovative, and thoughtful are free. They did what most guys dream of doing, but are too afraid to do, because they intuitively sense that society has not risen above "might makes right".

    Will Obama put a stop to this? No. Will we return America to the rule of law? No. ...Too few braves in this dead nation.

    So much for the USA being a free country. This proves that the only freedom we have is our freedom to die, as we attempt one last time to defend our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with violence.

    Stagliano is 100% right. The law is arbitrary, so that it can be randomly-enforced against those who believe in freedom.

  • ||

    +1

  • Jake Witmer||

    I think George Carlin had the most topical comments on this subject:
    ---------------
    Now if you think you do have rights, one last assignment for you. Next time you're at the computer, get on the internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, I want you to type in "Japanese Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious fucking rights, Okay? All right. You know about it. In 1942, there were 110,000 Japanese American citizens in good standing, law-abiding people who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had: "Right this way" into the internment camps! Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most, their government took them away! And rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. You see all, sooner or later. Sooner or later, the people in this country are gonna realize the government does not give a fuck about them! The government doesn't care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare or your safety. It simply does not give a fuck about you! It's interested in its own power. That's the only thing. Keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.
    ---------------
    If you were trying to clean up the world with a gun. you could sure do a lot worse than starting with a whole bunch of dead prosecutors.

  • LowOnProzac||

    Around 1980 I purchased a book called “Sisters” by the photographer, David Hamilton, from a Baton Rouge, Louisiana mall book store. Hamilton is a famous photographer of nude women, some very young and clearly below the age of majority in Louisiana. I wonder if I’m in danger of being prosecuted.

  • otherhmm||

    Yes, even nudity is "child pornography" under federal law. It doesn't even matter the pose, it is totally subjective. If you have a picture of your kid nude in the tub you could technically be charged with child pornography and convicted if the jury was crazy enough. We've already seen prosecutors crazy enough to go after people for this.

    So of course, yes, David Hamilton is child pornography and you should go to jail as most of the "libertarians" on this site seem to think. As they "can't offer consent" to show their boobs and butts if they aren't 18, right?

  • ||

    Hehe. Of course "libertarians" believe in statutory rape after all...

  • RNN||

    "...taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest..."

    Consider that for a moment. It means, "appeals to interest in sex." Or "makes you think about sex." Now who in his right mind could think that it is the government's business if a person chooses to view/read material that has the potential to increase interest in sex? By that standard, Super Bowl commercials, ED ads, toothpaste commercials, etc. qualify. One might consider Stagliano's films dumb, of little value, etc., but criminalizing them is a dangerous business.

  • ||

    I am not an atheist, but I find the religious right as offensive as they find profanity! Keep your religion out of my face!

  • sd||

    sd

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