April 7, 2004

Ashcroft's War Continues

Ashcroft’s biggest disappointment came in late 2001 when the new focus on terrorism and homeland security put a huge crimp in his plan to clamp down on nekkid pictures. Now that the terrorist problem is licked (with Saddam behind bars and little chance of a terrorist threatening anyone ever again) Ashcroft has the full weight of the government to bring to bear on real problems.

How big a problem are we talking about? As Bruce Taylor put it, “Just about everything on the Internet and almost everything in the video stores and everything in the adult bookstores is still prosecutable illegal obscenity.” Bruce is Ashcroft’s new hire and right-hand buddy on nekkid-picture patrol. You might remember him as the guy who lost against Larry Flynt in 1981 representing Ohio.

“I think a lot of adults would say this is not what they had in mind, spending millions of dollars and the time of the courts and FBI agents and postal inspectors and prosecutors investigating what consenting adults are doing and watching.”

The Baltimore Sun reports on this story. As my friends know, I’m not much of a porn-hound. What bothers me the most about this is what appears to be an expansion of some extreme idea of what is unacceptable. The approach here appears to be not to go after the extreme. Instead, they’ll attack the middle. What will that do? It will polarize the entertainment industry. Nekkidness goes deeper underground and becomes more extreme. More acceptable outlets of entertainment get more gunshy about what they present and begin to blandify what they produce. This isn’t just about porn - it’s liked to the FCC backlash in the wake of a certain “wardrobe malfunction.”

It’s a terrorist approach to the entertainment industry. Ashcroft and his cohorts obviously feel that too much freedom has been given to Hollywood. Ashcroft hates that freedom. It is important for them to create a chilling effect on the popular media by expanding their definition of unacceptable.

Ashcroft: enforce the laws. Go after child exploitation. But keep your Crisco out of my movie theatre popcorn.

Posted by James at April 7, 2004 12:30 AM
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Somebody really needs to write a biography of that guy. I've got the perfect title: "John Ashcroft: Asshole".

Posted by: Chuck S. at April 7, 2004 11:30 AM

You know me, I had to write about this too. Thanks for tipping us off about this James. I tried to trackback to your article, but I don't think it worked. :-( How do you do manual trackbacks again?

Posted by: Chuck S. at April 7, 2004 12:42 PM

How about simply "John Asscroft"?

Posted by: julie at April 7, 2004 1:03 PM

FYI-A sculpture I made in 2000 was censored at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, CO. Reason? It contained a small porcelain cross with a crossword style Ashcroft/ Asshole. We used this same imagery for a few 4' signs at the March for Women's Lives in DC. Twas popular. I hear they chant this out in Sacramento about medicinal pot...
Blog on. Modern ARF

Posted by: Modern ARF at April 29, 2004 2:35 PM

Modern ARF, I just went to your site, but I can't seem to find these Ashcroft/Asshole crosses, which I would dearly love to see.

By the way, I like the art on your site.

Posted by: Patti M. at April 29, 2004 4:53 PM

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