Nov 062008

>Somehow in the frenzy leading up to Tuesday’s presidential election, we missed this item on Huffington Post from our friend, Theresa Darklady Reed, in which she points us to a prediction from the extreme religious right that an Obama presidency will lead to a nation with unfettered access to pornography.

Quoting from a Focus on the Family screed obstensibly written in the future, the as-yet hypothetical Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America, the many potential dangers awaiting us down the road include a new, liberal Supreme Court that has :

… applied more broadly the “Miller test” from the 1973 decision in Miller v. California, by which a work could not be found obscene unless “the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value.” In the 2011 decision, the court essentially found that any pornographic work had some measure of “serious artistic value,” at least according to some observers, and thus any censorship of pornographic material was an unconstitutional restriction on the First Amendment.

But wait–there’s more! As “…all city and county laws restricting pornography were struck down by this decision …pornographic magazines are openly displayed in gas stations, grocery stores and on newsstands (as they have been in some European countries for several years).”

And, natch, the court also eliminated all FCC restrictions and, thusly, “…television programs at all hours of the day contain explicit portrayals of sexual acts.”

We might observe that a mere “D” by a leader’s name doesn’t necessarily translate into a laissez faire approach to the exchange of ideas–President Clinton was the one who signed the Communications Decency Act into law back in 1996, afterall. But if we listen to those with a proclaimed relationship to the powers on high, free speech advocates need just kick back a bit and wait for the flood-gates to open.

Oct 222008

>And likely a somewhat noxious smoke at that, as the good Reverend Eldredge–in a ceremonial burning and “holy hose-down”– recently set flame to a cache of pornographic celluloid that was discovered in the old drive-in theater his church had recently purchased. The ritual was intended to purify the property and “make it holy” before taking full possession.

According to a Jacksonville, Florida newspaper:
Members of Christ Church Anglican discovered reel upon reel of ’70s- and ’80s-vintage X-rated movies recently when they took over the old Playtime Drive-In on Blanding Boulevard a few weeks ago. The Playtime showed X-rated movies in the ’70s and early ’80s, prompting police raids and protests, before switching to more traditional fare.

A church member, the story continues, estimated the destroyed stash at over a 100 films, with such titles as Kinky Business and Private Teacher giving pretty broad clues as to their contents. Both cited examples are from the era when the VCR was bringing about the demise of the pornographic film business–the first an obvious nod to the ’80s mainstream classic Risky Business and featuring another icon of the era, Traci Lords.

But, while no one is likely to know for sure what reels were tucked away on the premises, the vintage ads posted at the Playtime Drive-In blog indicate a rich history of exploitation and other cheap, smutty fun stretching back a couple of decades.