Stop American Censorship

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The rhetoric is panicky because as we’ve seen so many times, what seems reasonable is so rapidly abused.

If you’re in the US, please take a moment to call your representative and let them know you’re against this.

Former Senator Chris Dodd — now head of the Motion Picture Association of America — says that China censors its Internet, so we can too:

“When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn’t do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.”

These are the voices our lawmakers listen to.  If we’re going to win, we need to drown them out before TOMORROW’s committee vote on SOPA.   

What’s even worse, is when Chris Dodd was serving in Congress, he had this to say:

Tell the Chinese government that will no longer censor information with Google’s consent. And should the Chinese government not find that acceptable, then would shut down its operations. I understand that you’ve already moved all of your search records out of China, to prevent them from being turned over to the Chinese government. But what better way to affirm Google’s commitment to the free flow of information as a human right, than to send this message to a nation with the largest population in the world?

So, Mr. Dodd dances with the girl whose brung him.

More on Mr. Dodd’s mouth and how he’s able to talk out of both sides of it:

TechDirt has lots of good info on SOPA and why it is evil as well:

And just so you know, this shit is happening now.

After you call, you can go back to whacking off.  I promise. :-)

Why Aren’t We Allowed to Move On?

The Huffington Post (among other outlets) have reported that for the second time in her post-porn life, porn star Rikki Anderson has lost a teaching job due to the fact that she had sex on video over 15 years ago.

Her story is not all that special, at least if Wikipedia is to be believed — she did a handful of movies back around 1997 in a period of her life between stints in the Army.  Seems like a common enough story — woman transitions out of the Army, finds it hard to adjust and  make ends meet, so she shakes her moneymaker as a dancer to pay some bills and takes the next step into appearing in some videos  (all 100% legal activities), then determines that this is not the life for her either, and re-enlists.  After her second tour with the Army, she uses the GI Bill to go to college, graduates in the top of her class and becomes certified as a teacher and finds gainful employment.

To me, it sounds a bit like a success story.

Porn helped her out when she needed it — not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up, or perhaps they just can’t be what they want to be at the time they want to be it — so you do what you need to do to survive.  She didn’t cross the law, she went to where legal money could be made in a short period of time, then she moved on with her life, becoming a productive member of society.

So, I guess my question is why is this lady being tarred and feathered?

She did nothing illegal.

But I suppose that is different than saying she did nothing wrong.

Here at the IAFD, we get our fair share of emails from people who have moved on with their lives and aren’t excited about the prospect of their past choices appearing on the site, and we’re sensitive to that.  We struggle with it quite a bit, but we won’t remove the filmographies.

My favorite line in Airplane is  “They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into.  I say, let ’em crash!”

The cold, heartless logic of it (wrapped in absurdity) that makes me laugh, and I’ll quote  it often in real-life when someone needs to take responsibility for something they’ve done.  “I say, let ’em crash!

It’s easy to say, but much harder to practice since it’s pretty heartless, and we’re just not that heartless here.  At the end of the day, there are people on the other side of the screen with lives and families and futures and pasts and hopes and dreams — just as there are on the other side of our keyboards — and there seems that there needs to be some line drawn between a “career” porn performer and a “desperate for cash at a tough time in their life” porn performer for the purposes of running this site.

So, we don’t take the hard-line “whore knew this would happen” position — even tho we DO think that as soon as they take their clothes off people should expect this can and will happen and prepare themselves for it — we know that’s not always possible.  Life isn’t neat, and sometimes things must be done even if under other circumstances they wouldn’t be.

We have no hard and fast rules about it and we would really prefer not to be a revisionist historian.  It’s hard enough being a primary historian.  But, when someone appears in only a handful of out of print  movies 15-20 years ago and comes to us that far after the fact and asks us real nice to take their picture down, we usually do, because, in the end, there’s very little downside for us.  It depends on how many movies, how long ago, is the person of note, etc.

And I say this, knowing that with everything going on, we still have a vidcap of Rikki Anderson accompanying her biography / filmography.

But we’re dismayed that Rikki lost her job teaching — not once, but TWICE.

School officials were  quoted by the New York Daily News as saying: “We’re surprised, very surprised. At the same time we feel for her and her family. We do believe she has tried to move on with her life… Unfortunately, even though it happened 15 years ago, [the video] is still there.”

So, why the need to quit?  Can’t we turn this around as a lesson?  She’s a teacher, so can’t good come of it? “Hey kids, maybe posting pictures of you frenching that girl and then drinking shots off her boobs isn’t a good thing to post on Facebook…

People have sex.  Every kid in that classroom’s parent — guaranteed! – had sex at least once.  But instead of quoting George Michael’s “Sex is natural, sex is fun…” we say, sex is bad, and if you’re caught doing it, we’ll run you out of town; or at least make you feel like you need to run yourself out of town.

So, whenever I see a story like this in the news, I get sad.  Someone’s getting a raw deal for legal things they did a long time ago.  I’m not saying that knowing your teacher did porn and you can watch her getting DP’d over at HotMovies wouldn’t have the potential to be a disruptive force in class — at least in the short term, but I bet people would get over it.

Why we, as a society, afford some people the chance to fuck on film and be forgiven or praised for it, while condemning others is one of life’s great, sad mysteries.

To me, its all about forgiveness, and I don’t like when its withheld without justification.

I hope she, and the others who will inevitably suffer the same fate down the line, find it easier to survive with each successive episode.

Documentary or Porn?

One thing that has always fascinated me about porn is the notion that is is “documentary” as opposed to “staged.”

Henri Pachard said in a roundtable discussion AVN had a number of years ago that he thought the internal pop-shot craze was (I’m paraphrasing) insane due to the inherent health risks when it could be faked so easily.  I believe he boasted that — with a little pina colada mix – he could make the best creampie video you ever saw.

I ponder this now as I read on AVN that Reality Kings is being sued by both Warner Brothers and their insurance company due to the presence of background music in their videos.  Audio, that I believe would be considered “wild” — which is to say, not laid in during post-production.

I am at odds with content creators who put their material out in the world, but if it happens to pervade the world so much it gets picked up in our  records of our everyday lives that there is some sort of grounds for an infringement claim.  In the grand sceme of Jeffersonian intellectual property, is the inclusion of their work into the greater society its own reward?

We see this fear everywhere — the digitally blurred logo on someone’s shirt during an interview; the wholesale re-shooting of an interview found on the Twin Peaks DVD set because there was a poster behind the people giving the intervew… is it just me that finds this nutty?

Photo Credit: Mission 24: Gear up by lucianvenutian, on Flickr