Jeffrey Rosen: “neither Breyer nor O’Connor provided any specific guidance for what sort of material they thought (or Congress believed) might violate national standards against obscenity. And they did not confront the awkward fact that the idea of a national consensus about obscenity is a fantasy. In 2001, for example, Frank Rich reported in The New York Times Magazine that the American pornography industry—much of it hard-core—generated at least $10 billion per year in revenues for more than 70,000 websites, pornography networks, pay-per-view and rental movies, cable and satellite television, and magazine publishers. Indeed, three years ago, when a local video retailer in Utah was prosecuted for peddling hard-core pornography, he successfully argued that his products were consistent with what his neighbors were watching on pay-per-view: in an age of nationally distributed hotel pornography, there was little difference between the consumption habits of hotel guests in Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Pornography is everywhere, suggesting that there is no national consensus against it and no vast disparity from one locale to another.”
was in his own affairs inconsistent and hypocritical. As an artist, he was a brilliant, painstaking technician whose strange fairy-talelike images, held together by a clever geometry, were bathed in a peculiar granular light. This is all that really matters. But it happens that he was in person a quintessential French intellectual of the prewar era: clever, amusing, wry, amazingly cultivated, socially ambitious but reclusive when it came to public scrutiny.
al3x: “Most young men I know look at porn on the Internet. I have for years, particularly when single. I see it as a reality of being young and male (heck, probably just male, young or not): you're going to seek out visual stimulation one way or another; I'm not going to speak for women. But as porn has become an increasing part of the daily buzz in my news aggregator, the more disgusted I've been with the pornography I view. Having a better sense of the lives of the people, particularly the women, behind those movies and photographs has basically ruined the fantasy of pornography for me. I always had some sense of regret for endorsing, even if just via clickthroughs, the aforementioned ugliness of the porn industry. But hearing about the fall of some coke-addled porn starlet on a glib weblog has turned that ignorable regret into mouse-stopping disgust.”
al3x says that there is some porn, however, that he doesn't mind looking at. But then again...
Anthony on feminists and pornography: “Like environmentalists who conveniently dropped the term "global warming" and shifted to "climate change" when the oceans didn't boil feminists are now (without drawing a breath of collective shame) taking a completely different tack on porn.”
On Naomi Wolf (see here and here): “Naomi's theory is that Internet porn is full of plastic fake beauties that "Jane average" can't compete with. This of course leads us to the obvious conclusion: Naomi has never looked at Internet porn. If she did she would be positively rapturous at the ascension of the ordinary girl into the ranks of porn princess. Peruse any amount of Internet porn and you will be astounded at the numbers of average (and well below average) women who are liberating themselves on-line.”
Evidently this week is Protection from Pornography Week [t] in America. My favourite bit: “We have committed significant resources to the Department of Justice to intensify investigative and prosecutorial efforts to combat obscenity, child pornography, and child sexual exploi-ta-tion [sic] on the Internet.”