opinion

Divide and Conquer

Tom Hymes
A "Good vs. Evil" seminar was held during Florida Internext on the subject of extreme content, during which, according to Ken Knox of AVN Online, "...panel participants seemed to be having a hard time keeping their cool."

If passions were running hot, however, it was not over disagreeing about who likes to be hurt in bed and how, but rather, what if anything is the industry going to do about members of the industry who make extreme content that presumably brings law enforcement heat down on the less-extreme content producers.

Panelists included Spike Goldberg from Homegrown Video, Jay Grdina from Club Jenna, adult performer and director Max Hardcore and Theresa Reed, aka Darklady, from YNOT. Each of these individuals is more than capable of defending a heartfelt position, but no matter how logical their arguments may have seemed, those stumping for less industry tolerance are, in my opinion, on shaky rhetorical ground, to say the least.

I say this not because I disagree with their general point of view regarding truly extreme content but because I do. I also hate pornography that is seriously demeaning to women (as opposed to tongue-in-cheek), where the demeaning attitude is acted out physically, like with the "Donkey Punch" stuff.

But it does not matter what I like. There are millions of people who believe that Vivid content is vile and should be made illegal for distribution or viewing. The infamous prosecutor Bruce Taylor, who has been very influential in the Justice Department over the past several years, has said that he believes all sexually explicit content on the Internet is illegal. Good for him. He has to get a jury to agree, and that is becoming increasingly difficult. Likewise, so what if Congress tries to dictate the sexual expression of other Americans? That is their problem. We have a Constitution that was written to protect us from abusive government. If we do not use it, then who is to blame? I think there are more important points to be made beyond the fact that what we think of as normal is perceived by many to be obscene, immoral and depraved. I think it is important that anyone who is in this industry actually celebrates those who dare go beyond the boundaries of even what the "Normals" think is normal. I think it is important that adults have the right to express themselves in extreme ways, even if other pornographers have to avert their eyes.

All expression should be protected as if one's life depends upon it because in many ways it does. We do not include child pornography or snuff films in the category of expression because of course they are depictions of crimes in the making, but I would include just about everything else no matter how disgraceful or demeaning. I am with Darklady on this one. I do not want to live in a world in which people do not have the right to demean themselves or others (consensually) and others do not have the right to watch them.

But much more distressing is the fact that the obvious scheme by the enemies of this industry to divide the industry through the use of terror tactics is working. Shame on those who fall for it. I wonder who they think will defend them when their day comes?

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