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When kid porn isn't kid porn.
May 8, 2002 10:13 AM   Subscribe

When kid porn isn't kid porn. By thinly skirting the line between legal and illegal, purveyors of child pornography have become harder to nail down.
posted by susanlucci (14 comments total)

 
I was working at a bookstore when the title "Radiant Identities" was getting a lot of press attention for displaying nude children in quasi-provactive poses.

The pictures were beautiful, and I don't believe that they were presented in a purient way. Nevertheless, after all the hub-ub, a certain demographic of scuzzy looking old men started laying the book down on the counter, unable to look the cashier in the eyes.

Most cashiers wouldn't sell the book to these men; it just creeped them out. I didn't care. No art book will stoke the imagination as virulently as one's imagination. Only when the imagination is given a run for its money do I start getting uneasy about it.
posted by Pinwheel at 10:33 AM on May 8, 2002


Outlawing Clint Eastwood.
posted by y2karl at 10:34 AM on May 8, 2002


When I worked in a bookstore, one day I was training this new girl at the desk, She took her first call. I heard only her half of the conversation:

"Okay...you want a book by who....ok, Jock Sturges,uh-huh...and the Kama Sutra, uh-huh."

She put him on hold, looked the books up in the store database than turned to me,

"We're oout of stock, what do I do now?"

"Call the police."
posted by jonmc at 10:54 AM on May 8, 2002


Fucking thought criminals! Did you tackle him and hold him down till they showed up?
posted by Irontom at 11:19 AM on May 8, 2002


Irontom- Relax. We didn't call anybody. Although the call was real, me and the girl were making a joke. Although the caller is not someone I'd be thrilled to have as a babysitter.
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on May 8, 2002


I hope you First Amendment Champs are there to defend these guys when it comes up your kid "naked and cavorting" on the internet. Or worse.

::spits, leaves::
posted by UncleFes at 11:27 AM on May 8, 2002


"naked and cavorting" is probably fine. it's the s*cking and f*cking that disturbs.
posted by quonsar at 11:30 AM on May 8, 2002


when it comes up your kid "naked and cavorting" on the internet.

just as long as there are no priests around...
posted by signal at 12:57 PM on May 8, 2002


You can't make it illegal to think or visualize anything, period. If you find a way to observe people's inner desires and fantasies so that you can haul them to jail when they think about something you don't approve of, let me know. Otherwise you'd better get used to perverted old men staring at your kids and just drooling, picturing little Billy or Jane bent over in front of them. After all, you probably like to picture yourself beating the hell out of said perverts...will that be illegal too?
posted by zekinskia at 1:51 PM on May 8, 2002


Uncle Fes- The "what if it was YOUR family" argument is so boring. Get some new material.
posted by McBain at 2:52 PM on May 8, 2002


Once again:

Our obsession with sexual and sexualized children is so intense we need to displace, disguise and deny it. To help us out, we have instituted a form of story-telling, a sanctimonious porn-babble designed to eroticize kids, blame it on somebody else and keep the talk going.

From James Kincaid's response to Question 1 (2,3 & 4 here) on a similar topic: Politicizing Puberty: The Zoning Of Child Sexuality in Art, Advertsisng and The American Household, from Nerve.com.

Additional material with pertinent title: Exploiting Child Exploitation.

I repeat: a sanctimonious porn-babble designed to eroticize kids, blame it on somebody else and keep the talk going. Also known as saving the children.
posted by y2karl at 5:25 PM on May 8, 2002


If you go to the sites mentioned in the article (DO NOT CLICK UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED FOR KIDDIE PORN)Sunny Lolitas and Nude Boys World I don't see how they are allowed to operate. It seems like blatant kiddie porn to me. I am all for the first amendment, and I supported the recent decision about "simulated" kiddie porn, but this seems over the line to me. So hard to put it into technical terms though. It seems that the technique favored on these sites is to digitally combine a picture of a topless kid with that of a fully nude girl who is probably of age, so you are seeing adult snatch overlayed with little girls. Pretty disturbing, but hard to say if it is truly illegal.
posted by McBain at 5:47 PM on May 8, 2002


The photograph captures two boys, about 6 or 7 years old, cavorting naked on a beach. One of the boys looks coyly over his shoulder. The other has an erection.

It's illegal to put child porn into the written word, so Wired should get busted for this. This is written pornography. At least, I have a boner. Oh hang on, that's because of seeing Natalie Portman's abs on the StarWars.com thread.. Carry on!
posted by wackybrit at 10:50 PM on May 8, 2002


I came here for an argument. No, I came here to say what it turns out is already said quite nicely in that Clint Eastwood article y2karl linked: "Everybody understands that people aren't really killed in his movies. Some people think some Eastwood movies are too violent and refuse to see them. Others think they're inappropriate for young children. But nobody thinks that making them is, or ought to be, a crime."

You can't outlaw written or virtual child pornography unless you also outlaw the similar (completely imagined) portrayal of all other nasty things. Murder is worse; if you are going to ban imagined portrayals of nastiness, you have to start with murder, and ban child pornography only when you are ready to ban all portrayals of rape.

And UncleFes? You wouldn't have spat on our floor in real life. Or if you did, maybe someone would have kicked your ass. But that's the difference between reality and make-believe. Here, no harm done.
posted by pracowity at 2:59 AM on May 9, 2002


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