Like The L Word, Stay Away From Ohio Kids
March 16, 2005 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Watching "The L Word" might cost an Ohio cop her job. A police officer assigned to a school in Camden, Ohio may lose her job because a few students saw that she had a screen saver which included promotional photos for a TV show that featured (gasp) lesbians. Remind me again why anyone with brains bothers to live in rural Ohio any longer?
posted by the wind (73 comments total)

 
Wait, the actual title of the show is The L Word ?
posted by odinsdream at 5:59 PM on March 16, 2005


Yep, here's the official site.
posted by the wind at 6:01 PM on March 16, 2005


The Preble County sheriff's office is investigating and has impounded Smith's computer.

"We're just looking to see if there is anything illegal on the computer," said Chief Deputy Terry Snowden, of Preble County Sheriff's Department.


because if she's into chicks she has to have illegal child porn on there too.

... freaking disgusted and glad I live in San Francisco
posted by bitdamaged at 6:04 PM on March 16, 2005


When does principal photography begin on 'The N Word'?
posted by xmutex at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2005


Right after the garen channel wraps it's fertilizer special, "The S Word."
posted by jonmc at 6:07 PM on March 16, 2005


I saw the premier and first few episodes of this show at Sundance last year. It was pretty lousy.

I can't believe the police confiscated this officer's computer. That has to be illegal search and seizure, don't you think?
posted by punkbitch at 6:08 PM on March 16, 2005


I really don't have anything too terribly bad on my laptop; I will be buying a separate one entirely, or perhaps at least a different hard drive before I ever take it anywhere near a workplace.

Seriously... one NSFW thing pops up; and game over?

Nice to see so much heart in the heartland. God bless Amerika, comrade!
posted by buzzman at 6:09 PM on March 16, 2005


It's her work computer, so presumably not.

On preview: I don't think this screen saver was even NSFW by most of our standards, it just advertised a show which featured lesbian characters. Which, for some places in rural America, is NSFW, apparently.
posted by the wind at 6:10 PM on March 16, 2005


"I realize that there's a difference between somebody being gay and somebody being a pedophile," said Eric White, a resident.

How about there's a difference between somebody watching a TV show about lesbians and somebody being a lesbian?

I watch "Brideshead Revisited" whenever it's on. That doesn't make me gay. Or British. Or Catholic. or...
posted by PlusDistance at 6:14 PM on March 16, 2005


Funny how morality and justice don't seem to meet all that often. . .
posted by punkbitch at 6:16 PM on March 16, 2005


have you ever been to rural ohio? it's nice. the river. the smell of gardenias. it's as if heaven, fell on to the earth in the form of gardenias.
posted by alfredogarcia at 6:22 PM on March 16, 2005


How about there's a difference between somebody watching a TV show about lesbians and somebody being a lesbian?

*runs off to check self for signs of lesbianism*


I watch "Brideshead Revisited" whenever it's on. That doesn't make me gay. Or British. Or Catholic. or...

Yes it does. Your rainbow flag bumper sticker, union jack and rosary beads are in the mail.
posted by jonmc at 6:26 PM on March 16, 2005


I wish Brideshead was on right now!

Your friend... did he die?

No, I was visiting him in Venice.

I'm so very thankful.

posted by crazy finger at 6:29 PM on March 16, 2005


This isn't real. Right?
Were the pictures nudies? Tongue swap shots, in the least? I don't get it.

I blame the children, who could have just kept their trap shut -- she must have hosed them down at some point, got 'em real mad, flushed thier cigarettes down the toilet, something.

Also, interesting how you can shop for the lesbian style, right through the L-Word site. Wave of the future? See something a character is wearing that you simply must have? Buy it right now! They should merge the show with a picture in picture featuring the home shopping channel or whatever the hell it's called nowadays.
posted by undule at 6:41 PM on March 16, 2005


School officials in Camden, Ohio, say it's not a problem to have still photographs on a screen saver, but if the photographs advertise a lesbian-oriented TV show, the situation gets complicated.

The may be far from scandalous, but the photos cost a police officer her job, News 5's Jonathan Hawgood reported.


Since they're reporting that the controversy is about showing a "lesbian-oriented TV show" and the images are "far from scandalous," I'm assuming they're probably just promotional photos for the show rather than anything terribly scandalous to a reasonable human being.
posted by the wind at 6:49 PM on March 16, 2005


I used to watch Melrose Place, but I have since found Jebus.
posted by psmealey at 6:51 PM on March 16, 2005


Well, at least we can see what the fuss is about -- I mean, "the L word" website has a screensaver and wallpapers, presumably the same ones.
posted by davejay at 6:51 PM on March 16, 2005


PepsiBlue.

(Just kidding.)
posted by keswick at 6:53 PM on March 16, 2005


that woman clearly hates freedom
~chuckle~
posted by matteo at 6:56 PM on March 16, 2005


If it's the promo photo on ShowTime's website where the chicks are all naked and huddled together then I can sort of understand the hoopla but even that shot was done very tastefully and revealed nothing except their silky sexy sultry skin.
posted by hojoki at 6:57 PM on March 16, 2005


Ameriki: The situation is getting complicated.
posted by a_day_late at 7:03 PM on March 16, 2005


have you ever been to rural ohio? it's nice. the river. the smell of gardenias. it's as if heaven, fell on to the earth in the form of gardenias.

Yeah, and the lights of the mobs chasing gay people out of their rusting, dying state look like fire-flies in the mist.

That's mean. I have very good friends from Ohio. But frankly, I don't feel safe there. I send job applications to Ohio universities just so I have the opportunity to tell them that I wouldn't take a job in a state that is so damn homophobic, where free speech is in such jeopardy. They want to declare their hatred of me-- it's hard not to return the gesture.

Poor cop. I hope she gets a job in a better place.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:10 PM on March 16, 2005


The gardenias line was an Apocalypse Now reference, gesamtkunstwerk.
posted by the wind at 7:15 PM on March 16, 2005


OT, but the couple times I watched that show early on (that seemed initially billed as a "Sex and the City" for the bi-curious), it seemed more like softcore lesbian porn for frat boys, with a storyline so their girlfriends could watch. I think I might buy the first season on DVD for the Sheriff. He'd probably dig it.
posted by psmealey at 7:17 PM on March 16, 2005


my apologies.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:20 PM on March 16, 2005


Yep, here's the official site.

Trying to access the official site (to look for some hawt screensavers) gave me this:
We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States.

... so it appears that the L material in question is NSFW, not safe for kids and not safe for furriners (NSFF?).
posted by sour cream at 7:38 PM on March 16, 2005


For research purposes only, I installed the official screen saver, and proceeded to watch the whole thing. There is one small moving picture at one point that shows a woman in lingerie being pinned down and kissed by another woman that I'd probably consider as NSFW. Other than that it's no worse than the covers of most fashion magazines. You'd have to sit and watch it for a few minutes to see that one image too (all 15 or so seconds of it). It's a long screen saver (and quite boring).

I'm thinking it's more about the show being about lesbians than what the pictures were, but I don't think it was wise to have installed at her work computer in a school ... in rural Ohio.
posted by Orb at 7:58 PM on March 16, 2005


Well, thanks for setting me up for disappointment, Orb - I clicked the link to check out the woman in lingerie being kissed by another woman validate your findings and got the same message as sour cream. Why would they care if people from outside the US see their web site? Are they short of bandwidth or something?
posted by dg at 8:09 PM on March 16, 2005


Remind me again why anyone with brains bothers to live in rural Ohio any longer?

Because housing is affordable, the beautiful green hills roll as far as the eye can see, winter and summer are both tolerable, and bottles of Bud cost $1.50 at the neighborhood bar.

I no longer live in Ohio, I loathe Voinovich and Taft, and the state has its backwards elements, but it's a big place. Plenty of good, reasonable people call Ohio home-- even the people of rural Ohio.
posted by trharlan at 8:10 PM on March 16, 2005


Yeah, well, I live in Ohio, 10 miles from Camden. And, no, not that many good, reasonable people live in rural Ohio.
posted by the wind at 8:17 PM on March 16, 2005


"'It's tough to turn something like that around,' said Richard Bricker, superintendent. 'I think that for her sake ... maybe there's a better fit somewhere else.""

Translation: "The intolerance of people like me would make it too hard for her to keep her job, even though that would be the just and Christian outcome of all this. because I lack the ability to be a leader -- despite the six figure income I'm paid as Superintendent --, I guess she'd better just go someplace less bigoted. As Jesus said, be sure to be the first one to cast a stone!"
posted by orthogonality at 8:46 PM on March 16, 2005


I grew up in rural Ohio, and I have to disagree with you on the winter and summer comment, trharlan. Summer was oppressively humid, and the winters miserably difficult to drive in. On the plus side, it is very cheap to live there.
posted by greasepig at 8:58 PM on March 16, 2005


For those who are interested here's a link to the L Word's Canadian site. Not sure if they offer the same goodies as the US site.
posted by Cuke at 8:59 PM on March 16, 2005


Yes it does. Your rainbow flag bumper sticker, union jack and rosary beads are in the mail.

Oh no...you're going to give me teh brit!
posted by PlusDistance at 9:05 PM on March 16, 2005


I live in rural Ohio (ex-NYC). Plenty of nice, hard-working people who happen to be, in all too many cases, homophobic (and deeply racist) religious fanatics. I wave at them on the road but gave up trying to talk to them years ago.
posted by words1 at 9:48 PM on March 16, 2005


JD (Christian Slater): This is Ohio. If you don't have a brewski in your hand you might as well be wearing a dress.
posted by psmealey at 9:52 PM on March 16, 2005


so sorry, the wind. I uh, spent 3 of my high school years about 10 miles from Camden. I am now as far west as you can go on land. having come from Austin I was treated to:

some kid tried to sell me a .22 pistol on my 1st day of school. at school.

some people burned a cross burned in my yard. twice.

I was called a 'fag' almost daily for my first two years. at school, of course.

a knife pulled on me once. to be fair that happened in Texas too.

kids threw things at me when I had to go to the chalkboard, the teacher said nothing.

come to think of it, the teachers saw the kids do some pretty awful things and never stopped them. I think they were scared or approved.

I met a few great people while I was there. But largely, it was a scary place for me. I still have a very difficult time not assuming the worst about people...
posted by lazymonster at 10:17 PM on March 16, 2005


Most importantly, lazymonster, are you an "L-word?"
posted by crazy finger at 10:57 PM on March 16, 2005


That's the best part crazy finger. I'm a straight - pass for white - hispanic male. I must have fit some gay archetype and I was too friendly with the gay kids that had the misfortune of growing up there. You know, the friend of my enemy and all that good stuff.

Didn't mean to make this about me. Obviously I could have waved off some of the heat seeking locals by declaring my orientation instead of telling them to F*** Off. That said, I think it's instructive to see how they mix their homophobia with their xenophobia. They hated me so much that by the time they figured out that I wasn't gay it didn't even matter any more.

So yes that is important. But it wasn't to me at the time, all I knew was that these kids were as vicious as they were clueless.
posted by lazymonster at 12:23 AM on March 17, 2005


On one hand, a worker installs something on a company computer that management finds objectionable and is fired for it. (I wish I had a nickel for every time that happens.)

On the other hand, why didn't the school officials suggest that the material might not be appropriate in a school setting and giving the officer a chance to re-think her position? You know, deal with the situation in a reasonable way, rather than causing a commotion that draws much more attention to the situation, and makes them look like backwoods bigots to boot.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 4:06 AM on March 17, 2005


On the other hand, why didn't the school officials suggest that the material might not be appropriate in a school setting and giving the officer a chance to re-think her position? You know, deal with the situation in a reasonable way, rather than causing a commotion that draws much more attention to the situation, and makes them look like backwoods bigots to boot.

So you are saying they should be smarter bigots?
posted by srboisvert at 4:34 AM on March 17, 2005


I looked at those wallpapers and screensaver. And they are so tragically SFW.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:03 AM on March 17, 2005


have you ever been to rural ohio? it's nice. the river. the smell of gardenias. it's as if heaven, fell on to the earth in the form of gardenias.

Which is great until all of the ignorant hicks move in.
posted by jaded at 5:25 AM on March 17, 2005


I started watching the L word because my better half does. I have to say, while it's not a good show, it is somehow compelling. Sort of like a trainwreck. It's like watching Jerry Springer on crazy lesbians week: "My insane lesbian lover", or "My sister is straight but she's dating a woman who thinks she's a man" or "I'm a dike and so is my mom, but daddy don't know it"

Now, I continue to watch it because I hate some of the characters so much that I want to see what horrible things happen to them. Mind you - it's not because I have anything against lesbians, it's because most of the characters are so self absorbed and confused, insecure, and not to mention poorly written that you can't help but hate them. It's like a livejournal turned into TV.
posted by jaded at 5:34 AM on March 17, 2005


Remind me again why anyone with brains bothers to live in rural Ohio any longer?

Save it.
posted by Witty at 6:08 AM on March 17, 2005


Now, I continue to watch it because I hate some of the characters so much that I want to see what horrible things happen to them.

Plus there's always the chance of gratuitous Pam Grier nudity.
posted by jonmc at 6:52 AM on March 17, 2005


I love how the outrage about prejudice is full of prejudice.
posted by Mick at 7:06 AM on March 17, 2005



How about there's a difference between somebody watching a TV show about lesbians and somebody being a lesbian?


And that's so not the point. Lesbians aren't going to corrupt the children. What a bunch of asses at that school.
posted by agregoli at 7:07 AM on March 17, 2005


Don't hate

...the wrong people
posted by Mick at 7:07 AM on March 17, 2005


Ah, shaddap ya paddy buckeye bastard! ;)
posted by jonmc at 7:08 AM on March 17, 2005


Would a letter writing campaign help? I doubt a letter coming from a Canadian would do any good, but if I lived in Ohio I'd definitely be firing off a letter to this women's employers.
posted by orange swan at 7:11 AM on March 17, 2005


sex ? check
outrage ? check
porn ? check
titillation ? check
misplaced concern ? check
gullible people ? check check check

*shake*

Profit !
posted by elpapacito at 7:19 AM on March 17, 2005


Remind me again why anyone with brains bothers to live in rural Ohio any longer?

A statement that reflects much worse on the author than his/her target, in so many ways.
posted by guanxi at 7:22 AM on March 17, 2005


I've lived 99% of my life in small Ohio towns, so I think the comment is fair (and descriptive of me -- I must be lacking brains if I haven't moved away by now).

Try living here a while, then you might understand, guanxi.
posted by the wind at 7:58 AM on March 17, 2005


I love how the outrage about prejudice is full of prejudice.

"Prejudice" means pre-judging a group of people. My biases are based on 34 years of empirical results, thank you very much. "Postjudice" would be a more accurate term, perhaps.
posted by the wind at 7:59 AM on March 17, 2005


"Prejudice" means pre-judging a group of people. My biases are based on 34 years of empirical results, thank you very much. "Postjudice" would be a more accurate term, perhaps.

So by that logic, a man who grew up in New York or Chicago could decide after 34 years that all black people are horrible. After all, his biases would be from experience, even if it's experience through a jaundiced eye, right?
posted by jonmc at 8:06 AM on March 17, 2005


"Remind me again why anyone with brains bothers to live in rural Ohio any longer?"

Because I pay the same in a mortgage payment for a five bedroom house on five acres as my friend in Brooklyn pays in rent for a one-bedroom apartment.

I can go on, if you like.
posted by jscalzi at 8:16 AM on March 17, 2005


So by that logic, a man who grew up in New York or Chicago could decide after 34 years that all black people are horrible. After all, his biases would be from experience, even if it's experience through a jaundiced eye, right?
posted by jonmc at 8:06 AM PST on March 17 [!]


Huh?
posted by sid at 8:18 AM on March 17, 2005


Awww. I love "The L Word," because it's the television programming equivalent of cotton candy: fun to consume, but almost immediately forgotten. Most of the plotlines don't stick with me after they're over (and sometimes while they're still going on), but I do want to watch long enough to see Jenny get her evil little heart stomped on by somebody...anybody. I cheered when her crappy, melodramatic, self-indulgent writing got the smackdown from that professor, but then that woman had to cave (like everybody does), and let Jenny into the writing class. one thing that I do like about the show is how the issues of race and sexual politics are portrayed in an honest, unsensational way.

For Canadians who are unable to access "The L Word's" official site with a Canadian IP address, you can use a public proxy server to get in.
posted by LiliaNic at 8:22 AM on March 17, 2005


I grew up a couple towns over from Camden, and visited there frequently as a teenager. NOW can y'all see why I'm so screwed up? HUH???
posted by soyjoy at 8:29 AM on March 17, 2005


So which state is Utopia in again?
posted by Cyrano at 8:40 AM on March 17, 2005


So by that logic, a man who grew up in New York or Chicago could decide after 34 years that all black people are horrible. After all, his biases would be from experience, even if it's experience through a jaundiced eye, right?

Huh?


Seriously, that's not even close to a sound analogy.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:29 AM on March 17, 2005


Because I pay the same in a mortgage payment for a five bedroom house on five acres as my friend in Brooklyn pays in rent for a one-bedroom apartment.

Yeah, but that house is, like, in Ohio. It's just not worth it.
</city-boy>

Of course, I am suffering the indignity of having to live in Jersey, at the moment...
posted by bashos_frog at 9:35 AM on March 17, 2005


Unbelievable. I'm disgusted, disappointed, and saddened.


On preview: what ludwig_van said.
posted by Specklet at 9:36 AM on March 17, 2005


So by that logic, a man who grew up in New York or Chicago could decide after 34 years that ...

<analogy-repair>
...New York is a noisy dirty place filled with rude people. Or something.
</analogy-repair>
posted by bashos_frog at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2005


So which state is Utopia in again?

crops, no industry, rebels. sounds about right. definitely a classic dilemma.

the largest Klan membership in any state was that in Ohio

stories which have happened in Ohio


Women of the KKK Ohio

It's definitely unfair to use a broad red/blue state sized brush to go around painting all of the Buckeye state as bigoted. However I have to agree with the wind in saying that you have to live there to understand. It's not that there aren't meanies in other places. It's the openness with which they conduct their activities and the how everyone else looks the other way. It starts to feel like they are all in on it.
posted by lazymonster at 9:54 AM on March 17, 2005


My letter to the superintendent:

Dear Mr. Bricker:

Viewing metafilter.com, I found this report on the incident at your school:
http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/4291756/detail.html

I realize that the press, especially TV press, often does not capture the key aspects of a story, and can distort the picture significantly. Among other information missing from the story is the school in question, which would tell the reader the age of the students.

If indeed your resource officer Ann Smith had inappropriate material on her screensaver, material that was visible by young students, you need to say specifically what that material is, and why you are dismissing Ms. Smith. You need to make clear the basis for your decision. Would you dismiss an officer who had a screensaver featuring "The Sopranos" or the "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition"? As I said above, the press often gets it wrong. But the article gives the impression that there is something about images of lesbians that should truly concern us. Before you cause harm to someone's career, please give an explanation that makes sense.
posted by 4midori at 10:01 AM on March 17, 2005


in new york
posted by nequalsone at 12:17 PM on March 17, 2005


The L-Word, silly as it may be, at least has some genuine lesbian in-jokes, and moments of occasional hawtness. Marina asking Jenny "Have you read Anne Carrrrrson?" in that drawl of hers-- delicious! And then Jenny replies "'Eros the Bittersweet' changed my life"-- that's Carson's translations of Sappho, people!

I can sit through as much implausible the-characters-are-far-too-good-looking dykey soap opera as necessary to hear stuff like that. Never mind that the token butch looks like a twig with hair. Or that Pam Greir is the straight character, and unlikely ever to engage in making out with any other female member of the cast. I like it anyway. And I'm not alone: my credit union, an institution of impeccable lefty/lesbian community credentials, has a signed cast photo on the wall. Besides, it's filmed here in Vancouver, so in the absence of being able to check out the X-Files location sets, there's something new to keep an eye out for around town.
posted by jokeefe at 12:36 PM on March 17, 2005


From a NY republican (via nequalsone)...
Quaglione even said if a similar advertisement [to the L-word], say of New York Yankees baseball stars were up, the senator would still have voiced a concern. “A guy standing there with a girl, or any combination of undressed people. That is the bottom line here,” Quaglione said


Oh heavens. Nudity. It's terrible. The children might find out that other people have genitals too! People having to look at the human body... it's so... /covers head in shame/ human!
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:48 PM on March 17, 2005


"Besides, it's filmed here in Vancouver"

There are at least a few token shots taken in West Hollywood, there are a few recognizable landmarks...
posted by schyler523 at 3:56 PM on March 17, 2005


What I find offensive in the officer's actions is that she had a commercial screensaver in a public school. Then again, I don't like business in the public schools any more than I like church in my state.
posted by QIbHom at 9:25 AM on March 19, 2005


Not to derail again, but I think it's important to focus on the root of this issue, namely, Ohio's continued existence.
Now, I'm from the midwest, Michigan actually, and am quite proud of our state. Our governor is way hot and Canadian, and we have sand dunes and Canada.
Ohio's governor is...well...well-suited for his position. (He's a Taft).
Honestly, the only complaint I have about my home state is its proximity to Ohio. On several occasions, in fact, Ohians have been known to scale or jump the fence and make their way into Michigan. Of course, municipal public safety teams have always successfully captured and reintroduced the Ohians back into their native habitats.
I think we should take a closer look at "the Buckeye state." Did you know that "Buckeye" means THE UNHOLY SEAT OF LUCIFER HIMSELF? Further evidence that OHIO MUST RETURN TOLEDO TO ITS RIGHTFUL OWNERS OR FACE BRUTAL, HIGHLY DISCRIMINATE AND TOTAL ANNIHILATION.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:57 AM on March 20, 2005


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