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Hey Señorita, I'm hot as hell

About fifty years ago, the governor of Indiana received a letter complaining about obscenity in the lyrics of a rock'n'roll song, and passed that letter on to the FBI. For the following two years, FBI agents examined potential lyrics of the song (which were incomprehensible on the recording, partly due to the singer's braces) to find grounds for an obscenity prosecution. They ultimately failed, but produced a 140-page report, listing numerous possible obscene readings of what the lyrics could be, and in doing so, turned Louie Louie by The Kingsmen from a footnote into a bona fide rock'n'roll rebel anthem. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Thinking beyond "The Seven"

George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" routine debuted in 1972 and led to a landmark obscenity case at the Supreme Court. What many people don't know is that ten years later, he decided to expand the list (written list here). There was even a viewer-contributed list on his website that was 2,443 words long. Sadly, this list has evaporated on the site, but the Wayback Machine provides an alternate (which is helpfully categorized). Finally, Stephen Colbert and Hugh Laurie recently kept the recitation-of-dirty-words tradition alive by reading some verboten language that the four networks are currently lobbying the FCC permission to use. (NSFW, natch)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 2, 2013 - 29 comments

"It’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking."

In the 2012 superbowl half-time show, rapper M.I.A. flipped off the camera while performing with Madonna. On September 19, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that the NFL has been waging a "secret legal war" over the incident, demanding $1.5 million and an apology from M.I.A. This week M.I.A. responded with a video statement (transcript at Pitchfork):
So, now, they’re scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That’s basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money, it’s a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so they can say it’s OK for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.
[more inside]
posted by medusa on Sep 28, 2013 - 135 comments

Tasty Pastry or Edible Obscenity?

Virtual idol Hatsune Miku has collaborated with Family Mart to produce these NSFW snacks. Whaddya think? Feel like heading down to Family Mart for some Sakura no Ame? [more inside]
posted by kinnakeet on Mar 14, 2013 - 68 comments

The Most Dangerous Man in Publishing

Barney Rosset, former owner of the influential Grove Press and Evergreen Review, boundary-shattering publisher of Tropic of Cancer, Waiting for Godot, and Naked Lunch, and U.S. distributor of I Am Curious (Yellow), died yesterday at the age of 90.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 22, 2012 - 30 comments

Porn again.

What's one thing the major GOP candidates can all agree on? Why, the need to be hard on porn, of course. Morality in Media (MIM, previously) recently revealed that presidential hopefuls Santorum, Romney, and Gingrich had all affirmed the group's drive for "enforcement of obscenity laws". And the multi-billion-dollar per year industry? Adult Video News responds to the campaign (nsfw ads).
posted by stinkycheese on Jan 14, 2012 - 61 comments

Naked Lunch turns 50

Naked Lunch, the infamous novel by American writer William S. Burroughs and the subject of the final literary obscenity trial in the United States, turns 50 this year. To celebrate the anniversary, the first collection of critical essays devoted to the novel will be published this month and a three-day "homage and symposium" will be held in July at the University of London Institute in Paris, with complementary celebrations taking place in New York and other cities throughout the rest of 2009.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jun 19, 2009 - 69 comments

A Strange Erotic Journey from Milan to Minsk

In September 1969, Simon & Schuster was preparing to publish Irving Wallace's The Seven Minutes, a novel about the obscenity trial of a fictitious book of the same name by the fictitious author J.J. Jadway. Maurice Girodias, head of the erotica and avant garde literature publishing house the Olympia Press had a clever idea: what if I publish Jadway's book? [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 22, 2009 - 16 comments

Inscrutable, these grass-mud horses, what?

Stories about caonima, grass-mud horses have become a popular meme with their own theme song [Flash] in China. If you don't speak Chinese it's surprisingly hard to find out why: the name sounds rude. Sometimes juvenile humor can be the best way to poke fun at the ever-present government censorship.
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 12, 2009 - 27 comments

Man arrested for possession of explicit manga

A man -- Christopher Handler -- has been arrested in Iowa for possession of explicit yaoi and lolicon manga. [more inside]
posted by peacheater on Nov 25, 2008 - 156 comments

You can't say that!

The U.S. Constitution protects your right to bear arms. And it supposedly protects your right to mock nearly-bare bears. Speech is definitely subject to supply and demand. So why does the FCC feel the need to regulate swearing on the airwaves? Steven Pinker complains. [via ALDaily]
posted by Inspector.Gadget on Oct 21, 2008 - 82 comments

Under His Robes

U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Alex Kozinski [wiki] is currently adjudicating a remarkably hardcore obscenity case.  He is currently facing his own obscenity case as well, having allowed public access to NSFW or illegal-for-minor-viewing material posted on his own vanity website, as reported in the LA Times.  Although he maintains that the material's posting was just innocent fun, he clearly knows his way around the internets.  Kozinski is a prolific and well-regarded essayist, and is occasionally mentioned as a potential Supreme Court nominee.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 11, 2008 - 96 comments

"Nothing like a meeting you have to carb up for"

A runner's primer
posted by nthdegx on May 29, 2008 - 78 comments

Happy V-Day From The 5th Circuit

"I've been anticipating this for some time," said Ray Hill, consultant for a number of local adult bookstores, speaking of the infamous Texas Dildo Law [Molly Ivins video, not only NSFW but too funnt for work] prohibiting the posession of six or more "obscene devices." [more inside]
posted by Robert Angelo on Feb 14, 2008 - 73 comments

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness..."

Too Hot To Hear. Fifty years ago today, a San Francisco Municipal Court judge ruled that Allen Ginsberg's Beat-era poem "Howl" was not obscene. Yet today, a New York public broadcasting station decided not to air the poem, fearing that the Federal Communications Commission will find it indecent and crush the network with crippling fines. More on Allen Ginsberg here. Via.
posted by amyms on Oct 5, 2007 - 69 comments

@#^&, %$*!, @%#, &!*$, @$#%@&!*#@#!, @*!#&$%@#*!&$# and @%$*.

"I find it kind of funny to be hassled for using [them] when my intention is to free us from hassling people for using them." Thirty five years later, George Carlin's seven dirty words still aren't forgotten by his arresting officer. "I couldn't believe my ears," Elmer Lenz remembers. "I couldn't see why nobody was doing anything about it."
posted by miss lynnster on Jul 5, 2007 - 37 comments

Hindu case against 'obscene' Muslim artist fails

Proceedings against MF Husain have been stayed in India's Supreme Court. A painting by the celebrated Muslim artist, apparently depicting Mother India as a nude, led Hindus to bring an obscenity case and proceedings to seize his Mumbai property were initiated. However his lawyers moved swiftly to frustrate the action, transferring the property into his son's name and then seeking the High Court ruling. Hindus have taken offense at previous paintings by Husain, depicting Hindu deities in allegedly obscene ways. Others disagree.
posted by Phanx on May 8, 2007 - 41 comments

Plus I'm hungry for shit.

If you're sick of random, crude, sloppy , incredibly NSFW cartoons featuring juvenile humor, you'll love Sick Animation!
posted by Citizen Premier on Aug 25, 2006 - 10 comments

The End of Porn?

The End of Porn? The Ashcroft/Gonzales Justice Department has made obscenity prosecutions a top priority, with 60 prosecutions in the first four years of the Bush administration (compared to four for the entire eight years of the Clinton administration). Anti-porn advocates were dismayed in January when a federal judge in Pittsburgh, citing dicta on sexual liberty in the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision, dismissed an indictment in a closely-watched case. Today, however, the Third Circuit reversed, rejecting the defendant's arguments that (1) Lawrence protected their liberty interest in distributing pornographic material, and (2) earlier Supreme Court obscenity precedent should be revisited in light of the increased prevalence of Internet transmission. The result, undoubtedly, will be a new wave of prosecutions not seen since the Supreme Court set limits on First-Amendment based protections in the 1970s.
posted by Saucy Intruder on Dec 8, 2005 - 50 comments

porn+war photos+???= jail?

Remember our good pal from NowThatsFuckedUp.com, the one who was trading war photos from soldiers for access to his amateur porn site? Well, looks like he's traded the whole shebang for a stint in the Polk County Jail for some 300+ counts of obscenity charges. Held on $151,000 bail, he (or his hood friends outside da joint) have set up a new site - http://www.freechris.org - with significantly less homegrown pr0n and corpse shots, and significantly more whining for donations to dude's legal defense fund, starting at $2.
Personally, and in pure technical terminology, I find the whole thing to be really "icky," yet, maybe it's a good thing that people can see the reality of war SOMEWHERE, since the fine folks of the fourth estate don't seem too interested in the word "reality", unless it's followed by the word "television." Either way, there are free speech issues at play here as well it seems. As Voltaire so wiselely stated: "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to be a douchebag."
posted by stenseng on Oct 19, 2005 - 38 comments

The T-Shirt Terrorist?

Last week, a woman was forced off a Southwest Airlines flight for wearing a t-shirt. The shirt in question bore the phrase "Meet the F*ckers" and an image of US President Bush, VP Cheney and Condoleezza Rice. The passenger, Lorrie Heasley, refused to remove it after other passengers complained. Apparently "Southwest rules filed with the FAA say they can remove a passenger that is offensive, abusive, disorderly or violent or for clothing that is "lewd, obscene, or patently offensive," but the airline says the curse (not the political message) led to her being asked to leave. Ms. Heasley is now speaking with the ACLU to see if she can initiate a lawsuit, but the NYTimes checked with experts in constitutional law and they don't think she has a case.

Well, the makers of the t-shirt have responded: "If any T-Shirt Hell customer is kicked off of any commercial airline flight simply for wearing one of our shirts, we will provide you with alternate transportation to get you to your original destination. This transportation includes, but is not limited to, the T-Shirt Hell corporate jet."
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2005 - 221 comments

We all wish we could, I suppose.

On live TV, irate Miss. man tells Cheney to "self-copulate" Thus turns the karmic wheel ? Recall: over a year ago VP Cheney said ' "I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it," after he told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahey - on the floor of the US Senate - to "Go f_ck" himself. Today, during Cheney's tour of storm damaged Miss., a resident approached Cheney's press meeting and shouted: "Go f_ck yourself, Mr. Cheney!!  Go f_ck yourself!!!". The exhortation was aired on at least one national cable channel. Here is the video ( ALT ). The LA Times,CNN, and FOX are carrying the story.
posted by troutfishing on Sep 8, 2005 - 127 comments

Porn-again Christian

'I haven't seen a porno film in 20 years or more. No need to. I got my wife'.
Harry Reems tells about his struggle to survive Deep Throat.
posted by matteo on May 22, 2005 - 17 comments

Curse for free

Dropping an F-bomb on the radio, and in Canada you apologize. In the States, having this happen on your station would cost you many dollars.
posted by evilcolonel on Feb 18, 2005 - 36 comments

Anti-Porn Law Is Unconstitutional

Anti-Porn Law Is Unconstitutional A federal court in U.S. v. Extreme Associates has struck down the federal anti-obscenity law. In this case, the government argued that "entertaining lewd and lustful thoughts stimulated by viewing material that appeals to one's purient interests . . . . is immoral conduct even when done by consenting adults in private." The court, however, wanted no part of this moralizing, as it declared "upholding the public sense of morality is not even a legitimate state interest."
posted by expriest on Jan 23, 2005 - 36 comments

Hubert Selby, Jr (1928-2004)

"Hubert Selby died often. But he always came back, smiling that beautiful smile of his, and those blue eyes of his... This time he will not be back. My saints have always come from hell, and now, with his passing, there are no more saints". Selby is the author of Last Exit to Brooklyn, (tried for obscenity in England and supported by, among many others, Samuel Beckett and Anthony Burgess), Requiem For a Dream, Song of the Silent Snow. He is being eulogized in the USA and UK, but also, massively (I've just watched a fantastic TV special) in France, where he is much more popular than in his native land (Selby's death was the cover story -- plus pages 2, 3 and 4 -- in the daily Libération today -- .pdf file): Dernière sortie vers la rédemption, L'extase de la dévastation. What makes all this kind of ironic -- in a very Selbyesque way -- is that Selby himself used to say, "I started to die 36 hours before I was born..." (more inside)
posted by matteo on Apr 28, 2004 - 16 comments

Just say no to Crack

Staking out the high moral ground, a bill would punish those wearing low-riding jeans. It seems that Representative Derrick D. T. Shepherd of Louisiana, a Democrat no less, wants to outlaw low slung pants. Plumbers beware, and stock up on Butt-Crack Caulk! Really, don't they have anything better to legislate besides fashion or holidays?
posted by Eekacat on Apr 23, 2004 - 45 comments

The war on pornography

John Ashcroft's Patriot Games. An interesting article from last month's Vanity Fair on Ashcroft and his revolution inside the Justice Department. Now the Justice Department wants to wage a war on porn, and "are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO's long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains." [Via Boing Boing and Instapundit.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 7, 2004 - 47 comments

Shockwave.com & Awe

Drawn in the style of a pre-school children's cartoon. But from the sick & twisted minds of the guys from Southpark. Princess, A lap dog who observes the very adult world around her. The sexual content was so extreme shockwave.com halted development of the "webisodes" only after seeing the first 2 of 39 episodes that were contracted. Now you can watch these shorts & judge for yourself. Thanks to the folks at Trio. (username/password required... mefi/mefi)
posted by Dreamghost on Mar 18, 2004 - 21 comments

Sex Crimes!

Perversion for Profit linking pornography to the Communism Citizens for Decent Literature: Sex Bad, violence Good! I just thought this would be cool to revisit in light of the Mel Gibson, Orson Scott Card Debates. Intersting what They shppw as to show you what YOU should not be looking at. Maybe (NSFW, maybe just NSF-Sanity)
posted by Elim on Feb 26, 2004 - 22 comments

How To Attract The 18-34 Crowd: Say

Oh fuck! Are you interested? Let me guess: you're 18 to 34 years old, right? Oh it's a dandy little word, for sure. But is it enough? Here's yet another brilliant marketing idea dreamt up by the 35-50 thoroughly fucked-up Texan reader-research crowd! [Via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 22, 2003 - 23 comments

SFW SFW SFW

You're probably feeling safer today than you were a few days ago, and you know why? It's Protection from Porn week, direct from the White House. Spurred on from groups such as Morality in Media (who issued a jubilant press release to mark their achievement) you can finally feel safe now that you've gotten out from under pornography's thumb. (note: These links couldn't be any safer for work)
posted by mathowie on Oct 30, 2003 - 34 comments

the demise of the fuck

Further verification that fuck is fucked. The gradual emasculation of a word once obscene.
posted by the fire you left me on Oct 22, 2003 - 54 comments

When health takes a back seat to ... taste?

We already knew that frequent masturbation might cut prostate cancer risk. But it turns out that this is not a message fit for American families. The details of the Lewinsky episode splattered across front pages of the US and abroad come to mind, but also Nancy Reagan pleading for stem research.
posted by magullo on Sep 8, 2003 - 90 comments

Silly Clerk, Comix are for Kids!

Supreme Court Denies Castillo Appeal. Castillo was charged with two counts of obscenity for selling adult comic books to adults. The State prosecutor did not offer contradictory testimony, but secured a guilty verdict with a closing argument stating, “I don’t care what type of evidence or what type of testimony is out there, use your rationality, use your common sense. Comic books, traditionally what we think of, are for kids. This is in a store directly across from an elementary school and it is put in a medium, in a forum, to directly appeal to kids. That is why we are here, ladies and gentlemen. … We’re here to get this off the shelf.” Castillo was found guilty and sentenced to 180 days in jail, a year probation, and a $4,000 fine.
posted by jopreacher on Aug 11, 2003 - 41 comments

www.constitutionalsluts.com?

I believe this is a blow for the First Amendment. Today, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Child Online Protection Act. Also, read COPA's report online. In related news, the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments regarding a law which requires "filters" to be placed on public library computers. Can any of these laws be written to satisfy constitutional requirements? Julie Hilden of Findlaw.con has already contemplated this issue. Will the U.S. follow Canada's lead by enacting similar anti-porn laws? Despite support in the U.S. for such laws, the Indianapolis model pornography law was struck down as unconstitutional nearly ten years ago. It seems even Canada is rejecting the Dworkin/MacKinnon point of view. Is there any middle ground in this showdown of liberty and equality? Which value should prevail? Are these values really at odds with each other?
posted by Bag Man on Mar 7, 2003 - 75 comments

Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult

Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's lawyers are filing an appeal in the highest criminal court in Texas in the obscenity conviction of Jesus Castillo, manager of a Dallas comic book store. Castillo has received six months jail time, a year probation, and a $4000 fine. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Aug 21, 2002 - 36 comments

Fighting the CDA

Fighting the CDA : The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is working with one of nations most interesting erotic photographers to overturn the portion of the CDA that ties all internet obscenity to the most restrictive definition of the most restrictive community in the nation.
posted by soulhuntre on Dec 11, 2001 - 30 comments

Banned books are nothing new, but this is just ridiculous.
"Those modern classics and seven other books have come under routine fire for profane language, unpleasant racial themes and references to homosexuality." Considering this , why is it an issue. [see no evil]
posted by hotdoughnutsnow on Aug 29, 2001 - 52 comments

Remember George Carlin's 7 words you can never say on tv? Well, make that three, because four of TV's seven dirty words have now become part of the television lexicon. What's your favorite word?
posted by Rastafari on Aug 28, 2001 - 52 comments

Can your own private written journal be considered obscene? A guy in Ohio is given 10 years in prison for writing fictitious tales in a 14-page journal.
posted by gluechunk on Jul 4, 2001 - 51 comments

"Several months ago I wrote a letter to WisDOT requesting your agency consider recalling the vanity license plate IH8GOP that I noticed on a vehicle in the Columbus area. My reason for requesting the recall of this plate is that the message is obscene to those of us who are members of the Republican Party (GOP) and who subscribe to the conservative principles of the party. I never received a response to my letter..."

Political correctness, Hate Speech, Free Speech and the problem of vanity plates at Wisconsin's Department of Transportation.
posted by lagado on Jul 1, 2001 - 38 comments

Feds post indecent material.

Feds post indecent material. In a move sure to be challenged, the FCC released a report which offfers examples of what they consider to be indecent, and not indecent.

In typical government style, anything that is referred to "sexual" is deemed indecent. But use of the word such as "motherF****r" isn't. This just makes things even more confusing... at least to me.

Examples:

Indecent: "Well, it was a nice big fart. I'm feeling very gaseous at this point."

Not indecent: "The hell I did, I drove motherF****r, oh. Oh."

Indecent: "Sit on my face and tell me that you love me. I'll sit on your face and tell you I love you too." - Montey Python
posted by da5id on Apr 7, 2001 - 10 comments

Canadian hate crime laws

Canadian hate crime laws are trying to be applied to filmmakers. Sure they made fake snuff films and there are no victims. So far they have them on an obscenity charge and I thought we had free speech problems.
posted by skallas on Oct 16, 2000 - 5 comments

Third Circuit panel upholds injunction against Child Online Protective Act,

Third Circuit panel upholds injunction against Child Online Protective Act, says that "community standards" approach doesn't work in 'cyberspace'. Is sanity breaking out in the federal judiciary?
posted by baylink on Jun 23, 2000 - 1 comment

Nannybots and mailing lists don't mix

Nannybots and mailing lists don't mix - especially nannybots that have gone insane!
posted by CrazyUncleJoe on Mar 3, 2000 - 2 comments

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