It's smut...and I quit!
March 12, 2001 5:52 PM   Subscribe

It's smut...and I quit! If I have to choose between Heather Graham and kids that might see her depiction on a magazine cover, well then kids, take a hike! And besides isn't there a censorship something or other involved in this?
posted by Postroad (40 comments total)
You'll notice there's not even any nipple to complain about in this one.

I feel like I must point out that library clerks are not librarians,
even though there are wingnuts in the librarian population too.

The ACLU said it best in this article: "It’s precisely people like this who make the First
Amendment necessary"

posted by jessamyn at 5:57 PM on March 12, 2001

Anyone have a scan of the cover? I remember seeing it in the store some time ago but haven't since. You know, just for the educational purposes....
posted by tiaka at 6:20 PM on March 12, 2001

Perhaps the woman in question could put her energies into focusing on issues of substance instead of those that land her name in the paper and give her an opportunity to pit her "friends" on the city council against the evil lurking in the library.

Nothing like tilting at windmills.
posted by sillygit at 6:23 PM on March 12, 2001

There's the cover; here's a bit of the story.

No evidence of the "porn" pictorial. I will note that the same issue profiles the women of the US Senate.
posted by dhartung at 7:10 PM on March 12, 2001

I love the quote that the clerk "didn't believe in intellectual freedom without responsibility". It seems that her definition of responsibility is other people doing what she wants. I can't even guess what what her defintion of freedom is.
posted by rdr at 7:11 PM on March 12, 2001

Someone quit their job over this magazine? Quick, someone tell Tina Brown that she's won. Then hand the keys of government to her. ALL YOUR MAGAZINES ARE BELONG TO US.
posted by solistrato at 7:20 PM on March 12, 2001

You can find the "porn pic" here. I'm sure you can see stuff just as risque in the SI Swimsuit Issue.
posted by jpoulos at 7:26 PM on March 12, 2001

SI. Pffffttt. Too slick anyway. What about, say, Interview magazine, which I've seen in quite a number of libraries over the years and which is a competitor, just about every month? Or does anyone read it? GQ has mild, but way slick nudity at least twice every year. (I once worked as a library clerk and put mags on the rack. I know these things, and am a better person for it.)

Hear the celebrity interview mags are sucking canal water in the subscription department anyway. Or Rolling Stone. Does Rolling Stone make it into that category at least somewhat these days? How many butts have made it onto that mag's cover over the past few years? It's so pathetic. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with rear end photos, or naturalistic non-full-frontal-frontal photos of Drew Barrymore-in-a-pool in Interview.

Then of course there is the granddaddy of them all, National Geographic. A letter to its editor was published last year re photos of topless bathers in some European setting. The letter writer stated that showing nudity in primitive cultures was to be expected, but not nudity from Civilization.
posted by raysmj at 8:16 PM on March 12, 2001

This is a perfect example of what people resort to when they have no life.
posted by Zool at 9:28 PM on March 12, 2001

Give me ten minutes in that library and I guarantee I'll come out with at least two items that will make this woman far more apoplectic than this Talk piece. If those photos are capable of causing her that much grief, then she's never been paying attention to any of the library's incoming content before. (Not only are those photos not pornographic, they're derivative and boring. I've seen photographers pose women like that dozens of times in failed attempts to make their work seem hip and cool. Also, the one on the far right has a fat ass.)

One other question: Why is she reading magazines on the job?

I will give her credit for one thing, though. At least she did the honorable thing and quit over her beliefs, rather than filing a frivolous lawsuit.

Quick, someone tell Tina Brown that she's won.

You seen Talk's circulation counts lately? She ain't winning.
posted by aaron at 10:00 PM on March 12, 2001

One other question: Why is she reading magazines on the job?

I don't agree with the clerk's complaint, but considering that it seems most MiFiers spend a large chunk of their workday poking around the web, this seems like a silly question to raise.

posted by gluechunk at 10:30 PM on March 12, 2001

One of the joys of working in a library is that you
get to read on the job.

The woman on the far right can probably stay warm
through cold New England winters, though I don't
want to see her try to shovel snow in those shoes.

posted by jessamyn at 10:42 PM on March 12, 2001

Fat ass, my ass. I wouldn't kick any of those chicks out of bed for eatin' crackers. Who says only rail-skinny women are interesting to look at naked, anyway?
posted by kindall at 10:50 PM on March 12, 2001

Aaron, judging be the amount of time that you spend "contributing" to MeFi, I'm guessing you could use a little female companionship, ample assed or no. Do me a favor: If you're going to be misogynistic, at least be clever. Moron.

(And yes, I know we're not supposed to attack people personally, but he started it.)
posted by Optamystic at 12:05 AM on March 13, 2001

aaron: Also, the one on the far right has a fat ass.

i know people have already talked some shit but here we go:

i've never had any complaints about my fat ass. i could tell you that beauty comes in all sizes, but i don't think it would make any difference to you. suffice it to say that i've never been kicked out of bed. jerk. you may not like women with big asses, but believe me, plenty of men (and women!) do.

(please cross-apply what optamystic said about personal attacks. thank you.)

(and where's paul when we need him?)
posted by sugarfish at 12:17 AM on March 13, 2001

aaron wrote: "Also, the one on the far right has a fat ass."

Aaron is the big ass on the far right.

posted by pracowity at 12:36 AM on March 13, 2001

My my my, the self-rightousness police are patrolling the streets tonight, aren't they? ::snicker::

Any of you who bothered reading my posts on a regular basis - a category into which none of the above complainers seem to belong, since they're forced to spend so much time dealing with those jerking knees of theirs - would know that I am very much against judging people based on their looks, especially on weight. And it the constant use of, and worship of, thin models in our society that make such bigotry and discrimination not only possible, not only acceptable, but outright encouraged.

As a result, I try never to miss an opportunately to attack the looks of those, such as models, who make their extremely comfortable livings off of such bigotry and discrimination. To tear them down is to build up the billions of us who do not fit society's current arbirarily-defined standard of "beauty."

I've talked about this issue a number of times in prior threads. So, to be blunt, take your accusations and shove them, s'il vous plait.

And Optamystic, nowhere in my previous post did I personally attack you or anyone else in this thread. The personal statements of hate were yours alone. By the way, Opti, are you familiar with the psychological term "projection"? (See definition 8 on the linked page.) Considering that you seem to have MeFi pretty high up on your own mental bookmarks list, you might want to look into the subject before tossing around any further accusations like the one you threw at me. Twit.

And you two, sugarfish and pracowity, may simply kiss my own fat ass for jumping to conclusions, you arrogant little peons.
posted by aaron at 12:47 AM on March 13, 2001

I suddenly feel as if months of MeFi were just an elaborate setup for pracowity's one-liner. Who put you people up to this?
posted by chino at 12:53 AM on March 13, 2001

so someone is jumping to conclusions when you post a comment like "that model has a fat ass" and don't make it clear that you're being snarky?

excuse me while i make a notation in my notebook that comments from aaron, when seemingly sizeist, really aren't, because he doesn't believe what the media shills.

call me an arrogant little peon, then. i've heard worse.

and as for reading your posts on a regular basis? i've been reading MeFi for over a year, aaron, and i simply cannot keep track of every. single. poster. i'm quite sure i've read posts of yours before, but this is the first one that stuck.
posted by sugarfish at 1:09 AM on March 13, 2001

By the way, Opti, are you familiar with the psychological term "projection"? (See definition 8 on the linked page.) Considering that you seem to have MeFi pretty high up on your own mental bookmarks list, you might want to look into the subject before tossing around any further accusations like the one you threw at me. Twit.

I'm not dissing the fact that you spend alot of time here. I think that's great. I spend alot of time here, too. It's nice here. All blue and cozy and stuff. That wasn't my point. My point is: If you have as much time as you apparently do, then you're probably not in a position to be real picky about the size of any girl's ass, much less the ass of some random girlie in a magazine photo. Neither am I, by the way. But I didn't do it, you did.

By the way, the girl in question is probably not making nearly as much money as you think she is. If she's "the girl on the far right" in this particular photo, she probably got the night off from waiting tables, or "fluffing" in pornos or whatever she has to do to make ends meet. Move out here to Hollywood and give it a shot, sometime. I think you'll find that it ain't so easy.

I read your comments regularly. I don't choose to argue with you often, because we are simply at opposite ends of the political spectrum. I disagree with most of what you say, but I think that what you lack in logic, you make up for in sincerity. I'm not going to change your mind, you're probably not going to change mine. Fine and well and good. No problems there. But please do not attempt to justify your earlier attempt at a cheap laugh by couching it in some "anti size-bias" sentiment, scrounged together, after the fact, because you got busted for talking smack.

If you felt the need to tilt at the "false perception of beauty" windmill, you sure as hell picked a childish way to do it. You were acting like Beavis. Beavis gives me a headache. I called you out on it. If I was mistaken in my assessment of your comments, then perhaps you should use a little more sense when you type them.

The personal statements of hate were yours alone.

You think that calling you a moron qualifies as hate?
Then you should have seen some of the shit that I deleted, when I was writing that post. If I was too harsh in my statement of distaste for your comment, I apologize, but I really get sick of having to be associated with dumbass, fratboy sentiments like the one you expressed, just because I am a guy. Use your head, man.

posted by Optamystic at 3:04 AM on March 13, 2001

> And you two, sugarfish and pracowity, may simply kiss
> my own fat ass for jumping to conclusions, you arrogant
> little peons.

Oooooooooo. {For the full effect, you have to imagine me clutching my handbag to my chest.}

I guess this means Saturday night's off then, right? Or is that another conclusion I'm jumping to?
posted by pracowity at 3:25 AM on March 13, 2001

Who's paying for dinner?
posted by aaron at 3:35 AM on March 13, 2001

Dutch treat; the Netherlands should be about half way between us.
posted by pracowity at 4:59 AM on March 13, 2001

... and just as long as the Netherlands are trim and fit you should both be happy.

posted by cCranium at 5:35 AM on March 13, 2001

Before this degenerates any further into ridiculous recriminations over whoever's fat ass and whether or not the phrase "Dutch treat" is racist, can we get back on track?

There, I knew we could.

This dimwitted woman's actions have put funding for an entire library in jeopardy. She's got the ear of at least one local politician and who knows what kind of repulsive grass roots effort may be headed up here. How do people get to be that dense? Who are the people who would sacrifice an entire library over a single issue of a single magazine that a single offended clerk started a hullabaloo over?

Any MeFier from this community, or anywhere nearby, who can shed more light on how logic is getting so screwed over here?
posted by Dreama at 6:37 AM on March 13, 2001

Fat ass? What ass? Though I've twigged to the idea that aaron might have been attempting to be inflammatory, I just had to throw my $0.2 in on the topic of asses, and go slightly offtopic for a second...


That is not an ample ass - and, for that matter, I'd just like to clear up the misconception that Jennifer Lopez has a huge ass, because it really isn't.

Other than that, I think the library lady was being somewhat of a prude. I can appreciate that different people have different "offense levels", but really, that's hardly smut. Sexy, maybe, but not really smutty. I've seen far more risque magazine covers displayed where everyone can see them, not just those inclined to visit libraries - every day I walk past a store with magazine covers displayed on their windows and there's one for some guy's magazine featuring three pouty, bronzed-up naked blondes (strategically posed, no showing of the nippular areas) - it's a second away from porn. And I don't think you'd find that particular publication on a library shelf where it could possibly "harm the children" (god forbid, nevermind that a lot of kids have already seen straight-out porn from under their parent's bed by the age of eight... or maybe that was just me).
posted by sammy at 6:38 AM on March 13, 2001

Any MeFier from this community, or anywhere nearby, who can shed more light on how logic is getting so screwed over here?

Uhhh..., I don't believe that this is a problem confined to the Cleveland area, it could just as easily happen in Pittsburgh. ;-)

It sounds like one person getting worked up over a magazine, and one politician who may be taking advantage of the situation to make a name for himself in a pretty small suburb. A tempest in a teapot, that's what it is.
posted by Avogadro at 6:51 AM on March 13, 2001

If it takes porn to get kids into libraries then bring it on!

I'd rather kids are snickering over boobies in the corner of the library then hoping it's 'Lesbian Lovers' week on Jerry Springer.

8, sammy? I didn't find any porn till I was 11. I feel robbed.
posted by Mick at 6:55 AM on March 13, 2001

Sugarfish, I'm as PC as the next guy, but even I think the word "sizeist" is pretty stupid...
posted by jpoulos at 6:56 AM on March 13, 2001

Discussion on the word 'sizist'/'sizeist' over at QuickTopic, for this thread is way too polluted.
posted by hijinx at 7:22 AM on March 13, 2001

I can appreciate that different people have different "offense levels"...

I've read far too many "letters to the editor" from people who are horrified about how pictures of bikini-clad models on billboards should be banned before they corrupt their poor, defenseless children. More often than not, these are the kind of people who want to define what's "offensive" for everyone.
posted by harmful at 7:52 AM on March 13, 2001

I like how even the "news" article couldn't quite bring itself to say "vaginas." No . . . "private areas." America continues its strange plumbing of the Madonna/Whore depths.

Not that this woman makes a lick of sense. Sbrocco said she told library officials she "didn’t believe in intellectual freedom without responsibility. . . " I've parsed this sentence countless times (well, three), and I still am not sure what it means. Except, perhaps, "This is a pseudo-thoughtful chunk of buzzword-y jargon designed to sound smart and incisive while in fact it is a cipher that means only what people project onto it."
posted by Skot at 8:35 AM on March 13, 2001

No, it couldn't happen in Pittsburgh. Our libraries are woefully underfunded, but it's all private funding. No idiot with a chip on her shoulder could go whining to our city council and threaten the Carnegie Library system. Thank G-d.
posted by Dreama at 9:24 AM on March 13, 2001

In fact, US library history has shown that this will most likely eventually blow over. Most likely. One councilman vowing to vote against the levy will not make it fail. Especially -- as I said before -- if there's no nipple.

You can make NO argument that this is against any existing laws, therefore the disgruntled clerk will either need to suck it up and go work for N2H2 or recive a hard lesson that most people don't consider racy pictures of women dangerous to the moral fiber of society. Especially if the head librarian disagrees with her. The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom exists to give the [well funded] beatdown to challenges like this.
posted by jessamyn at 11:54 AM on March 13, 2001

Now that this thread's back on topic I of course come in to derail it.

If you're going to be misogynistic, at least be clever. Saying a woman has a fat ass makes him a woman-hater? So if I comment on some guy's beergut am I man-bashing? I personally find the picture a lot more misogynistic and sexist then anything aaron said. What would be thrown at me should I comment on the middle girl having big feet?
posted by crushed at 1:58 PM on March 13, 2001

posted by Optamystic at 2:34 PM on March 13, 2001

Jessamyn: Do you mean nipples on magazine covers, or inside the actual magazines? There are lots of nipples to be found in magazines, depending on the month -- some in sexy photos, some in not-so-sexy photos, although what is "sexy" soooooo very much depends on the reader. Areolas too! Can you imagine? Then of course there are books. Lots of nipples, male and female, to be found in books, in almost any decent (yes, decent) library in America.

From the proverbial strange but true category: I remember a patron at a library at which I worked for a time telling us that a certain book was far too dirty to describe, we should have told her, na na. Then she was informed that the book had a rather largish "erotic" sticker on it.
posted by raysmj at 4:28 PM on March 13, 2001

There were no visible nipples in the magazine in question, was all I meant. I bring two nipples with me to any library.

posted by jessamyn at 9:44 PM on March 13, 2001

Well, I took a long look at the pics invlolved in this discussion, and I have to say one thing.
We do not have a subscription to this magazine at the library where I work....but I just ordered it, so we will soon.
Besides, it is so much better than the bra section of the JC Penney catalog that I had as a kid. When we get this magazine rollin in, I might steer the young kids in that general direction.
People just have to lighten up. It's just a naked body. Hell, we all have one.
posted by bradth27 at 12:55 PM on March 14, 2001

Game over. The library will keep Talk.
posted by aaron at 4:35 PM on April 3, 2001

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