Thursday, April 22, 2010

Free speech gives me a headache sometimes.

I published this picture earlier this week and wrote the tagline "She'll probably step on you if you sass back."


Also, completely impossible situation. Giant women do not exist ergo, giant women cannot step on you and crush you.

My People are not all the same. There are a lot of different sub-interests. I know from going to the websites devoted to this stuff that some guys like the idea of being eaten alive or crushed under foot. It's not my particular brand, but again, it's a fantasy that has to remain a fantasy due to annoying stuff like physics and physiology. I know that there are people who sell videos of women stepping on grapes or eating Gummi bears and pretending they are torturing tiny men instead. The video for the song Miserable by Lit ends with a giant Pam Anderson eating all the tiny band members. It was played for laughs and of course, it was all special effects.

Fantasy. Nobody hurt. Not my cup of tea, but live and let live.

Sadly, tragically, for some people this is not enough. There are videos available on the Internet of women in high heels killing small animals by crushing them. Many of them are made in Japan. Sometimes it's mice killed. In the video this still is taken from, a kitten is killed.

Let me be clear. I am appalled. Like any right thinking individual, I find this extremely disgusting. If I it was in my power to throw some people off the list of My People, any crush fan that buys a video where any animal is killed would be banned for life, but I'm just an unofficial spokesperson and not an absolute monarch.

When authorities found out about this, they acted responsibly and banned such videos from being sold on the grounds of animal cruelty. I hate the term "common sense", but it's obvious it applies here. Killing small defenseless animals for other people's sexual gratification is a mode of commerce that localities should be able to ban. The sexual gratification part makes it a hot button issue, but the criminal part is the animal cruelty. No brainer.

Not so fast. The Supreme Court has decided 8-1 that stepping on a kitten and killing it slowly under a high heel is protected free speech. The one dissenter was Samuel Alito, and let me say as someone who agrees with the judge on next to nothing that I thank him for this.

Years ago, it was decided that taking your clothes off for money was protected free speech. I can understand the people who were upset by this, but no one came to actual physical harm in the act of a woman at a strip club. What happens after and what happens to the neighborhood, I'm willing to admit it's a different story. It seemed like a weird ruling, but I thought it was kind of funny. I'm not laughing now.

If I were a person prone to paranoia, I'd have to think that the Supreme Court is trying to make the public hate the First Amendment. I don't have much love in my heart or understanding in my mind for the eight idiots who made this ruling, no matter who nominated them to the bench. I hope someone can fashion a law that will stand up to judicial scrutiny that keeps this disgusting and cruel filth illegal, because as long as there is a buck to be made doing awful things, there will be someone who needs a buck who will be willing to do them.

In the words of my friend Victor Manjarrez, "We don't deserve to survive as a species."


namastenancy said...

I read, via The Art Newsletter, that the judges think that the law is too broad. I certainly hope that it will be revised; in the mean time, videos like the one you described and ones by the Arab/French artist who batters or shows animals being battered to death in the name of "art" are still legal. Legal they may be but ethical and humane they are not:

Eric said...

The law was very badly constructed, and pretty clearly unconstitutional. I don't think the Justices had any choice but to rule the way they did.

The person who brought the challenge to the law was a documentary maker who had been prosecuted for his film highlighting the cruelty inflicted on pit bulls for dogfighting rings.

If he could be prosecuted under this law, then similarly, Matty-boy's pic on today's blog could be actionable by some overzealous prosecutor. "But wait", you say, "he was showing animal cruelty to protest it and raise awareness!" Exactly. So was the documentary maker who was the primary petitioner to the Supreme Court case.

Bad law. Appropriate court ruling.

I say this one of "Our People" who agrees with your feelings about crush stuff, I'd kick em out too, if I were monarch. I'm also a pretty hardcore 1st Amendment guy. And I'm also quite fond of cats, and that pic with the kitten is going to haunt me all day. I'm still a little queasy at the thought of it.

Matty Boy said...

Thanks to Nancy and Eric for better 'splainin' than I found in the stories I read. I let inflammatory headlines get the better of me. I should be immune to that by now, reading the crap tabloid headlines as much as I do for the basic materials of my other blog, but obviously, my immunity only goes so far.

I was thinking about how you could write a law that would still let someone film what happens on the killing floor of a slaughterhouse, for example. I'm not a member of PETA and I don't plan to go vegan any time in the near future, but it's an important issue and people should be allowed to show the public how our food is made to make a point that has obvious political implications.

Anne said...

As someone who generally prefers ridicule and contempt as weapons against the unspeakable, I find myself wanting to agree with you here. Sometimes a practice is so disgusting we want the law to say: this practice is disgusting to all right-thinking people and will not be countenanced.

I'm willing to bet that in most US States deliberately stepping on a kitten to kill it is against the law anyway, coming under some or other cruelty to animals legislation. It is in UK. To those who will argue that it was in another country and besides the kitten is dead, I say: it was still a real kitten, and real cruelty.
In the UK viewing child porn will get you put in the slammer, no matter how far away or how long ago the abuse. But funny thing: we can read Lolita quite legally. Words less powerful than images, much? Or the literate less likely to be corrupted? I don't think so. The difference is that no child was harmed in the writing of Lolita.

Compare and contrast the Wikipedia edit war re the Kim Sun-il execution video.

In the end, I think we can't start legislating on the basis of the motives of people watching. If we would allow the film to be shown in a documentary against animal cruelty, then deplore it how we will, we can't stop the ****heads who watch it for kicks.

Distributorcap said...

matty i agree with you
i am hoping the laws will be rewritten

as a big animal rights person - (full disclosure, i am not a vegan) - the thought of allowing videos like this turns my stomach

Matty Boy said...

I have a favorite lyric from Fiddler On The Roof, from Tevye's solo, If I Were A Rich Man.

"Posing problems that would cross a rabbi's eyes."

I think D-Cap and I are in general agreement. I eat animals, I wear leather shoes, so I am clearly not a saint in these matters, but hurting animals for any reason less than food and shelter really bugs the hell out of me.

But then there's the depiction of the act. The public should be aware of how food is produced and clothing is made or even what testing products for toxicity entails. That means publicizing acts that reasonable people could consider animal cruelty.

This is one of the many reasons I chose mathematics instead of the law. A much cleaner field of study.