Flutterby™! : Virtual child porn, round 3

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Virtual child porn, round 3

2003-04-12 23:26:03.288301+00 by Shawn 16 comments

C|Net News is reporting that the Senate has approved the new Amber Alert bill with another go at virtual child porn tacked on. Reading through the text, it appears that their core (only) argument for needing to outlaw virtual depictions of children is because they can't (or maybe don't want to make the effort to) prove that a given image isn't that of an actual child. Guilty until proven innocent.

Also, I don't know about the previous incarnations, but this bill includes "...visual depiction of any kind, including a drawing, cartoon, sculpture, or painting...".

[ related topics: Politics Sexual Culture Free Speech Art & Culture Civil Liberties Graphic Design ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 05:17:44.515477+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Page 73: "the mere prospect that the technology exists to create composite of computer-generated depictions of real children will allow defendants who possess images of real children to escape prosecution" is one reason to be so tough and unforgiving.

Point blank gentle readers: I've been involved in more that a few child porn cases.None have been willing mature 17 year olds.. although I'm sure that happens. What I have seen, and had to evaluate is the most vile sick crap I've seen, and I've seen a lot of stuff to compare to and have a VERY open mind. It's been girls/boys under 12.. sometimes under 6.. not willing.. not understanding.. and emotionally and physically abused to perform these acts and then, if they survive, to keep quiet. It's not a crime, it's a sick mental illness. We treat it like a crime because we have to. The case many of you know about, "J.H.", involved over 700 pictures uploaded.. I have to evaluate most of them with the local vice cops, it made me sick.. but at least he wasn't making them. Youth Ministers (2 in a row) at the BIG Baptist church down the street were showing teens porno's as 'sex ed' and getting them to practice on them in private and semi-private lessons (the Ministers). One of them used a USB web-cam to record sessions at his desk.

I doubt this bill will really help, it lengthens sentences.. and it does make '_virtual_' child porn illegal, and first amendment nut that I am, I still agree. Instead of just prison, it should also mandate some serious and radical counseling and treatment of these offenders. Repeat offenders? I'm willing to pull the trigger personally.

And before you flame me about cartoons.. or virtual[Wiki] depictions.. I want you to tell me why the image of an unhappy cute 7 year old little girl with way too much makeup on (covering bruises) dressed only in garters and stockings.. forced to give a fat hairy 36 year old man (dad) a blow job is sexually stimulating to you. Then explain why he should be allowed to post it, or an abstracted, or cartoon depiction of it to the 'net to share with other people with the same mental sickness. Then tell me how to get it out of my mind, where it is burned in forever. and this was one of the nicer pictures.

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 05:24:10.436878+00 by: John Anderson

The "RAVE Act" got attached to the "Amber Alert" bill, and it's now law too -- Congressional sleeze-mongering at its finest. JWZ has a nice ranty overview of what the new law does.

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 05:38:59.893254+00 by: meuon

The Rave Act is mostly stupid.. and if enforced will shut down every decent hot night spot in town. and even my Contra Dancing friends have even played with El-Wire.. and drink LOTS of water.

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 16:33:21.305797+00 by: ebradway

Hey - don't they sell glow sticks and bottled water at Nightfall and Riverbend?!? Damn raves... But then again, Nightfall and Riverbend have ALWAYS[Wiki] been a drug orgy. (FYI, Nightfall is a weekly outdoor concert in downtown Chattanooga and Riverbend is the big weeklong music festival).

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 16:37:32.716409+00 by: ebradway

Oh yeah, the issue with making cartoons illegal - regardless of content - is that it sets a precedent. It lays a foundation for making any cartoons illegal and given the current security regime, I would potentially expect to see anything short of Popeye banned. And even Popeye has lots of violence and adultery. Exactly who is Sweet-Pea's father? Brutus or Popeye? And why isn't Olive Oil married? It's exactly this kind of trash that's been ruining the moral foundations of our society. We wouldn't permit this trash if it were filmed live - so why allow it as a cartoon?!?

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 16:42:58.396597+00 by: meuon

Popeye WAS filmed live. I thought Robin Williams was hilarious.

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 21:18:14.077277+00 by: Shawn

meuon; the problem is that this new legislation (the virtual image portion of it) punishes people for their thoughts. Legally, child pornography laws have always been based on the concept that some child, somewhere had been harmed in the making of the product - that the product (image) was basically evidence of the crime.

It's not about being sexually stimulating or not. Explain to me why a drawing (or a painting or a sculpture) - of anything - should send a person to jail.

#Comment made: 2003-04-13 23:19:14.569903+00 by: Pete [edit history]

Get ready for more of this:

Boiled Angel


*** Twenty-five-year-old Diana holds the honor of being the first cartoonist in America to be convicted on obscenity charges. His comic book, Boiled Angel, graphically depicts serial slayings, date rapes, and priests engaged in pedophilia.

Expert psychologist Sidney Merin testified that Boiled Angel appealed to "deviant groups," including the "fringe element," the "bizarrely unstable," and "those who have a libertine bent in their thinking."

The jury deliberated for two hours and returned a guilty verdict. Meanwhile, Diana spent three nights in jail in the Pinellas County's maximum-security unit awaiting sentencing. He received three years' probation, was ordered to perform 1,248 hours of community service, pay a US$3,000 fine, complete a psychology evaluation at his own expense, and take a course in journalism ethics, also at his own expense. But the shocker was Judge Walter Fullerton's decree forbidding Diana from drawing anything, even for his own personal use, that the judge might consider obscene. ***

Of course, no legimate expression would have a reason to depict pedophiliac priests preying on children, right?

Want to see some of it and decide for yourself? Here you go: http://www.11211magazine.com/editor/issue12/air12.pdf

But of course you'd be better off letting Ashcroft make that choice for you, and save yourself all that pesky thinking.

#Comment made: 2003-04-14 22:40:27.738171+00 by: meuon

I have to admit I found the cartoon amusing, yet disturbing in the way I am sure it was meant to be disturbing, and felt no urge to wack off to it. I'd say the judge is wrong on this one.. it's an emotional subjective call. Maybe the Judge got aroused by it.

It's a very hard line to draw, I think this one is wrong, but I still think the line must be drawn somewhere.

#Comment made: 2003-04-15 23:05:14.194882+00 by: Shawn

I still think the line must be drawn somewhere.

I'll agree with you for photographs and other types of recordings [of real events], but not for manufactured depictions. And for reference to that ideal, I would point to the Jefferson Muzzles website, which quotes Thomas Jefferson's "admonition that freedom of speech 'cannot be limited without being lost'".

#Comment made: 2003-04-16 17:47:53.941748+00 by: Dan Lyke

One thing that bothers me is that people who get off on death can go see the latest Lethal Weapon, but the anti-child-porn folks are removing any avenue for exploring the ethics of those who might be excited by child sexuality.

I'll leave for the moment the debate of child sexuality and concede the argument that child-adult sexual relationships are necessarily coercive, but what we create with this heavy prudishness is a state where that fantasy can never be explored, and therefore it must remain that forbidden fruit.

So sure, ban images with actual kids in it on privacy grounds, and prosecute those who create the images based on coercivity (although, as we've seen, sometimes these prosecutions go after innocent parents documenting their kid's life), but when they start fucking with ideas we're starting down the road of creating a whole subculture who are attracted because of the deviance of the very idea.

In the long run this will cause more harm to children than it prevents.

#Comment made: 2003-04-16 18:23:45.135689+00 by: meuon

The 'forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest' argument is a good one. First we eradicate most (if not all) religion.. and then.. ignorance..

This affects both sides: the abusers, as well as taking some of the stigmata from the abused.

#Comment made: 2003-04-17 15:04:42.301654+00 by: meuon

Side comment: Lethal Weapon (*X) is a poor death movie.. but it is as close to the real thing as most porn is to sex. Saving Private Ryan is more realistic: Cold, messy, random, senseless. - without glamour. One of my issues with most of the porn I've seen is that it is so far removed from reality. A reality much better experienced than possible to be recorded on film (or DVD).

Funny side story: Reading 'Freeware" by Randy Tucker.. at some point a biotech geek that's been doing lots of teledildonic sex actually gets to make it with a real woman. He can't. After years of getting in on through 'imoplex' (smart malleable bio-plastic) - actual sex just grosses him out.. the fluids, the smells.. the reality of it all...

One of my issues with 'virtual sex' or 'fantasy sex' is that it can be very powerful..and seems to be more powerful than the real thing for some people. When the real thing happens, they are unsatisfied.. and try again, harder.. stranger.. The couple of times I've had to listen to child (very young, not teen) molesters, they comment on not being sexually satisfied.. they want the real thing to be as "good" as their very unrealistic unattainable fantasy desire. Note: these also seem to be people that have not had a real sex life. Me? This month has blown my fantasies away.. I gotta work on better fantasies (and no minors involved..).

#Comment made: 2003-04-17 18:18:34.069153+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

One of my issues with most of the porn I've seen is that it is so far removed from reality.

Have you tried Millerswork titles? [Disclaimer/disclosure: I used to work for them.] Their mission statement is to address precisely this complaint about porn.

#Comment made: 2003-04-18 13:22:13.669638+00 by: meuon

No. but it might be worth a try. I've got a couple of average erotica/porn DVD's I bought, more to see the tech.. as I'd heard they pushed some envelopes technically. They are OK.. - Any favorite titles?

#Comment made: 2003-04-20 03:56:45.766765+00 by: Shawn

To be honest, I didn't pay much attention to the individual titles. I got to see footage on occasion and, as webmaster (at the time), I had access to all the stills. I liked Ben & Jaime (not sure I spelled that right - can't look it up, the in-laws might walk in at any minute) and what we affectionately called the "baby dykes" (girl-girl section). It's been awhile since I've looked at any of the tapes. Can't remember anything else off the top of my head.