March 18, 2002 10:58pm
The Latour Letter - America Narrowly Avoids an Activist Censor
Source: Exclusively for Adult Industry News
by: Miss Charlie Latour
WOW, that was a close one! Do you realize how close we came to being burdened, on the national level, with an activist censor? We are talking an honest to goodness activist who wanted to censor free speech and artistic freedom. Our precious freedoms can not be placed in jeopardy by activists who believe they have a right to censor what we see, what we read and what we hear.
Our society has become so mixed up that we lose sight of the real reason why America is different. We are different because we have freedoms that allow us to offend some people. Now you all know me as this mild mannered little preacher’s daughter (said with tongue planted firmly in my cheek) and offending people is not my way of gaining attention, but I understand freedom of speech and artistic freedom. That is why I am so very glad that the decision was made not to move forward. This person would have been real trouble.
As a Christian woman, with deep faith, I was offended by the art exhibit called "Piss Christ", where a really talented (remember I am not defining talented) artist put a Crucifix in a jar of urine. Although offended, I would defend the artist's (sic) rights to exhibit his art (sic). Slamming Christianity has become an art form in the USA and the media sided with the artist. Recently in New York City an artist made a model of a death camp with Legos and that brought out our Holocaust survivors in protest. The model was on display at a Jewish museum in New York. While few events in the history of mankind can compare to the horror of the Holocaust such a display, although obviously offensive to most, if not all, is still artistic freedom. The media in New York, while stopping short of calling for censorship, did blast the exhibit.
A dear and close friend of mine, a genuinely religious Jewish man called me and wanted to express his apologies for not being more outraged at the "Piss Christ" exhibit. He said the exhibit in New York with the Legos infuriated him, but it also showed him how hurtful some art and speech can be. He admitted that while the exhibit was not respectful in the artists’ choice of materials, it was not an attack on the events. He growled at how mad he would have been if the exhibit had been encased in a bottle of urine. We agreed that such art and speech can be hurtful and saddening, but both in our own way understand that it is not for us to judge. We will let that to a higher authority. The discussion encouraged both of us, one a Christian girl who has been an active porn performer and supporter and the other a Jewish businessman who sells adult product from his store in New York state, to be thankful for the right to have free speech and the right to be offended by art that is tasteless or offensive in the eyes of some. Our bond is strong because of our understanding of freedom, not because we have spiritual faith, although our respect for one another on that count is also very strong.
So we should all be thankful that America was spared a real censor.....Tipper Gore.
Oh, you thought I was referring to Judge Pickering. Sorry, I searched his available rulings and I did not find a single instance of censorship. He was “Borked” because of his stand on abortion and his Southern conservative stance on other issues, regardless of what others try to say. Now I don’t disagree he was an “unremarkable judge” and a mistake for a higher court, but Tipper has a track record on censorship. Just check out her efforts to censor rap and hip hop music that contained speech that is considered offensive by some.
If Tipper Gore had been a Republican they would have charged her with racism, but since she was, at the time, the wife of a powerful Democratic Senator and Vice President, she was just “looking out for the children”. Regardless of the offensive speech, it is still free speech and the primarily black rappers and hip hop artist (sic) are trying to pass along a message from the “hood”. She formed alliances with some of the most ardent censors in this country to attempt to ban certain music. Now I will not defend what some lyrics project. They are violent, crude and offensive, but like "Piss Christ" and "Lego Holocaust" you don’t have to purchase them, view them or support them. Tipper wanted them banned, but settled for warning labels.
So Tipper Gore’s plans to run for the Senate have been put on hold for now, but we must remain on guard to prevent censors from gaining power, regardless of their past affiliation. We can not let ideology dictate our willingness to defend the rights we have. Those who would take away our freedoms come in many sizes, shapes, colors and political backgrounds. I know it may be hard for some to turn their backs on things that offend them, but the role of victimhood is never supported by the restriction of others rights. History has proven that censors.....Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Saddam and others don’t want free speech because free speech would undermine their illegitimate claim to popular support.
Free Speech Forever!
Comments? Direct them to me at Latour@ainews.com or MissLatour@aol.com. I am always interested in what you have to say about issues which impact our freedoms.
My last article about the problem with homegrown censors caught the eye of a few people who ripped me good for even suggesting that the conventions be open to everyone. Some of those responding felt that banning any religious group from the adult conventions was a good idea. My answer to each was a wonderful statement my father use to say to me...”...Be careful what you wish for...”. What’s next, banning any company that sells “inter-racial sex”, or how about banning those who sell “gay” videos... especially those cunt licking “girl-girl” videos.
I really don’t know what some people are afraid of, unless they are so unsure about their own belief system that they want to hide from anything which makes them uncomfortable. If you believe you have a right to adult material then step up to the plate and take your best shot, don’t hide in the dugout. I repeat. “There is no Freedom of Speech, unless everyone has Freedom of Speech”.