Sunday, November 15

O Brother, Why Art Thou?

YOU may recall that last August the Indianapolis City-Country Council, hoping to breathe some new life into an old local government tradition--enacting blatant and fundamentally un-Constitutional legislation designed to salve the Continual Itch of Wingnut Voter Disgruntlement--we have, in the past few years, gone after Porn in general, Bondage Porn in the specific (as "Abusive to Women", by the lights of the party which didn't bother removing the scalp of the Equal Rights Amendment from its belt before the press conference), Adult Bookstore owners, the owners of the property those bookstores sat on, the name "adult bookstore" (which led to a glorious season for the easily amused, such as, well, me, when they all changed their names to "Museum of Adult Literature," since the law had exempted museums), and violent video games, sometimes modeling the fight on laws which had already been overturned, and all of them doomed to death by adjudication--upgraded local panhandling statutes to keep the unsightly 50 feet back from intersections, stop signs, crosswalks, and Republicans.

Since it's vitally important to preserve the appearance of observing the legal niceties when trampling the basic rights of the skinned and the scorned--once they're pointed out to you at least--the law, uh, eventually was rewritten to apply to anyone soliciting for any purpose, not just those trying to Feed the Nutrition Monkey. Meaning that next year sometime people will start appearing at street corners announcing they will curate your museum of adult literature for food.

That message didn't get to Channel 13 ("Indiana's News Leader"), apparently, since in graphic and in fact they're crass enough to refer to the law by its intended victims. And to celebrate the Tenth Week Anniversary (the traditional gift, ironically, is Discarded Cardboard), 13 dispatches a reporter making $80-100 grand per to harass the homeless.

Okay, here you have people who never miss a meal, and don't even pay for all of their own, haranguing the down-on-their-luck for trying to secure one, and that's certainly awful enough. But this is two-and-one-half months since the ordnance passed, after a long debate which did not stint the Constitutional or enforcement questions involved, and commercially-sanctioned reporters of local news seem oblivious to all that. It's Against the Law! The ordinance passed 15-13! The People have spoken! Why Are You Still Here?

Sure, sure, this sort of tenth-rate sensationalism is their stock in trade, which is lucky since it's about the only item they have in stock. But does that exempt you from a sense of proportion as it absolves you from fellow-feeling? Leave us assume this really was a story worthy of the gas money. Let's be especially generous and allow there's any reason whatsoever to treat it as a Scandal! Three questions spring immediately to mind, and they're each informed by the heated debate that surrounded the measure in the first place: 1) Is the city trying to get its ducks in a row before enforcement brings the inevitable Constitutional challenge? 2) Are the cops really supposed to spend manpower on this now, when existing laws were only rarely, and selectively, enforced? and 3) Are the City Fathers trying to keep this one in reserve until it's time to sweep the streets in February 2012 for the Mayan Calendar of Death Final Countdown to Super Bowl the Last?

Now, if I were looking for answers to the above I think I'd call the City Attorney, the IMPD, or the Mayor's barracks, not ask the first guy I found inhaling car exhaust for five bucks an hour. And I hope that doesn't sound elitist, because if my goal were honest answers that'd be reversed. Turns out the cops say they're waiting for legal clarification. Answer, or Non-answer, that would have taken all of fifteen seconds to spit out.

Instead it's Why am I still looking at your unfashionable phiz? Which does nothing so much as underline the real agenda. As if we needed it.


ckc (not kc) said...

...aah, the "media" - where would we be without them/it.

John Daly said...

I work with a young woman who did some graphic bondage porn for an internet pay site. Only she doesn't know I know she did bondage porn. Goddamn popups. She lives with her husband in a quiet little suburban/rural community in a state where prevailing "community standards" prohibit distribution of visual depictions of the naughtiness she got up to for money and fame/infame. God bless California.

Harl Delos said...

While reading your post, I chuckled, only to be asked by my wife what was so funny. I told my wife about the name change to the Museum of Adult Literature, and she responded by asking me if they sold trinkets in the lobby, if they had elementary school students visit on field trips, and if they had a small theatre where they ran a film on how adult literature is manufactured.

I dated a woman, when I was single, who said she was a former porn star. She was actually quite uptight about sexuality. I found that women who work as secretaries in a fundamentalist church to be the most sexually aggressive, and the kinkiest. A lot of women wanted to get laid before the date was over, but with a church secretaries, she'd usually start tearing off her clothes and mine within 3 minutes of arriving at her apartment to pick her up. I usually got dizzy from low blood sugar, although one of them thoughtfully phoned for pizza after a couple of hours - and then answered the door fully naked when the pizza arrived.