Vice Squad
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Obscenity Case Explosion

(1) The unusual case that does not involve dirty pictures -- only text -- continues apace in Pittsburgh. The author's statements to the FBI can be admitted into evidence -- do you think she said that her cathartic (she tells us) writing had no significant literary, artistic, political, or scientific value? All right-thinking Americans have the federal prosecutor to thank for giving us the possibility of keeping the dangerous wordsmith behind bars for thirty years -- and the decision to admit the FBI interview material will surely convince anyone who missed the Martha Stewart case to talk openly when interviewed (not even under (explicit) oath) by FBI agents. ABC News has more.

(2) The College of William and Mary is hosting a Sex Workers’ Art Show; a Virginia state legislator wants to make sure police are there to enforce any violations of state obscenity laws -- that is, if her pressure on the College president to cancel the show does not succeed. But if the show really is artistic, doesn't that put it squarely within Miller v. California's safe harbor? You don't understand: our legislator, the wise Athenian of one month's tenure, has never before witnessed such a public outpouring against a public performance. (Perhaps she should contact the federal prosecutor from the Pittsburgh area.) The College thought it best to prohibit cameras at the show. That might be enough to scuttle the whole deal, however, as the performers typically record the show to protect themselves against obscenity charges -- not work safe link here. I'd mention Catch-22, but I understand that it is obscene, too.

(3) Abercrombie & Fitch, in one Virginia Beach incarnation, goes down. This must be one of the best behaved (or coldest) beaches in the good ol' USA, if some racy photos can bring the heat.


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