Friday, June 13, 2008

Wrongness, Bambi and Hubris

The Greeks had a word for this but I don't remember what it is. Hubris?

Two recent news stories in the LA Times about a pornography trial. The first one was headlined
Trial will see hours of hard-core fetish pornography and ran on June 8th 2008.

Ira Isaacs, a filmmaker whose films feature bestiality and defecation, says he has the right to produce art under the 1st amendment. The U.S. Department of Justice says the material is obscene.
For jurors to determine whether Isaacs' work is obscene, they will view hours of hard-core pornography so degrading that in one film, an actress cries throughout, prosecutors said in court papers. (LA Times)

So, a jury is going to have to watch hours and hours of his stuff to see if it has any literary, scientific or artistic value. Poor jury; I'm pro-pornography usually but from the verbal sketch of Ira Isaacs in the paper I think I'd be ready to strangle laughing boy after the first fifteen minutes. Anyway, justice and all that stuff. On with the porn show.

But wait, what's this paragraph?
His involvement in the case may be a stroke of luck for Isaacs. That is because Kozinski is seen as a staunch defender of free speech. When he learned that there were filters banning pornography and other materials from computers in the appeals court's Pasadena offices, he led a successful effort to have the filters removed."I did some rabble-rousing about it," Kozinski said in a brief interview last week. (LA Times)
The judge was angry over not being able to see porn in his office? Well, I thought, I can see that. We all have to do "research" on our cases. I know I do, though it usually involves insisting on having work access to sites with pictures of rock stars. Filters are a notoriously blunt instrument and block access to all kinds of legit sites.

An article, also in the LA Times, a few days later, cleared up any misconceptions I may have had over that paragraph. Its headline was Judge Alex Kozinski recuses himself from obscenity trial and it ran on June 14th 2008.
On Wednesday, Kozinski suspended the trial of Hollywood filmmaker Ira Isaacs to allow the prosecutor to explore what he saw as "a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a . . . sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here."
Many of the items on the website, some of which the judge said he received and sent via e-mail, are intended to be crudely humorous. Among other items were a photo of two nude women painted to look like cows, a video of an encounter between a half-dressed man and a sexually aroused farm animal, a striptease slide show featuring a transsexual, a series of photos of women's crotches in snug-fitting clothing or underwear and a step-by-step pictorial of a woman shaving her pubic hair. (LA Times)
Hahaha. Pwned, as they say these days. If he was emailing/uploading that kind of thing, I guess he really didn't want filters on his web access.

Looking at the list of crap allegedly on the judge's website, I do believe his story that this was "stored"material that had been "emailed" to him, some of which was "uploaded by accident".

People do, and I'm not being sarcastic here, email me stuff like this all the time. Email forwards are a pestilence, a sort of infection that you can't help getting and you almost can't help passing on. There's two major kinds, as far as I can see – the funny/sick/sexual kind and the recipes, prayers and 'aren't-men-stupid' kind. The first kind is usually just called "wrongness" and seems to be sent in the same spirit small boys encourage other small boys to eat worms. The second type is sent to encourage sisterhood, and goes by the name "Bambi Mail".

I guess the judge is more of a small boy than a sister.

PS Dear Judge, I have some great Wrongness forwards if you send me your email address.

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