Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Neighborhood Pornucopia

An essay of mine is now posted over at Inside Catholic. The topic is pretty obvious from the title, The Neighborhood Pornucopia.

This essay was in the works when National Review's Mike Potemra was complaining about the "sex police of the blogosphere," whose chief is apparently Mark Shea. Where's my badge?

My thanks to the Inside Catholic crew, especially editor Brian St. Paul for inviting me to write. I hope this essay will be the first of many more.


It looks like I'm part of a local trend. On Sunday The Denver Post reported on libraries being used by child pornographers.

The local trashy alternative newspaper, Westword, also had a piece on library connoisseurs in its Oct. 11 issue. I feel dirty linking to it, but I'll happily hypocritically quote from it:
I happened to catch the reaction of a librarian, who looked over at E, frowned in disgust, then turned and began some busy work. No reprimand, no admonishments, nothing. And that librarian's silent defeat said it all: It's disgusting that this man can do this, but until porn filters catch up with the needs of earnest researchers — aka never — scenes like this are going to take place.

I think he underrates what a measured application of "chilling effects" can do to drive this behavior out of public buildings.

Editorial constraints cut a few passages from my essay. Most of this editing was for the good, but there was one passage quite relevant to the librarian's position.

In the letter from the librarian I quoted, her unease was such that she invoked some self-defense training course advice to trust her "internal radar." She lamented that library regulations required her to suppress her natural warnings when she interacted with lewd patrons.

No sane person wants to come between an onanist and his porn, but the art of public rebuke is sure in need of a revival.


Patrick said...

Excellent article. A related question: why do public libraries still exist? They offer little that can't be found at home on one's own internet connection, or at any Barnes & Noble store.

The Sanity Inspector said...

Excellent article, indeed. The library system where I live is responsive to community mores, and doesn't tolerate internet porn, going so far as to ban offenders.

As for what libraries offer, well...they give you someplace to donate your books, after you've bought & read them. And they provide internet access to people who don't have internet access. For free, in most places.

Anonymous said...

. . . and is "Satan" behind the ALA ? Anyone can dream up a Straw Man Argument and "win", and this precisely what you have done. Yeah, Christie Hefner "once" addressed an ALA convention on the subject of the First Amendment, so obviously ______ . Your "column" is laughable; I am SO glad that I left the Catholic Church. Too bad the INDEX isn't around anymore! Oh, and be sure to label my comment as "anti-Catholic bigotry".

Kevin Jones said...

Patrick: I think it's obvious to say that libraries are a great way to get books that one otherwise wouldn't because of their expense. I can grab academic books from a university library miles away through the libraries' lending program.

Anonymous sez:
"Your "column" is laughable; I am SO glad that I left the Catholic Church."

I don't quite know why you connect my column with your leaving. You don't find laughable, weak opinions among non-Catholics? You must be very lucky.

The failing you boast of is not anti-Catholicism, but the sad sin of apostasy. You must realize that saying one is glad to have left the Catholic Church is to a Catholic like saying "I'm so glad I stuck a fork in my eye."

If you are anything more than a drive-by commenter, anonymous, feel free to write some more. Though I am grateful for the other commentors' high opinions, I always feel nekkid when I am praised without hearing from a critic. "Woe to you when all men think well of you..."

Subvet said...

Great article. Thanks.

Milla said...

One beautiful morning US librarians decided they no longer acted "in loco parentis" (in the place of parents) as they used to for many, many years. It happened since the ALA decided so.

The ALA is a highly powerful, ultra-leftwing organization, supported by such groups as: ACLU, LaRaza (organizer of the 2006 illegal demonstrations in the US), People for the American Way, Tides Foundation, Ms. Foundation (the feminazi Ms. Magazine), NAACP, just to cite a few.

Their Library Bill of Rights mocks the real one and states that “A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of […] age […].” ( )

One of their branches is the "Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Round Table." The GLBTRT was created to guarantee minor children can find homosexual literature right at the Children, Young Adult and Teen areas of libraries. (Scroll down to "Membership Profile": ) So the ALA encourages homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism, calling it “tolerance.” They offer links to other organizations, like the “Coalition for Positive Sexuality, that offers advice for “teens who are sexually active now or just thinking about having sex”: Just Say Yes is about having a positive attitude towards sexuality — gay, straight, bisexual or whatever. It’s about saying ‘yes’ to sex you do want, and ‘no’ to sex you don’t. It says there’s nothing wrong with you if you decide to have sex, and nothing wrong with you if you decide not to. Read it:

The ALA labels parents who want to safeguard their children’s innocence CENSORS; they say these parents “BAN” books, lying through their teeth because these books are available throughout the country! While they accuse Americans of banning, censoring books which are readily available in the Internet and book stores, they praise Cuba for their libraries!

All this info is available at the ALA's web site: . But don’t think only your local government library has this kind of literature. Government school libraries have plenty of it. When was the last time you checked your library or your kid’s school library? Maybe you should consider doing so --before it’s too late for your child!