Troubling Censorship

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DanishDynamite
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Post by DanishDynamite » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:20 pm

Nyarlathotep wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Perhaps. It sems that several US posters here have had the same experience of "puritanical" covering of "bad" stuff. I'm betting that this uniformity of experience is due to a law.
I don't think so. Not in Nevada anyway. Though I can't find Porn in my grocery store, I think it is more a decision on the part of the store than a law, because I can think of several convenience stores and smoke shops where I can find it uncovered and in the open.

I think the uniformity is more due to the fact that most major retailers just don't want to deal witht he hassles of having parenal complaints. Not to mention i find it doubtful that the major magazine distributors handle porn. I used tohelp out a friend in a comic book shop and none of his distributors carried porn. I think you have to go to specialized distributors.
Ok, I took it upon myself to actually google for such laws:

First stop, Michigan
The law, known during its time in the legislature as H.B. 4360, requires that items containing "sexually explicit matter" have the bottom 2/3 of their covers hidden, or that they be placed in an "adults only" part of the store with restricted access.
Next stop, Virginia
Since 1970, Virginia has prohibited the knowing display in retail stores open to minors of commercial materials that are harmful to juveniles. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-391. In 1985, Virginia amended the statute, making it also unlawful “to knowingly display” these materials “in a manner whereby juveniles may examine and peruse” them. The 1970 statute, and its 1985 amendment, had both been upheld as constitutional, based on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s narrow construction of the law.
So, such laws exist, as I suspected.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:24 pm

moniker117 wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
moniker117 wrote: This was the point I wished to make. We don't distinguish the content based on whether it's on a media or in real life. The question is the content. If the content is displayed in public, meaning, the public has very easy access to it (such as local TV, radio stations, sidewalks, billboards, etc) then it will be subject to moral regulation not unlike laws that you have regarding explicit sexual behavior.
In which case I don't understand your point. The US apparently determines what should be censored or not on the basis of whether the naughty stuff is freely available or not.

Denmark makes a distinction in regard to whether the naughty stuff is real or not.
Again, as I said before, don't think of it as censorship, think of it as public decency laws.
Public decency laws are basically censorship.
The only reason the FCC can do what it does is because they "own" the airwaves. Local governments can have their own public decency laws, too.
In which case the "government" is instituting censorship on the airwaves, no?
Are you telling me, that, in Denmark, if two people have sex on the streets of a city, that's illegal, but, if they film a movie about two people have sex on the streets of a city and air it on public TV, that's okay??
Yes.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:30 pm

moniker117 wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: And have you ever wondered why this is the case?
I could speculate... :D (While I stall for time and find the history)

Consider this:
A supermarket mixes in porn magazines with the non-porn magazines. They even put them in the check-out lines. People see this and get pissed off.
Why would they get pissed off?
They organize a boycott of the store. The boycott might not do anything to the store as far as how much money they make, but, it makes them look really bad. News cameras come around and the nation finds out that this store doesn't care about children (boycotters make this up). The store hates this bad publicity, so, they make a deal to put pron magazines in their special section. The major stores follow suite to keep the boycotters away.
That is certainly a possible scenario. Do you have some reason to suspect that this has happened often? Or that such consumer driven actions are even required, given that at least some states have laws requiring puritanicalism?
What about the magazines being sealed? Well, imagine these same boycotters (let's call them protestors from now on) going after Playboy or Penthouse (or whatever) and complaining that they don't care about public decency. News cameras come again and this leads to bad publicity. They could ignore this bad publicity and risk having the protestors gain so much sympathy that the people force the government to do something about it, or, they could just make a little deal with the protestors. They could say, "Check it out, yo! We'll seal the magazines when we send them out, why? Because we care!" The protestors aren't happy, but, at least the porn mag makers look like they want satisfy the porn-sumer and keep people from being accidentally exposed to the stuff if they aren't looking for it. Since the porn magazines are sealed from the source, that eliminates the conspiracy of government forcing the stores to seal the magazines. All the stores receive the porno sealed, so why bother unsealing them? They leave them as they are.
Again it's possible. Has this happened? Is it the general policy of the porn magazine publishers to send the magazines out sealed in this manner? If so, why do they do this?

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Post by DanishDynamite » Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:36 pm

Beleth wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Beleth wrote:It is a business-limiting move to display things that will offend your customer base. It might just be simple economics that make supermarkets display porn discreetly.
It could even be bad skeptic vibes eminating from Randi which results in this amazing uniformity across the states.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. You seem to be saying that the only reasonable explanation to the uniformity of displaying of porn is that there's a US federal law requiring it. This is not so. It is a reasonable business move to not outrage your customers. It is unreasonable to believe that something paranormal is going on. Nyarlathotep's description of how porn is displayed in his neighborhood makes it sound like the federal-law explanation is even less reasonable.
My point was that you were just speculating on the reasons why. Hence, I likewise did some (ridiculous) speculating. :)
A million is still available. :)
You realize that you are taking the position that something exists and, as such, the burden of proof is on you to find this federal law, right?
No. I speculated that there was reason A for something, you speculated that there was reason B for it. I think the burden of proof is equally divided.

(And if you look upstream, my part has already been done).

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Post by Beleth » Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:09 am

DanishDynamite wrote:My point was that you were just speculating on the reasons why. Hence, I likewise did some (ridiculous) speculating. :)
Are you implying that my speculation is as ridiculous as yours?
You realize that you are taking the position that something exists and, as such, the burden of proof is on you to find this federal law, right?
No. I speculated that there was reason A for something, you speculated that there was reason B for it. I think the burden of proof is equally divided.
Not at all. You have put up "a cool Randi million" that "there is a law in the US regarding at what height you can place porn magazines and that if anything naughty is on the cover (which it always is) the magazine has to be covered up". Either that law exists or it doesn't. Since I can't prove a negative, the burden of proof is entirely on you.

Since I never made the opposite claim - that only cultural factors determine the display of porn magazines - I have nothing to prove. I just said that it was reasonable, not that it was true.
(And if you look upstream, my part has already been done).
You have found two state laws which, in a letter-of-the-law sort of way, satisfies your part. You could just as well have found a city or town law, I suppose. For some reason I thought you wanted to paint the entire US as overly puritanical, and not just Virginia and Michigan.

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Post by moniker117 » Sun Sep 26, 2004 5:51 am

DanishDynamite wrote:
moniker117 wrote:
Again, as I said before, don't think of it as censorship, think of it as public decency laws.
Public decency laws are basically censorship.
True. I won't deny that the U.S. has forms of censorship, however, there's no inconsistency between how we deal with TV and radio and how we deal with neighborhood stuff. It's all allowed, we just keep it a secret. :D

(Though it seems obviouse that you guys like to keep the government's control of how information is presented to your people to a bear minimum.)
DanishDynamite wrote:
The only reason the FCC can do what it does is because they "own" the airwaves. Local governments can have their own public decency laws, too.
In which case the "government" is instituting censorship on the airwaves, no?
You are correct.
DanishDynamite wrote:
Are you telling me, that, in Denmark, if two people have sex on the streets of a city, that's illegal, but, if they film a movie about two people have sex on the streets of a city and air it on public TV, that's okay??
Yes.

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Post by moniker117 » Sun Sep 26, 2004 6:10 am

DanishDynamite wrote:
moniker117 wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: And have you ever wondered why this is the case?
I could speculate... :D (While I stall for time and find the history)

Consider this:
A supermarket mixes in porn magazines with the non-porn magazines. They even put them in the check-out lines. People see this and get pissed off.
Why would they get pissed off?
I suppose it's because some people believe that the type of stuff described in porno magazines never happen in real life... very religious people might see those magazines as temptations to people and they may very well believe that if people see the type of pictures shown in porno magazines it might lead to towards immoral (or more immoral) lives. Some people might find the stuff out right offensive and feal bothered that they couldn't avoid the stuff (consider the case where the porno magazines are in the checkout lines).

DanishDynamite wrote:
They organize a boycott of the store. The boycott might not do anything to the store as far as how much money they make, but, it makes them look really bad. News cameras come around and the nation finds out that this store doesn't care about children (boycotters make this up). The store hates this bad publicity, so, they make a deal to put pron magazines in their special section. The major stores follow suite to keep the boycotters away.
That is certainly a possible scenario. Do you have some reason to suspect that this has happened often? Or that such consumer driven actions are even required, given that at least some states have laws requiring puritanicalism?
Consider this recent boycott. A nation-wide call for boycott over a local issue...
http://www.planetout.com/news/article.html?2004/09/17/2

Boycotts, strikes, these things happen all the time around here. I see it as one of the many ways people get a chance to complain.
DanishDynamite wrote:
What about the magazines being sealed? Well, imagine these same boycotters (let's call them protestors from now on) going after Playboy or Penthouse (or whatever) and complaining that they don't care about public decency. News cameras come again and this leads to bad publicity. They could ignore this bad publicity and risk having the protestors gain so much sympathy that the people force the government to do something about it, or, they could just make a little deal with the protestors. They could say, "Check it out, yo! We'll seal the magazines when we send them out, why? Because we care!" The protestors aren't happy, but, at least the porn mag makers look like they want satisfy the porn-sumer and keep people from being accidentally exposed to the stuff if they aren't looking for it. Since the porn magazines are sealed from the source, that eliminates the conspiracy of government forcing the stores to seal the magazines. All the stores receive the porno sealed, so why bother unsealing them? They leave them as they are.
Again it's possible. Has this happened? Is it the general policy of the porn magazine publishers to send the magazines out sealed in this manner? If so, why do they do this?
I don't know if this has happened. I also don't know if porn is generally shipped in a seal manner. However, does it seem so unlikely that this could happen? Is the only way to possibly explain this because of some law? I won't deny that there's probably a law regarding this, don't get me wrong. I'm very sure that, for example, the post office has some sort of rules for processing porn (and yes, the post office is controlled by the government). However, laws don't have to be the sole reason for why things do or don't happen.

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Post by Nyarlathotep » Sun Sep 26, 2004 4:55 pm

DanishDynamite wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Perhaps. It sems that several US posters here have had the same experience of "puritanical" covering of "bad" stuff. I'm betting that this uniformity of experience is due to a law.
I don't think so. Not in Nevada anyway. Though I can't find Porn in my grocery store, I think it is more a decision on the part of the store than a law, because I can think of several convenience stores and smoke shops where I can find it uncovered and in the open.

I think the uniformity is more due to the fact that most major retailers just don't want to deal witht he hassles of having parenal complaints. Not to mention i find it doubtful that the major magazine distributors handle porn. I used tohelp out a friend in a comic book shop and none of his distributors carried porn. I think you have to go to specialized distributors.
Ok, I took it upon myself to actually google for such laws:

First stop, Michigan
The law, known during its time in the legislature as H.B. 4360, requires that items containing "sexually explicit matter" have the bottom 2/3 of their covers hidden, or that they be placed in an "adults only" part of the store with restricted access.
Next stop, Virginia
Since 1970, Virginia has prohibited the knowing display in retail stores open to minors of commercial materials that are harmful to juveniles. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-391. In 1985, Virginia amended the statute, making it also unlawful “to knowingly display” these materials “in a manner whereby juveniles may examine and peruse” them. The 1970 statute, and its 1985 amendment, had both been upheld as constitutional, based on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s narrow construction of the law.
So, such laws exist, as I suspected.
But you were talking about a 'uniformity of laws' across the nation , implying either a federal law, or all fifty states having a similar law. I don't doubt some states have such laws, my point is some states don't. The US is a big country and a variety of attitudes toward things like porn exist in different regions (i.e I suspect that you will find widely varying opinions of porn in San Francisco than you will in Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas). To imply that all Americans are hopeless hypocritical prudes is to do both us and you a disservice

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:45 pm

Beleth wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:My point was that you were just speculating on the reasons why. Hence, I likewise did some (ridiculous) speculating. :)
Are you implying that my speculation is as ridiculous as yours?
Certainly not. The "ridiculous" was in reference to my own speculation.
You realize that you are taking the position that something exists and, as such, the burden of proof is on you to find this federal law, right?
No. I speculated that there was reason A for something, you speculated that there was reason B for it. I think the burden of proof is equally divided.
Not at all. You have put up "a cool Randi million" that "there is a law in the US regarding at what height you can place porn magazines and that if anything naughty is on the cover (which it always is) the magazine has to be covered up". Either that law exists or it doesn't. Since I can't prove a negative, the burden of proof is entirely on you.

Since I never made the opposite claim - that only cultural factors determine the display of porn magazines - I have nothing to prove. I just said that it was reasonable, not that it was true.
Oh, come now. You speculated that these magazines were covered up due to market forces. I speculated that there was a law. I just happened to make my speculation more interesting by offering a figtive sum of money if you could show I was wrong.
(And if you look upstream, my part has already been done).
You have found two state laws which, in a letter-of-the-law sort of way, satisfies your part. You could just as well have found a city or town law, I suppose. For some reason I thought you wanted to paint the entire US as overly puritanical, and not just Virginia and Michigan.
I sometimes use a broad stroke, I admit, but it is only in the interest of generating a bit of lively discussion. (Perhaps this makes me a troll? :))
Last edited by DanishDynamite on Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 4:59 pm

moniker117 wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
moniker117 wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: And have you ever wondered why this is the case?
I could speculate... :D (While I stall for time and find the history)

Consider this:
A supermarket mixes in porn magazines with the non-porn magazines. They even put them in the check-out lines. People see this and get pissed off.
Why would they get pissed off?
I suppose it's because some people believe that the type of stuff described in porno magazines never happen in real life... very religious people might see those magazines as temptations to people and they may very well believe that if people see the type of pictures shown in porno magazines it might lead to towards immoral (or more immoral) lives. Some people might find the stuff out right offensive and feal bothered that they couldn't avoid the stuff (consider the case where the porno magazines are in the checkout lines).
But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
DanishDynamite wrote:
They organize a boycott of the store. The boycott might not do anything to the store as far as how much money they make, but, it makes them look really bad. News cameras come around and the nation finds out that this store doesn't care about children (boycotters make this up). The store hates this bad publicity, so, they make a deal to put pron magazines in their special section. The major stores follow suite to keep the boycotters away.
That is certainly a possible scenario. Do you have some reason to suspect that this has happened often? Or that such consumer driven actions are even required, given that at least some states have laws requiring puritanicalism?
Consider this recent boycott. A nation-wide call for boycott over a local issue...
http://www.planetout.com/news/article.html?2004/09/17/2

Boycotts, strikes, these things happen all the time around here. I see it as one of the many ways people get a chance to complain.
OK, but the boycott doesn't seem to impress the bycottee much. They don't intend to change their stance and from the link: "The boycott, however, may attract new consumer loyalty to Procter & Gamble."
DanishDynamite wrote:
What about the magazines being sealed? Well, imagine these same boycotters (let's call them protestors from now on) going after Playboy or Penthouse (or whatever) and complaining that they don't care about public decency. News cameras come again and this leads to bad publicity. They could ignore this bad publicity and risk having the protestors gain so much sympathy that the people force the government to do something about it, or, they could just make a little deal with the protestors. They could say, "Check it out, yo! We'll seal the magazines when we send them out, why? Because we care!" The protestors aren't happy, but, at least the porn mag makers look like they want satisfy the porn-sumer and keep people from being accidentally exposed to the stuff if they aren't looking for it. Since the porn magazines are sealed from the source, that eliminates the conspiracy of government forcing the stores to seal the magazines. All the stores receive the porno sealed, so why bother unsealing them? They leave them as they are.
Again it's possible. Has this happened? Is it the general policy of the porn magazine publishers to send the magazines out sealed in this manner? If so, why do they do this?
I don't know if this has happened. I also don't know if porn is generally shipped in a seal manner. However, does it seem so unlikely that this could happen? Is the only way to possibly explain this because of some law? I won't deny that there's probably a law regarding this, don't get me wrong. I'm very sure that, for example, the post office has some sort of rules for processing porn (and yes, the post office is controlled by the government). However, laws don't have to be the sole reason for why things do or don't happen.
No, laws are not the only possible explanation. But in regard to porn magazines, is seems to me that Hustler positively thrived on controversy and figuratively "fingering" the establishment.

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Post by Grammatron » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:07 pm

DanishDynamite wrote: But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
So exactly how many people would it take for the number to be "significant?"

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:08 pm

Nyarlathotep wrote:But you were talking about a 'uniformity of laws' across the nation , implying either a federal law, or all fifty states having a similar law.
I don't think I said "uniformity of laws", just apparent uniformity in regard to the covering up of porn mags.
I don't doubt some states have such laws, my point is some states don't. The US is a big country and a variety of attitudes toward things like porn exist in different regions (i.e I suspect that you will find widely varying opinions of porn in San Francisco than you will in Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas). To imply that all Americans are hopeless hypocritical prudes is to do both us and you a disservice
I suppose you are right. However, you have to understand that for us foreigners, the US is a country and not a group of states. Anything that happens anywhere in the US is indicative of the US as a whole. Do you make a distinction in regard to which states of Germany have problems with neo-nazism? I suspect you don't, you just know that there is some neo-nazism going on in Germany.

In any case, the subject we have been discussing regards the actions of a federal agency which fined a national channel for letting a boob be shown on national TV. No matter how you slice this, this is very puritanical in my eyes.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:09 pm

Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
So exactly how many people would it take for the number to be "significant?"
Ask the store owners.

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Post by Grammatron » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:14 pm

DanishDynamite wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
So exactly how many people would it take for the number to be "significant?"
Ask the store owners.
Well it's your claim you should feel that role.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:22 pm

Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
So exactly how many people would it take for the number to be "significant?"
Ask the store owners.
Well it's your claim you should feel that role.
Its just logic as far as I can see.

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Post by Grammatron » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:35 pm

DanishDynamite wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
So exactly how many people would it take for the number to be "significant?"
Ask the store owners.
Well it's your claim you should feel that role.
Its just logic as far as I can see.
Danish, you should brush up on your logic :)

See man, this is all about publicity, if the store advertises itself as a friendly environment for families and there is a protest about it selling explicit porn magazines/material it might cave in to the smallest number of people.

On the other hand, unlike moniker's assertion Hustler would fold in to a protest, its History would suggest otherwise.

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Post by Nyarlathotep » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:39 pm

DanishDynamite wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:But you were talking about a 'uniformity of laws' across the nation , implying either a federal law, or all fifty states having a similar law.
I don't think I said "uniformity of laws", just apparent uniformity in regard to the covering up of porn mags.
Okay, I misspoke you said that we in the US had a "uniformity of experience" which you said was likely due to a law. My point stands regardless. Your statement still implies either a single federal law or similar laws in all 50 states.
DanishDynamite wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:I don't doubt some states have such laws, my point is some states don't. The US is a big country and a variety of attitudes toward things like porn exist in different regions (i.e I suspect that you will find widely varying opinions of porn in San Francisco than you will in Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas). To imply that all Americans are hopeless hypocritical prudes is to do both us and you a disservice
I suppose you are right. However, you have to understand that for us foreigners, the US is a country and not a group of states. Anything that happens anywhere in the US is indicative of the US as a whole. Do you make a distinction in regard to which states of Germany have problems with neo-nazism? I suspect you don't, you just know that there is some neo-nazism going on in Germany.
True, I would only know about it happening in Germany, especially since I must sheepishly confess that I can even only name one German state without googling. But if I were discussing it and a German said "Oh, that Neo-Nazism is a lot more prevalent in Munich than here in Berlin" (note: I have absolutely no idea if Neo-nazism is more prevalent in Munich than Berlin, I just picked the first two German cities that came to mind) it would seem reasonable to me. If I were interested enough I might do a bit of research to see if he was bullshitting me or just plain wrong, but in no case would I classify all Germans as a bunch of Skinheads. And after such a discussion I very well might draw a distinction in regards to which German states have Neo-nazi problems.
DanishDynamite wrote:In any case, the subject we have been discussing regards the actions of a federal agency which fined a national channel for letting a boob be shown on national TV. No matter how you slice this, this is very puritanical in my eyes.
Yep, because that's the way the laws are right now. The laws in this case were written by and for prudes. However, you are using this to paint the entire US population as prudes. I do not agree with this assessment. A lot of people completely agreed witht he FCC's actions, a lot of people completely disagreed and the whole spectrum exists in between. We are not a hive mind over here any more, I suspect, than you are over there. It's just that some people have louder voices and those are the people you tend to hear about.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:56 pm

Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote: But, moniker, if the number of people who would feel offended was insignificant, the stores probably wouldn't kowtow to them, right? Hence, if the stores do freely kowtow to them, the number of people who would be offended must be quite significant. In fact they are probably in the majority. And what kind of people would get offended by porn magazines on display? Puritanical ones. Which would seem to support my view.
So exactly how many people would it take for the number to be "significant?"
Ask the store owners.
Well it's your claim you should feel that role.
Its just logic as far as I can see.
Danish, you should brush up on your logic :)
Undoubtedly. But so far, I don't see a problem. :)
See man, this is all about publicity, if the store advertises itself as a friendly environment for families and there is a protest about it selling explicit porn magazines/material it might cave in to the smallest number of people.
Sure it might. But do most small shops advertize themselves at all? And why would they advertize themselves as "friendly environment for families"?? Who would care? And isn't every supermarket generally thought to be a "friendly environment for families"?

Besides, you forget the other side of the equation. If the puritanical were indeed a minority, perhaps the majority would feel offended by having a small minority enforce puritanical measures in a shop?

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Post by Grammatron » Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:01 pm

DanishDynamite wrote: Sure it might. But do most small shops advertize themselves at all? And why would they advertize themselves as "friendly environment for families"?? Who would care? And isn't every supermarket generally thought to be a "friendly environment for families"?

Besides, you forget the other side of the equation. If the puritanical were indeed a minority, perhaps the majority would feel offended by having a small minority enforce puritanical measures in a shop?
It all depends who your core customers are. If you know that no matter how many "puritans" protest and picket outside of your stores you will still make a profit you just call the cops to make sure they do not trespass on your property. If however the protesters might sway your core customers and you notice a drop in business, then you are forced to change your business practice or go out of business.

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Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:05 pm

Nyarlathotep wrote:
DanishDynamite wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:But you were talking about a 'uniformity of laws' across the nation , implying either a federal law, or all fifty states having a similar law.
I don't think I said "uniformity of laws", just apparent uniformity in regard to the covering up of porn mags.
Okay, I misspoke you said that we in the US had a "uniformity of experience" which you said was likely due to a law. My point stands regardless. Your statement still implies either a single federal law or similar laws in all 50 states.
Yes, I said this was my impression. I have found two states where such a law exists. You have implied that no such law exists in Nevada. Without evidence, I'll concede this is the case. But it is unquestionable that such laws exist in the US and in my mind mind such laws are entirely puritanical. Likewise, the laws which could let the FFC fine CBS(?).
DanishDynamite wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:I don't doubt some states have such laws, my point is some states don't. The US is a big country and a variety of attitudes toward things like porn exist in different regions (i.e I suspect that you will find widely varying opinions of porn in San Francisco than you will in Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas). To imply that all Americans are hopeless hypocritical prudes is to do both us and you a disservice
I suppose you are right. However, you have to understand that for us foreigners, the US is a country and not a group of states. Anything that happens anywhere in the US is indicative of the US as a whole. Do you make a distinction in regard to which states of Germany have problems with neo-nazism? I suspect you don't, you just know that there is some neo-nazism going on in Germany.
True, I would only know about it happening in Germany, especially since I must sheepishly confess that I can even only name one German state without googling. But if I were discussing it and a German said "Oh, that Neo-Nazism is a lot more prevalent in Munich than here in Berlin" (note: I have absolutely no idea if Neo-nazism is more prevalent in Munich than Berlin, I just picked the first two German cities that came to mind) it would seem reasonable to me. If I were interested enough I might do a bit of research to see if he was bullshitting me or just plain wrong, but in no case would I classify all Germans as a bunch of Skinheads. And after such a discussion I very well might draw a distinction in regards to which German states have Neo-nazi problems.
And I could likewise make a distinction if someone could show that no other states have similar laws and that the federal agency FCC having such power is somehow not indicative of the US in general.
DanishDynamite wrote:In any case, the subject we have been discussing regards the actions of a federal agency which fined a national channel for letting a boob be shown on national TV. No matter how you slice this, this is very puritanical in my eyes.
Yep, because that's the way the laws are right now. The laws in this case were written by and for prudes. However, you are using this to paint the entire US population as prudes. I do not agree with this assessment. A lot of people completely agreed witht he FCC's actions, a lot of people completely disagreed and the whole spectrum exists in between. We are not a hive mind over here any more, I suspect, than you are over there. It's just that some people have louder voices and those are the people you tend to hear about.
Sorry, but the US is a dewmocracy, sorry, a constitutionally limited republic. If a federal law exists which is puritanical in nature, in what sense does this not say something about the US in general?