compulsory reading, USA

A Big Place…

America is indeed. The country formerly known as the “Land Of The Free” may no longer be regarded as such by the majority of the world’s thinking inhabitants, but there is anecdotal evidence that Mars and Venus may have not yet actually decided to put the Atlantic between them as they still seem to believe the Rocky Mountains provide a sufficiently high geological divide.

In the South, AP reports,

“[t]he Alabama House voted against a bill [last] Tuesday that would have removed a ban on sexual devices, such as vibrators, from the state’s obscenity law. The ban on sexual devices was added at the last minute when the obscenity law passed the Legislature in 1998.”

Even though

“[a] federal district judge in Birmingham has twice ruled that the ban is unconstitutional…”

and therefore unenforceable. So maybe I am entirely misreading the poll. Maybe, what the lawmakers actually wanted was to leave in place an unenforceable obscenity law because they like obscenity. That, of course, would falsify the entire theory about the continental divide, as a Reuters story from the North, Northern California to be precise, can hardly be misinterpreted:

“More than 100 men and women have gathered in famously liberal San Francisco [last] weekend for what organisers said was the city’s second annual public “Masturbate-a-Thon”. Organisers said they have taken the event “from the sheets to the streets”, offering volunteers — 18 years or older — the opportunity to overcome their inhibitions in “a safe environment” and raise money for charity.”

What I like even better than the $25,000 these events have raised for charity in the course of the last five years is the pseudo-academic interpretation of the event –

“‘[t]his is an effort to counter centuries of censure, to make masturbation more fun and to make it more accessible,'” said Thomas W. Laqueur, a professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley and author of the recent “Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation…”

I honestly wonder if Mr Laqueur participated or once again proved the old quip right that those who do don’t teach, and those who teach, well… don’t do.