Another soggy November in a Presidential election
year has come skulking around the bend. And we all know
that meansone more time boys!a Kevin Mannix
sponsored referendum to rewrite Oregons first amendment.
This time out, initiative #87 wants to slash and burn our
first amendment to permit zoning of adult businesses. Reason
being? Some people are offended by the mere sight of an
adult store conducting lawful business anywhere near them.
I can relate. Fast food restaurants are particularly offensive
to me. And, unlike adult businesses, they do statistically
support a higher crime rate. On West Burnside, if you want
to score drugs or a hooker, you need to sleaze around the
fast food places on the North side of the street, not the
adult businesses on the South side. But many people feel
that nakedness, or words and pictures depicting nakedness,
is unlawful. Or immoral. Or just not right.
I could go on in this vain, but what really concerns me
is this: If law-and-order Kevin Mannix gets his shot at
Attorney General, Oregon could wind up like Canada. Oh Canada.
With your bloody bored (sic) of censors pouring over any
printed matter crossing your pristine borders. You see,
in Canada its against the law to offend anyone, or
any group, or imply, hint or even cajole that anyone might
be one teensy weensy bit coerced into or degraded by any
act, idea, fictional passage, picture, advertisement, ad
nauseum. I know this all too well. As a contributing writer
to an international mens magazine (that shall remain
anonymous because I need the exposure), I watch in helpless
horror as innocuous portions of my literary genius get cut
for Canadas sake. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore,
Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, no problem. But oh
I have to cut about 75 words from this to get it past
Canada, my editrix in New York emails me. Shes
referring to the publishing of an excerpt from my completed
novel. Crime genre. And a passage must be deleted because
someone in Manitoba might be offended. The hero narrates
his attraction to a Femme Fatale:
In the eyes of the status quo, murder,
incest and rape are nothing compared to the threat of intellectual
anarchypure freedom of thought.
She could hurt you, cut you with those heels, make you
bleed. I wanted to bleed all over the cool white indifference
of her skin.
She was the kind of woman who might hold a sharp knife to
your balls just for kicksa real knife, or just a thought,
a word like a knifeand you would stand stiff and obedient,
gliding through, striding through her long, smooth fingers.
That entire passage gone from every single copy, worldwide,
of the mens magazinethanks to bloody Canada.
Which means: Canadian censorship is censoring work published
in the US, because magazine and book publishers dont
want to risk their product seized and warehoused by Canadian
snoopers and the resulting loss of revenue and distribution.
So, Ive rewritten the potentially offensive passage
for the Canadian censors sake as follows:
She wasnt a very nice person. She might inadvertently
hurt your little pinky toe with her high heeled shoes. And
then say she was very sorry. On an unrelated note, I liked
her white skin, too.
Sometimes she might have sharp words for you. But, heck,
that was really okay with me. Sometimes I like sharp wordsget
the old juices flowing in my scrotum.
There you have itsafely sanitized for Canada.
You can bet that books like Tropic of Cancer and
Naked Lunch arent faring too well in Canada
these days, either. Take this passage form page five of
Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller.
Your Sylvester is a little jealous now? He feels something,
does he? He feels the remnants of my big prick. I have set
the shores a little wider. I have ironed out the wrinkles.
After me, you can take stallions, bulls, rams, drakes, St.
Bernards. You can stuff toads, bats, lizards up your rectum...
I am fucking you Tania so you will stay fucked... I will
tear off a few hairs from your cunt and paste them on Boris
chin. I will bite into your clitoris and spit out two franc
I have a large penis and I suspect Tanias boyfriend
may have felt this. After Tania has had intercourse with
me, its possible that she could take something quite
large into her vagina, although I would never suggest anything
from the animal or lizard kingdom, nor am I implying any
kind of sodomy. Its amusing to me to think of gently
plucking a few of Tanias pubic hairs, and pasting
them onto Boris chin. Or, gently nibbling on her clitoris
while holding a couple of small coins in my mouth, then
spitting out the coins as if I had gently sucked them from
her vagina. That would be an entertaining kind of parlour
trick Id like to try sometimewith Tanias
express written consent, of course.
While Canadian censorship reaches down into New York
and scours our books and magazines clean of potentially
offensive passages, ideas, words and pictures, the zoning
of adult businesses will, no doubt, have similar far-reaching
effects. This idea that we should be able to go through
life and never be offended, or challenged, or thrown off-kilteror
bear passing witness to anything contrary to ones
beliefs, morals, preceptsis nothing new under the
sun. Henry Miller was fighting that fat, lazy, loathsome
and corrupt philosophy back in 1934. Tropic of Cancer
declares itself from within the novel as one long insult
hurled at the world. Because the world needed to be insulted,
rocked from its comfortable cradle. Could Miller have smelled
the oppression of fascism bearing down on the intellectual
Cafe Society of Paris? Without question.
In the eyes of the status quo, murder, incest and rape are
nothing compared to the threat of intellectual anarchypure
freedom of thought. A man and woman meet each other going
to church and begin having an affair. Then, one night the
woman leaves the back door open so the man can steal in
and bludgeon her clueless husband to death. True story.
You can read about that in The Oregonian. Happened
recently in the sanitized suburbs out in Gresham.
So I ask you, which is more threatening: going to church
and the kind of people you might meet there, or going to
a strip club? Or reading Henry Miller or any author shining
a light on the darker reaches of the human psyche? If Kevin
Mannix and the Canadians have their way, all that will be
left is fast food restaurants, strip malls, churches and
books like Harry Potter. And people will still be
plotting ways to fuck, lie to, cheat, steal from and kill
thy neighbor. But at least no one will be offended.