Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Criminalizing Fun

This country has had a long history of making things that are fun illegal. Usually the argument is because it supposedly harms people. And, granted, there often is some truth to that. Was it coincidence that Prohibition happened right after women got the right to vote? Perhaps women who were tired of having their drunken husbands slapping them and their kids around, and forcing themselves upon them thought, “hey, without booze, maybe he’d be a nicer guy!” But, all that happened was crime exploded and prohibition didn’t work. What has worked in recent years is prosecution of domestic violence cases, and the change in attitude towards women. Even conservatives these days talk about marriage as a partnership and not as ownership of a woman by a man.

Some things, however, which are fun, don't harm anybody. For example, sex toys. Sex toys have probably saved a lot more marriages than they’ve damaged. But, for some (presumably religiously driven) reason, several states have a ban on sex toys. Last Thursday, Mississippi’s Supreme Court upheld a state law prohibiting the sale of sex toys.

This is just re-goddamn-diculous! I suppose they’ll ban the sale of cucumbers next. Look, the reason sex toys are banned is simply because they think sexual pleasure is evil, plain and simple. That, somehow, having orgasms is damaging to one’s mental health. Maybe the men of Mississippi see vibrators as competition, not as potentially valuable friends and partners in pleasing their wives.

Also, from the great state of Texas, cops have been arresting people for being drunk, in bars! That’s right, you cannot get drunk in a bar in Texas. They say it’s to prevent people from drinking and driving, but some of the people they arrested were in the HOTEL BARS they were staying at! This is nothing more than lording it over people for indulging in a little vice.

If the idea is to prevent accidents and crime, then why don’t they just lock everybody in their own homes all the time?

Why is it happening now? Because controlling, moralizing, sanctimonious forces are emboldened now, with wingnut conservatives running things. They feel like they can get away with this crap.

The funny thing is, conservatives are always accusing liberals with wanting to control people through the government. Being a “Nanny State,” they call it. You know, preventing people from exercising their rights to starve, breathe crappy air, drink poison laden water and eat contaminated food. That kind of stuff. Then, they claim that the liberals are going to take away everybody’s guns to really scare people. Meanwhile, all of your rights are slowly being taken away.

I'd rather have a "Nanny State", than a "Big Scary Daddy State" that locks me in the basement and monitors my phone calls.


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