Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sex and the Simpsons

Those of you who read either LOCUS or Neil Gaiman's blog will have heard of the latest cause célḕbre scandal, which involves the Simpsons. A man in Australia has been convicted of possessing child pornography because he had in his home drawings of kids having sex. The kids were Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson. The man has been fined $3,000.

If underage cartoon characters have sex on paper, and I look at it (not that I want to see Bart getting it off with his sister), has anyone been harmed? What about if the sex is not drawn but only described? By that standard, Lolita is pornographic. What if Bart murders someone? If I view or read about that, have I participated in viewing a snuff film (also illegal)? Does this judge realize that he just granted human rights to cartoon characters?

Does Homer now have the right to vote?


Nick A said...

1) my wife and I sometimes turn off the late-evening cartoon network because we deem some of the content as inappropriate for our eight-year-old son.

2) (I can't resist a bad pun). Was the Australian found guilty of being a Homersexual?

3) On a serious note, this brings back recent nasty memories of Proposition 8 in California, where special interests uber-funded the propsition to success.

Luke said...

Unless the libertarians get their act together, I look forward to a future total nanny-state where we're all regularly paddled for thought-crimes.

José Iriarte said...

I don't know how I feel about it.

Is the justification for child-porn laws strictly that a child was victimized in the taking of the photos? Or is it that child porn emboldens* pedophiles to molest children?

Is the slippery slope that outlawing drawings of copulating children will lead to the outlawing of Lolita a reasonable concern?


I just don't know.

* A perfectly cromulent word, that.

Mark said...

Dealing With Difficult People: Whoever wasted the Australians' tax dollars to prosecute (or is it persecute?) this guy obviously had too much time on her hands/needed a hobby/didn't have to earn a living. She (BTW, I like to take turns with gender pronouns to avoid what I consider clunky language) also needs to get a grip on dealing with the real world. There are plenty of things I find offensive (organized religion, for one), yet I don't waste time trying to change the whole world (anymore). It's much more productive to try to find a place I have enough control over to turn into something more closely resembling "my ideal world."

The Dealing With Difficult People part comes in because now there will be more prosecutors, etc. who will be encouraged by this maladjusted behavior. But this has been going on for quite a few millenia anyway, so things probably won't get much worse before bouncing back some. So Luke, maybe you should get a big safe for your Phil Dick, LeGuin, Kress, etc., one that stands up to 451 Fahrenheit.