Sex & Culture

Exploiting Sex Offenders to Ruin Childhood, Part 26: Halloween

Before this year’s Halloween is a distant memory, consider this: Missouri Governor Matt Blunt recently signed a law requiring registered sex offenders to “refrain from all Halloween-related contact with children from 5:00-10:30 pm on October 31.” It requires them to remain inside their homes with the outside lights off, and to post a sign saying they have no candy. A federal judge held that forcing offenders to remain in their home and refrain from being around children was overly broad, while finding that keeping a sign on their door and the lights off was constitutional. We need to be clear…

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Gay High School: Bad for Gays AND Straights

Chicago school officials held a hearing last week to help determine whether or not the city will open a high school catering to gay, lesbian and transgender kids. Those in favor argue it will reduce violence against gay teens, lowering their risk of injury, absenteeism, and substance abuse. Opponents call it a municipal endorsement of homosexuality, which they say is wrong. Some gay advocates argue against it from a totally different direction, saying it marginalizes gay kids, making them invisible. This is really closer to the point. The way to make gay kids safer is not by hiding them in…

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“Bo Diddley Put the Rock in Rock & Roll”

I spent July 4 doing what many patriots did—listening to rock ‘n’ roll. I had the enormous pleasure of watching a DVD of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry jamming with an amazing group of all-star musicians: John Mayall, Mick Fleetwood, Ron Wood, Carl Wilson, Bobby Keys, and members of Chicago, Three Dog Night, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. In their late 50s at the time of the 1985 concert, Bo and Chuck appeared ageless once the music started. Bo strutted and preened, reminding us that “Bo Diddley put the rock in rock and roll.” Chuck, with a mischievous (or satanic,…

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I’m All Over The New Media

Suddenly, video of me and links to my work are all over the internet. My blog’s been picked up by alternet and buzzflash, lots of people saw the Penn & Teller teaser, and now I’m on Reason.TV. No false modesty or pretend shyness here—I love it! The topic of all these pieces of course, is sex. More specifically, it’s sexual expression—which of course includes pornography. America is obsessed with porn. It seems like half of us are watching it, while the other half are trying to stop the first half. That’s interesting, because the half that watches porn is not…

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Returning the TV Clicker to Parents

Now that a court has told the Texas child welfare authorities that the parenting rights of even polygamists are paramount, I suggest we use that same principle about what kids can watch on TV—instead of letting the government decide, let’s put parents in charge. That means letting parents use methods like the V Chip, ratings system, and cable TV lockout system. Parents can even decide not to own a TV if that’s what they want. The important things is that we get the government out of the business of deciding what TV shows kids OR adults can watch. The FCC…

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What Did They Fight & Die For?

Today is Memorial Day, when we’re supposed to honor those who have fallen in defense of our great nation and its principles. Many will do this by participating in a parade, going to a cemetery, or looking through photos of loved ones buried across the globe. There are other ways to celebrate the sacrifices that have made America the world’s most radical experiment in free speech and free thought. Remember, it’s not the fact that you were born here that makes America great. It’s the principles that America stands for, struggles with, and protects. So this week you’ll be honoring…

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