Get your government out of my art!

You want scary?

I’ll tell you what’s scary. What’s scary is government-any government, but more specifically, this government-smudging its fat little fingers all over my entertainment.

There is a bipartisan bill, now awaiting approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the Children’s Safety Act, which is designed to track sex offenders and protect children from exploitation.

Sounds fairly noble, right?

It was-but a new wrinkle has been added at the 11th hour, courtesy of Mike Pence, a Republican senator from Indiana.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, somewhere deep beneath the surface, buried under pages of numbers and jargon, Pence has added a special little provision of his own. This new provision, if put into effect, would hold all films, retroactive to 1995, to the same standards levied on the porn industry.

Mainstream movies and television shows that show simulated (read: FAKE) sex are flagged in the same manner as porn flicks, and the studios and filmmakers are required to fill out a “2257” just to make sure that all the actors involved in the (FAKE) sex scenes, even clothed ones, are of age.

“In effect,” the article reads: “(The provision) defines a movie or TV show as a pornographic work under federal law.”

Is it just me, or does filling out a “2257” sound a bit too much like a scene from “Brazil?”

Am I wrong?

Now, I have no problem with laws targeting child pornography and exploitation. The laws, in most regards, are far too lax.

I find it preposterous that a guy can fool around with a 10-year-old and get a few months in a cell, while another guy can sell pot and get put away for 10 years or so.

But that’s another story.

It’s funny how Republicans throw around the term “slippery slope” when talking about things such as gay marriage, but they don’t seem to notice when they’re slipping down one themselves.

Technically speaking, of course, this is just a bit of extra paperwork, that’s all. And that’s just what Pence would love for us to believe-he’ll hide behind a readymade excuse about “protecting our children.”

“It’s about protecting our children! Children are our greatest resource! Children are our future! I heart clichs!”

Of course.

The children.

Wait, refresh my memory-how does the government’s keeping tabs on simulated sex scenes between adult actors in an R-rated film affect children?

It doesn’t.

It shouldn’t be hard to see where this is really going. Nixon did it in the ’70s, Reagan tried to do it in the ’80s, and now here we are in 2005 and Mike Pence-at the behest of the justice department, I might add-is trying to do it again.

This is the U.S. government trying to crack down on something it has no right to crack down on. This is clandestine censorship, and don’t tell me any different. These are individual rights we’re talking about; government intervention has no place in Hollywood.

Studios and filmmakers shouldn’t have to be lumped together with porn kings and the seedy adult film industry just to film a damned sex scene.

Move along, folks, there’s nothing to see here.

Does the Senate understand that sex scenes in movies aren’t actually happening? They know this, right? Tell me they know it’s fake.


Already, the Bush Administration and the FBI are using special agents to track adults who look up porn on the Internet.

Yes, I said adults. And no, I’m not talking about child porn.

Now, I’m not a porn connoisseur-and I don’t spend my time looking up porn-but what the hell is the FBI doing examining the completely legal habits of private citizens?

Hollywood studios have always been wary of controversy and bad press. Well, being lumped together with the porn industry is about as bad as bad publicity gets.

Insiders have suggested that, if this new provision goes into effect, producers will shy away from sexual material, simply to avoid filling out a “2257.”

Just imagine “Requiem for a Dream” without the climactic scene. Imagine “American Psycho” without the prostitutes. Imagine “Monster” or “Monster’s Ball.”

Just imagine.

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