Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
The War on Pleasure Exxxtreme Ashcroft

Exxxtreme Ashcroft

by Dr. SUSAN BLOCK

As US President G.W. Bush’s Christian Petroleum Crusade slaughters an average of one to two American troops per day and over 3,000 Iraqi civilians since the war began, back in the Homeland, Dubya’s anointed Attorney General is leading another crusade to slaughter our civil liberties. Now America’s erotic freedoms are squarely in the crosshairs.

Welcome to Ayatollah Asscraft’s Anti-Sexual Freedom Crusade, coming soon to a pornographer near you. It’s already come to a pornographer near me in the form of 10 federal obscenity indictments filed by the US Justice Department against the North Hollywood porn video company, Extreme Associates Inc., and it’s owners, Robert Zicari, alias Rob Black, the producer of the alleged obscenities, and his wife, Janet Romano, alias Lizzie Borden, director of said obscenities. Penalties upon conviction include up to 50 years imprisonment and a $2.5 million fine for each, with a further $5 million fine levied against the company.

Now before we go any deeper into this drama of lust and retribution, let’s take a look at what Extreme Associates does: They make movies. That’s it. Movies. They don’t murder people, they don’t rob banks, and they aren’t being accused of murder or robbery. They stand accused of making movies deemed "obscene" in the exalted eyes of our American Ayatollah, John Ashcroft, whom I nicknamed Asscraft, when just after the 9/11 attacks, he craftily took advantage of America’s state of terror to fuck us all in the ass with his USA Patriot Act. I call him the American Ayatollah because only the leaders of frankly religious states like Iran or Taliban Afghanistan match the degree to which he mixes his extreme religiosity with government duties.

Our Evangelical Ayatollah isn’t ashamed to admit that he had his father anoint him when he took office as U.S. Attorney General, as well as on other civic occasions. That’s right, he anointeth his head with oil (hmmwhich head?), just like the Prophet Samuel did with King Saul (Samuel I 10:1). I hear Asscraft used Crisco, a good old-fashioned Yankee lubricant. None of that infidel olive oil or heathen K-Y jelly for an American Ayatollah.

Of course, George II himself was virtually anointed as President, though the oil of his anointment was more ChevronTexaco than Crisco. The point is that neither was elected to their current office. No wonder Boy George empathized with Asscraft when he lost the U.S. Senate race in Missouri to a dead man, and elevated this pompous Jesus freak loser to the position of Most Powerful Lawyer in America.

After shoving the USA Patriot Act up America’s post-9/11-traumatized heinie (using the Crisco of Terror to facilitate the shoving), Ayatollah Asscraft’s first official anti-sex act was to cover up the Spirit of Justice. Affectionately named Minnie Lou, the Spirit of Justice is a tall, graciously half-topless female statue that presided over the Hall of Justice with dignity and style for almost a century. Asscraft put Minnie Lou in an American-style burqa, requiring the erection of a new set of drapes at a cost of $8000 to US taxpayers.

Not satisfied with draping innocent statues, Asscraft has now set his Messianic sights on what he seems to think everyone will agree is truly evil: American erotic entertainment.

X marks the evil-doer. The last time the federal government put on big anti-obscenity offensive, when Bush I was in the White House, was against a company that also began with "Ex" or "X": Xcitement Video (U.S. vs. Xcitement Video). Defense counsel Stanley Fleishman and Barry Fisher got the obscenity and RICO charges tossed out of court before the case even went to trial. "Basically it was a combination of falling into a trap we set and their ineptness," recalls Fisher.

America’s Sex President Bill Clinton never went after the porn industry; he wasn’t that much of a hypocrite. But the administration of Bush II, following in the footsteps of Bush I, feels compelled to throw the Religious Right wing of the Republican Party some red meat. Red and dripping with body fluids. They don’t even have to throw the meat very far. After all, a prime member of the ravenous Religious Right is leading the pack of judicial wolves.

And if this carnivorous pack has their way, they will chew right through Rob and Lizzie and then tear apart the rest of the heathen porn industry, even the soft stuff, and then the raunchier R movies, certainly cable television and as much of the Internet as they can demolish. And if that’s semi-successful, well, what about all of Minnie Lou’s sister statues baring their brazen boobies in government buildings across the land? And what about inappropriate art or books that children might see? Censorship is a slippery slope, anointed with Crisco and arrogance.

But surely, they won’t have their way. They can’t have their way. Surely, we Americans won’t allow our precious First Amendment Rights to be devoured by fanatical wolves in "concerned" sheep’s clothing. Pornography is now a multi-billion dollar industry. The pussycat is out of the bag, and even the righteous, wrathful Asscraft can’t shove it back in. It’s mainstream. More folks know about Jenna Jameson than Jenna Bush. Most people are probably still too shy to go public with their porn preferences. But the numbers don’t lie; it takes more than a few bad eggs, perverts or even "remnants" of the Clinton years to make a multi-billion dollar industry. America–and most of the world–loves porn.

But will Americans defend porn? Well, we damn well should. That’s right, Brothers & Sisters, Lovers & Sinners: This can’t be put off just because you don’t find the victims appealing. Word is that some people in the porn industry don’t like Rob and Lizzie because they may have bounced some checks, and they make disgusting movies-what I call erotic horror. First off, the bounced checks, well, that’s Hollywood; we’ve all been there (at least those of us not born with a "silver foot" in our mouths, like the Bush men), and that deserves a trip to small claims court or maybe a civil lawsuit, not a federal obscenity indictment.

Others say Rob and Lizzie broke "the rules," that they show stuff other pornographers won’t show, including everything on the Cambria List. The so-called Cambria List, said to have been drawn up in January, 2001, just after Bush II took office, by First Amendment Attorney Paul Cambria, is supposedly a guide to what pornographers should not portray if they want to avoid obscenity prosecutions. This do-it-yourself censorship list (no government agency required) includes many "taboos" that most Americans would find pretty tame, like "No blindfolds" and " No food used as sex objects" (so much for the old whipped cream routine, let alone a nice cucumber), or even discriminatory like "No bi-sex."

Obviously, most pornographers (who now, thanks to the Internet, produce and distribute their products not just from the San Fernando Valley, but from any bedroom with a webcam in the world,) don’t take the Cambria List seriously. But more and more of the bigger players are now attempting to abide by it. Such is the chilling effect of Asscraft’s Anti-Sex Crusade, even if the Anointed One never wins a case. Keep in mind that one of their primary tactics is to bleed their victims of cash. Mounting an effective defense is always expensive, even when you’re really innocent. Trial by bankruptcy. No wonder so many nervous pornographers are passing the Cambria List around these days.

Leaping like spider monkeys on speed far beyond the straitlaced List, the films of Extreme Associates feature graphic gang rape and lust murder (all simulated, of course; these aren’t snuff films!), real beatings (always with the performer’s explicit consent) and consumption of every kind of body fluid known to humanity (they do draw the line at bestiality, as well as anything involving children).

I must admit I’ve never actually seen an Extreme Associates film. Although I’m somewhat intrigued by the fact they incorporate occasional political and religious themes, I don’t think I’d like to see them because, quite frankly, Rob and Lizzie’s graphically violent erotica does not sound like my cup of love juice. Unlike Dubya, I don’t like to watch blood and guts, whether they’re fake or real, accompanied by sex or not. I don’t like watching horror movies, so I don’t watch them. I also didn’t look at the snuff photos of Saddam’s murdered sons that the Bushies paraded around the world. I didn’t watch Arnold Schwarzenegger pushing a woman’s head into a toilet in "Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines." And (as of this writing) I don’t watch Extreme Associates movies.
The point is nobody makes me watch them. Nobody makes anybody watch them. As the late great First Amendment attorney Stanley Fleishman (or maybe it was his partner Barry Fisher, or maybe it was his client Max Lobkowicz) once said: The only people being forced to watch these movies are the judge and the jury in this case.

And please remember who is doing the forcing, Brothers & Sisters: Ayatollah Asscraft and his Pittsburgh Pussy US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, the Anthony Comstock and Carrie Nation of our day. "Sneak and peek," indeed.

Now that’s what I call nonconsensual sex. I mean, Rob and Lizzie may have really twisted imaginations, but they don’t force the performers in their notorious "Cocktails" videos to eat sperm mixed with spit, piss and puke (ugh, I’m retching just writing about it), and they don’t force me or you to watch it. They are simply exercising their First Amendment rights to make disgusting movies. Just like other pornographers, just like horror moviemakers, just like slasher and adventure movie producers, just like a lot of music video producers, just like a lot of tabloid photojournalists and TV news producers, just like a lot of artists, just like any of us in the Free Speech-dependent communications game.

And all of these games, the porn industry, the mainstream movie industry, the music industry, television news, the art world, the legal profession, Internet webmasters and cruisers, all American freedom-lovers ought to put aside our differences in taste, and just say no to Ayatollah Asscraft. He may have buggered America with the Patriot Act. But he’s only just so crafty.

We might not agree on what makes good porn or a good movie or even what’s good. And for the most part, we won’t admit we personally get turned on by any of it. But we can stand up to blatant Puritanical government censorship perpetrated by this oily Assfucker.

Nothing against anal sex, mind you, or other forms of sodomy, which are now perfectly legal between consenting adults all across this great horny land of ours, according to the recent US Supreme Court ruling Lawrence vs. Texas.

Unlike Lawrence and his lover, Ayatollah Asscraft is greasing his way up our collective American behinds without consent. But then, a crusade is a war, and this is an essential part of the War on Freedom in the Homeland. Because if Rob and Lizzie go to jail for making and selling their movies, then possession of their movies becomes illegal, and that’s just one more thing in your bedroom (well, maybe not your bedroom) that the government can bust you for

If you’d like to join my campaign to maintain our civil liberties, including our sexual liberties, call my office at 213.749.1330 or email me at liberties@blockbooks.com.

Don’t wait for the knock on your door.

Dr. SUSAN BLOCK is a sex educator, host of The Dr. SUSAN BLOCK Show and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure. Visit her website at http://www.drsusanblock.com