But none of this history explains the prosecution of John Stagliano in 2010 for making movies with consenting adults and selling them to other consenting adults. When did his business suddenly become criminal? Why has the power and majesty of the United States government, the financial and personnel resources of the FBI, all joined forces now to try and send Stagliano to prison?
(Video) Penley specializes in film history and theory, feminist theory, and cultural studies. She is especially well-known on campus for her controversial classes on pornography, where she analyzes the ways in which blue movies play with moral and social taboos.
On Tuesday, a group of anti-porn activists and scholars arrived on Capitol Hill to brief members of Congress and their staffs and to call for beefed-up federal enforcement of obscenity laws. They weren't there to fret about the pornographers of old: the loveable chauvinist Hugh Hefner and his scantily clad bunnies, or even the not-so-loveable-but-occasionally-principled First Amendment crusader, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. No, they had come to alert Congress to websites like GagFactor.com, whose teasers alone are way more graphic than anything Hefner ever published, and whose content doesn't portend a spirited First Amendment defense.
Unfortunately, Romano and Zicari had the audacity to mix genres of entertainment that, while permissible on their own, are apparently not allowed to be combined. And thus they managed to achieve what not even John Waters ever accomplished: They were sent to prison for having bad taste.