|Senator Smoot (Republican, Ut.)
Is planning a ban on smut
Oh rooti-ti-toot for Smoot of Ut.
And his reverent occiput.
Smite. Smoot, smite for Ut.,
Grit your molars and do your dut.,
Gird up your l--ns,
Smite h-p and th-gh,
We'll all be Kansas
By and By.
(Ogden Nash , "Invocation," 1931)
The Indecency Page is dedicated to making fun of the Communications Decency Act in as many ways as humanly possible.
This page has been accessed 68279 times between the time it was established in January 1996 through April 1997; it was last updated 10 May 1998. True to our motto, "Indecency Never Sleepeth", we are continually adding and updating our inventory of indecency for your prurient enjoyment. Search for "[NEW]" to find new or updated items.
Aggregate Chill Factors (as of 22 February 1996):
As Congress was debating the CDA, I posted this page as a protest against the Communications Decency Act in particular, and against the idea of government control of communication in general. The page contained material which most people consider innocuous or even inspiring, yet which seemed to my legally untrained mind to clearly fall under the legal category of "indecent."
Then Congress passed the Act, and under its terms I would have liable for $200,000 fines and/or 10 year jail sentences for posting to the World-wide Web these excerpts from the Bible, literature, and art. Naturally, with this sort of a threat over my head, I did not leave the "indecent" material online. Some of it I removed, other I "censored"--in order to give a good idea of what great works of art may look like when governments are allowed to control them. Also I ranted and raved about the Act and its effect on public discourse on the Internet, and even found one tiny loophole which allowed me to continue to display my horribly indecent bible excerpts and so on despite the Communications Decency Act (I simply displayed them in a time frame that fell between 12 midnight and 5 AM for all U.S. time zones--the Supreme Court in its infinite wisdom has specifically allowed the presentation of indecent material during that time).
You can find the original version of The Indecency Page here (look at it quick, before they ban it again!).
In fact, I do personally believe that people should refrain as far as possible from saying indecent, naughty, nasty, bad, or rude words and from taking, publishing, or viewing naughty, nasty, and generally nude pictures. People should spend more time reading the Bible (except for the naughty, nasty, rude, crude, and nude parts which they should blot out with a heavy black marker and then staple the pages together so as to avoid trying to guess what lies beneath the blotted out parts*) and less time viewing Baywatch.
People should personally try to do all these things, and I applaud them if they do. But government should keep its big fat not-very-intelligent and very-heavy-handed butt** out of it. It's none of their business.
That is my opinion.
(If you want to see plenty of good reasons why the government should keep their big grubby hands off our communications, you might want to check out the Digital Freedom Network.)
(*I had a friend who actually did this to his Bible, but that is a story for another occasion . . . )
(**Now that I am officially and legally allowed to, I just can't restrain myself from making offensive references to sex and excretion whenever possible.)
Compressed down into a very small nutshell, the Communications Decency Act says:
While the rest of us head off to enjoy the indecency (knowing now how illegal it is has undoubtedly increased our anticipation a hundredfold), the masochists in the group may wish to make a small diversion here and flail yourselves with the Medium-To-Medium-Large-Nutshell Version Of What the CDA prohibits. Hardened sado-masochists will also wish to arm themselves with The Complete And Unexpurgated Version Of What The CDA Prohibits, Including Many Diverse Opinions And Other Ramblings (try THIS on your friends to reduce them instantly to a whimpering pile of blubber).
Well, I scarcely need to add that our highly trained Interactive Applications Group here at The Indecency Page got right on the job, wrote the necessary scripts, programs, mark-up codes, compilers, and operating systems in a flash, and wah-lah! The Indecency Page is once again available in its fully indecent glory to APPROVED AND AUTHORIZED ADULTS ONLY, exactly as the law written by our revered and esteemed congressmen and -woman allows. Praise be to Yahveh and the FCC! Click here for more information and to prove your adulthood!
Older newsflashes are still available.
Only one slight and certainly insignificant problem gives us pause. Just exactly how is the highly trained and dedicated staff here at The Indecency Page to determine WHICH of you, our dearly beloved readers, is above the ripe old age of 18? Should we lurk around in our ISP's router, trying to reverse-engineer everyone's b****date from their IP numbers? [CENSORED: Explicit reference to the explicit and inevitable result of undeniable sexual activity.] Should we require phone numbers from everyone so we can call their mother and see if they're allowed? Should we ask cleverly worded questions to which only over-18-year-olds know the correct answer ("Is the term 'Rap Music' an oxymoron?", "Who is smarter, you or your parents?", etc.).
No, no. None of these ever-so-clever methods is necessary. Our foresightful congressmen and -woman have solved this hairy problem for us in advance. Based on the astute analysis of Section 47 U.S.C. 223(e)(5)(B) performed by our highly trained legal staff here at The Indecency Page, it seems that our all-wise, all-knowing legislators have made the following Official Congressionally Approved Age Verification Methods available for proving your legal majority and subsequent right to enjoy indecency and the other pleasures of life that are restricted from minors so they won't get too uppity. Please select the most convenient method to fit your busy lifestyle:
NOTE to anyone who strongly feels like an adult, yet somehow managed to fail Adulthood Verification Method #5: Adulthood Verification Method #5 relies on a TIME-tested (wink) and infallible property of juveniles (wink wink) which has been confirmed by the FCC and Supreme Court and which is enforced upon all juveniles without exception, by their mommies and daddies (wink wink Wink WINK wINk wiNK wInk). So if you failed the first time around, you might wish to try again at a different TIME (WINK WINK w-WINK!) such as that which the S-U-P-R-E-M-E C-O-U-R-T (wink-wink-wink-wink-wink) has determined that no helpless children are engaging in rotten or naughty behaviours (winkawinkawinkawinkwink!). P.S. This entire note has been a big fat H-I-N-T (wink-wink) to adults only, that no child will ever be clever enough to figure it out, because at the only TIME OF DAY (yaaaaaaAAAWWWWWWWWwwnnnnn!) (W-wink, W-wink, w-WINK!) when it will do them any good, they will undoubtedly be feeling too SLEEPY-HEADED, GROGGY, and GRUMPY ((WINK!)) to figure out such a clever H-I-N-T.
Minor Legal Note: Our crack legal team noted one small loophole in our Adulthood Detector: It only bars U.S. juveniles from the page. Foreign juveniles will be able to get in like crazy. We asked our resident expert on foreign relations, A.N. Oughtsee, for his advice on handling this matter. A.N.'s down-to-earth and sensible reply:
Ah jist hard frum mah frien' heer down t'th' 'Mercan Leejun thut uh pack-uh goldurned furreners been lookint this yeer infermashun. [Editor's Note: Mr. Oughtsee seems to be operating under the delusion that any large building where groups of people get together to talk, play bingo, and eat lunch is called "The American Legion". We have tried many times to cure him of this annoying trait, but he continues to refer to Indecency World Headquarters as "The American Legion". We find it slightly ironic, but oh, well . . .] Now ahm warnin' yuh, this yeer page is made fer Red Blewded 'dult 'Mericans ONLY! So if yuh ain't a 'Mercan, GIT LOST! GIT! Me an' good ol' Pat Buchanan is workin' on a way t'keep th'whole messa slimy grimy furreners frum layin' their grubby ol' eyes on this yeer stuff, but we ain't got it purficted yet, so in the meanerwhile, JEST GIT! GIT!! GIT!!!! An I'm warnin' yuh, too, thut yer furren juvenal deleenquints ain't cunsiderd citizens a'this yeer cuntry, an' so they ain't gwin be locked out bah our otherwise infalluble 'dult detectuhr. U.S. Consitooshun jes' plain don't apply to'em. An' anyhows, me an' Pat don't rilly give a dam wether yer buncha slimygrimy li'l rugrats look ut this yeer stuff. Hell, buncha goldurnd furreners could probly be doin' lot worse'n this'n their spare time. I 'spect a buncha thankfool furren parents is gonna be writtin' me a buncha letters thankin' me fur given their packa li'l useless twerps somethun holesum to look at, 'mpared to the thievin' un' lyin' they's us'lly engagin' in this tima day. --A.N.O.
So, to make a long story short, the Multi-Globular Corporate Accounting Department here at Imu-Glo-Ho decided to mobilize its substantial financial resources to determine just exactly how much moolah our ever-beloved congressmen and -woman had cost us in enacting this vital piece of legislation. The Official Corporate Report is here presented for your perusal. I do not wish to alarm any of our highly valued stockholders, but Dean Witter Reynolds did downgrade Imu-Glo-Ho's previously rip-roaring stock from "Buy" to "Sell like crazy!" on receipt of this report, and our esteemed Multi-Globular Board of Directors and specially invited scantily clad guests were immediately cabled and instructed to return from their luxurious vacations 0.154 days earlier than scheduled.
Processing Costs: The Indecency Page, 300 hits per day
Whew. It's a good thing The Indecency Page is run by a humongous multi-national multi-globular company that can absorb these costs with only a 0.154 day reduction in luxurious vacation allowance! If we were just some li'l old two-bit company run outa somebody's basement or something, well, we'd probably go right on under. Well, "Survival Of The Fittest", that's our multi-globular company motto here at Imu-Glo-Ho, and with a little help from our good friends^H^H^H^H^H er, I mean casual acquaintances--purely by chance, you know--down at the House and the Senate, it looks we've managed to make our motto work for us.
And as for the rest of you . . . well, sorry Charlie. Better luck next time.
With little dollars signs floating continuously around in ours eyes, or crack staff here at the Indecency Division began a frantic worldwide search for cybersmut--you know, that stuff that everybody just knows is lurking around every corner of cyberspace--and other such nasties and naughties as infallibly would bring the public streaming into our corporate headquarters, and keep the cash streaming at high speed into our corporate coffers. It didn't take long--we soon found a whole collection of titillating cyber-indecency, and thus we have . . .
All of the items in this section WERE indecent, annoying, otherwise naughty. But now, thanks to the Communications "Decency" Act, they have all been stripped bare and/or sent to outer oblivion. In other words, we have either censored them or simply remarked out the HTML links so that it is completely and utterly impossible for you to follow them now, especially if you are a child or other similar person with underdeveloped mental capacity.
You are welcome to snoop around the page trying to imagine what you COULD HAVE seen, way back when the First Amendment was still the law of our fair land. Or, you can go ahead and use Official Congressionally Approved Adult Verification Method Number 1, 2, 3, 4 and/or 5, in which case you will get your Official Congressionally Approved Top Secret Adult Indecent Access Code, which will immediately allow you to once again enjoy all the filth and sleaze available here at The Indecency Page.
In the meanwhile . . . read'em and weep:
[Reminder: the TOTALLY UNCENSORED ADULTS ONLY VERSION OF THE INDECENCY PAGE is available to BONA-FIDE ADULTS ONLY, who may click here to prove their adulthood. JUVENILES AND OTHER PERSONA NON GRATA NEED NOT APPLY!]
|The onus is on us to determine whether free societies in the twenty-first century will
conduct electronic communication under the conditions of freedom established for the
domain of print through centuries of struggle, or whether that great achievement will
become lost in a confusion of new technologies. |
--Ithiel de Sola Pool
But the simple fact is, I cannot take that chance. I cannot accept the personal, financial, and career risks a court battle would involve. So, if the Telecommunications Bill passes with its indecency ban intact, I will be removing all indecent passages from this page. And, since I am not certain what a court will or will not find to be indecent, I will be removing everything that has even remote chance of being found indecent. I, as well as everyone else on the Internet who fears the legal system, will be exercising self-censorship with a very broad brush indeed.
This is what constitutional lawyers refer to as a "chilling effect". In the face of legal uncertainty, expression is self-censored, perhaps beyond even what the law demands, simply because ordinary citizens are left to interpret the law for themselves and choose the course legally and financially most prudent.
Thus, I have calculated a Chill Factor for each link I maintain on the Indecency Page. The Chill
Factor is simply the percentage of text I have removed to comply with indecency provisions in the current law.
I also calculate an Aggregate Chill Factor, which is simply the Chill Factor of all links taken
You will be able to see which passages I have removed, because I will simply block the passage out with
asterisks. In brackets will be a brief explanation of why the passage was removed, like so:
**** *** ***** *** ** **** *** ******* *** ***** **** ***** ** *** ***** *** *** ****** **** ** ** ***** ***
*** ** ** *** ********. [CENSORED: Explicit and apparently approving reference to excretory function.]
There is a question as to whether these brief explanations may themselves be indecent (in fact,
the Communications Decency Act may be indecent, since it dwells at some length on those things
which it intends to ban), but I'll leave that for the lawyers to figure out.
Note that you cannot simply block out a single indecent word or even a phrase; the result may still be
found to be indecent. Thus I will leaving enough in so that you can definitely tell that something is
missing, but I will certainly be removing enough that you could never guess what it is that has been
BTW, the above should not be taken to mean that I am against non-violent civil disobedience
in this matter. In fact, if it weren't illegal, I might actually encourage civil disobedience.
But--if I were to engage in such, er, shady activities, I'm certainly not stupid enough to do it
right here on my web page where I can be tracked down so easily <heh, heh>.
If, however, after repeated trips to the library, you still wish to investigate the indecency on this page, you are quite
welcome to do so. If you feel that anything here is illegal and must be removed, I will gladly comply. I make only two
If, however, after repeated trips to the library, you still wish to investigate the indecency on this page, you are quite
welcome to do so. If you feel that anything here is against university guidelines and must be removed, I will gladly
comply. I make only two simple requests:
Join the Blue
Ribbon Anti-Censorship Campaign!
A Chilling History
As the law changes, either by legislation or court action, I will list here the resulting Aggregate Chill Factor
of The Indecency Page.
Until I can evaluate what exactly what the law allows and disallows, and I get time to go through and edit all the necessary local files, I have simply removed them. Yes, that $250,000 fine/2 year prison term did scare me (and besides--I have a bit of a dramatic streak). I have also removed the links to items that are not kept at this site, because a close examination of the law indicates that maintaining a link to an indecent site is itself an infraction.
A Notice . . .
To Legal Officials
As far as I know, The Indecency Page is currently legal. If you wish to track down indecency, I would suggest that
you head down to your nearest public library and track it down to your heart's content. Every indecent item posted here
will be found in any large public library--and where I make available mere excerpts, the library will have the entire
item available in its fully indecent glory.
To University Officials
As far as I know, The Indecency Page currently complies with all University guidelines on computer and internet
use. If you wish to track down indecency, I would suggest that
you head on down to the Miller Nichols Library--where I found all the indecency I posted here--and track it down to
your heart's content. Where I have made available mere excerpts, the Miller Nichols Library will has the entire
items available in their fully indecent glory--as well as many other indecent and annoying items to keep
You are encouraged to copy all or any part of these pages and put them to any reasonable non-commercial use. Material may be forwarded to mailing lists, sent to individuals, put on your own home page, or anything else you can think of that would be helpful. I of course appreciate it if you give credit where it is due, but I won't even require that . . .
The keeper of this page is Brent Hugh (BHugh@CSTP.UMKC.EDU ). Feel free to email him with any questions about, problems with, or complaints regarding the page. You can visit Brent Hugh's Home Page or his Music Instruction Software Page.
You will be able to see which passages I have removed, because I will simply block the passage out with asterisks. In brackets will be a brief explanation of why the passage was removed, like so:
**** *** ***** *** ** **** *** ******* *** ***** **** ***** ** *** ***** *** *** ****** **** ** ** ***** *** *** ** ** *** ********. [CENSORED: Explicit and apparently approving reference to excretory function.]
There is a question as to whether these brief explanations may themselves be indecent (in fact, the Communications Decency Act may be indecent, since it dwells at some length on those things which it intends to ban), but I'll leave that for the lawyers to figure out. Note that you cannot simply block out a single indecent word or even a phrase; the result may still be found to be indecent. Thus I will leaving enough in so that you can definitely tell that something is missing, but I will certainly be removing enough that you could never guess what it is that has been removed.
BTW, the above should not be taken to mean that I am against non-violent civil disobedience in this matter. In fact, if it weren't illegal, I might actually encourage civil disobedience. But--if I were to engage in such, er, shady activities, I'm certainly not stupid enough to do it right here on my web page where I can be tracked down so easily <heh, heh>.
If, however, after repeated trips to the library, you still wish to investigate the indecency on this page, you are quite welcome to do so. If you feel that anything here is illegal and must be removed, I will gladly comply. I make only two simple requests:
If, however, after repeated trips to the library, you still wish to investigate the indecency on this page, you are quite welcome to do so. If you feel that anything here is against university guidelines and must be removed, I will gladly comply. I make only two simple requests:
Join the Blue Ribbon Anti-Censorship Campaign!