This post is by Jonathan Blaustein
from A Photo Editor
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Proper civilizations depend upon the rule of law, in my opinion.
It might not work as a general rule, though, because China is an impressive civilization, for sure. (I guess Russia is too, if for Dostoevsky alone.)
But since the times of Hammurabi’s code, the idea of a system of justice has long been at the heart of most idealistic, successful societies. (I’d include America on that list, though our justice system is heavily imperfect.)
Even when they’re functioning, laws require distinctions to be made, as well as decisions.
This act or behavior is permitted. But that one is not.
Sometimes, though, things get murky.
Even the idea of pornography, sexual imagery that is considered illegal for traditional methods of media distribution, is unclear as a category.
Famously, the US Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart declared in Jacobellis vs Ohio that the standard was essentially: “I know it when I see it.”
Which means what?
Penetration is always porn, but boobs alone rarely are? Female frontal nudity is considered more acceptable than male, and why is that?
(Or the amazing “Broad City” girls can talk about pegging, on cable TV, but probably couldn’t use the word fuck.)
Speaking of laws, we’ve almost always kept our content SFW here at my APE book review column. (Safe for work.) Rob asked me to run it that way from the beginning, and then was open-minded as I experimented with showing a bit of nudity and light sexual behavior stuff here, years ago.
But it didn’t feel right for the audience, and we tightened up the restrictions ever since.
(One time, I specifically remember using my finger to tactically cover a hippie-dude’s-johnson in a photograph.)
I don’t mind the restriction.
I don’t think the column would be better
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