Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Civil Disobedience

Over the past few months, Montgomery County, the bastion of nanny state liberalism (A few years back, b&c mentioned to me that the County was coming up with a new office of homeland security, to which I replied, "We will defeat the terrorists with speed bumps!") where I reside, has begun using speed cameras. It's a very efficient system. A pair of cameras is mounted inconspicuously by the roadside. They take pictures of your car, calculate your speed, and if it's ten miles or more over the posted speed limit, they send you a notice asking for $40. If you don't pay the notice within 30 days, it goes up to $65. In the last two months, I've given the county $145, and they haven't even sent me a mug or a thank you note. Bastards.

Traffic enforcement cameras have been around for a while, of course. I still remember the first time I got caught by one. I was seeing this really hot Vietnamese guy, and we'd been fooling around in his condo and were driving over to Rockville to have dinner with a couple of my friends, and I was following him, and he didn't stop at a yellow light, so I didn't stop, and there was a flash, and a week or two later, there was a citation. But he felt badly about it, and made me tie him up as punishment, and that was really hot for both of us, so I guess he, I, and the county were all happy.

I don't much like the Big Brother aspect of speed cameras, but there are "Photo Enforced" signs on the speed limit signs near them, so if I've been caught three times, I reckon it's my own fault. I've considered a campaign of civil disobedience: we get a bunch of guys to put the same fake license plate on their cars and drive swiftly past the speed cams. I figure we can use Mark Whitecotton's license plate number: he's been so many different people in the past that he should be happy to have a bunch of different guys be him. But that may be difficult to implement, so as Plan B, I have been making a concerted effort to drive no more than five miles over the speed limit. That can, however, be difficult if, say, you're on your way to an assignation with a hot guy. I tend to be on my way to assignations with hot guys during times when traffic's not very heavy, and it's pretty easy to get to 50 on a road that's marked 35. Oops.

Forty bucks isn't going to break me, but that same money could buy me a substantial quantity of condoms or one fairly lackluster sex toy, so I reckon I should be more careful. When you factor in speeding fines and the high cost of gas these days, it's no wonder that so many guys would rather host than travel. Thank the gods for married guys: they don't usually have that option.

Speaking of married men and Big Brother, B&c and I were driving down to the Kennedy Center last night to see a production of Elektra (B&c loved it. I thought it was loud, impressive, impressively loud, and loudly impressive. Enjoyable? Not so much. I couldn't help feeling sorry for the soprano singing the title role. She comes onto the stage in the first couple of minutes, and she doesn't get to leave the stage until she's dead, which, even though it's a 110-minute, one-act opera, is really not soon enough.), and this story came on NPR.

So there's a porn shop in Indiana, and there are a bunch of redneck Christians who keep it under siege 24/7. People who frequent the shop have their faces and license plates recorded and put on a web site by some of God's warriors who evidently have nothing better to do with their time. God's warriors, apparently, also try to harass the customers into not being customers. I couldn't find (admittedly, I didn't look very hard) the exact website where they're posting these guys pictures, but there's a discussion of a similar effort here.

Read the comments at your own risk. One of the commenters makes so bold as to wonder if this activity is the sort of thing that Jesus would bother to do, but the other commenters assure him that Jesus would, indeed, be at the forefront of harassing guys who want to look at pictures of large, artificial boobs. After all, the reasoning goes, Jesus kicked the moneychangers out of the temple. Hmmmm. Well, I certainly don't support the sale of pornography in church, but I can't help wondering whether Jesus' admonition not to cast the first stone isn't more appropriate in this situation. (I'm not even going to address the hypocrisy/Larry-Craig/gay-Republican-glory-hole-of-the-week angle or talk about why pornography is generally not a bad thing right now. They're both good points, but I'm sure I've made them before.)

Anyway, I can't help thinking that it's questionably legal (at best) to take someone's picture and post it without his permission and/or against his express wishes. I think the best way to deal with this would be to get a large caravan together and visit the Lions' Den and then sue the pants off (figuratively, that is: I'm guessing we don't want to see these guys without their pants) the guys who put customers' pictures up on the net.

I'd lead the expedition myself, but Indiana is kind of a hike for me, and all those cars going all that distance would be bad for my carbon footprint. I get my porn the old fashioned way -- off the Internet -- because it's the most environmentally responsible choice. And, let's face it, a porn shop in rural Indiana's gay section is going to be, at best, limited.


Will said...

Elektra is the one opera I know wherein the soprano can be assured of a standing ovation just for being able to stand up for her curtain calls. It's a brutally difficult part, twice as hard as almost anything in Wagner.

That last picture just makes my day!

P.S. I'll discuss designing The Internationalist with you soon via email. It was a very good process.

franck said...

I will never get why God's warriors care so much about how, and with whom, I blow my load.

Lewis said...

So, you were at the game! I thought that was you taking pictures.

Jason said...

Gay bashers tend to be closet cases themselves. By that, porn makers should consider discretely providing these "warriors" free samples. I say that would drain more than their religious angst.

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Will: "Brutal" is a good word for it. Poor Susan Bullock spends the better part of two hours singing all out and then has to dance around the stage with an axe at the end. B&c made a comment about how heroic her effort was. And, you know, Nelson Mandela was heroic for spending all those years in prison, but that doesn't mean we want to put other people through the same thing.

Franck: The evangelicals will say that their activism is motivated by a desire to save your soul rather than by jealousy because you're having more fun than they are. If they'd bother to ask me, I'd tell them that your soul (like mine) is a lost cause, and they should maybe spend their efforts on people who could really use their help, like the poor and the homeless.

Lewis: I don't know what you're on, but save some for me.

Jason: It has not escaped me that some of the so-called ministry of these people probably involves pursuing the poor unfortunate souls into the Lions' Den, where the God-fearing men will see a lot of pornography. But that doesn't count, I guess, because their Breastplates of Righteousness make them impervious.

Will said...

Ted, I'm a totally hopeless case, obviously. One day when I had to spend ten hours in my studio designing a production for a theater whose designer had walked and taken all his plans with him, I put on a recording of Wagner's Gotterdammerung and then chased it immediately with Elektra.

It's kind of a logical progression if you stop to think about it.

libhom said...

Love the wrestling pics.

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