Saturday, February 25, 2012

"I Got a Letter From the Government...

...the other day. I opened, and read it, and said they was suckas!"

It's true. But this one came from the Canadian government.

Waaaaaaay back in Volume II we featured a one-page painting submitted by a reader. This was a tasteful semi-nude study in silhouette and we added "Coming next issue" graphics over it. Remember? 

About 6 months ago a Canadian reader wrote to inform us that she never received her copy of Volume II. We sent her another copy and this one reached her fairly quickly. All was well and forgotten.

This week, we finally found out what happened to her missing copy. Apparently, Canadian Customs intercepted the package and then destroyed it. According to the form letter, it was denied entry due to being "obscene, pornographic" and then sentenced to death.

My teachers always warned my parents that I was going to grow up to be a sleazy pornographer. I guess they were right!

I suppose that this was in reference to the nude painting. The checkbox didn't specify which part of the magazine was "obscene, pornographic" so I can only make educated assumptions here. Maybe it was Bill Johnson's reference to "pokeberry chew" that got their feather ruffled.

It could be worse. An American citizen was arrested by Canadian Customs officials and charged with trafficking in child pornography because his laptop had dirty manga on it. Apparently even cartoons as innocuous as Sailor Moon and The Power Puff Girls are deemed obscene by some agents, and travelers entering Canada can be facing a minimum of one year in prison for attempting to bring in such filth as The Story of O or Nabokov's Lolita.

Even worse, while these books may have been controversial during the 1950's, they haven't caused the average American to bat an eye in the last fifty years or so. (Of course, there's always that one parental advocate group in Alabama or Massachusetts that wants to ban Harry Potter or any book that features talking animals.) But if you're convicted in Canada for possessing illegal material like this, guess what? The United States reciprocates the Canadian sex offender registry program, no matter the charge.

Take that in for a minute. Say you get on a plane to fly to Ontario or whatever. You're packing a Hustler or Penthouse in your carry on. You get arrested and charged with trafficking in child pornography because under the draconian wording of Canadian law, that naked centerfold dressed up like a schoolgirl is imitating a minor, therefore it's child pornography. You do at least a year in Canadian prison and then come back to the United States, only to be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.

"I just won't bring in any porno mags," you say. But what if they confiscate your laptop and search your hard drive and find pictures of your eight year old daughter playing on a Slip n' Slide? Or say you have your daughter with you, and she has a Kim Possible coloring book with her? The same rules apply.

This isn't just a paranoid "what if" scenario, these are all situations that have actually happened to US and European citizens flying into Canada. Thankfully, the last two cases were thrown out of court, but the damage was still done to those men and their families.

While I find it pretty hilarious that they considered The Ephemeris obscene, the Canadian border agents that engage in such a blatant abuse of power should be taken very seriously. I say we send Chuck D after them and let God sort them out.

"You have absolutely no idea just how white you are right now."

1 comment:

  1. Does this mean we can't go to Canada??!!!