isn't it ironic

SCOTUS Upholds ‘Violence OK’/’Porn Not OK’ Free Speech Rule For Kids

But both of these kind of turn me on!Your SCOTUS has been hard at work striking down a California law banning the sale of violent video games to children, because Free Speech. Hurray for the First Amendment! Children still may not buy the nudie magazines, GOD FORBID, but it is their First Amendment right to blow up, mow down, run over, dismember, stab or sexually assault an imaginary human being on a teevee screen, for freedom.

In a 7-2 ruling, the justices deemed that violent video games “communicate ideas” like plays, books and movies (but not porn movies, their crappy plots do not count), and thus deserve protection. Okay, sure. Whatever. We do not hate violent video games or really even care about them, but there is a certain amount of irony in the idea that America is allowed to protect the kiddies from the scourge of bare boobies and not from extremely violent images.

From the NYT:

Justice [Antonin] Scalia rejected the suggestion that depictions of violence are subject to regulation as obscenity. “Because speech about violence is not obscene,” he wrote, “it is of no consequence that California’s statute mimics the New York statute regulating obscenity-for-minors that we upheld in” the Ginsberg decision.

Here is what the majority opinion wrote in the Ginsberg v. New York case Scalia is writing about, which upheld a statute prohibiting the sale of “girlie” magazines to minors:

Sponsored Video

(b) Constitutional interpretation has consistently recognized that the parents’ claim to authority in the rearing of their children is basic in our society, and the legislature could properly conclude that those primarily responsible for children’s wellbeing are entitled to the support of laws designed to aid discharge of that responsibility.

“Legal support for parents’ claim to authority” only applies when there are naked ladies, everyone got that? Wait, unless the naked ladies are being beaten to death in video games? What happens then!? Eh, she was probably asking for it. [NYT]

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154 comments

    1. tessiee

      Don't you mean that you'll choke anyone who disagrees with you?
      Oh, sorry, that's Judge Prosser.
      My bad.

      1. WunkRocker

        If you can't have a game wherein you poop in Pat Robertson's mouth and then fist him with the stigmata, why bother. Some "freedoms." You know who else liked to limit fecal fetish fisting games?

    1. poncho_pilot

      i thought there already was a game about killing SCOTUS. half life, resident evil, leisure suit larry, one of those…

    1. Native_of_SL_UT

      Um, Dragon Age and Fable allow like that kind of stuff.
      But of course, that's why those civilizations collapsed.

    1. Doktor Zoom

      Actually, Thomas voted to uphold the law. He's just not all that into speech anyway.

    2. SorosBot

      Nope; Thomas' dissent argued that minors have no rights; the First Amendment doesn't apply until you hit 18.

    3. tessiee

      In writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said "Where da white wimmens at??"

      Which is pretty amazing, since he's never seen "Blazing Saddles".

  1. loulouroo

    I'm so confused! Is okay for my 7 year olds to kill hookers AFTER getting a bj in Vice City or not?? Or can they only do it BEFORE the bj?? What's a mother to do?

    1. tessiee

      "Is okay for my 7 year olds to kill hookers AFTER getting a bj in Vice City or not?? Or can they only do it BEFORE the bj??"

      I've never played this game, but my recommendation would be after; if you kill her first, the BJ isn't going to be very good.

  2. BaldarTFlagass

    Didn’t they have a violence/car theft game a few years back where you could stop off and shag a prostitute? Sex AND violence, the best of both worlds.

    1. Come here a minute

      Is that what they're calling it these days? I've heard of "choking the chicken" but never "choking Ginsberg". Crazy kids!

    1. horsedreamer_1

      There's no sex in your violence. There's no sex in your violence.

      – Gavin Rossdale

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      If you are a female clerk at the Court, Justice Thomas will be happy to give you a two hour talk about his violent porn collection. It's all good as long as you don't still live with your parents.

      1. KenLayIsAlive

        You can't earn respect if you show people porn without the violence. It's why Clarence Thomas has a lifelong appointment to the SCOTUS, and Alvin Greene is just another unemployed daoist.

    2. Doktor Zoom

      Let me try that again…

      Wonder where they stand on violent porn?

      Wherever their feet won't get sticky.

  3. RoboGuppy

    Justice Potter Stewart said (paraphrasing) "I don't know what obscenity is, but I know it when I see it" Well, I've seen Ginnie Thomas.

  4. Lascauxcaveman

    Lenny Bruce may have been the first to publicly observe the irony in the porn vs. violence in entertainment thing.

    Something along the lines of "You can't watch a film of two people making sweet, sweet love, but watching a movie of Christ getting brutally murdered, that's OK."

    1. BerkeleyBear

      And now, because of parental/trapped audience concerns, you can't say fuck on radio or broadcast TV, and movie theaters can restrict who sees but little Timmy can take his lawnmowing money and buy GTA killemall and play until his mind melts. Sweet!

  5. Barrelhse

    Why do they expect to be taken seriously, let alone respected.? The SCOTUS is mockery of justice and a parody of itself.

    1. LetUsBray

      Why do they have to be respected or even taken seriously when there is no accountability over them? Theoretically congress has the power to impeach them, but until one of them is caught lying about a bj, it'll never happen.

  6. LettucePrey

    Yay! Now kids can buy Duke Nukem Forever, instead of being forced to pirate it from BitTorrent like everyone else.

  7. freakishlywrong

    So I guess as long as those naked ladies aren't working at Wal-Mart, exploit away!

  8. OkieDokieDog

    It's our God-given right to kill hookers, browns and blacks in video games. USA! USA!

  9. Fukui_sanYesOta

    Discharging firearms into the heads of women in games = GOOD, FREE SPEECH

    Discharging your love gun = OMG OBSCENITY

  10. Mumbletypeg

    Way to navigate that slippery slope of supply & demand id and ego, Scalia.
    On the one hand regarding the proliferation of blood & violence from a detached, "That would never be me" loft in his solipsist mind "but so be it for others."
    And from the other, darker, untapped corner in that realm, regarding sexxxytime-n-more — entertained by *many* others — with a scintilla of remorse bleeding through: "That can never be me."
    And so be it prohibited, on the books anyway, for all others.

  11. fuflans

    Because speech about violence is not obscene

    violence is as 'murkin as ringin those bells and firin those warning shots.

  12. LettucePrey

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots, tyrants, and Marcus Fenix.

  13. hagajim

    As a First Amendment proponent I say YAY. As a proponent of Democracy I say BOO to the ruling that gave corporations free speech rights. However, it's nice to see in a SCOTUS opinion that killing shit has more freedumb than screwing chicks! What a fucked up society.

  14. Radiotherapy®

    I can just see some well-fed little gamer sitting on a couch and upon seeing this news exclaiming:
    "The Supreme Court Rules!!1! Fuck Yeah."

  15. MrFizzy

    Scalia gets a boner watching cops get killed, and vomits when he sees naked women. What's the problem?

      1. MrFizzy

        I don't disagree, but please do us all a favor and don't put the words naked and Scalia next to each other in a sentence. I believe in free speech, but there must be limits in civil society.

  16. Doktor Zoom

    As I said yesterday, one of the very few things I respect about Scalia: he's pretty much a First Amendment absolutist,* and the excerpts of his majority opinion that Nina Totenberg read on NPR sounded like they could have been drafted at ACLU headquarters.

    On the other hand, I don't think anyone is harmed by detailed pornographic fantasies about Nina Totenberg, Sylvia Poggioli, Sarah Vowell, and other silver-voiced NPR correspondents, either. My further thoughts on this matter are available for a nominal fee at <a href="http://www.hotnerdyNPRwomen.com” target=”_blank”>www.hotnerdyNPRwomen.com

    ——-
    *Which I think he applies perversely in the notion that corporate money is "speech."

    1. V572 [SSAN]

      I like the Indian ladies with their oh-so-exquisite BBC-style elocution. Can't find any in the current list, but they'll be back.

    2. mumbly_joe

      Honestly, the whole "corporate money as speech" thing isn't nearly as perverse as the ruling on Arizona's campaign finance law, which seems to explicitly say that it's "speech", but it only has value as speech if other people don't have as much of it. In other words, the government is "suppressing" speech by ensuring everyone has a platform for their speech.

      Umm, no, that's not how actual speech works. Hell, it's not even really how money works.

      1. Doktor Zoom

        I believe the relevant phrase is "I've got this thing, and it's fucking golden." Corrupt when it's one guy saying that, but All-American when it's raised to the level of an institution.

  17. riverside68

    Welcome to the new Compelling State Interest, same as the old Compelling State Interest.

  18. widestanceroman

    Guns don't kill people, or make them want to kill people, but nekkit titties, despite their intended purpose of nourishing sacred post-fetal life, will tear the fabric of society to shreads.

    Make a note of it for future reference, kids.

  19. V572 [SSAN]

    If SCOTUS had done a better job of protecting the younger me from the scourge of bare boobs, I'd have been even hungrier to see them and touch them and kiss them than I already am.

    Whereas my appetite for violence, being so readily sated by the teevee fare of my youth, is quite modest.

  20. AlaskaGrrl

    Scalia is just insuring a continuous supply of warrior drones for our endless wars and need for the private prison corporations.

  21. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    I'm still at a loss. If I'm at the local Pizza Joint, and they still have video games, can I masturbate while playing as long as it is a violent game?

  22. DaRooster

    Pornos all end the same and we know how that is… *splooge*. Whereas video games can be different each time.

  23. Beowoof

    Killing for freedumb, healthy and encouraged, sexing for fun, you will burn in hell. It all makes sense now.

  24. V572 [SSAN]

    People watch football because they want to see violence. When they get sex (assuming you consider a near-subliminal glimpse of a 40-year-old woman's breast "sex") instead, it upsets them. Is that so hard to understand?

    Plus the cheerleaders filed a union grievance against Janet. This is their turf.

  25. Fare la Volpe

    The reasoning is simple:

    Looking at ladies with their pillowy parts and boobies and lips in strange places makes little boys want to become women, thus turning them into The Gay.

    Looking at men with rippling muscles blasting giant guns from their crotches and splattering all over men's faces makes little boys hella-uber-fucking manly, and thus not The Gay.

      1. ttommyunger

        I'm so old, stupid and out of touch I don't know what that means, but so's I don't let on, I'm sayin' Hell Yeah!

  26. V572 [SSAN]

    I wonder how the Supremes feel about the Katy Perry video where she's jizzing great gouts of aerosol semen out of her boobs? Kinda makes you feel funny down there, doesn't it?

  27. Doktor Zoom

    The Wired review has some fun lines: "the poorly designed site appears to be nothing more than the project of second-rate coders who share a sense of political humor (and an obvious attraction to Michelle Malkin). "

    Politics aside, it sounds like a perfectly dreadful game, just on the level of gameplay.

    1. mumbly_joe

      Speaking of the Wired review, what ever happened to that Bush game they said they were going to make? You know, the one that proves they "detest democrats and republicans alike", and that would get them "attacked as anti-republican"?

      I dunno, must have gotten held up in development, what with all the production values and technological hurdles. I mean, either that, or they're a bunch of right-wing glibertarians, and that's just *crazy talk*, really.

  28. DaRooster

    Scalia… I'm planning a Luau… how do you feel about laying in the ground for about 6-8 hours…

  29. BaldarTFlagass

    Violence vs sex: I've never shot or stabbed or strangled myself, but on the other, uh, hand…

  30. Sue4466

    These decisions actually make a lot of sense. Kids need to be inured to violence so they can grow up and fight in our endless wars and, thereby keep the cash flowing to the military industrial complex. And, they have to be taught sex is shameful and taboo to twist them up enough that sex can then be used to market products to keep the cash flowing to the other corps. That's called a win-win.

    1. Pithaughn

      That is what I wanted to say but I don't have your fluency. Which is disappointing because I didn't just kiss the blarney stone, I gave a good 5 second tongue to the tonsils effort.

  31. DonnyKerabotsos

    My–ahem–research– has shown that porn is widely available for free (socialism) and therefore must be restricted, whereas violent games must be purchased or stolen (capitalism), and therefore should be encouraged, preferably with tax cuts.

    Here endeth the lesson.

  32. Limeylizzie

    That person on the left looks rather like me, when I am trying to attract MrLimeylizzie's attention.

      1. Limeylizzie

        It's not necessarily sexual, I do it clothed or naked just if I am trying to get my way-it tends to work.

  33. BlueStateLibel

    This makes about as much sense as Palin's understanding of U.S. history or whatever bizarre, random thing Michelle Bachman has recently said.

  34. mourningnmerica

    The Republican Party has packed the Supreme Court with goons. Corporate lackeys. Narcissists. Sociopaths. They are pulling the country down around us. Dismantling 200+ years of Democracy. God, half the country thinks all of this is OK. We are so over.

  35. WhatTheHolyHeck

    Or, as my (creepy) Da used to say: Kiss a woman's breast, and it's rated X. Stab her in the breast and it's rated R.

  36. SorosBot

    Today's kids don't know how good they've got it, with all their free porn on the internet; in my day we had to make do with looking through National Geographic, or get really lucky when some kid would find a discarded porn mag in the park.

  37. Fare la Volpe

    In the original, two men or two women could only "Move In" together.

    By contrast, straight people could "Propose Marriage" to as many Sims as they liked, turning the game into the Mormon edition of Second Life, only with more naked fox dicks.

  38. MissusBarry

    Hmmm. Seeing violence never made me want to commit acts of violence. Seeing images of sexytime (or reading about sexytime or anything remotely sexytime-esque) always made me want sexytime. Same holds true, now. Of course, when I was a kid, sexytime was far less demonized and valid information about having sexytime fun while avoiding getting preggers or getting an STD was provided throughout my public-socialist education, from 5th grade on. I guess I just don't understand why this country has such a hangup about getting laid, these days. Maybe some fapping will cheer me up. Also, too, snark fail.

  39. Jukesgrrl

    How many pornographic games did they have to play before coming to this momentous decision?

    What … they're STILL playing?

  40. Eve8Apples

    Picture of man fuckin' woman = bad for kids.
    Game depicting man beatin' woman with a baseball bat after choking her and stabbing her = Celebration of the First Amendment. USA! USA!

  41. DahBoner

    "it is their First Amendment right to blow up, mow down, run over, dismember, stab or sexually assault an imaginary human being on a teevee screen"

    But can't see tits, boobs, jugs, airbags, baby feeders, bazoomas, boulders, cans, chesticles, cupcakes, flapdoodles, goombas, headlights, honkers, hooters, knockers, mammaries, melons, milkshakes, palookas, pillows, sweater puppies, rack, tatas, or yazoos…

  42. tessiee

    "Corporate Profits are the new compelling state interest. "

    Have to disagree with you there, Baby.
    Something that's been running the show for at least 30 years cannot fairly be called "new".

  43. ShaveTheWhales

    Ya know, I'm beginning to think that these brilliant jurists on the SCOTUS are maybe not so totally brilliant.

Comments are closed.