The Internet is up in arms over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PIPA. PIPA is actually an acronym and abbreviation within an abbreviation: the PROTECT IP Act — or the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act — proving just how much thought the U.S. Senate puts into naming bills after minor British nobility over drafting applicable commonsense laws.
But, in all the hoopla, did we miss the passage of an even more dangerous law to the Internet?
The Los Angeles City Council voted 9-to-1 in favor of an ordinance that would strip film permits from porn producers whose actors don’t wear condoms. Los Angeles already requires adult actors to wear condoms, but this new ordinance provides an enforcement measure (unless they use they safe word).
I’ll admit it’s tempting to require adult actors to wear condoms at all times. As an Internet writer, I’m always shopping for new pants, and frankly, I’m tired of smell-checking inside the crotch before putting them on. If I smell something off — like whatever Astroglide smells like (not that I’d know) — I quietly put them back on the rack. But, if I smell Durex, well, that’s like New Pants Smell, and my only remaining complaint is how skinny jeans make me a sexual hazard in the workplace.
Life isn’t that simple, however, and neither are movies.
For instance, if Daniel Day-Lewis contracts malaria from swimming in a swamp for his latest movie — knowing full well that it is malarial — not only would he probably win another Academy Award due to his ability to lose himself in the role of a cobbler with malaria, but we certainly wouldn’t outlaw filming actors in raw sewage in response.
And you can’t make the argument that Mr. Day-Lewis isn’t setting a poor example because people are fully aware of the risks when you swim and open your eyes under puddling excrement, because I guarantee Lindsay Lohan’s agent would book her on the next trip to Malarial National Park the very week after the Oscars for her big comeback role.
Porn stars make this same exact decision — down to the fecal matter and microorganisms — every day they go to work, yet we don’t call their performance a “haunting tour de force.” They don’t even get to go to the Academy Awards unless they’re Charlie Sheen’s date.
In fact, the only actors with this level of governmental regulation are children and animals. And if someone says that porn stars are children or animals, then that makes them — in my admittedly short-sighted, judgmental book — a pervert.
It’s easy to scoff at this bill when we’re concerned about Congress’ ham-fisted attempts to make sure Katherine Heigl’s latest movie is a financial success. But, isn’t Los Angeles City Council also attempting to restrict the Internet?
A wise monster once said that the Internet is for porn. In fact, where would piracy even be today if we weren’t interested in watching people get down? My guess is we’d still be on AOL, playing Coca-Cola’s latest knockoff of Ski Free instead of streaming the entire Whore of the Rings trilogy or video chatting with a newly immigrated Ukrainian.
And, so long as we’re talking about new bored-looking Americans with excellent one-handed typing skills, let’s not forget: unprotected sex is how new natural-born Americans are made. Or spent into a tissue.