The Bush Administration has been cracking down on obscenity across the country and a very interesting (and very disgusting) case is being heard by a jury in Los Angeles. At issue is the work of Ira Isaacs who produces and sells videos of so called “poo porn” involving bestiality and sexual fetish films involving feces and urine.
It does not take a trial to decide that Isaacs and his clients are pretty creepy. However, the question is whether the government should be able to criminalize such consensual films. This is where a line must be drawn. Bestiality is legitimately a crime for abuse of the animals. Yet, this is an obscenity trial. If adults voluntarily engage in disgusting fetish films, there should be serious constitutional privacy and free speech concerns.
Issacs insists that this is part of his artistic expression and intends to take the stand to defend it. The 57-year-old Los Angeles advertising agency owner has participated in a few of the films and largely produces them and sells them. He says that he is a “shock artist” and is “fighting for art.” I am not sure about that claim, but I am more comfortable with the claims of free speech and association.
The government purchased the tapes and brought this lawsuit, the third such recent case emerging from the U.S. Department of Justice Obscenity Prosecution Task Force. It could put to the test the ambiguous test of defining obscenity as work without “literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” It is a test that allows the majority to determine whether a work has such value — regardless the claims of adults that it holds such value to them.
The task force has brought recent cases with equal if not greater constitutional dimensions, click here.
For the full story, click here.