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June 10, 2008

Criminalizing Prostitutes' Customers: Christie Davies considers that the pressure to prosecute the customers of prostitutes is yet another stupid suggestion - yet the ideological thinking on which it is based has been central to many other policies

Posted by Christie Davies

Criminalizing the customers of prostitutes is a wrong-headed idea which will not work - argues Prof. Christie Davies.

Many in New Labour want to prosecute men who use prostitutes. In this mad world hookers would still be allowed to sell sex but no one would be permitted to buy it. It is a very odd idea that will not satisfy rigid moralists who disapprove of sex for sale, however instigated, and it contradicts the well-established principle that the vendor is the more culpable, as with, say, a drug dealer, a bootlegger under prohibition, a spiv or wide boy operating in the black market. For the seller alone it is a trade, an occupation, a source of income and profit, even a way of life.

By extension that is also why at present in Britain there is no prohibition of the sale of sexual services, only of pimps and brothel keepers who try to organise and control it. Now the customers are to be made criminals. It is an affront to liberty and tradition and the consequences will be disastrous. A real piece of New Labour in action.

Libertarians will, of course, object strongly to the proposal. It is an interference with the market place. If people choose to buy and sell sex for money, it is not the business of the state to interfere. Likewise it is not the business of the state to enforce sexual morality.

If the law can tolerate and indeed protect groups of gay lifers, sometimes strangers to one another, getting together for an orgy in public on a London common or in the bosk of a Bristol beauty spot or look benignly on those prowling around and in and out of Cheltenham's public lavatories, where an honest man no longer dares to go for a quiet pee, then why should it intervene merely because money changes hands from a man to a woman?

If a bunch of professional football players end up in a club paying for sex, with Wayne Rooney, according to The Sun and The Sunday Mirror, shagging a woman old enough be to be his grandma, why is this worse than a gaggle of goal-digging, fat slags descending on the footballers' five-star hotel for a gang bang or a bout of dogging just for the pleasure of notoriety. "Look how many I slept with, Tracey!" Either way it is not a very elevating event but the women in each case are volunteers. An action does not cease to be voluntary if it is done for money. Nor does it become exploitation.

The idea seems to have come from Sweden, the land of the "New Totalitarians" - the country where they have to go to Germany to watch boxing and to Denmark to get drunk, the country where the secret services eliminate unPC internet sites the government does not like and where African mothers go to jail for smacking their children. It represents the New Labour ideal, hegemonic rule by a hierarchy of the high-minded.

The next step in the direction of criminalization in Britain will be for the government to set up an official committee or commission of gong-hungry academics and worthies in the grip of New Labour ideology, one guaranteed to produce the conclusions the politicians want. This will provide the usual crooked legitimation. There will be an absurd report named after the Chairwoman and ever after the "authoritative" Lady Buggins Report will be treated as a kind of secular Koran that can not be challenged.

As usual with many pieces of left-wing nonsense, a real problem is being used as a dishonest front for imposing a set of arbitrary restrictions based on nothing more than the perverse ideology of a New Labour elite. A substantial minority of prostitutes working in the larger cities have come under the control of gangsters who are also drug dealers and people traffickers. The prostitutes concerned end up utterly controlled by these scoundrels. Often the whores are illegally imported immigrants, brought in by people from their own country under pretence of finding them a quite different kind of occupation.

The criminals take the bulk of their earnings and any attempt to escape is met with a beating, a threat to harm their families back home or the cutting off of the drugs to which they have been cunningly introduced and on which they are now dependant.

The obvious solution is to use draconian methods that ignore all the civil liberties nonsense and arrest, convict and where appropriate deport the gangsters. Why not bring them under the umbrella of the anti-terrorist laws and detain them for lengthy periods of time? Why not arbitrarily arrest any lower class persons showing signs of great unexplained wealth and put pressure on them to divulge where it comes from? That is what the VAT inspectors do to ordinary traders in licit goods anyway; they have far greater powers than the police.

Why not hand out sentences of thirty years (with at least twenty to be served) to those found to be high up in the trafficking trade? If in order to escape this they kill a witness, let them serve forty, the first five in solitary. If they are foreigners let suspicion lead to instant deportation the way it does in France and where appropriate retrospective deprivation of citizenship to enable this. If the government really thinks the problem is so serious, then that is what they have to do. If the civil liberties crowd object then why have they not denounced Mrs Dromey QC's proposal? Are civil liberties only for criminals, terrorists and subversives and not for the common man? Humbug!

The government does not have the guts to do any such thing. It hates appearing to be nasty to criminals and particularly to the ethnic minority criminals who often control drugs and prostitution in big cities. Instead they choose to introduce general restrictions that impinge on ordinary people. It is exactly what they have done with ID cards and with honest people taking moderate sums of money abroad or possessing a firearm, none of which have stopped or will hinder the criminals.

Instead of taking effective tough action against the villains, the government always hits everybody's liberty regardless of culpability. Soft on crime, tough on the victims of crime.

Here we see the various elements of New Labour ideology in action. First, a wish to have in place as many controls and restrictions as possible. In the past they wanted to plan the economy. That failed and now they wish instead to control all the rest of social life.

Second, a matter to which I shall return, they are riding mad and madly in pursuit of "social justice", or as the rest of us call it "that equality shit". It means the division of society into social categories. One set of these is labelled "vulnerable", "exploited", "excluded", "minority" whose members are to be unjustly cosseted and rarely subjected to any kind of blame even when well deserved, the other is ordinary people who have to carry the can for them and see their liberty squeezed ever harder. It is not only the old Grauniad howl of "we are all guilty" but worse still "the innocent are more guilty than the guilty because their innocence is born of privilege". In this case it prevents the criminals from being pursued with vigour, exempts the prostitutes, who are to be given counselling, from any kind of responsibility, and places all the blame on the punters.

The government wants to stop the oppression of a minority of prostitutes by criminals by "reducing demand" for the services of all prostitutes. The customers will be deterred by the threat of a criminal conviction and the publicity that goes with it. It is a typical piece of unjust and perverse New Labour "blame shift". It is treating individuals as a means to an end and making the unlucky ones scapegoats for a problem to which they are but remotely connected.

As used to happen with homosexuals before 1964, when thanks to Sir Thomas Moore MP prosecutions were suspended, there will be suicides among people of public standing caught up in the net and opportunities for blackmail. The act of purchase concerned is trivial and the penalties quite disproportionately severe. Once again the pursuit of social justice will have undermined real justice. Real justice is the fair and proportionate allocation of praise and blame, of rewards and penalties to individuals depending on how they behave and not according to category.

Depressingly, if one of the customers prosecuted should eventually take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, he would not be fairly treated there either, since the judges in Strasburg, like our own, far from being independent, are also part of the hegemonic Social Democratic system. Their decisions are purely ideological.

A parallel will no doubt be drawn with kerb crawling. Indeed the authorities in Northern Ireland, where the decision of the IRA to cease going in for car-bombing has led to a boom in kerb-crawling, are now seeking to introduce the kind of legislation we have in England to curb the kerbers.

Yet it is supply that creates demand in particular places not the other way round. It happens in particular streets in Belfast because that is where the Hibernian whores of both religious communities cluster. Make war for religion has been replaced by make love for cash, You won't find kerb-crawlers in Boyne Avenue, Calvinville, County Antrim or Lourdes Road, Popetown, County Fermanagh.

The NI police could easily deal with the problem by enforcing the UK street offences act of 1959 against soliciting or by treating it as a public nuisance like any other, to be dealt with by on-the-spot fines for loitering. That is what kerb crawling is. It is a public nuisance that makes life unpleasant for women who get pestered when they do not want to be, much as ratings coming ashore resent the rouged and corseted old gentlemen who hang around the port shouting, "Hello sailor". It should not be dealt with as a moral question bringing down disaster on those who, like George Wigg, get caught. It is far more like gangs of hoodies hanging round public places looking menacing, such that you feel forced to avoid the area. Indeed the latter are far nastier than soliciting prostitutes.

When I was young I stayed in Paris in a small family-run hotel near the Gare du Nord and every evening, when I returned home just before midnight from a ferocious day of French art galleries and meals, there would be a line of whores in our street, who would not only beseech male passers-by for business but try and clutch at your sleeve as you went past. I felt rather sorry for them, for they were desperate for business at a time when all good Frenchmen had long since dutifully gone home to their tidy wives.

In retrospect I feel mildly guilty at having teased them by pretending not to understand the French for "come up and have a nice time, dearie" and saying in French that I had already bought my supply of vegetables for tomorrow and did not need to hire a cleaner. After a while they learned not to bother the mad "anglais" and laughed at me instead. I would never dare to tease in this way male thugs in their belt less, baggy trousers and mock-fur hoods round their ears who block the pavement and force me to walk in the road, reduced to being an off the kerb crawler. They are there only to make trouble.

Why can't the police return their harassment on my behalf? I do not wish to see hanging around treated as loitering or general vagrancy and as a criminal offence but menacing loitering is on a par with kerb crawling. Why not use public order laws against both with on the spot cash penalties? As it is you get the naming and shaming of creepy crawlers such as Labour's Paymaster-General George Wigg, which brought his public career to an end as firmly as that of Profumo.

Perhaps Wigg was framed but the framing of all prostitutes' customers is about to become commonplace. Unlike a former Welsh bishop done for cottaging or Ron "Badger" Davies of Clapham Common and Tog Hill or Gielgud of Chelsea, poor Wiggers got no sympathy. The others were all gay, an excluded "vulnerable" group but nobody wept for Wigg. For my part, just as I have always strongly defended the rights of gays to autonomy and privacy, so I do those of the hookers' customers. Most lefties will not share my consistency.

We are now about to see the stigmatisation of at least a tenth of the male population, the proportion who admit in surveys to having been the clients of prostitutes. If we were to ask the question more loosely to cover all resorters to any kind of purveyors of sexual services, including mere masseuses, the figure would be far higher.

There are, of course, also male masseurs who advertise in your local paper specifically for female customers in ways that indicate that there is no limit to the kinds of stress they will try to alleviate but somehow their existence is politically invisible. All customers are defined as male for New Labour purposes.

Quite how their proposed new laws would deal with female customers is unclear. Possibly the law would be drafted so as to exclude them from prosecution or the Crown Prosecution Service would be told secretly to divert them to NHS counsellors. We are back to the old medical view that female sexual desire is a form of derangement. There will also be a similar exemption for those who "rent" boys.

Why are women purchased and boys merely rented?

But let us consider how the deliberate stigmatising of male heterosexual customers will work by looking at a few imagined case histories from the future.

A. Lieutenant-Commander Rupert Schepke-Prien has just come ashore after a long stint in a British nuclear submarine. He is seen leaving a pub with a large blonde woman, a real bummy-busty as they say in Pompey, and going to her house. The bar man will later testify that he overheard him offer her a large sum of money saying, "I haven't seen a woman for three months". As he emerges from her house he is stopped and searched by the morals police and his wallet is found to be empty. Following his criminal conviction he is ignominiously dismissed from the navy. One dishonourable discharge leads to another.

B. Widower Waldo a hill farmer from Llareggub has sold his sheep in the market near Wrexham. The price was not good and he is feeling depressed but he has cash in his pocket. In a newsagent's window he sees a handwritten card in Welsh telling him that a Mrs Pollyfilla Garter offers relaxation and comfort to native speakers of Welsh only, in her flat on the fashionable Caia Park estate. He hands the money to Ms Garter and strips down to his dung-coated Wellington boots.

At this point WPC Rhiannon ferch Dafydd, his unrecognised fourth cousin twice removed, for it is she, disguised in a transparent negligee over her reflecting yellow traffic jacket, says in Welsh "You do not have to say anything but anything you do say will be taken down like your long-johns and turned into evidence against you". Mr Waldo is so taken aback that he uses Welsh sentences laced with English obscenities of the kind that everybody knows but nobody prints.

At this point "ox-broad, barge-booted" PC Attila Rees leaps out of the wardrobe, smashing the door down with a single macho blow, much to Rhiannon's admiration. Waldo is released after several hours questioning but his sheep-transporter is held for forensic tests. Travelling back on the bus Waldo knows that his trial will be all over the front page of the Twll Bugle and that he will have to resign from his position as Ysgrifenydd in Capel Seion. Still at least sheep don't talk.

C. Advertising salesman Leopold Virag's wife Molly entertains her lover the musical impresario Blazes Boylan in their marital bed in Eccles Street, Liverpool, most evenings in the week. When Virag has protested, she has threatened to get a divorce on the grounds that his objections to her adultery are unreasonable and points out that if she does she will get the house and the children. She tells him he can go to blazes and had better put up with her blooming behaviour or he will get something worse.

One evening when Boylan is visiting, Bloom leaves the house in despair, meets the Hon. Mrs Mervyn Talboys in the street and offers her a sum of money to dress up in scanties and suspenders and thrash him like the deserving of humiliation cuckold he is. The police are called, Bloom is sent to jail and Molly gets a divorce, all his assets and the children. Bloom is at first denied access to them because of his conviction. Later he is told that he can see his children on the first Saturday of every fifth month but Molly refuses to comply and the court is unable or unwilling to compel her.

D. The Reverend Aloysius Purefoy is a curate in the Anglo-Catholic parish of St. Cuthbert's in the East End. He is very unpopular with his colleagues because he prefers women to boys. However, his lapses into chastity have led his fiancée Mildred Euphemia to break off their engagement. On the rebound he suggests to Nellie Sprigg, a barmaid who is rumoured to do that kind of thing for a consideration, that she might….

The next day he receives a phone call from P.C. Louis "Lulu" Botolph, a former choirboy and a particular favourite of the vicar, asking him to call in at Magdalen Street police station. At the station Lulu tells him that Nellie has made a complaint but that "if you can come up with £500 I can arrange for the file to go missing. Some of those church ornaments must be worth a bit…."

E. Eighteen-year-old Darren is the ugliest boy in the school. He is five foot two, has receding red hair and freckles, pebble-lensed spectacles that made his eyes stretch round his ears like a Picasso painting and a nose broken several times by the school bullies. Not even Tracey the school slapper will have anything to do with him. In desperation he offers Tracey a large bag of small change he has hoarded for this purpose. She reports it to a store detective who is questioning her after she has been caught shop-lifting for the eighteenth time.

Darren is taken to court, convicted and expelled from school by his indignant head-mistress, just before he was due to sit his A-levels and get the two Ds that would admit him to the University of the Thames Estuary's coveted degree in pornography and media studies. He is now unemployed and is believed to have converted to a particularly fanatical religious body that oppresses women and has terrorist inclinations.

None of the Above are particularly culpable
It is very difficult to see either that any of these would-be purchasers of sex is particularly culpable or that anything is to be gained by prosecuting them. Yet that is what will happen if the government has its way. The politically correct Crown Prosecution Service will of course make it a priority to go after these punters, rather than say "vulnerable" muggers or serial vandals or violent drunks, partly in order to retain the approval of their political bosses and partly because they are daft. The police will also choose to pursue these cases because they require less leg-work than going after international pimps and will do wonders for their sanctioned detection rates.

Those convicted may well commit suicide or suffer social consequences far in excess of those experienced by most people convicted of a trivial breach of the law. Drunken driving is socially acceptable as is accepting a dodgy donation for your election expenses but going to a massage parlour is social death.

But there is another group who will also lose out from this customer bashing, namely those ordinary respectable British "working girls" who are not drug addicts, nor controlled by gangsters. They work locally or commute, the police usually leave them alone and they don’t show up in surveys. Just as it was easy for their enemies to make out a case that homosexuals were mentally ill because the vast majority of sane, quiet, gay men were invisible, so too the portrayal of the prostitute as abnormal or addicted, as a "fallen woman" or a degraded victim is based on an atypical sample.

For many prostitution is a chosen occupation, simply because they need the money and the alternatives are less well paid. They have a choice open to them that poorly paid men do not have. Their earnings are often spent making life more comfortable for their children by a useless or absent husband or boyfriend. Sometimes they are commuters leading a double life with home, neighbours, relations and relationships kept separate from their work by distance as well as discretion. Or they may work quietly from home or with a group of like-minded women and no pimp. Occasionally the police will arrest as a pimp a man who is merely a sponging boy friend or a helpful landlord. If demand does go down because customers are scared off, it is their business that will suffer. The fat controllers will know how to keep going and will have large enough profits to corrupt the law enforcers.

As in all New Labour's ideologically motivated policies, going for the customer involves blame shifting of an irrational and unfair nature, the draconian suppression of liberty, an utter disregard for the overall consequences because it feels right and the unjust infliction of pain in the name of "category" social justice.

If they really want to tackle the problem of trafficking in women then, as I said earlier, they need to attack the civil and legal rights of the traffickers in the same way as they do those of terrorists: listen in to their phone calls and bug the offices of their lawyers and money launderers; deport the foreign ones on mere suspicion; hand out long jail sentences to the convicted with severe restrictions on their being able to mix with other prisoners or to communicate with the outside world; and use the civil courts as well as the criminal ones to shake down those who have a luxurious lifestyle and no clear source of income.

There would, of course, be howls of rage from the civil liberties crowd but since they have been silent about the proposal to criminalise prostitutes' customers there is no reason to take their sincerity seriously.

Above all let us oppose this barmy suggestion as one more expression of an utterly repellent moral and political outlook. Given the reckless attitude of the government towards alcohol and gambling and the ambivalent attitude towards illicit drugs held by those in power, some of whom even boast about having taken them, they can hardly claim to be about bringing back traditional morality. The Victorians had the good sense not to make sexual transactions for cash illegal for very sound moral reasons. No, it is about New Labour's "equality shit", an idea repellent to the utilitarian and libertarian alike.

Prof. Christie Davies is the author of The Strange Death of Moral Britain, (New Brunswick NJ: Transaction, 2006). The views expressed above are those of Christie Davies, not those of the Social Affairs Unit, its Trustees, Advisors or Director. The Social Affairs Unit is not a party political organisation.


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Another piece of disgraceful libertarianism. Libertarianism is libertinism. If there were no demand for pot or whores or abortion it would not be provided. We have tried going for the suppliers and it failed. Now we must stamp on the consumers.

Devlin's hatred disgust and contempt are called for. No further argument is needed.

I too am consistent. There is no reason why homosexual importuning and public frolicking should not be treated with equal severity.

If pot, poofs and prostitution are not banished Britain will end up like that modern Gomorrah, Amsterdam.

Posted by: James at June 12, 2008 07:26 PM
•••

I share James’s disgust at the whole filthy business. And it’s not helped by films such as Klute which put a sentimental spin on it. Moreover, while I like Billie Piper as Rose in Doctor Who, ever since Secret Diary of a Call Girl, I’ve gone right off her. As it is written:

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion.

One must be careful, though, when castigating Y Proffeswr. He is one the most acute and accurate sociological observers on our Planet. Therefore I take very seriously his prediction of the outcome, especially the imbalance of retribution in relation to individual culpability, if New Labour get their way over this. As the song says:

She was poor but she was honest,
Victim of a rich man's whim,
First he loved her, then he left her,
And she had a child by him.

Chorus :

It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor what gets the blame,
Its the rich that gets the pleasure,
Ain't it all a bleeding shame.

And as Ron & The Rude Boys have updated the next verse:

Then she came to London city,
Just to hide her bleeding shame,
But a Labour leader fucked her,
Put her on the streets again.

However, one must also consider the spiritual reality behind this. Lurking underneath the valid sociological predictions is the Devil’s blackmail, an infernal equivalent (in the Screwtapeian sense) of the social worker who demanded as a matter of urgency that her client should receive a contraceptive injection or she would just go out and get herself pregnant.

Now I guess that James is from the South, as I am from the North. But I am sure he will share my outrage at the next bit of injustice to Erin. Y Proffeswr has elsewhere drawn attention to how the present administration has used Northern Ireland as a guinea-pig for the Sexual Orientation Regulations, and how behind it is the sinister hand of the EU. Well done to Ireland for voting “No” to the Lisbon Treaty! Chesterton would have loved that (and maybe does, if the saints in Heaven bother themselves with news from Middle Earth.)

But alas! Threatening Amsterdam will carry no weight with the Professor – one is only, as the Chinese say, 對牛彈琴. As one can read in his other blogs, he is a great fan of the Dutch, and a connoisseur of pornography, especially of the gay variety.

Posted by: Robert H. Olley at June 13, 2008 09:31 PM
•••

I can see why our Hibernian friends are so cross
Davies's piece is full of covert references to them
His account of Virag is from Joyce and is about Dublin. Hence blazes and blooming
Widower Waldo is from Under Milk Wood by a writer influenced by Joyce
Prien is a U-boat captain who refuelled in Ireland and a play on the name of the man who took Ireland to the Human Rights Court
Lulu is Harcourt
Purefoy and Darren are beyond me but I am sure a search engine can crack the rest of his coded references to Ireland

Calling London art exhibitions homosexual pornography is sheer bigotry and the attack on the Dutch is xenophobia. But what can you expect from the DUP and the Shinners.

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2008 12:23 PM
•••

Our Hibernian puritans response to Davies's essay are clearly sparked by his covert as well as direct references to wickedness in Ireland
Look at his coded examples
Virag is clearly Bloom from Ulysses where Joyce writes about Nighttown the red-light district in Dublin ; hence his puns on blazes and blooming
Widower Waldo is from an admirer of Joyce
Schiepke and Prien were U-boat captains who got their victuals in South West Ireland
Lulu is Harcourt from an Irish scandal
The others I have not yet deciphered but it is like the da Vince code only about Milesians
To call London art exhibitions at respected galleries homosexual porn is sheer bigotry and the comment about the Dutch is xenophobia.What would William of Orange, the gay Dutchman who won at the Boyne have thought about Olley's rant?

Posted by: Jack at June 17, 2008 12:54 PM
•••

Jack,

In regard to art and pornography, may I quote from a letter of John Gielgud:

To Hugh Wheeler

27 June 1976, Wotton Underwood

I finally succumbed to play a small part for a lot of money in the Caligula of Gore Vidal. Martin [Hensler, JG's long-term lover] is very cross with me for accepting it as I was originally offered Tiberius (now to be played by Peter O'Toole) and my first scene was to come out of a pool, with a plaster over my nose and eczema all over my face, to reveal two children, boy and girl, emerging from under my tunic where they were dallying with me. So I loftily refused and had a stinkingly rude letter from Gore saying he supposed I'd never read Suetonius, and how dared I go round saying good actors would be ashamed to appear in such pornography. Then a week or two ago came an offer of this other part - an old Senator who cuts his veins in a bath and disapproves of everything, and I thought well, why not? What Vidal and I will say to each other if and when we meet, I tremble to prophesy. I must say I never liked him. It is backed by the owner of Penthouse magazine!

As for the DUP, for me they finally lost the credibility they never had when Ian Paisley Jnr was implicated in the matter of developing a visitor centre at the Giant’s Causeway (although he has been officially cleared – but does one believe officialdom?). The whole incident raised in me the kind of anger that a pious Hindu must feel over plans to dredge Rama’s Bridge to make way for extra-large ships between India and Sri Lanka.

Posted by: Robert H. Olley at June 17, 2008 06:39 PM
•••

Is this Gielgud the same dirty scoundrel who was convicted in 1953 of persistently importuning for immoral purposes in lavatories in Chelsea? He was in no position to criticise anyone after that. That he was eventually given the Order of Merit is a mark of how degenerate the country had become
I blame Gielgud's upbringing. His father was a good Polish Catholic but his mother insisted he be brought up a Protestant. Religious confusion leads to moral confusion.
At least the teachings of the Catholic Church are unequivocal in their condemnation of whoredom and unatural vice. Semper eadem. The only member of Britain's legal establishment to adhere to this standard was Lord Patrick Devlin who had trained for the priesthood. He would have sent Gielgud to jail like that other theatrical scoundrel Oscar Wilde
James

Posted by: james at June 18, 2008 10:58 PM
•••

James,

Certainly we are referring to the same Gielgud. I included his letter in reply to Jack's implied assertion that anything pornographic can be justified as long as it has a place in an art gallery.

Posted by: Robert H. Olley at June 19, 2008 05:08 PM
•••

after long years with the Baltimore Sun, H L Mencken wrote that virtually all the prostitutes he'd met lived happy and satisfied lives, and eventually 'married up' to settle down with petty officials, policemen or local burghers. somehow i suspect that his (even second hand) experience was better than that of any of we bien pensant commentators.

if that is not true, and any of you have had extensive personal experience with prostitutes, would you kindly let us know?

Posted by: s masty at June 20, 2008 07:55 PM
•••

"H L Mencken" - well "he would say that, wouldn't he?"

He was the anti-religious eminence grise behind Darrow in the Tennessee "Monkey Trial". Don't believe the Hollywood version "Inherit the Wind" - Darrow deliberately scored an own goal in that one to increase his own celebrity.

I wouldn't believe Mencken on such an issue any more than I would trust the opposite assertion if such were made by a "Creation Scientist".

Posted by: HedgehogFive at June 23, 2008 09:19 PM
•••

My thesis regarding our cultural degeneracy has been reinforced by the advertisement for Heinz mayonaise, in which a boyś father turns out to be the partner of a male chef. When the moral section of our society forced its removal the massed gays anounced a boycott of Heinz.

Posted by: james at June 26, 2008 03:04 PM
•••

What is it with our advertisers? Why did they think it would increase the appeal of the product in the first place?

Posted by: Robert H. Olley at June 27, 2008 01:15 PM
•••
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