Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday!

233 years old and still going strong.

I think being in the business I'm in that I'm maybe a little more aware of how our freedoms compare to other countries. Not in kind of a hypothetical way, but in a very kind of day to day basis.

I ship maybe a third of my prints out of the country. Some places they're totally illegal and I can't ship model pictures there. They don't care that they're art - it's not a factor at all. Many of them don't even care about the triggers that we use as to if it's nudity - are there nipples showing? Butt crack? Genitals? Those aren't the questions there - the questions are more along the lines of "Is there skin showing?".

But it's more than the obvious. Many countries that have something they call freedom of speech don't have some kind of blunt legal protection like "Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech". Or if they do it doesn't necessarily extend to the border. So there are countries - quite civilized, nice countries - where it's legal to produce nude art, but if a customs official decides they don't want it in the country, it's totally legal for them to confiscate it or send it back. And their supreme courts have upheld this. So every time I send a print to certain countries there's a bit of a random aspect - if my package gets opened, will some bored clerk let it through?

There's lots of folks to credit for the freedoms and protection from those who would do us harm in the night that we take for granted nearly every day, and I don't want to take away from any of those folks. But at the same time, it's their birthday, so specifically... thank you to the US Marine Corps.

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