Virginia Prison's Reading Policy Overturned, the right to tap into Ireland's unsung subconscious upheld

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BLOT: (03 Sep 2010 - 10:30:35 AM)

Virginia Prison's Reading Policy Overturned, the right to tap into Ireland's unsung subconscious upheld

According to The Daily Progress, a reading policy banning "sexually explicit" materials in Virginia Prisons has been overturned. What makes this case a little bit giggle worthy is that, rather than argue that reading about some dude's "voluminous lead pipe" "plundering the depths" of some poor virgin's "welcoming bowels"* is some sort of constitutional right protected by God and Thomas Jefferson; they instead went for common, real-world sense.

The regulation forbids explicit descriptions of sexual acts, including "actual sexual intercourse" and sexual acts that violate state or federal law. "But the number of highly regarded books which include a description of actual sexual intercourse is vast," Turk wrote, "Beyond Ulysses and Lady Chatterley's Lover," the Court could list dozens of the highly regarded works of literature which include an explicit description of a sexual act or intercourse..."
[Doug's Note: The article goes on to list books, potentially including the Bible, that would be banned but points out that more soft-core books like Playboy would still be protected and available. At least that heathen Penthouse would presumably be banned.]
Prison officials argued that sexually explicit materials "are considered valuable currency and used in bartering" by inmates, and that the possession of such items can lead to theft and fights. [and now for the best bit...] "Particularly with respect to Ulysses it is impossible to even imagine prison inmates fighting for the chance to delve into the incredibly difficult to decipher novel, one metaphor-laden scene of which portrays exhibitionist behavior and masturbation," Turk wrote.

Just think, if they are fighting over Ulysses, they are going to kill each other over Finnegan's Wake.

* Before you get all "Eww, Doug" or "WHAT? Doug!", just wanted to let you know what that lead pipe plundering welcome bowels scenario was actually in a book we sold at Waldenbooks**. I picked it up one day after I spotted a customer reading it furiously, kind of over in a corner, and that was the page to which it opened "naturally". The "voluminous" might have been poetic license on my behalf, now that I think about it, though.

** No, I don't remember the title, but maybe if you Google the right keywords you can find it. And this page. Oh, God...the perverts that are going to find this entry, now...

TAGS: News, Reading and Censorship

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 35
BY MONTH: September 2010

Written by Doug Bolden

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