“Larry Flynt is right!” – to quote Homer Simpson – although
the man in the wheelchair to whom he was referring at the time was
actually Professor Stephen Hawking.
Larry Flynt, notwithstanding a most disagreeable medical history, appears
to be an unpleasant man. Where most in the “adult” media simply exploit human
weakness, Mr Flynt acts as if it is his mission in life to drag the whole world
down to his level.
call for Congress to bail out the American pornography industry should be
read in the context of his relentless search for self-publicity to that end.
If we can, if only for a moment, forget about such concepts
as morality, decency, and good taste, and consider his suggestion on purely
economic grounds alone, it begins to make more sense than some recent or
proposed bail outs using taxpayers’ money.
1 Pornography is an
American success story – one of the industries in which America is still a
2 Unless there is a
general change in moral standards, pornography is a growth business for the
future – and has already shown itself to be adaptable to new technology, not
least in the way it was one of the first sub-sectors to grasp the full
potential of the internet.
3 The ‘dirty books’
business is the classic example of one that would benefit from a short-term
bail out because it is viable in the longer term: so long as there are teenaged
boys and sad single men, there will be people who want to buy its products –
which is more than can be said of the American automobile industry.
4 It cannot be
denied that the pornographic industry could not survive unless it gave its
customers some form of pleasure – not something normally associated with the
banks that have been bailed out.
5 Where banks are
centralised in New York and the big automobile companies in Michigan,
pornographers employ people from all over the United States, so any bail out of
the latter would be better spread geographically.
6 Most of the people
employed by pornographers, especially the “actresses” and “models”, are very
poor – so any cash they get is more likely to be spent at once and have a
stimulus effect on the broader economy.
7 Not that we can ignore
the question of morality, but how is it any less immoral to take money by force
from taxpayers and give it to usurers and polluters of the environment?
The point of all this is not to suggest that Mr Flynt’s
proposal should be taken seriously – of course not. However, Mr Flynt may after
all have done some good – perhaps inadvertently – by holding up a mirror that
shows the absurdity of some of the other bail outs that are being suggested.