Monday, May 14, 2007

Oppose Moral Insanity! Blog Nude on Mondays!

Moral insanity is a terrible thing. It can be especially terrible when the morally insane person attempts to impose their moral confusion on other people.

Now, that's exactly what happened a while back. Some morally insane police arrested a grandmother for taking nude pictures of her grandchildren. But that indecent arrest was followed by a morally insane prosecutor charging the grandmother with a sex crime:

In early 2000, Marian Rubin's granddaughters, Amy, then 8, and Kayla, then 3, were dancing naked on her bed before bath time, strutting their best Britney and Christina moves. In still photos, they must have looked posed.

Rubin is the basis of an urban legend, the 65-year-old granny taken to jail for snapping innocent bathtub pictures of her beloved grandkids. Except her case was real, and the headlines in the Trentonian screamed, "Granny Busted/Cops Think She's a Perv."

The night that she was arrested, after picking up the nude pictures of the girls at a local MotoPhoto outlet -- Rubin, an experienced and award-winning art and children's photographer, insists that she never intended to publish these photos -- Montclair, NJ, police went to the girls' home and had their parents wake them up.

"They asked totally inappropriate questions," says Rubin, who is now 72. "'Did Granny get undressed, too? Did Granny touch you? Did Granny touch herself?' They threatened my son and daughter that, if they didn't cooperate, the kids would be taken away."

Rubin wrote a book, Naked Truths (, detailing her outrage at what she calls vigilante film processors, and she excoriates cops and prosecutors for being unable to admit they'd made a mistake.

On her lawyer's advice, she took a deal called a "Pretrial Intervention" that amounted to conditional probation but left her with no criminal record. She now regrets not taking the case to trial. Even though a federal judge later found the pictures to be "totally inoffensive," Rubin is still paying off the $30,000 debt.

"I haven't taken a nude picture since," says Rubin, who has won awards for nude bodyscape photography. "Portraiture was my thing. They took away my innocence, constricted my vision, brainwashed me into seeing things differently. They definitely changed my pictures of children."

The fact is, we live in a society where some folks just freak when they see nudity. Even some people who are in positions of authority freak. They freak and cannot make a morally sane decision about nudity -- even though the quality of people's lives depend on their making a sane decision.

So it's up to you and me to make a difference. The only way the morally insane can be successful in their efforts to impose their insanity on the rest of us is if the rest of us fail to stand up to them. Surprisingly, it's not hard to stand up to them. Sanity is on our side.

Even a journey of 10,000 miles begins with a first step. And the first step towards moral sanity in this country is to publicly declare your allegiance to the Nude Blogging Movement. Today, Monday, is Nude Blogging Day. Won't you join the rapidly growing Nude Blogging Movement today?



decrepitoldfool said...

I used to be the regional service manager for a chain of computer stores. At one of our stores, a technician had uncovered a cache of child porn on the hard drive of a computer brought in for service.

Some might call this snooping, if they had never worked on computers. When you are transferring files, you have to keep an eye on the process to make sure it goes through. And the file names were quite descriptive. The pictures, quite graphic and abusive. It wasn't one or two accidentally acquired images; it was a good-sized collection, in folders by category.

We contacted the police, then told the guy his computer was ready and would he please come pick it up. He did, and they arrested him in the store. All to the good, so far as I was concerned. And yet...

So many people have been persecuted for innocent pictures of kids clowning around who have not yet acquired the horror of nudity. It's ZeroTolerance in action - the abdication of discrimination and decision-making ability to a hard rule behind which the fearful can hide. Unfortunately our whole society embraces that kind of security.

By the way, did you see the story about thousands pose nude in Mexico? Pretty cool.

Webs said...

It is a shame we are so afraid of a little nudity and protecting the sanctity of children (think along the lines of not having sex before marriage) that we lose all sense and reason.

In my digital crimes class this was a big issue. Where do you draw the line between child pornography and art? I asked the state officer who came to speak at our class (he had a high rank I think at least lieutenant) where you draw the line. This was a direct quote to me :

"When the picture shows a baseball bat being shoved up a child's ass do you think that qualifies as child pornography?"

I froze and he kept looking at me till I said, "Well yes... but." And he continued on. I was pretty taken aback even though I knew he thought I was asking in the context of the child pornography case he was a part of.

Our whole court system is still screwed up on the issue of digital crime. It is new and nobody knows hardly anything about digital forensics or crime. If you have 1 or 2 pictures of naked children on your computer that is not an offense. If you have 3 to 200 that is the next level of the offense. Then it goes to like 200 - 500, and so on. It's absurd.

And what constitutes as a child? Some 10-13 year olds look 18 while some 18-23 year olds look 12. Some pictures of older women are photoshoped to look younger while younger girls are photoshoped to look older. It's all one big gray area with 60 year old judges, and in some cases a technological illiterate jury making the decision. Something needs to be done and fast on this issue before it really blows up.

decrepitoldfool said...

It'll really blow up when digital images become indistinguishable from "real" ones. Then we'll see more, not less, of this moral insanity as prosecutors try to figure out if a picture depicts an actual child being actually abused.

Since Victorian times children were taught their bodies were shameful, even ugly. Now an element of terror is being added to children's' lives and their parents too. The photographer Paul described case in point.

Elton said...

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

Benjamin Franklin.