An Extremely Immodest Proposal

Treat the Communications Decency Act of 1995, and its authors, with the respect they deserve.

[Note: Free distribution and editing of this text is encouraged, provided no person attempts to claim copyright.]

[I picked this up on the net; I did not write it. But I really like it.]

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
- The Constitution of the United States

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to ridicule the political authorities which have governed their society, and to assume among the other adults of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should do so in as effective and humorous a fashion as possible.

The Communications Decency Act of 1995 (as yet unpassed by the House) attempts to limit any electronic communication which is obscene, lewd or lascivious. Reportedly initiated out of a desire to prevent graphic pornography from polluting the tender minds of youth, this Act potentially renders any US citizen electronically using "filthy" language liable to up to $100,000 and/or two years in jail.

We can but concede to the wisdom of the Senators involved in sponsoring, since it is obvious that they know better than the users of the Internet what is and is not acceptable language. The reduction of electronic communication to a level acceptable in a nursery playground must be hailed as a giant step forward, and protests about First Amendment rights must go unheard in the wave of righteous anger at the thought that minors allowed free access to the Net may hear certain words.

Yet, we find ourselves in a dilemma. The words banned by this Act are useful, in that they convey a wealth of information and meaning which would be sorely missed in electronic communication. Passionate email flirtations would be greatly cooled by the inability to be specific, and a prohibition on expressing their fevered rantings will ensure the more juvenile Usenetters develop ulcers well before their time.

Moreover, simple substitution cannot be acceptable. When it is obvious from context what word a cipher stands for, that cipher is endowed with the same meaning and implications as the original word. In the absence of any compelling reason to keep the substitute in the public sphere, the good Senators attempting to help us will surely consider these substitutes equally obscene.

Thus, in the spirit of Robert Anson Wilson, we suggest that substitute words be found which convey these necessary meanings, and yet which those politicians working tirelessly to protect the public good cannot consider obscene. Happily, such words exist.

In the event of the Communications Decency Act being passed, we urge all people wishing to use electronic communications, but forced to limit their language and thus risk confusion, to consider using the following list of substitute words, which we feel the Senators involved will be reluctant to ban or censor:

An example of this usage might be as follows:

"'Exon me !', she cried, as I licked her hot wet Gorton. She writhed under my teasing tongue as her Gramm washed over her, her juices pouring out. I moved up to suck and nibble her Heflins, only to have her clutch my Byrd, and drive my aching Helms into her waiting Gorton.
'Coats !', she said, 'We're being quoted in a political text !'"

In closing, we'd like to thank Senators Exon and Gorton for their sterling work in attempting to clean up the Internet. We hope that this immodest proposal will let them know just how much we appreciate it, and that they should rest assured that we will do our part in making sure their names are never forgotten.

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Revised: 1996 Jan 21