Computer underground Digest Wed Aug 16, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 68 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Computer underground Digest Wed Aug 16, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 68 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson CONTENTS, #7.68 (Wed, Aug 16, 1995) File 1--BCFE Heroes and Villains 1994/1995 File 2--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 5 Aug 1995 10:09:46 -0500 (CDT) From: David Smith File 1--BCFE Heroes and Villains 1994/1995 ---------- Forwarded message ---------- BCFE NAMES 1994/1995 HEROES AND VILLAINS The Boston Coalition for Freedom of Expression, in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the August 1, 1990 Boston opening of Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, has compiled its fifth annual list of heroes and villains. The list includes those individuals, organizations, businesses and institutions that had the strongest positive and negative effects on free expression, the arts, and First Amendment rights in the past year. Although our focus is on Massachusetts, we include both institutions and individuals whose primary impact has been of local importance, and those whose influence is national in scope. Because of the surfeit of villains this year, we have expanded our Villains list from ten entries to twenty - and find it difficult not to expand it further than that. Entries are presented in no particular order. Lifetime achievement awards are also accorded one individual and one institution in each category. Previous lifetime citations for heroism have gone to Alan Dershowitz and the American Civil Liberties Union (1990-'91); Peggy Charren and the American Library Association(1991-'92); Harvey Silverglate and People for the American Way (1992-'93); and Don Edwards and the National Coalition Against Censorship (1993-'94). Lifetime villains include Senator Jesse Helms and the Heritage Foundation (1990-'91); Catharine MacKinnon and the American Family Association (1991-'92); Oliver North and the Christian Coalition (1992-'93); and Beverly LaHaye and Focus on the Family (1993-'94). The BCFE, an affiliate of the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, is an alliance of artists, arts administrators, writers, teachers, and citizens concerned about censorship and the arts. We are a project of Mobius, an artist-run center for experimental art in all media. The opinions of the BCFE, however, do not necessarily reflect those of the NCFE or of Mobius's staff, board, or member artists. Table of Contents Villains Lifetime Achievement Awards 1. Paul Weyrich 2. Cincinnati The Top 20 for 1994-1995 1. The 104th Congress 2. Newt Gingrich 3. James Exon 4. Larry Pressler 5. Diane Feinstein and Trent Lott 6. John Kerry 7. Ed Markey 8. Peter Blute 9. DeLores Tucker and William Bennett 10. Martin Rimm 11. The Carnegie Mellon Administration 12. America Online 13. Church of Scientology 14. Ralph Reed 15. Christian Action Network 16. Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights 17. The New NEA Four 18. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 19. William Walsh 20. The Boston Press Dishonorable Mentions Heroes Lifetime Achievement Awards 1. Leanne Katz 2. Rock Out Censorship The Top 10 for 1994-1995 1. Patrick Leahy and Jim Jeffords 2. Newt Gingrich 3. Nina Crowley 4. Hans Evers 5. The Bradford College Class of '95 6. Yvonne Nicoletti 7. The Anti-Censorship Activists at Carnegie Mellon 8. Mike Godwin 9. Joycelyn Elders 10. Nadine Strossen Honorable Mentions Posthumous Heroes Heroes and Villains 1995 Villains Lifetime Achievement Awards Right-wing power broker Paul Weyrich. In second place on its list of the Top 10 Censored News Stories of 1995, Project Censored cites the news blackout on Weyrich's Council for National Policy (CNP). A secretive, closed-door strategy-formulating organization whose membership is a Who's Who of the far right, the CNP played a decisive role in creating the conservative Republican anschluss of November 1994. An admirer of Father Coughlin, the Thirties pro-fascist radio demagogue, the ardently authoritarian Weyrich has operated at the heart of reactionary politics for over two decades. With the help of handouts from beer magnate Joseph Coors, he has founded or cofounded an impressive list of right-wing organizations, including the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, and the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress (CSFC). His agenda has been to influence the electoral process through fundraising campaigns, grassroots mobilization, propaganda blitzes, and promotion of conservative candidates. Out of the CSFC grew the Free Congress Foundation, which has branched out into lobbying for conservative judicial appointments, communications schemes like "National Empowerment Television," and efforts to defeat gay rights initiatives. He has described the New Right as "radicals who want to change the existing power structure" rather than conservatives in any traditional sense. Weyrich was one of the first to articulate the idea that the United States is engulfed in a cultural civil war. "It may not be with bullets, and it may not be with rockets and missiles, but it is a war, nonetheless. It is a war of ideology, it's a war of ideas, it's a war about our way of life. And it has to be fought with the same intensity, I think, and dedication as you would fight a shooting war." It is becoming increasingly clear that to dismiss this statement is to be fatally deluded. Cincinnati. In 1842, Charles Dickens wrote: "Cincinnati is a beautiful city; cheerful, thriving, and animated." He was particularly impressed by the Ohio community's support for free public education, though he had doubts regarding its quality. English entrepreneur Frances Trollope, who preceded Dickens in Cincinnati by 14 years and spent much more time there, could have told him that Cincinnati education was a fairly Spartan enterprise. In Mrs. Trollope's day, this frontier town on the banks of the Ohio was a cultural backwater mainly noted for the size of its pig population. Trollope, who complained that her Cincinnati neighbors held the fine arts in contempt and considered Shakespeare "obscene," may herself be held accountable for inventing the shopping mall. That she invented it in Cincinnati seems completely fitting. A longtime inspiration to the enemies of art, culture, scholarship, tolerance, taste, and intelligence, Cincinnati, aka Orthodoxy-on-the-Ohio, deserves recognition for the proud persistence of its Philistine tradition. For three decades, Cincinnati was home to the pacesetting Citizens for Decent Literature, led by Charles H. Keating of Lincoln Savings and Loan fame, one of the sleaziest politicians of our time. The list of censorship imbroglios in recent years is long and sad. Highlights include the prosecution of Dennis Barrie and the Contemporary Art Center for "pandering obscenity" via the work of Robert Mapplethorpe; a heavy-handed effort to shut down the city's only gay bookstore by having its video rental copy of Pasolini's film Salo adjudicated obscene; library bans on a range of material including Playboy and the Advocate; and raids on the homes of computer users suspected of downloading pornography. While some perfectly good people choose to live in Cincinnati for reasons best known to themselves, the city itself is less a municipality than it is a state of mind made up of six parts Cincinnati for Family Values and four parts Marge Schott. This mindset is spreading; beware. The Top Twenty for 1994-1995 (in no particular order) The 104th Congress. Winner of the 1995 Orwell Memorial "Ignorance Is Strength" Award. This legion of the ethically challenged came swooping down on Washington last winter with a deafening messianic mean-spirited roar that all but drowned out the voices of those few members who retain the faculty of reason. Its mission is to stomp the poor, blight the environment, roll back civil rights, erode separation of church and state, and make America a sprawling tawdry playground for the crass, the mean and the greedy. Its contempt for the Bill of Rights is manifest, especially with regard to the First Amendment. Its support for constitutional amendments to criminalize flag desecration and reintroduce school prayer, its enthusiasm for censorship of cyberspace and telecommunications media, its hostility to both high and popular culture, and its endless grandstanding over pornography, real and imagined, all certify that the 104th Congress is the most egregious collection of pro-censorship moral crusaders to hit Capitol Hill in over forty years. Congressman Newt Gingrich (R.-Georgia), Speaker of the House of Representatives. The race to be crowned Most Repellent Politician of Our Time is too close to call, but this Machiavellian sociopath may have an edge. Beneficiary of a wealthy propaganda-spewing ethically dysfunctional personal empire, chief perpetrator of the Contract with America, Gingrich has supported efforts to abridge the First Amendment through constitutional additions on flag desecration and school prayer, has applied an almost preternatural insensitivity to efforts to stifle minority voices, has advocated zero-funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and has given aid and comfort to every Congressional effort to kill all government support for art and scholarship. William Butler Yeats said that the millenium would usher in the Age of the Rough Beast; it might well be a Newt. Senator J. James Exon. Now that Jesse Helms devotes his wit, charm, and intellect to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he now chairs, his role as the Senate's self-appointed guardian of public morals has been assumed by this 74-year-old Nebraska Democrat. A longtime supporter of Jesse's attacks on the arts, Exon broke new ground by leading the charge to clean up electronic communications. Outraged by the news that some people talk about sex via computer networks, he sponsored the Communications Decency Act (originally S.314), which imposes fines up to $100,000 and prison sentences up to two years for electronic "indecency." Attached to the Senate's omnibus telecommunications package, Exon's bill passed the Senate 84-16, and may well become law. The fact that sexually explicit material is only available to those who actively seek it out matters not to Exon who, like all censors, enjoys minding other people's business. Railing against "porn-users' advocates" like the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Exon basks in the support of the theocratic right. Senator Larry Pressler. Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, this South Dakota Republican's McCarthyite assaults on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting reveal the moral vacuity of a politician who never stops campaigning - and addressing his campaign pitch to the lowest common denominator. Pressler's most offensive stunt in recent months was to demand that all affiliates of National Public Radio fill out a 16-page questionnaire, prepared with input from the far-right Family Research Council, about the sex, ethnicity, religious backgrounds, political affiliations, and employment histories of all employees. Special attention was paid to whether any NPR employees had worked for Pacifica Radio, which has challenged broadcast content restrictions. "[The questionnaire is] aimed at only one thing, and that's intimidation," the late Arthur Kropp of People for the American Way told the New York Times. "It's politics at its nastiest... a witch hunt." The questionnaire was finally withdrawn, but not before Pressler's ideological fact-finding mission had cost taxpayers $92,000. As Pressler's South Dakota Democratic counterpart once said, "A Senate seat is a terrible thing to waste." Senators Diane Feinstein (D.-California) and Trent Lott (R.-Mississippi). "Liberal" Democrat Feinstein and redneck Republican Lott, both avid supporters of the Senate's Counter Terrorism bill (S.735) and its roving wiretap provisions, teamed up to make that dubious piece of legislation even more repressive with an amendment banning distribution of information about explosive materials and devices by any means. (Goodbye Anarchist Cookbook.) The comedy team of Feinstein and Lott has also collaborated on efforts to combat smut on cable tv, and are among the sponsors of the Flag Desecration Amendment - which, if ratified, will mean that the United States neither has nor believes in freedom of speech. Senator John F. Kerry (R.-Massachusetts). One of an increasing number of Democrats who seek to get votes by proving that they can be Republicans just like everybody else, Kerry has been drifting to the right in ways that show dwindling concern for First Amendment principles. His worst offense may be his support of James Exon's Communications Decency Act, which he voted for twice: in committee, and then on the floor of the Senate. An opponent of the 1989 Flag Amendment, he has equivocated in stating his position regarding that measure's current incarnation, and may even vote for it. Not, in any case, to be trusted. Congressman Ed Markey (D.-Mass.). Doggedly persisting in his efforts to censor television, Markey is the chief architect of the Parental Choice in Television Act, H.R.2030. The bill, which may well become law, would force purchasers of television sets to pay for a violence-censoring device (the so-called V-chip), whether they want one or not. More problematic is a provision that calls for an official federal Television Rating Code, should the broadcast industry fail to adopt a satisfactory rating system "voluntarily." (Such a rating system, which would not distinguish Eisenstein's Potemkin from Miami Vice, would be at least as much a censorship tool as the MPAA's film rating system; the chill is already being felt.) It is worth noting that the left-leaning Mr. Markey's Congressional district is a hotbed of right-wing activity, and that he has been steadily pressured by Morality in Media to help wage its holy war against the secular humanist airwaves. C. DeLores Tucker, head of the National Political Caucus of Black Women, and William Bennett, disastrous Education Secretary under Reagan, bumbling drug czar under Bush, presently co-director of Empower America, a reactionary right public policy lobby, and the "John M. Olin Distinguished Fellow in Cultural Policy" at the egregious Heritage Foundation. Even stranger bedfellows than Diane Feinstein and Trent Lott, this odd couple has recently found common ground in the will to censor popular culture. Joining forces in press conferences, public appearances, and a series of public service announcements decrying rap music and Time Warner, Tucker and Bennett deny promoting censorship while avidly supporting censorious ratings systems, broader definitions of pornography, and narrower definitions of permissible speech. Using rhetoric that combines the sanctimoniousness of Jerry Falwell with the sophistry of Catharine MacKinnon, Tucker has testified before Congress that "Because this pornographic smut is in the hands of our children, it coerces, influences, encourages and motivates our youth to commit violent behavior." She believes that much rap music is not entitled to constitutional protection and should be sold in adult bookstores if at all. Bennett, smug, self-righteous editor of the Book of Virtues, has recently demanded abolition of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which he once chaired, because of its failure to live up to his right-wing standards of political correctness. Martin Rimm. Recipient of our first annual Milo Minderbinder Award for Outstanding Pro-Censorship Achievement by a Self-Promoting Charlatan. As an undergraduate at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, Rimm conducted a "research" project on sexually explicit material on computer networks. With the aid of anti-porn activist Deen Kaplan, Rimm sold the study to the student editors of the Georgetown Law Review, with the stipulation that potential critics would not see pre-publication copies. Rimm then panicked the Carnegie Mellon administration into censoring electronic access on campus, talked Time into doing a lurid cover story, and wangled an appearance on Nightline. On publication, the study immediately revealed itself as methodologically worthless. Information soon came to light suggesting that Rimm had (1) pried information from operators of adult bulletin boards by claiming they could use his study to increase their profits; (2) simultaneously tried to sell his software to the Department of Justice to help them prosecute those same people; (3) used unethical means to obtain computer usage data on Carnegie Mellon students, faculty and staff; (4) misrepresented his position at Carnegie Mellon; (5) plagiarized parts of his report from a Canadian study whose conclusions were almost diametrically opposed to his. These charges, now under investigation, have resulted in Rimm being disinvited to testify at anti-porn hearings on July 24. But the damage has been done. Rimm's results, which distort and grossly exaggerate both the availability and the nature of sexual material on the Internet, will be repeated by pro-censorship zealots in and out of Congress until they become "facts." America Online (AOL) and its ambitious President and CEO, Stephen M. Case. In the words of James Egelhof, who maintains one of a growing number of anti-AOL sites on the Internet, "AOL provides the worst Internet service in the country, and charges massively for it. AOL's profits depend on pacifying its user base and quelling dissent and debate, so it enforces a heavily restrictive user agreement against its customers.... AOL's online areas are far from the free-speech havens Internet users have come to expect on Usenet and IRC [Interactive Relay Chat]. In fact, AOL, bent on presenting itself as a `family service,' makes sure that nothing controversial or offensive ever can reach its members. AOL staff, armed with a lengthy list of prohibited subjects and words, police the message boards and chat rooms for violations. These untrained staffers have the power to delete any message, stop any chat, and cancel any member's account." Among the many forbidden words included in AOL's "Vulgarity Guidelines" are penis, vagina, defecation, urination, transsexual, transvestite, sadomasochism, and submissive. In addition, Case and his AOL watchdogs have been recording information about what their subscribers download, and sharing it with the Justice Department. AOL, of course, has not explained who uploaded the material in the first place or how it is so easy for them to track the relevant downloads. Sounds like entrapment to us. The Church of Scientology. Perhaps modeling their behavior on that of America Online, the keepers of the flame of L. Ron Hubbard have forged cancellations of Internet messages they don't like, tried to remove an entire Usenet discussion group devoted to critical examination of Scientology, threatened operators of anonymous remailing services in order to discourage anonymous criticism of Scientology, instigated a raid on an anonymous remailing service in Finland, and sought to intimidate Scientology critic Dennis Ehrlich, his Internet access provider, and Netcom by suing them on extremely dubious grounds of copyright violation. Ralph Reed, Executive Director of the Christian Coalition. Recipient of our 1993 institutional Lifetime Achievement Award for Villainy, the Christian Coalition has not been content to rest on its laurels. This relentlessly obnoxious outfit has, in fact, gone forth and multiplied, spreading nationwide like a plague of kudzu. Although some credit for this success is due Pat Robertson, from whose failed 1988 presidential campaign the Christian Coalition slithered forth, the real driving force and leading strategist behind this crypto-fascist movement has been Mr. Reed. With diligence and fierce efficiency, testing the outer limits of 501(c)(3) nonprofit status all the way, Reed has quietly set about dismantling the Bill of Rights. A measure of his success is the seriousness with which his Contract with American Families, a legislation package from Hades that pursues a program of theocratic social engineering, has been received on Capitol Hill. (One of its demands, the elimination of the arts and humanities endowments, is now nearing fulfillment.) Reed, who has the aura of a choirboy who slips behind the rectory to strangle cats, is one of the most sinister figures ever to gain power on the Christian Right. Sex Is... , which indirectly benefited from NEA funding. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. A right-wing authoritarian movement that overlaps with Operation Rescue and militant charismatic factions, the Catholic League has enjoyed increasing success in misrepresenting itself as a mainstream Catholic organization. Ten years ago, the Catholic League gained notoriety by mobilizing against Jean-Luc Godard's Hail Mary; in 1995, it got even more mileage out a patently offensive disinformation campaign against the movie Priest, accompanied by a boycott of Walt Disney Enterprises, whose subsidiary Miramax released the film. The Catholic League's obsessively homophobic Massachusetts chapter tried to prevent the film, which deals with a gay priest in working-class Liverpool, from opening at the Dedham Community Theater, and did succeed in shortening its run. In other recent exploits, the Catholic League has been active in the fight against condom distribution and safer sex information, and mobilized against Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art for supporting World AIDS Day posters and shrines depicting the Blessed Virgin Rubber Goddess ("Immaculate Protection"), a project by Provincetown artist Jay Critchley and Boston artist/activists Lydia Eccles and Wendy Hamer. The NEA Administrative Four. People like these caused arts advocates who had fought long and hard in defense of the NEA to give up and abandon ship. (1) Jane Alexander, the arts endowment's Chairman, made our Heroes List last year, then disgraced herself within a matter of days by permitting the politically motivated defunding of photographers Merry Alpern, Barbara DeGenevieve, and Andres Serrano - and then claiming that the quality of the artists' work was at issue. Since then, she has presided over more politically inspired vetoes of NEA panel-approved grants than her two Bush-era predecessors combined, while playing the role of Great Lady of the Arts and getting away with it. (2) Cherie "Get with the Program" Simon, the NEA's head of press relations, who speaks for the Endowment when Jane Alexander isn't being let out. Simon's abrasive, condescending style, barely masking her contempt for artists, has helped erode the NEA's grassroots support. (3) National Arts Council Member George White, President of the O'Neill Theater Center, led the charge against Alpern, DeGenevieve, and Serrano, claiming that to fund them would contravene the "clear instructions of Congress." White's attitude toward Serrano, an artist now being punished for his much-misunderstood 1987 work "Piss Christ," has helped make blacklisting at the NEA a respectable enterprise. (3) National Arts Council Member Barbara Grossman, who teaches in the Drama Department at Tufts University, may have set the standards of doublethink and cognitive diminution that the Council, the governing board of the NEA, now lives by. Last August, in the apparently rehearsed deliberations that ended in the defunding of Alpern, DeGenevieve and Serrano, Grossman read the 1992 Democratic Party statement on freedom of expression, then said brightly, "We cannot be blind to political reality.... I would never, ever limit an artist's ability to create what he or she needs to create... but I think that given the volatile times in which we live, we cannot be blind to the reality of funding, either." Since this sort of Orwellian moral sellout predictably did nothing to change the reality of funding at the NEA - i.e., there very likely soon won't be any funding - it might at least have given us a lift if someone there had stood up and shown some integrity. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Continuing a tradition, the high court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has in the past year placed political correctness before sound Constitutional principles on at least two important occasions. In Bowman v. Heller and Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, the SJC made well-meaning and popular decisions that unfortunately contravened well-established First Amendment law. In Bowman, a suit by a candidate for union office against a political enemy who had made crude and distasteful flyers lampooning her and distributed them privately to five allies, the court ruled that Heller's "intentional infliction of emotional distress" entitled Bowman to damages. This contradicts the 198? U.S. Supreme Court decision Falwell v. Hustler, which affirmed the constitutionality of satire; its implications are particularly disturbing for writers and artists. In Hurley, the court ruled that the virulently homophobic Allied War Veterans who run Boston's St. Patrick's Day Parade had to accept the presence of a gay contingent in their annual celebration of bigotry. Having ruled in the Desilets case that landlords can refuse to rent to tenants if they disapprove of the tenants' lifestyles, the SJC seems to believe that members of sexual-minorities should be allowed to march in St. Patrick's Day parades but not be allowed to rent apartments. The Hurley decision has recently been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, where, if there is any justice, the Bowman case will soon be headed. Former Cambridge (Mass.) City Councilor William Walsh. Still clinging to his City Council seat while awaiting sentencing on 41 bank fraud convictions, Walsh appointed himself municipal arbiter of decency last October and embarked on a one-man vigilante raid against an art exhibit sponsored by the Cambridge Cultural Council. The target of Walsh's righteous wrath, which he called "nothing but raw sex," was Identidem, an exhibit of works by artist Hans Evers. A sampling of pieces from a two-year project on masculine identity, the show included phallic imagery, but no depictions of sexual activity. (The presence of masking and posted disclaimers should have been sufficient to warn those potentially offended by a few allusions to male anatomy.) Ripping two latex dildos out of their settings and absconding with them, Walsh demanded that the show be shut down, that the Cambridge Cultural Council be investigated, and that Hans Evers be prosecuted for obscenity. He also alerted right-wing media thugs like Cro-Magnon radio talk show host Howie Carr, and launched a smear campaign against Evers, his supporters, and the Cultural Council. Evers responded by pressing charges against Walsh for malicious destruction of property. Although Walsh was acquitted by jurors who were never instructed in the serious First Amendment implications of a public official acting as self-appointed censor, the BCFE finds Walsh - a longtime enemy of the arts, free expression, and civilized society -thoroughly and irredeemably guilty. The Boston press. Five years ago, when artists organized the BCFE in response to attacks on the NEA and cultural institutions, Boston had a number of reliable arts reporters. These journalists were of varying degrees of intelligence, talent, sophistication and perspicacity, and not all of them wrote for papers whose agendas encompassed any serious arts coverage. Nevertheless, we could at one time be sure that if anything significantly affecting the arts happened locally or nationally, someone in Boston would report it. Such is no longer the case. The best arts journalists in Boston have left town, gone on leaves of absence, stopped working altogether, or moved to publications where their strengths are wasted, underused, and practically unrecognized. Because local editors -including most arts editors - tend to have little respect for, interest in, or knowledge of the lives and issues of working artists, and are ill-informed about grave issues facing the arts today, arts reportage is now mostly the domain of the young, the starstruck, and the inept. (The conventional wisdom seems to be that one doesn't need to know a damned thing in order to cover the arts.) Events of crucial importance to the thousands of cultural workers in the Boston area go unreported here, leaving an informational void for which every publication in Boston must be held accountable. The worst offenders have been (1) the Boston Globe, where Arts Editor Mary Jane Wilkinson (recently promoted to Managing Editor for Features) has thrown the full weight of her provinicial arrogance into an apparent effort to make sure the arts supporters of New England remain as clueless as she is; (2) the Boston Phoenix, which suffered a brain drain with the departures of Mark Jurkowitz, Maureen Dezell, Ric Kahn, Liz Galst and others, and now appears to be assembled by and for supremely oblivious toxic yuppies; (3) the Boston Herald, which now prints less of cultural interest than the Daily Racing Form. Until this situation improves, artists interested in keeping informed should rely on the Washington Post, the Village Voice, trade publications, the Internet, and smoke signals. Dishonorable Mentions Congressman Joseph Kennedy (D.-Mass.), who proves that not all Kennedys support the arts and have three-digit IQs, for supporting the Flag Amendment and other idiocies; Senators Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa) and Dan Coats (R.-Indiana), for boorish attempts to regulate content in cyberspace; Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R.-Kansas), for punitive moves against the NEA for funding Highways, the Santa Monica facility where performance artist Tim Miller is based ("I think most people would not call the solo performances of Tim Miller art"); roving wingnut Barry Crimmins for his delusional testimony in recent cyberporn hearings; Herald-critic-cum-dance-administrator Iris Fanger, for doltishly censoring a piece by choreographer Lynn Shapiro out of this summer's Faculty Performance Dance Series at Harvard; the MBTA Police (the Boston subway gestapo), for heavyhanded attempts to stop orderly protests against the Commuter Channel, and for roughing up artist Stephen Frederick for the crime of dressing weirdly; the MBTA, for trying to reject public service messages by the AIDS Action Committee, and for removing AIDS awareness posters by artist Jay Critchley; New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for pushing a draconian porn-zoning ordinance; Time magazine, for disseminating shoddy, sensational pro-censorship propaganda in the wake of Congressional attacks on Time Warner; Disney/Miramax, for butchering the works of film artists in order to perk them up for American attention spans and tone them down to avoid the dreaded NC17; the Haverhill Gazette, for its rabidly homophobic efforts to stop Leslie Feinberg's appearance at Bradford College; the administration of Bradford College, for almost giving the Haverhill Gazette its wish; Principal Gregory Scotten of Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, for censoring the commencement speech of Class of '95 Salutatorian Megan Cryer, refusing to allow her to refer to her rape by a fellow student; Orleans Town Executive Nancymarie Schwinn, for her mercifully short-lived directive against nude representations in the Orleans Cultural Council's gallery; Lotus Corporation, for erasing identifiably gay and lesbian material from an art exhibit intended to celebrate Gay Pride Month; the busy book banners of New Hampshire; Gary Bauer's Family Research Council; Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (D.-South Carolina); Donald Wildmon's American Family Association; Congressman Robert Dornan (R.-California); Congressman Phil Crane (R.-Illinois); Congressman Dick Armey (R.-Texas); Congressman Richard Neal (R.-Mass.); the Clinton Administration; and others too depressingly numerous to mention. Heroes Lifetime Achievement Awards Leanne Katz, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship. When we gave our 1994 institutional Lifetime Achievement Award for Heroism to the National Coalition Against Censorship, we said that Leanne Katz's "drive, determination, integrity of purpose and clarity of vision make her one of the finest role models free expression activists could hope for." In the past year, she has more than justified that description. Her courageous leadership on a succession of difficult issues has been indispensable at a time of burnout and demoralization. We are especially grateful for her swift response to the harassment campaign directed at the Pink Pyramid, Cincinnati's only gay and lesbian bookstore, whose video rental copy of Pasolini's Salo served as the basis for "pandering obscenity" charges. Grasping the importance of this case more readily than some free expression advocates who ought to have known better, Leanne Katz initiated an amicus brief supporting attempts to dismiss charges against the bookstore owner and two employees. This brought the righteous wrath of Donald Wildmon's American Family Association down on her organization. With typical grace and tact, she turned the resulting crisis into a moral victory. We are pleased to honor this passionately sane defender of freedom for her tireless efforts on behalf of all of us. For information about the National Coalition Against Censorship, write to: NCAC, 275 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001. Rock Out Censorship. This Ohio-based organization, rooted in the music scene but broadly attentive to First Amendment issues, was founded by activist John Woods, who understands that any movement worthy of the name must have strong grassroots participation. With the help of its newsletter, an information-packed tabloid that puts slicker publications to shame, Rock Out Censorship informs music fans and musicians while mobilizing them across the country. A strong supporter of the Right to Rock Network campaign against Parental Advisory labels, ROC is in the forefront of fights against music censorship in many states, most notably in Pennsylvania. Knowing this group exists helps keep members of the BCFE from flinging themselves into Boston Harbor; ROC has our strongest endorsement. For information, contact Rock Out Censorship, POB 147, Jewett, OH 43986. Top Ten for 1994-1995 (in no particular order) Senators Patrick Leahy (D.-Vermont) and Jim Jeffords (R-Vermont). In the Green Mountain State, something in the air, the water or the maple syrup seems to help produce a higher class of legislator. Both Leahy and Jeffords have long supported funding without content restriction for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This year, Leahy emerged as the Senate leader in the fight against censorship in cyberspace, a fight supported by Jeffords. Among Republicans, Jeffords has established a First Amendment record rivaled only by Rhode Island's John Chafee. Recently Jeffords has not only stood firm against the prevailing anti-cultural currents of his own party, he has been among the few Senators from either side of the aisle who have marshaled cultural literacy, insight and commitment into efforts to save government support for the arts and humanities. Congressman Newt Gingrich. We are willing to choke back our revulsion long enough to give Gingrich credit for his opposition to Senator Exon's Communications Decency Act (CDA) and other attempts to censor the Internet. On June 20, on the National Empowerment Television program Progress Report, Newt said of the CDA, "It is clearly a violation of the right of adults to communicate with each other. I don't agree with it.... [It is] a very badly thought out and not productive amendment...." Civil libertarians were at first skeptical, but Newt evidently meant what he said and has used his considerable power to thwart all cyber-censorship initiatives reaching the House. Music industry activist Nina Crowley. When a petition seeking to ban sales of records with Parental Advisory labels to minors was presented to the City Council in her home community, Leominster (MA), Nina Crowley played a key role in defeating the measure by circulating a counterpetition and seeking support from the Recording Industry of America, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, and the ACLU. Out of this effort grew Mass. MIC (the Massachusetts Music Industry Coalition), an organization that brings together musicians, promoters, d.j.s and fans in an effort to uphold freedom of expression in music and all other media. As Mass. MIC's Executive Director, Ms. Crowley has worked tirelessly and effectively to make her organization a major rallying point in the fight to stop censorship in Massachusetts. Artist Hans Evers. Contrary to legend, few artists leap at the chance to gain the kind of notoriety censorship incidents confer on them. Hans Evers certainly had nothing of that nature in mind when he installed his city-sponsored exhibit at Gallery 57 in Cambridge, Mass. But when Cambridge City Councilor William Walsh intervened, damaging one piece in the process of trying to censor it, Evers fought back. Where many artists would have let the matter drop, this one sought justice - and affirmation of the fact that the First Amendment forbids public officials to act as freelance art vigilantes. Evers got no such satisfaction, and received a welter of ridicule from right-wing columnists and talk-show hosts. But his handling of the situation set a fine example for artists everywhere, and we salute him for it. Bradford College Class of '95. Graduating seniors at Bradford College, a small but reputable 4-year liberal arts institution in Haverhill, Mass., traditionally pick their own commencement speaker. Normally, the only issue is availability. This year, Bradford seniors chose author/labor activist Leslie Feinberg, whose novel Stone Butch Blues had been required reading in the Senior Humanities Seminar that half the class was obligated to take. Bradford President Joseph Short refused their request, saying that to invite Feinberg, a self-described transgendered lesbian, would be inconsistent with the dignity of commencement. As one student put it, "We cannot graduate without reading her book, but we cannot hear her speak at graduation." Demanding that Short rescind his decision, students occupied the administration building, alerted the media, and contacted gay rights, labor, and free expression advocates across the state and around the country. Short eventually relented. In her eloquent commencement address, Leslie Feinberg paid tribute to the integrity and determination of the Class of '95; we're happy to echo her sentiments. Andover High School student Yvonne Nicoletti. When Nicoletti, an 18-year-old honor student, arrived at school clad in a T-shirt promoting the band White Zombie, Assistant Principal Ellen Parker ordered her to go home and change. Parker found the design emblazoned on the shirt, a caricature of large-breasted women, offensive. Nicoletti left the school, but then, with her parents' consent, returned to the school grounds wearing her bra outside the offending shirt to cover some of the graphics. When she began a silent vigil standing on a boulder opposite the school, principal Timothy Thomas ordered her to leave. When she refused, he had her arrested and charged with "disturbing a school," then suspended her indefinitely. With the aid of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union, Nicoletti was reinstated at Andover High a few days later. In July, Judge Elizabeth Flatley of Lawrence District Court formally filed the case, insuring that it would slip into oblivion without coming to trial, and leaving the question of Nicoletti's First Amendment rights - and that of other Massachusetts high school students - unresolved. Nicoletti's spirited, courageous, principled stand against censorship serves nevertheless as an example to students in increasingly repressive public schools across Massachusetts. The anti-censorship activists at Carnegie Mellon University, especially (1) former Student Body President Declan McCullagh; (2) the students, faculty, staff and alumni who make up the Coalition for Academic Freedom of Expression (CAFE); and (3) the pro-sex feminist direct-action group known as the Clitoral Hoods. Serving as an example to academic communities everywhere, they had the guts to stand up to the heavy-handed tactics of an intellectually dishonest authoritarian administration. (If he had done nothing else, McCullagh would still deserve thanks for discovering that Martin Rimm is the author of the most execrably written novel in the English language, An American Playground.) Mike Godwin, staff counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). A leader in the fight against government censorship of computer networks, Mike Godwin is an able communicator who explains in clear and eloquent terms the nature of electronic communication and the indispensability of free expression to a working democracy. Mike has served us well by preparing EFF's powerful Congressional testimony, by going one-on-one with the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed on Nightline, and by doing a lot of the legwork necessary to expose the Martin Rimm "study" for the academic fraud that it is. Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. A wise, intelligent, truthful voice in a presidential administration notably lacking in wisdom, intelligence, and truthfulness, Dr. Elders was an isolated voice of reason on the subjects of sex, AIDS, contraception, and drugs. This made her the object of one of the most vicious and persistent hate campaigns ever mounted by the theocratic right. Many would have answered such smears in kind; Elders responded with dignity, humor, and a firm resolve never to be to be silenced. Someday, when American culture reaches adulthood, it will be ready for a Joycelyn Elders, but then the need for her will be less acute. Nadine Strossen, President of the American Civil Liberties Union. Noted for her well-articulated and authoritative stands on a range of constitutional issues, Nadine Strossen is the youngest person ever to rise to the presidency of the ACLU. Her book Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights, published in 1995 by Scribner, presents solid arguments, from a feminist perspective, against censorship of sexually explicit material. One of the best features of this excellent, necessary work is that it clearly and compellingly demonstrates the anti-feminist nature of such censorship. The author of an important essay, "Regulating Racist Speech on Campus," reprinted in the anthology Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex (NYU Press, 1995), Strossen has lectured eloquently on the problems of free speech in recent public appearances around the country. She teaches at New York Law School; we envy her students. Honorable Mentions Music promoter Richard White and Nirvana guitarist Krist Novoselic, for founding the advocacy organization JAMPAC and lending critical support to Mass. MIC; students Jeffrey and Jonathan Pyle and their father, law professor Christopher Pyle, for challenging the dress code at South Hadley (Mass.) High; students Casie and John Northrup, for pursuing a similar challenge at Carver (Mass.) High; Congressman Peter Torkildsen (R.-Mass.), for breaking with his party in ways that show a civilized sensibility at work, and for risking obloquy by defending the National Endowment for the Humanities; journalist/critic Bill Marx, for a Boston Magazine piece that at least approached a truthful perspective on the strange world of the Massachusetts Cultural Council; banned novelist Nancy Garden, for the integrity of her work and the eloquence of her statements on censorship at the 1995 OutWrite Conference; Lani Guinier, for continuing to defend the rights of minority voices to be heard; theater historian Gail Cohen, for dedicating herself to the preservation of an almost lost heritage in regional theater; banned novelist Robert Cormier, for his stands against the censorship of his own work and everyone else's; theater owner Garen Daly, for resisting heavyhanded attempts to keep the film Priest out of Dedham, Mass.; Boston printmaker Jerry Harold Hooten, for refusing to acquiesce to censorship by representatives of Lotus Corporation; Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Salutatorian Megan Cryer, for responding to censorship of her graduation speech with an eloquent silence; Feminists for Free Expression, for existing. In a cultural war of attrition, we are relieved to note that many of those we've honored in the past five years are still in the trenches. These include artist Kurt Reynolds; playwright Vera Gold; musician David Herlihy; Boston Center for the Arts Director Susan Hartnett; ICA Director Milena Kalinovska; attorney/journalist Harvey Silverglate, attorney/author Wendy Kaminer; artist/educator Edward Strickland; Edmund Barry Gaither of the Center for Afro American Studies; Skipp Porteous of the Institute for First Amendment Studies; ACLU attorney Marjorie Heins; journalist Nan Levinson; free expression activist Peggy Charren; scholars Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Anthony Appiah; Boston Cultural Commissioner Bruce Rossley; and many others. Finally, we confer posthumous Lifetime Achievement Awards on Bill Reeves, Chairperson of the Boston Coalition for Freedom of Expression for over two years until his sudden accidental death on April 2, 1995, whose unwavering dedication to the cause of free expression was an inspiration to everyone who had the privilege of working with him; and on Arthur Kropp, the fiercely dedicated President of People for the American Way from 1987 until his death from complications of AIDS on June 12, 1995. The loss of these irreplaceable people will be acutely felt for many years to come. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators File 2--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. 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