By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
We shall overcome: Buzz, being in the free-speech biz and somewhat left-leaning, generally supports an adult's right to view and purchase images of nakedness and consensual sex acts on the Internet. Not that Buzz would ever, ever take a peek--goodness gracious no--but we fully support your right to do so, you little horndog.
Nevertheless, we can't help but find it odd that porn fans have united and are undertaking boycotts in defense of what is generally a solitary hobby.
What had porn aficionados' blood boiling--other than the latest doctored photos from alt.binaries.erotica.antoninscalia--is the decision by Internet portal Yahoo! to shutter its online sex clubs in April. For a brief time that month, one could buy the choicest hard-core VHS and DVD recordings on Yahoo! Or so we're told.
Alas, the candy store closed after a successful campaign by the Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association. But some dedicated porn lovers haven't given up hopes that a grassroots movement could restore the clubs.
To get back at the AFA, a right-wing outfit that defends "traditional family values," porn lovers struck out at Garland-based Kingdombuy.com, an AFA-run online shopping site that sends a cut from each purchase to Christian missionary groups. Kingdombuy.com--not to be confused with an entirely different Web site called kingdomcum.com--allows shoppers to buy from retailers such as J.Crew and Ritz Camera, with the part of the proceeds going to help propagate the faith.
But the site suffered a devastating blow when two major retailers, Plano-based J.C. Penney and Nordstrom, recently terminated their partnership with Kingdombuy.com. In an e-mail "action alert," AFA President Donald Wildmon blamed an e-mail campaign by disgruntled porn purveyors, who wrote letters to Kingdombuy.com affiliates threatening boycotts should the companies not sever ties with the allegedly "pro-censorship" AFA.
A sample protest letter purportedly intercepted by the AFA reads: "We, in good conscience, choose not to do business with or purchase products from a company that chooses to associate itself with an organization so adamant in their desire [sic] to strip people of their freedom of speech...and freedom of individual choice."
The AFA professes shock that "reputable retailers such as J.C. Penney would be persuaded by a small group of porn advocates."
The retailers say porn fans had nothing to do with it. Rather, they say Kingdombuy.com simply wasn't performing financially for them. "It's nothing out of the ordinary for us," says Jeanine Connolly, spokeswoman for J.C. Penney. "We review the performance of all our affiliates."
So she says, and Buzz supposes we believe her. Still, we hope that porn fans can stay united and grow. A party of wankers would be a great addition to the political landscape, and if they're looking for a name, allow Buzz to be the first to suggest one: Republicans.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams