February 19, 2013

"There are some short transitory passages between the various sexual episodes..."

"... but, for the most part, they only set the scene and identify the participants for the next orgy, or make smutty reference and comparison to past episodes."

An amusing sentence from Justice Clark's dissenting opinion in the 1966 case Memoirs v. Massachusetts, attempting to explain what is in the text of "Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure," because he is "obliged to portray the book's contents, which causes me embarrassment." He avoids actual quotations from the book because it would "debase" the set of volumes that contain U.S. Supreme Court opinions. I was also amused by: "The pubic hair is often used for a background to the most vivid and precise descriptions of the response, condition, size, shape. and color of the sexual organs before, during and after orgasms."



The narrator in "Memoirs" is a prostitute named Fanny Hill, and Justice Clark, addressing actual legal arguments made in this First Amendment case, writes: "To say that Fanny is an 'intellectual' is an insult to those who travel under that tag. She was nothing but a harlot — a sensualist.... As an empiricist, Fanny confines her observations and 'experiments' to sex, with primary attention to depraved, lewd, and deviant practices."

I was also amused by Clark's dismay that one expert at trial had claimed that the book had literary merit because the verb "waddles" was used instead of "walks" to describe a fat woman entering a room and that another expert said that the 18th century book contributed to an understanding of history through its repeated descriptions of "the male sexual organ as an engine... which is pulling you away from the way these events would be described in the 19th or 20th century."

It's funny now, when you can get the book through a simple click. Feel free to read just the dirty parts, in other words — if I am to believe Justice Clark's opinion and as they say in the blogosphere — read the whole thing.

ADDED: I love the idea of insulting those who "travel under the tag" "intellectual." That's something I know I try to do whenever I can. And I'm fascinated by the expert's inadvertently causing us to picture a giant penis-locomotive dragging us into the past. That's quite a time machine you've got there! And the notion of pubic hair as a background for a visualization of male genitalia. It's like pubic hair is to cock as black velvet is to Elvis.

AND:  Why the sudden interest in Justice Tom Clark? My conlaw casebook has a squib on this case:
[I]n Memoirs v. Massachusetts, 383 U.S. 413 (1966), a plurality of three (Warren, Brennan, and Fortas) restated Roth as follows:
[T]hree elements must coalesce: it must be established that (a) the dominant  theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest in sex; (b) the material is patently offensive because it affronts contemporary community standards relating to the description or representation of sexual matters; and (c) the material is utterly without redeeming social value.
As Chief Justice Burger later noted in  Miller, “While  Roth presumed ‘obscenity’ to be ‘utterly without redeeming social importance,’  Memoirs required that to prove obscenity it must be affirmatively established that the material is ‘utterly without redeeming social value,’ [a] burden virtually impossible to discharge under our criminal standards of proof.” Nevertheless, this formulation was the most widely applied, even though no majority of the Court could agree on a standard to determine what constituted obscenity. Warren, Brennan, and Fortas subscribed to the Memoirs variation; Black and Douglas asserted that obscenity was constitutionally protected; Harlan held to his Roth view; and Stewart thought that both federal and state governments could suppress “hard-core” pornography. Justice Stewart’s famous epigram in his concurrence in Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964), dramatized the problem of defining “obscenity.” Speaking of hard-core pornography, Stewart said: “I know it when I see it.”
I'm counting: Warren, Brennan, Fortas, Black, Douglas, Harlan, Stewart. That's only 7. Somebody's not getting any respect. The other unmentioned Justice? Byron White.

24 comments:

traditionalguy said...

That pretty well describes the life of some men heard by their divorce attorney, "... a short transitory passage between various sexual episodes."

For a long life it is suggested that men look into the sexually moral life style.



rhhardin said...

Engine Georges Bataille The Solar Anus.

Favorite line: The sea continuously jerks off.

edutcher said...

Read it and found it rather boring.

Of course, I was about 46 instead of 16.

As for engines, it is what's driven human history, n'est ce pas?

And most of the "intellectuals" travel under the tag

Mitchell the Bat said...

Sort of on topic: I just had an encounter with a very attractive woman who works in the building who's about half my age plus seven.

And I'm reminded of the words of the ever-insightful Louis Jordan.

When a chick is smiling at you
Even though there's nothing said
You stand there like a statue
Jack, you're dead


Time to call the wife.

Nonapod said...

Sorry, I can't stop picturing my ding dong as a time traveling choo choo train.

Paul said...

Hate to tell you this Ann, but now days it's fashionable to, uh, shave that 'hair' off and the size, shape, color, whatever is all there for everyone to see and enjoy.

And let's just say when I met my wife-to-be she used the 'mohawk' style and I admit, it caused me NO embarrassment.

Dante said...

My breasts, if it is not too bold a figure to call so two hard, firm, rising hillocks, that just began to shew themselves, or signify anything to the touch, employ'd and amus'd her hands a-while, till, slipping down lower, over a smooth track, she could just feel the soft silky down that had but a few months before put forth and garnish'd the mount-pleasant of those parts, and promised to spread a grateful shelter over the seat of the most exquisite sensation, and which had been, till that instant, the seat of the most insensible innocence. Her fingers play'd and strove to twine in the young tendrils of that moss, which nature has contrived at once for use and ornament.

Wow, even with "hillocks" for breasts, female on female sex really gives a rise. Soft tendrils of that moss.

I wonder how the Althouse women feel about this. Repulsed, like most women I meet are by male on male sex? Or is this OK. My guess is the later.

And yes, it is exciting and stimulating, except the verbotten part that she is too young. That's just wrong.

traditionalguy said...

In the first half of the 19th century (1800s) the motif of a Steam Engine used as the all powerful life force.

The early steam engines were phallic in appearance and huffed and puffed to carry the dominant world commerce of the British Empire all over the world.

Dickens liked to have his crushed and suicidal characters run over by a steam engine.

It was after the American Civil War that steam engines became to be seen as less magical and more mundane. By then from fishing boats to the British Navy's Man of Wars had become steam powered.

And by then Atlanta had been created, burned and was to be recreated because of 20 years of steam engines and their iron rail syatems.

G Joubert said...

cf. Carol Doda's wiki page :

Doda was a witness during the trial of two all-nude dancers who were arrested for "indecent exposure and lewd and dissolute conduct", in 1969. The defendants were dancers at the Pink Pussy Kat in Orangevale, California. Presiding Municipal Court Judge Earl Warren, Jr. moved the trial, temporarily, from the courtroom to Chuck Landis Largo club. There Doda performed to live song and dance numbers, along with a movie titled Guru You. She was cross-examined by a deputy district attorney about what she hoped to convey to audiences in her act. Doda was dressed in a red miniskirt with dark blue piping and beige boots. She responded that the movie represents "a satire of pornography ... it's to show people the humorous side of sex". Several members of the 10-man, 2-woman jury kept in check their smiles as Doda explained the 17-minute movie. The deputy district attorney opposed asking her to perform, considering it irrelevant to the case. He was overruled by Warren.

edutcher said...

Paul said...

Hate to tell you this Ann, but now days it's fashionable to, uh, shave that 'hair' off and the size, shape, color, whatever is all there for everyone to see and enjoy.

Hate to tell you, but God put that there for a reason and only the terminally lazy need it shaved to find out what's underneath.

Some times, the finding out is the best part.

Dante said...

My breasts, if it is not too bold a figure to call so two hard, firm, rising hillocks, that just began to shew themselves, or signify anything to the touch, employ'd and amus'd her hands a-while, till, slipping down lower, over a smooth track, she could just feel the soft silky down that had but a few months before put forth and garnish'd the mount-pleasant of those parts, and promised to spread a grateful shelter over the seat of the most exquisite sensation, and which had been, till that instant, the seat of the most insensible innocence. Her fingers play'd and strove to twine in the young tendrils of that moss, which nature has contrived at once for use and ornament.

Wow, even with "hillocks" for breasts, female on female sex really gives a rise. Soft tendrils of that moss.

I wonder how the Althouse women feel about this. Repulsed, like most women I meet are by male on male sex? Or is this OK. My guess is the later.


Fanny has been castigated in recent times for its distaste on the subject of what she calls "male misses".

As for imagery, hillocks was only the beginning.

Budded rotundities, convenient dairies, portals of ecstasy, and wooded coverts were also employed.

Sounds a little better, don't it?

Chuck said...

Ahh, Justice Tom Clark. Former U.S. Attorney General, and the father of former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

You know about the U.S. Department of Justice. It is that federal agency that the Republicans have been accused of politicizing.

But when Harry Truman nominated Tom C. Clark to the Supreme Court, the New York Times called Clark "a personal and political friend [of Truman's] with no judicial experience and few demonstrated qualifications."

Eisler, Kim Isaac (1993). A Justice for All: William J. Brennan, Jr., and the decisions that transformed America. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 76. ISBN 0-671-76787-9.

Justice Clark served on the court up to the time when Lyndon Johnson wanted to put Thurgood Marshall on the Court. So Johnson named Ramsey Clark, the Justice's son, as U.S. Attorney General, which placed pressure on Justice Clark to resign. At least that is one story. The other story is that Johnson made a grand deal, that he'd name Marshall to the court and Ramsey Clark to Attorney General, if Tom Clark would resign his place on the Supreme Court.

Dante said...

edutcher:

don't really know. Upon a co-worker's suggestion, I once went to a strip club. I was so repulsed, he took me out of there. Years later, I again was taken to a strip club by a co-worker, and I was incredibly thrilled by it.

But, I work in Silicon Valley, in engineering, and it's 98% males I deal with. So maybe that had something to do with it.

Anyway, who cares what people do, until they decide to have a family, and then it's pretty clear. Kids come first. Though, as I get older, I wonder if one can divorce previous behavior from later behavior. Still, I would never force behavior.

kcom said...

"The other unmentioned Justice? Byron White."

You mean "Whizzer"?!

edutcher said...

Dante, all I was doing was comparing language, the lyrical to the graphic.

As I say, and it sounded like you agree, the lyrical makes it sound better.

PS Coming from programming, a lot of the guys I worked with were solid family men who went home after work.

Maybe engineers are different, but Dilbert suggests otherwise.

EDH said...

Back when Massachusetts was known for being prudish.

Like I've said before, it's you motherfucking transplants from the rest of the country that turned it into a sexual bacchanalia!

Smilin' Jack said...

He avoids actual quotations from the book because it would "debase" the set of volumes that contain U.S. Supreme Court opinions.

Yes, musn't debase the proud record containing such noble examples of inspiring jurisprudence as Dredd Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Korematsu.

virgil xenophon said...

Well, Smilin' Jack, I happen to think Korematsu was rightly decided from a Constitutional standpoint; now whether it was politically or morally wise is another matter..

Anglelyne said...

Where's Peter? How can there not be a comment from Peter on this thread?

Anglelyne said...

Is Miller the case that elicited my favorite attempt at a definition of obscenity (Tribe?): it has to "turn you on and gross you out at the same time"?

David said...

The improvements that this decision has brought to mankind are nearly impossible to calculate.

Sigivald said...

edutcher said: Hate to tell you, but God put that there for a reason and only the terminally lazy need it shaved to find out what's underneath.

I honestly can't tell if that's a joke or not.

But on the off chance it isn't, did God also put facial hair there for a reason, and thus only the terminally lazy put forth constant effort to be clean-shaven?

Nonsense. Utter bollocks.

Inga said...

Hairy bollocks at that. That's our eddy.

William said...

It's sad to reflect that I belong to that primitive generation that wanked off to the written word. It's like rubbing sticks together to light a fire. Endlessly time consuming. America is a much more productive country now that porn delivery is so improved....And I'm sure that the terrible quality of porn in those days led to many disastrous marriages and relationships.

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