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Pornotopia CENSORED has been cen ... canceled

As we reported two weeks ago, the city’s zoning enforcers spanked the yearly porn festival put on on by Self Serve. In response, Molly Adler and Matie Fricker, the sex shop’s owners, assembled a showcase of burlesque and music, and promised to put the First Amendment to use. This was all supposed to happen tomorrow night at Sunshine Theater.

But earlier this week, the city informed the Sunshine that it would be attending and scrutinizing the event. Thinking it was unfair to put the venue and the performers at risk, Adler and Fricker called off Pornotopia CENSORED. Read their take here.

I spoke with Fricker today after she and Adler sat down with Tito Madrid, one of Mayor Richard Berry’s representatives, and Matthew Conrad, code enforcement manager. Fricker said they talked about how the zoning code is confusing and requires clarification. “It was our first meeting with someone who kind of understood where we were coming from,” she said.

Last night, a group of about 40 people met with the Self Serve owners and formed the Citizens United For Free Speech, or CUFFS. They’ll be outside Sunshine Theater tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as Self Serve refunds tickets. (You can also get a refund anytime at the shop: 3904 Central SE). CUFFS will be talking to people and gauging interest.

Public Comments (12)
  • This is not healthy.  [ Fri Nov 5 2010 6:14 PM ]

    This breaks my heart. Hookers all over Central Ave, strip clubs, sexist adverts, HIV AIDS, STDs, pregger teens..... healthy sexuality would cure ALL of this sickness. And it would empower people in such subversive ways, it would destroy the capitalist system, conventional religion and the military industrial complex! Bless you for your conviction and heart. Albuquerque hasn't heard the last of us yet.

  • Achy, breaky heart  [ Fri Nov 5 2010 8:52 PM ]

    I'm obviously missing something here...? A "For-profit" enterprise is attempting to have an event to earn bucks - no problem there, that's exactly what I do for a living - but they get shot down due to the material is unwanted by the city. Guess what, we all have to apply for Temporary Licenses, sometimes waivers when we stage events. Sometimes municipalities don't approve. Get over it. The annual whining is not only predictable, but it is tiresome. At least the Alibi naively provides free advertising.

    What a day



  • Statist Tool  [ Sat Nov 6 2010 9:17 AM ]

    Another self-proclaimed patriot defending mindless bureaucrats who have nothing better to do than thwart peaceful assembly by consenting adults.

  • Paidtriotoc  [ Sat Nov 6 2010 10:04 AM ]

    Be sure to thank a service member for killing to protect your freedom to ask the government for permission to wipe your ass.

  • expose them  [ Sat Nov 6 2010 11:48 AM ]

    Each act in Pornotopia CENSORED was deliberately designed to meet the letter of the City’s highly restrictive interpretation of its own zoning regulations.


    The City made it clear that both Zoning Enforcement officers and Special Investigations Divisions officers would attend the performance in number, and that these officers would find a way to shut down and silence an event focused on the importance and power of free speech.

    How did the city communicate this? If there's anything in writing, share it with us!

  • To play by the rules, the rules have to stay consistent  [ Sat Nov 6 2010 2:09 PM ]

    @Pattriot: I'm all for following the rules and bending them a bit here and there. The trouble comes when the rules change every single time you look them up.

    Without going into details -- I'll leave those to Molly and Matie, who can speak with authority -- what happened is this. The people planning Pornotopia chose a venue with appropriate zoning -- playing by the rules -- and called the city to make sure this was fine. They said yes, that's fine. Then, at the last minute, they said no, that's not fine: we're now interpreting the zoning code in a way that forbids what you want to do. Incidentally, their interpretation also renders as "adult entertainment" any film that shows a bare boob. Even one. So the film festival was cancelled.

    The alternative show was planned around their new interpretation of the zoning regs -- trying to play by the rules. But then the city decided that no, if that went down, they'd find some way to shut the event down. If not the zoning code, then some other law. I believe some of this happened in writing. The rest was done through phone calls.

    Bottom line: how can anyone play by the rules when the people in charge are continually changing them and the course of action they approve one day will get you prosecuted the next?

  • Achy, breaky hedonism  [ Sat Nov 6 2010 8:48 PM ]


    Your heart is broken. I'm so sorry. You'll probably never love again.

    The pornfest won't occur again and I am indifferent, yet you are so fervent in your support of "subversiveness"... and why??. Aren't we the best country on the planet?

    Why can't neanderthals, like the unwashed get it? (me). I enjoyed being called a Statist BTW

    Find a computer and dial "porn". You will probably be there instantly. If your need for porn is so intense, you can probably make your own with a carphone equipped with a camera.



  • And You're Surprised?  [ Mon Nov 8 2010 8:34 AM ]

    Let's see, the city gov. is corruput and doesn't play by it's own, ever changing rules? A bunch of youthful, sex-positive people think they can help cure the community of many social and sexual ills by having a pornfest that will open dialouge? Now everyone on both sides are up in arms?

    Sounds like both sides need to re-examine their stances, realize how ridiculous and immature everyone involved is coming across. In fact, what everyone involved needs to do is quit stresing, shut the fuck up and just go and get laid.

    Problem solved.

  • OMG! Not in Albuquerque!  [ Wed Nov 10 2010 7:02 AM ]

    Unbelieveable...this should only happen in Alabama - where I currently reside. I fell in love with the Burque on my first visit several years ago, and I consider it my second home. Specifically, I fell in love with the people. Come on folks, this is a blue state for chrissakes! I don't want to jump out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire!

  • Sweet Home Alabama  [ Wed Nov 10 2010 8:15 PM ]

    Patient Soul, are blue state people more likely to be porn revelers? Just askin'



  • I support the right to express ideas  [ Wed Nov 10 2010 10:16 PM ]

    but I question the motive in this case. If we support free speech, must we also broadcast pornography? If you own a sex shop, I can see the motive.

    But pornography's taboo is it's power, and there's nothing less sexy than making it commonplace. Perhaps the Muslims have it right: taboos create sexiness. I'd hate to live in a nudist, free-sex society where everyone was at a loss to think of something dirty. It wouldn't make life better. Stop telling our kids Santa is a lie.

    That having been said, I totally support gay marriage. That's not a sexual issue, and it's not about taboos. That's respect.

    The city is right on the Pornotopia issue, from a public policy standpoint. We elect officials to make decisions for the good of society. They're not banning pornography. They're preventing some people with a pecuniary interest from shoving pornography in everybody's face for publicity, which is the right decision. The indignant porn people win in any scenario with the press they get. In fact, the bottom line is probably better just crying about being stifled. Win win, and it's still in everyone's face.

  • Shove it in people's faces, eh?  [ Thu Nov 11 2010 12:55 PM ]

    There are some bare brick walls on 2nd street. Who has a projector?

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