The Very Best Thing: Pornotopia Sticks It To The Man

Elisa McGovern
3 min read
The Very Best Thing
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Albuquerque saw its fair share of arts awesomeness in 2013. ArtBar by Catalyst Club finally opened its doors and began raking in the dough for local arts organizations. Metropolis Comic Art unleashed a gallery full of crowd-pleasing pop culture interpretations on the Duke City. And the Tannex put up a paint-by-numbers mural of Al Hurricane, and all the coolest kids turned out to show their community colors.

But one thing stands out as the Very Best because its impact will be felt for years to come. Read Elisa McGovern’s explanation and see if you don’t agree. Yay freedom! (Lisa Barrow)

Pornotopia Sticks It To The Man

On Sept. 12, the State Supreme Court handed The Man (aka the City of Albuquerque) his ass, legally speaking. The takedown came in the form of a 4-1 decision overturning convictions related to the Pornotopia Film Festival. Despite three years of litigation—and several hundred thousands of your tax-supplied dollars—the City was unable to convince the majority that one weekend of erotica transformed the Guild Cinema into a filthy den of cinematic sin smack dab in the center of picturesque Nob Hill.

The Court’s decision is a win for freedom of expression for Albuquerque’s arts. It guarantees protection for any theater, gallery or other venue that chooses to occasionally feature adult entertainment.

Those who would wail and gnash teeth in distress at porn taking over the city, consider this: Not every venue wants to host adult material. And adult material encompasses more than you think. The zoning code says anything showing, simulating or
discussing naughty bits is adult material. “Yes! Nasty! Adult-y!” the outraged, puritanical minds will say. But then The Vagina Monologues is technically adult material. Or The 40-Year-Old Virgin—the entire plot of which is about a guy getting laid and his friends talking about it—is adult material. These shows are targeted toward an adult audience, as is Pornotopia. Yet no one is picketing Popejoy Hall and Century 24.

Come to think of it, almost no one has picketed Pornotopia. But they could. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment: It also protects your right to peacefully assemble in protest. If anyone does come down to protest, they’ll find intelligent and thoughtful people interested in depictions of real human sexuality and the beauty of sexual expression. Fine folks who give great conversation.
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