A Big Pornographic Middle Finger to University of Iowa’s Tom Rocklin

6 03 2010

Screw you on videotape, Tom Rocklin.

I didn’t set out to make this week the official Unhipster Celebration of Pornography week, but sometimes events larger than yourself conspire to decide your actions. Since I spotlighted the delightful and deviant Final Flesh earlier this week (and since I found a sweet link in my bookmarks that might magically bolster my page views), it seemed like an apropos time to discuss some semi-current events.

Recently, University of Iowa Vice President of Student Services Tom Rocklin decided to cancel a screening of “Disco Dolls in Hot Skin” at the university movie house. You can read about it further at the University of Iowa’s newspaper (and what I like to consider as Unhipster’s sister publication) The Daily Iowan.

You may note that this article is from just over a month ago. I know that this is not a particularly outstanding example of timely journalism, but come on. If you’re coming to this blog for your hard-hitting, up-to-the-minute University of Iowa info, then you have problems far beyond being a month out of step with the rest of the world.

What I fail to understand in this controversy is just what Tom Rocklin thought he could accomplish here, besides making himself look like an uptight schmuck. It’s not like everybody at UI isn’t over 18. We can proudly festoon our dorm rooms and apartments with pornography and sex paraphernalia of all sizes and descriptions without fear of being prosecuted.

It’s not like people didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. If you walk into a film called “Disco Dolls in Hot Skin” with the assumption that it’s going to be a heartwarming movie about CGI stuffed animals that the whole family can enjoy, then you clearly have a tenuous grasp of what words mean. It’s not like janitors would have been sweeping up the shards of shattered monocles for days afterward.

And it’s not like people were going to public screening of a 1970’s porn movie with the intention of pleasuring themselves, when the internet functions largely as a ubiquitous purveyor of smut.

So who was Tom Rocklin trying to protect in this situation? His own ass. I fail to see any harm coming from showing a ludicrous porn movie to a consenting audience. Mr. Rocklin was only trying to quash the smallest, most insignificant level of controversy imaginable. I can’t even figure out who Rocklin thought was going to be outraged by this. The two conservatives in Iowa City?

18 year olds can go to college. They can buy porn. They can join the Marines and get serviced sexually overseas by child prostitutes. Then they can get shot and die for their country. They can vote. They can smoke their lungs to cinder. They can buy cough syrup with Dextromethorphan and hallucinate for hours. If they run over a guy while hallucinating, they can spent the rest of their lives in prison. But Lord knows, if a college – an institution catering entirely to adults,  based on freedom of speech, and supposedly designed to promote thought and discussion- showed a blue movie, the world would be plunged into fiery chaos within the week.

But enough with all that. I have a greater purpose with this post. Spawned from the forums of pretty-damn-readable internet publication Something Awful, and brought to life by the folks at Diesel, we have the groundbreaking video “Make Porn Safe for Work.” Even a man of such a delicate constitution as Tom Rocklin would not feel the need to turn away from this pornography, dear readers. It has been altered using the purifying power of Photoshop into a far more wholesome  viewing experience. We’ve had a lot of fun at your expense, Tom, but this one goes out to you. Stay fabulous.

(A note to my mother: Mom, just skip this one. The next post involves puppies and birdies. You’ll dig it. Just trust me.)

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