Apr 26, 2009
Livingston County has more self-appointed community censors
One thing there is no shortage of in Livingston County is self-appointed community censors, and the latest are Oceola Township resident Mary Pruneau and Iosco Township resident Marta Soto.
The two are urging a boycott of the recently opened Family Video store in Howell after discovering they apparently have a small room in the back where you can rent X-rated videos. Apparently, deciding not to rent one is not enough for the pair, and they want to tell you want you can and can’t rent, too.
The pair wrote letters to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, and because it apparently was a slow news day they picked up on it. Livingston County has a history of such self-appointed censors, like the group that tried to censor mannequins at Victoria’s Secret.
A group of parishioners at Green Oak Township's Holy Spirit Catholic Church launched a letter writing campaign against the Victoria’s Secret store in the then new Green Oak Village Place in the fall of 2006 because they were dressed in lingerie. A few days later the group also targeted a new adult video, lingerie and novelties store in Brighton.
At about the same time that group was in full swing, the anti-gay hate group called LOVE - (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) launched its book-banning quest; first with the book “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them” and then it went after Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison's first novel, "The Bluest Eye," and an acclaimed memoir written by Richard Wright in 1945, "Black Boy, " as well as the classic Kurt Vonnegut novel "Slaughterhouse Five.”
Like many people, I was surprised the store had an x-rated section. The Family Video store opened just a month or so ago, and I joined shortly after that. I like the inexpensive prices, including free kid’s movies. Since joining I have rented at least a couple of movies every week,
The newspaper helpfully listed the titles of some of the adult titles available, such as Blondage," “Girls Behind Bars,” “Bad Wives" and "Girls Get Hot." After renting movies there, I know anyone would invite the embarrassment of the clerk saying, “Terminator 2 is due back Wednesday and Girls Get Hot is due back Saturday.”
It’s great to see a new business thriving in the City of Howell. For a number of years the location was a sporting goods store, but it moved to a new location a few miles east down Grand River Avenue to a strip mall in Genoa Township. The single building housed a shoe store for a few months, but they left, too.
After sitting empty for some time, the company that owns Family Video gutted the building but for a few walls and developed a beautiful building. I’m not sure how many people it employees, but it would be a shame if a few small-mined people cost employees their jobs.
I have some simple advice for Ms. Pruneau Ms. Soto: don’t rent them. Better yet, go to Blockbuster, but stop the ridiculous boycott.
Pruneau makes the false claim that pornography “increases violence toward women.” That’s simply not true. The problem with that argument is that even though pornography is more widespread and available than ever online, violence against women is down. Since 1993, according to the FBI crime statistics, rape is down 72 percent and other sexual assaults have fallen by 68 percent. Even in the last two years, when the FBI reported up ticks in violent crime, the number of rapes continued to fall.