Does this seem ironic to you: our local library allows adults to use the internet filter-free. If they want to look at porno, they’re asked (not forced, but asked) to use a privacy screen (picture cardboard wings attached to the side of the computer.) When questioned about it, I’m told that the computers in the children’s section do have filters, and that children are free from porno. In the children’s section. But not if they have to walk with their mommies to the “Learn Italian in 10 Easy Lessons” section. And not if they walk out of the children’s section on their own 2 feet because they are teens and would like to read something other than “Mr. Putter and Tabby Paint the Porch.” And, just because they’re children doesn’t mean they can’t use the adult computers.
Second, I’m told that it’s free speech.
Last I checked, pictures were not speech. And nude bodies on the streets are not allowed anywhere except Oregon because that’s indecent exposure. So, why are nude bodies on a computer screen suddenly called “speech”? What makes the real thing a no-no but a picture, touched up and posed, okay?
Now, I’m not going to argue that Tom Thumb can’t do what he wants to do on his home computer. If the law allows it in private, and he and his spouse think it’s hunky-dory, fine. In private. But why should I, or my children, or the little boys who may grow up to date my daughters, come across someone’s sex drive on a library computer? It isn’t really a free country, Mr. Washington. It’s set up to protect the innocent, to promote the good of the majority, and to get Bad Hair Reps reelected. It is not set up to provide Has to Buy It with a public spot to enjoy a little looky-looky. And I resent that in a time when the libraries have to close early and stay closed an extra day and have canceled Story Time 3 months of the year because we’re facing a budget crisis, some of those dollars are going to provide What’s Happening in His Pants? with a peep-show.
On a good note, I think the teen boy was appropriately embarrassed. Not enough to leave the library, but enough to step away from the computer. Hope they sanitized that thing.