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Last week, someone wrote an outraged letter to the Chicago Tribune about the heartbreak of driving behind a van whose occupants were watching a dirty movie. Apparently the letter writer got enough of an eyeful that it made her want to cry. And I thought, Oh settle down, looney-pants!

What she should, in fact, do is move to Tennessee, where state lawmakers want to ban dirty movies in vans, cars and limos because, I guess, it's Tennessee and they have nothing better to do.

Unfortunately the bill, sponsored by Republican (of course) Representative Bubba Pleasant (Seriously. There exists an actual person named Bubba Pleasant, and he holds elective office. And he don't want you watchin' no pornos in yer pickup, y'hear?), appears doomed due to civil liberties and privacy reasons.

But this is just the best fucking story I've heard all week! Here are a bunch of weird little people clutching their tiny scraps of power trying to pass a law to correct an outrage that I would guess few people realized even existed! (Although Bubba Pleasant asserts, "It's gotten to be a problem with these movies that are obscene in limousines and vans." He did not specify where else they might be obscene, or whether that's already covered by existing laws.)

I mean, who are all these people watching porn and driving? And where are they going that they can't wait till they get home before busting out the stroke tapes? How do they decide who gets to be designated driver, because clearly someone has to be in charge, right? "I've already jacked off today, Bob, so you and Tony can sit in the back and watch Tight Teen Tramps while I guide us through the White Castle drive-thru."

Adds Bubba Pleasant: "This would not take away anybody's rights. If you want to watch dirty movies in your van, put up screens or shades. You can have your rights, and me and my family and our friends don't have to sit at a red light and watch somebody have intercourse right in front of our children."

God bless America!

Replies: 13 Confessions

Next up: laws against that sinful dancing that we've been seeing in the Hollywood movies! Also: the Earth is flat, God is your co-pilot, and the Prez'dent knows more than we do. How Pleasant, Bubba.

jima @ 03/28/2003 02:28 PM CST

I assume he means he does not have to watch SOMEONE ELSE have intercourse in front of his children.

elavil @ 03/28/2003 03:08 PM CST

Despite the fact that, yes, indeed, Bubba Pleasant has introduced this egregious bill into the Tennessee legislature, you paint my state with an uninformed brush. In many ways, Tennessee is more progressive than Illinois. For example, ever hear of TennCare? It's a state program that provides medical insurance for those who are poor and/or uninsurable. It provides, at the very least, adequate healthcare for every child in the state, regardless of a parent's ability to pay for it.

Or did you realize that, at the state level, our government is predominently Democrat? We have made errors lately at the national level, but those errors are easily corrected in the next election. Did you know that, in the last election, despite stiff opposition from the White House, Tennessee elected a Democrat governor, and a pretty forward-thinking one at that?

Did you know that, thanks to a Tennessee-based company that manufactures electric-powered buses, the mass transit system in Chattanooga does not contribute to air pollution? Or that we have consistently upheld clean air standards, even when those in the nation rejected them? Are you aware that Tennessee (with nothing but time on its hands, since there is nothing better to do here) exports a good deal of its hydro-generated (relatively clean) electrical power to states like Illinois?

Sure, we have our Bubba Pleasants; every southern family has at least one crackpot in it. But it is unfair to characterize an entire family based on the behavior of one weird uncle. It would be like me saying that, because there is evidence of organized crime in Chicago, all folks from Illinois are crooks.

Unfortunately, the further east one goes in this state, the more likely it becomes that one will find hard-nosed conservative Christian thinking. But at last count, I think the most recent Memphis (that's Memphis, Tennessee) antiwar rally had numbers equal to those in Chicago. Not bad for a city that's considerably smaller in size.

I sincerely sympathize with your frustrations concerning good ol' Bubba; believe me, I share them. But it troubles me to know you feel we are all like him.

Thanks for listening. I still believe you have one of the more interesting sites on the Web, and will continue to follow the adventures of the Rubber Nun.

GK @ 03/29/2003 10:01 AM CST

GK, I'm sorry if I portrayed Tennessee unfairly. I don't think all Tennesseeans are like Bubba Pleasant. And I certainly don't believe Illinois is any sort of progressive model for the nation.

If this story had taken place in any state -- say, if the bill had been proposed by some oddly named Republican congresscreature from Michigan or New Jersey or Wyoming -- I probably would have written this post pretty much the same way. I meant to criticize the stupid, wrongheaded and absurd ways state lawmakers go about their business -- using their miniscule power championing pointless laws that affect almost no one (but boost their "family values" quotient) rather than using their office to help actual people. I'll freely admit a bias against Bible-Belt thinking, but I know it's not limited by geography. There are just as many dumbfucks in my state as anywhere else.

amyc @ 03/29/2003 10:44 AM CST

After rereading your post, I guess it's me who owes you the apology. I overreacted. Chalk it up to an acute sensitivity triggered by Mr. Bush's war. Sorry.

GK @ 03/29/2003 11:49 AM CST

I don't think you need to apologize. At first glance, it probably looks like I was just making fun of southerners. I should have been clearer.

See, now -- that's a peaceful way to solve a dispute! Why aren't people like us in charge of the government?

amyc @ 03/29/2003 01:12 PM CST

Because then Fox News and CNN and the rest wouldn't have any explosions to put on the TV.

Also: RATIONAL DISCOURSE: DISPUTE RESOLVED looks stupid when run in front of a waving flag.

Phineas @ 03/29/2003 01:31 PM CST

I think that the increase in mobile masturbation directly correlates to the blog boom on the internet. With so much time spent reading the epic posts of Steven Den Beste, what warblooger has the time to visit porn sites? It comes down to a simple allocation of time, concentration, and arm strength.

In a world of increasing information sources demanding our time, combined with the stress of day-to-day survival, who has time to indulge in the Solitary Vice of watching hot girl-on-girl-on-girl-on-guy-on-girl action? For the record, I am strongly against watching porn while driving unless, of course, you're driving a Hummer, because there is something so right about that idea.

Driving tip: if you see someone driving a car for miles with the blinker going for no reason, that usually means they're masturbating. Yes, even the old people.

Think about it...or don't.

tbogg @ 03/30/2003 01:36 PM CST

Hmmm.... ya know, come to think of it, I *did* date a Tennessee girl who confessed to frequent masturbation on long drives- while driving, I should add (I guess women are, indeed, better at multitasking). However, such events always occured on the long, boring drive through Mississippi. Perhaps it's really our neighbor to the south that needs the law?

MJ @ 03/30/2003 05:46 PM CST

Adds Bubba Pleasant: "This would not take away anybody's rights. If you want to watch dirty movies in your van, put up screens or shades. You can have your rights, and me and my family and our friends don't have to sit at a red light and watch somebody have intercourse right in front of our children."

Who's filming Bubba's children watching porn?

Charlie @ 03/31/2003 05:10 PM CST

MJ--if you'd ever driven through Mississippi on US 61 or Interstate 55, you'd understand your friends masturbatory proclivity.
Damn, it's boring.

Jude @ 04/01/2003 09:05 AM CST

Dammit, I missed an apostrophe. Please note that the word "friends" in the above post should not be the pluralization of the noun "friend." Rather, it should be the possessive of the singular noun--i.e., "friend's." Than you.
(Yes, that one was on purpose--comic effect and all.)

Jude @ 04/01/2003 09:07 AM CST

iike your web site it is great

dudu @ 09/08/2004 04:01 AM CST

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