Family Overfriendly

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Memo to Daniel Thompson: YOU ARE DUMB.

At this point, it's moved beyond comedy correlation. It's moved beyond comedy rule. If you are promoting what is traditionally referred to as "family values", you are doing something in secret that you don't want us to know about. Something filthy and dirty and odds are, illegal. Period.

So champion one married man and one married woman, neither of whom had ever seen another person's genitals until their wedding night, who then proceed to make babies with an absolute minimum of pleasure for the rest of their intimate lives. Go nuts. Hold rallies. Make signs. Picket porn shops and gay weddings. To your heart's content. But don't get upset when we assume you've got a dungeon in your basement full of sex toys, underage prostitutes, and farm animals. Because you do, and we both fucking know it, don't we?

Daniel Thompson was already semi-famous for a classic bit of wingnut, family-values stupidity. Remember the big to-do from a few years ago when certain video stores were taking it upon themselves to edit down R-rated and PG-13 movies for their humble, Godly clientèle? Religious hicks from Utah and elsewhere who wanted to be part of pop-culture without seeing a nipple? Well, Daniel Thompson was big into that. He ran various shops in Orem, Utah - "CleanFlicks" and "Flix Club", depending on when you look - that sold and rented the movies.

Those things have always pissed me off anyway. You don't get to decry the crudeness and depravity of culture on the one hand, and get to talk about how "Mr. Woodcock" ended around the water cooler on the other hand. You can be a prude and isolate yourself OR join the rest of us in our media-obsessed everyday lives. Thompson was letting them eat their cake and have it too. And speaking of eating it and having it...

Things were rough enough after legal rulings in favor of the Directors' Guild effectively outlawed the practice. In December, Flix Club shut down after almost two years of trying to pretend they were an "educational" business. And then Thompson had to go and get arrested on charges of getting blowjobs from fourteen-year-old girls. Oh, sure, He said he thought they were 18, but "they" always say they thought they were 18. "They" also say they love listening to Hannah Montana and eating candy in their van.

Oh, and then, as part of the investigation into the incident, which allegedly saw Thompson and a compatriot paying for the Oral in Orem from a pair of enterprising young teens who were looking to raise the money to leave home, the police searched the Flix Club store, and found what they allege is an underground pornography ring, with cameras and computers and multiple copies of various titles. And it's not like they can claim these were just the hardcore anal sex scenes they cut out of copies of Superbad and Delta Farce. OK, maybe Delta Farce.

It's classic. And the worst part about it is that you've gotta wonder if the name itself, with its equally classic LI combination that makes for a double-taking all-caps sign (FLIX CLUB) wasn't Thompson thumbing his fake blue nose at all the supposedly real bluenoses coming for their fix of good clean fun. Laughing as they never noticed the typographical entendre, then retiring to his back room to get his hardcore porn on, the clean, morally upstanding folk of Orem none the wiser.

But it's just as likely that every single one of his customers, coming in to get tittie-free copies of Titanic, or cleaned-up copies of Pirates 3, went home, plopped their spawn in front of the DVD player, then snuck downstairs to get their freak on with goats and latex. All a carefully orchestrated surface veneer of holier-than-thou, concealing all the things the family values crowd wants to stop us from seeing and doing, plus much, much worse.