“For the children” of the day

Sometimes I stumble across things that make me upset, and I want to post about them, but then I find I find out that the news is months old. This is one of those times, but I’m going to post about it anyway because there was a recent update to the story. Take that, standards of relevance!

Today I found out that a singer named Evan Emory was facing jail time and the sex offender registry for a video he made and posted to Youtube. He was being charged with manufacturing child sexual abusive material, or in other words, making child porn. Today he made a plea deal for 60 days of jail time and two years probation.

But here’s the catch: his video was simply a video of him singing an explicit song on his guitar, spliced in with images of kids reacting to someone singing to them in a classroom. The children never heard the song – and this was explicitly mentioned in the video’s disclaimer.

So let’s think about this. What makes this so heinous? I obviously understand that it’s tasteless and crude, but is it criminal? Is it child pornography? Not remotely close.

There is certainly no drought of sexually explicit songs in the mainstream music industry. Any doubters may want to look up songs by Ludacris or Juvenile, among others. Or search for “Khia” for a Youtube hit even more explicit than Evan’s video – it has 4.5 million views.

So maybe it was the fact that it was set in a children’s classroom, or to the tune of a children’s song? Well we should lock up Gilda Radner, Steven Lynch, Katy Perry (and the SNL staff) and who knows how many thousands of Youtube comedians.

Okay so maybe it’s the illusion of having children react to inappropriate adult situations? Well then we’d best get Jimmy Kimmel and Dave Chappelle in cuffs.  Chappelle might have to serve life, since in his video, kids were actually present.

The only issue I see here is in his using footage of the children’s faces without permission – which is something the parents could certainly sue for, but isn’t a crime. This is just another example of the government exploiting its power, in the name of the children, to ignore the First Amendment and exercise a little of its muscle in the hopes of getting some votes. It’s disgusting and it’s wrong – far more repulsive than Mr. Emory’s video. And that’s saying something.

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