I think of myself as relatively well informed, but every so often I learn of some new ugliness found on the underbelly of our species. Silly me; from time to time I even begin to think our species is a noble one.
A recent Supreme Court decision has struck down a law forbidding the distribution of films depicting illegal cruelty to animals.
The fact that the Court would strike this law down can be viewed as tragic in its own right. That's not what is so disturbing me, though. What is really horrifying about this is the reason the law was created in the first place. It was enacted during the Clinton administration to combat a then up-and-coming trend:
Crush-fetish videos, favored by a segment of our population who finds something sexually gratifying about live-action depictions of women crushing rodents, kittens, and other small mammals to death with the spikes of their high heels.
USA Today, CNN, the LA Times are all reporting this quite casually——almost like it's no big deal. Yet I had no idea whatsoever that this kind of depravity even existed. It appears to be so prevalent that most people are already aware of it.
By comparison, the test case that came up before the court seems almost tame——a fellow who wants to sell videos of pit bulls fighting brought the case to the court, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. In his favor is the fact that the current law is so sweeping that it would technically make it illegal for animal rights activists to show the crimes the spirit of their activist causes. The court agrees, and now this fellow will be able to print and sell his dog-fight videos, alongside "Girls Gone Wild."
This is what it has come to. In a world of pedophile priests, crush-video sadists, snuff-film collectors, ordinary dog-fighting fans have begun to seem almost wholesome.
The court carefully notes that it does not condone crush videos, but can't see any reason to forbid dog-fight enthusiasts their fun.