Breathes there a man so dead that he never to himself hath said, "God, this video stinks"?

America isn't the only producer of bad porn videos. But we've got a special talent for it, just like we do for repressive politicians and constitutional infringement.

I admit, I've made my contribution to the bad-porn genre. When I was 20, I did a wrestling fetish video. The other model and I wrestled naked on a trampoline--I'm not kidding--in the producer's privacy-fenced backyard, while he stood on a picnic table and filmed us. Not exactly Andrew Blake-style production values, but hey--it was American do-it-yourselfism in action.

Several years later, a dancer at a strip club approached me. "Hey, want to go make a porn video with me? This guy I know wants to shoot tonight." We went to somebody's condo downtown and made what I'm sure was a very tepid video. Fake cunnilingus, spanking, and some strap-on action. Just for kicks, I told her to suck the dildo before I fucked her with it, which seemed to disturb our employer. I bet he edited that part out. I wouldn't know, though, because I never saw or cared about the finished product. Good American that I am, I just wanted the money.

But now, like a fetish Horatio Alger, I'm producing my own videos. I like creating a product I'm proud of, and I'd like to make more high-quality fetish videos. But then I think about Robert Zicari and Janet Romano. They're the owners of Extreme Associates, a hardcore porn video company, and they were recently arraigned on a 10-count indictment for the production and distribution of obscene materials. It's the first major federal obscenity prosecution in over a decade, and John Ashcroft hopes that this case, which could send Zicari and Romano to prison for up to 50 years, is just the start of more successful obscenity prosecutions.

Great. Has anyone read Mr. Ashcroft the First Amendment? And the worst part is that technically, EA videos aren't even BDSM. But much of their content--rough sex, face slapping, simulated rape, verbal humiliation, golden showers--is common to BDSM videos. I'd like to include it in mine, without worrying about the feds coming after me.

Unfortunately, my freedom of speech is on hold as long as Georgie and his minions are in office. I only hope that November 2004 sends them back to that vile Texas dust from whence they sprung--unwept, unhonored, and definitely unsung.