I’m appalled at the lack of civility being shown to an upstanding segment of our community: pornographers. These paragons of America’s defining value – freedom – are inexplicably reviled despite ceaseless contributions to the community. Have we no sense of decency? Have we forgotten how much pornography has given us? Early pornographers, like the great Larry Flynt, helped ensure freedom of the press through their righteous battles with local and national obscenity police. But freedom of the press is a very abstract concept, which people will often willingly sacrifice to uphold other values.

Let me put it this way: if you’ve ever gotten head, you probably owe it to pornographers. Oral sex was much less common in the good old days, in part because it was illegal. That’s right, even consenting adults could be jailed all on account of love. Which, ironically, could just result in even more sodomy. This was especially tragic for the ladies, whose best shot at an orgasm might be lurking in someone’s mouth. The pornographers’ righteous crusade to popularize this act could be responsible for your favorite memory.

In that light, I think that our budding pornographers rather deserve a hearty handshake and a slap on the, um… back. Rather than spurn, we should embrace this subculture. The opportunities to expand our knowledge and curriculum are astounding. For example, rumor has it that our Film Studies Dept. once had a pornography class. We should be asking ourselves what happened to it. In a time of severe budget crises, a piece of the $10 billion porn industry pie could do a lot for our school. The Sociology Dept. has the opportunity to examine a new social phenomenon. Computer scientists can work on virtual porn parties, and women’s studies majors can study women. As for the French Dept., well, need I say more? The university should be jumping at the opportunity to offer research grants – or loans; this research could well pay for itself – to fill our current void of knowledge.

The only objection that I’ve heard to these parties is that of perceived exploitation. Remember that all transactions at these events are purely voluntary. Rather than viewing alcohol as a magical potion that forces women to take their tops off, my experience is that parties with alcohol attract people who are already willing to play the naked game. Thus, I find it hard to classify these parties as exploitative. Certainly they are less so than whipping up irrational fears to try and control student behavior. The odds are phenomenally good that, with the mountains of new smut filmed every year, any nudity now will be buried in obscurity before the seniors graduate this spring.

The implication that porn parties “can negatively affect your career, reputation, and life forever,” is manipulative fear mongering. I expect better things from our administration than that. Things like a department of pornography.

Loren Williams is a senior computer science major.