Naked Pictures of Bea Arthur

by on May 5, 2009 · 14 comments

… could be illegal under a proposed Massachusetts (per Boing Boing) law that would make it a crime to “photograph with ‘lascivious intent’ a person over the age of 60 or a person with a disability who has been declared mentally incompetent.”  Like the recent prosections of teens for sending nude pictures of themselves on Myspace under child pornography laws, the Massachusetts proposal would criminalize the sharing of “lascivious” photos regardless of the consent of the person being photographed.

Arthur would be turning in her (recently-dug) grave.  Dorothy Zbornak (her most famous character) might not have been much of a libertarian—it seems safe to assume she, like most progressive Catholics (however fictional) voted for Mondale—but one can easily imagine how her withering sarcasm would lay bare (no pun intended) the noxious paternalism underlying this proposal:  It’s bad enough that the government treats adults like children, assuming we’re all not smart enough to make good decisions for ourselves, but must the State really draw a line in the sand beyond which age (60, in this case) Americans officially lose their status as adults and revert to a second childhood in the eyes of the law?

Dorothy and the other Golden Girls would never stand for it.  One can only imagine the rage of  aging beauty Blanche Devereaux at the crimp this law would have put in her (previously thriving) sex life.

Those who don’t get the title’s reference to the 1994 classic Airheads, or who just plain don’t care for the Golden Girls’ geriatric charms, might nonetheless be crestfallen to realize that the bill could also deny the world naughty pics of  developmentally disabled sex kittens like Susan Boyle, the surprise star of Britain’s “Got Talent” (essentially American Idol with worse teeth).  (Of course, the bill would apply only if Susan were declared mentally incompetent).

Ah, Susan, be still my beating heart!

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