The Harrowing Tale of My Wikipedia Edit

by Clifton Smith

When surfing the Web recently for info on writer/infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I notice that her Wikipedia entry contains many “citation needed” notices.

Good Samaritan that I try to be, I decide to try to improve the quality and reliability of this Wikipedia entry.

Better Samaritan that I try to be, I decide to share with [sic] readers how this process unfolds.

Awesome. Continue reading Infidel:

This Document is Rated X…

for Aberrational Honesty: Arguments for Ignoring MPAA Ratings

by Clifton Smith

Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be.

—Bertrand Russell,
   Marriage and Morals

Ahead, I will discuss documentarian Kirby Dick’s This Film is Not Yet Rated and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Those involved with the MPAA claim its purpose is to warn consumers about potentially objectionable material (sex, violence, language, and drug use, for example) in films. It does this, but in a way that outsiders, myself included, often find puzzling. Continue reading This Document is Rated X…

An Editorial Debate

by Jonathan Hust and Clifton Smith

This exchange took place between our contributor Jonathan Hust and co-editor Clifton Smith. It concerns Jonathan’s addition of a “Current Must-Hear Shortlist” to his Review of Autumn of the Seraphs, also featured in this issue. The list includes five additional albums and a numeric rating; it prompted the following editorial debate. Continue reading An Editorial Debate

Song Analysis Correspondence (Part Two)

by Jonathan Hust and Clifton Smith

This is the second part of an ongoing correspondence.


Why should we bother with all of this song scrutiny? What possible good could all of this extra thinking amount to? Isn’t it enough to like whatever we like as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody?
Continue reading Song Analysis Correspondence (Part Two)

Sex in the Film Shortbus

by Clifton Smith
Collaborator: Trevor Helminski

A noteworthy aspect of John Cameron Mitchell’s film Shortbus is that it contains explicit sex. Only a handful of serious films (films that, unlike pornography, attempt more than sexual excitation) have included explicit sex. The most noteworthy aspect of Shortbus is that it gives us explicit, realistic sex in which the participants benefit sexually and psychologically from the sex.

Continue reading Sex in the Film Shortbus