I was not going to mention this, since one of my goals in life is not to turn into an Andy Rooney-style crank. But this development made me wonder why the council, already debating how young men should wear their pants, decided to take up porn on city library computers. Doesn’t it have something better to do?

OK council, pay attention: There are dirty books in the library. There are dirty movies. You can even get a double play — Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and the film Henry & June, about Henry Miller and featuring Uma Thurman in various states of undress. (It’s got a whole lot more naughty stuff in it than that, but I don’t want to get anyone in trouble who is reading this on a city-owned computer.

I realize that Dallas’ Only Daily Newspaper has risen in righteous indignation over this — "Taxpayer dollars are funding a free downtown smut shop." We’ll ignore for a moment that a guardian of free speech is advocating censorship. What I want to know is why 7.5 percent of the pages accessed during one day constitute a smut shop. Would 6 percent be OK? Or do we need to get down to zero? And does zero include someone watching this, from Henry & June? (Again, do not click on the link if you are reading this on a city-owned computer.)

Because, frankly, if I understand the landmark Supreme Court decision on pornography correctly (1973’s Miller vs. California), we’re into community standards here. This is a conservative community, so if The News is advocating restricting access to whatever porn sites are on the library list, it had better be ready to add Henry & June to the list — or Portnoy’s Complaint, for that matter. (Now there’s a cage match I’d like to see: The News vs. Philip Roth.)

Obviously, there’s a difference between the sites on the library list and films and novels that aspire to art. But it’s a slippery slope, to paraphrase the lawyers. I know people who saw Boogie Nights and thought it was disgusting; on the other hand, it was nominated for three Academy Awards. And, for what it’s worth, The News loved it — three stars.

I suggest the council read this before they start jumping and posturing over the library porn issue. I’d suggest The News’ editorial board read it, but I don’t think it would make a difference.

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