If you don’t know what a crush video is, you might not want to. Really. I’ve been in animal rescue long enough to see things that would give some people PTSD. The idea of crush videos still makes my lunch want to come up and my brain want to shut down.
The fact that there is an entire industry out there based on people’s consumption of something so truly repugnant makes me want to turn in my membership to the human race and reenlist as a once-celled organism.
Today, the Supreme Court overturned a ban on crush videos, dog fighting videos, and other videos depicting acts of horrendous animal cruelty, claiming that they are protected under the First Amendment.
They say the law, as it is written, is too broad. I get it. I’m an idealist, but I’m not stupid. I understand that there are protections and subtleties and so on and so forth. But if child porn is illegal, then why aren’t depictions of felony animal cruelty? Really, Justice Roberts, I’m waiting. Call me.
The crush video industry was pretty much dead in the water as a result of the ban, but not anymore. Justice Alito, in his dissent, states,
We are told that '[b]y 2007, sponsors of §48 declared the crush video industry dead. Even overseas Websites shut down in the wake of §48. Now, after the Third Circuit's decision [facially invalidating the statute], crush videos are already back online.
While the ruling is an existential kick in the gut, the soul-annihilating bucket-of-truth here is that cases like this one and the case last week, in which authorities in Washington State shut down a bestiality sex-tourism business (some of the animals so badly injured they had to be euthanized), serve to demonstrate the enormity of the problem. It offers a glimpse into a shockingly sick, widespread culture of child sex traffickers, dog fighters, rapists, pedophiles, people who get off on watching women in high heels crush kittens to death, and so on and so forth.
Once someone has pulled back the curtain and your eyes have been exposed to this festering corner of hell, the world never looks the same again.
I’m hardly thin-skinned. I can handle personal hardship and come back twice as strong. I can stomach a whole lot of man’s inhumanity to man, to animals, and to just about everything else. But this shit hits me like a tsunami. It feels that big and I feel just that small and powerless to stop it. I feel like the world has gotten away from me and it’s as out of reach as a kid’s balloon floating above a supermarket parking lot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to start calling my lawyer friends, advocates, lobbyists, and anyone else I can think of. I’m going to dust myself off and figure out what I have to do to help get this thing fixed.
But that’s tomorrow.
Right now, all I can do is go stand in the shower and cry until the hot water runs out.