MENTAL FLOSS: The Headphone Girl Chronicles, Part 1

PORN VALLEY—Like many publications (and Newt Gingrich), sometimes utilizes online photo galleries to illustrate some of its articles, and one of my all-time favorite photos, discovered by AVN artist Dominique Walton, is one she dubbed "Headphone Girl."

The image, a young redhead against an American flag background, apparently outraged or otherwise scandalized by something she's hearing over her headphones, perfectly capsulizes my (mental) reaction to certain news stories or other bits of information I come across in my browsing on the internet and through newspapers and magazines for things to write about on AVN's website. However, not all of that material is sufficently "meaty" or relevant to the adult industry for me to make into a full article—but it's also not so flawed that I don't think AVN readers wouldn't want to read about it. (Parse that sentence, all you fans of double- and triple-negatives!)

So I decided that once I'd collected enough of these slices of the American consciousness, I'd form them into a sort of potpourri consisting of minor outrages, weird "news," follow-ups on previous stories I've done that don't rate a whole new article, and pretty much any shit that interests me that I think will interest you as well.

So let's begin, shall we?

Last I looked, it was the 21st century around here, so I found it humorous that ex-Rev. Mike Huckabee thought it would be politically advantageous to buzz-kill Natalie Portman's (unmarried) pregnancy on the Michael Medved radio show.

"Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and never have health care," The Huck said. "And that's the story that we're not seeing, and it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out-of-wedlock children."

Yep, that's Portman to a "T"! (Anyway, at least her pregnancy is real...)

Of course, Jos at makes the point that, "The hypocrisy is overwhelming. It’s the Mike Huckabees of the world who want contraception and abortion to be inaccessible and want to destroy government assistance. I guess he only wants there to be one version of the story of what it's like to be a mother outside of traditional marriage to [pair] with the one right way to be a mother (married, of course). And he's gotta be a big fan of shipping off unwedlocked mothers to hide the shame."

But National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez has the answer: Lock all the pregnant teens and their baby-daddies together in their own (religious) charter school.

"We want to discourage them to get pregnant again," the school's prospective founder told K-Lo, "[w]hile creating a 'non-judgmental' environment."(Funny; sounds like judging to me!)

And speaking of 21st century, apparently some people are still getting bent out of shape about "virginity," which Dr. Marty Klein noted seems to be impossible to define in any meaningful way. (Does the hymen have to be intact? Is a female who engages in oral and/or anal but not vaginal sex still a "virgin"?)

It's all because the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control found that since 2002, there's been about a five percent increase in the number of people aged 15-24 who claim never to have had sexual contact with another person. But aside from the fact that everybody lies about sex, the study also noted that of that same age group, 57 percent of whites and 39 percent of blacks and Hispanics admitted to having had oral sex before ever having had intercourse. And despite what Bill Clinton may have claimed, oral sex is sex!

And speaking of sex, what about John "The Amazing Crying Republican" Boner's, er, Boehner's adultery?

And speaking of Republicans, didja hear about the bill that's before the (Republican-dominated) Texas House of Representatives that would make hiring an "unauthorized alien" a crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine? So, no "illegals" working in factories, hospitals, schools, et cetera—except that the bill exempts certain categories where it will be entirely OK to hire the undocumented: Maid, caretaker, lawnworker or any type of houseworker. Good thing the Repugs have their priorities straight!

Also, if you're conservative, forget about coming to Washington to work in politics or as a politician's aide. Andrew Breitbart's minions and others at the Conservative Political Action Conference want you to go to Hollywood and become a "sleeper agent."

"Look at the issue of gay marriage,"  said Breitbart minion John Nolte. "Look how far we've come on gay marriage in 10 years. In the '90s, we were saying 'are we gonna do civil unions, are we okay with that as a country?' Now we're one vote away probably from legalizing gay marriage throughout the country. And that's not politics. That's the culture. That's television and movies and music changing the way we think and changing what we believe."

Doug Giles, writing on, thinks he should be able to smoke anywhere he wants because "American scientists now say that oral cancer caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) has become more prevalent in the U.S. than oral cancer caused by tobacco."

And now ... back to sex!

Speaking of HPV, about half of all men have it.

Georgina Spelvin, star of The Devil In Miss Jones, is now 75. She blogged about it.

And speaking of young people, the prosecutor in Barcelona, Spain, has charged the Sitges Festival of Horror and Fantasy Films, as well as its director, Angel Sala, with producing, selling, distributing, exhibiting or facilitating by any means pornographic material that, even if not showing them directly, implies the use of children, or uses their voices, or contains images of children that have been altered or modified.

At issue is A Serbian Film, which according to one online review, contains footage "depicting" "massive real and rubber dicks being inserted into dead and drugged women, men, and children; eye sockets skull fucked; mouths gagged to the point of suffocation, and infamously, a literally seconds old infant raped to death," although apparently, at least some of that (including the infant rape) happens off-camera.

And in other news, despite the fact that the U.S. has apparently reluctantly decided to support the International Criminal Court (sort of), George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Woo and Jay Bybee still haven't been charged with war crimes, nor has Barack Obama (for his recent decision to keep certain Guantanamo detainees imprisoned there indefinitely)—but Bradley Manning is about to be.

Also, Ed Meese (didn't they name a commission after him?) is going to be honored at the 2011 Values Voter Summit. Get your tickets now. (Or not: The "fear center" in your brain might not be as big as those of Repugnicans.)

Looks like the Heritage Foundation isn't conservative enough for some people. Y'see, they apparently did a study that found that, "a lot of young evangelicals have a good passion about caring for people in need and we want to say 'Amen' to that passion...  What we're trying to argue is that if you really care about poverty, if you really understand what poverty is, it's not just material in nature. It's not just a lack of money or finances that the government can come along and meet. Given who we are as human beings, we have a wide range of needs—and a true approach to helping people in need takes into account all of those approaches."

But who knew that "Socialism is a false, deceitful view of man and government. It seeks to do things to people while it undermines individual responsibility and private capital," responded James Rose, founder of the American Christian History Institute. "This view of man and government appears to offer safety and security and to supply our needs and wants, [but in fact] it makes the individual more and more dependent on public policy and less and less able to be independent and self-governing."

And now, back to sex!

Insane religious radio personality Dennis Prager got bent out of shape about a Northwestern University professor holding an after-hours session where a woman was brought to orgasm, complete with ejaculation, by her boyfriend using a "fucksaw."

And in case you were wondering, the rich can get into heaven easier than a camel can pass through the eye of a needle. However, it might be difficult for nun-raping priests the Vatican just confirmed are still "practicing the gospel" in 23 countries.

Ans speaking of needles, the First Baptist Church of Cannonsburg, Ky., together with Tennessee's Baptist Global response, have put together "In-Home Care Kits" for the 22 million HIV-positive sub-Saharan Africans. It consists of five-gallon buckets containing "medical and hygiene supplies to help the Christian caregivers and to ease the suffering of people affected by terminal illness [and] most of the items in the kit—from lip balm to clean sheets—would be completely unavailable to the patients." Yet, oddly enough, there are no condoms!

And thank heavens that the Kansas House Judiciary Committee knows that wrong is wrong, no matter what the Constitution or the Supreme Court say!

"Well, at least Augustine didn't explicitly forbid rubber wetsuits, fuzzy handcuffs, vibrating crucifixes, octopus, ceiling-mounted swings, clamps, chocolate pudding, flavored lubricants, Wonder Woman costumes, rubber chickens, exotic headware, whipped cream, video cameras, Silly String, roller skates, trampolines, nitrous oxide, balloon animals, feather boas, ball gags, or bungee cords," sez PZ Myers, referring to this incredibly long diatribe on a Catholic website, "or I might be going to hell."

And finally, looks like Fleischer Studios doesn't own Betty Boop anymore. Sic transit, as they say...

MENTAL FLOSS columns are quasi-editorials containing the opinions of AVN Senior Editor and Chief Legal Analyst Mark Kernes, and should not be taken as necessarily reflective of the views of AVN magazine,, its owners or staff.