Serious Literary Content

Oh my not-God. I love this recent judicial opinion so much it’s difficult to even describe. An excerpt, describing the subject of the case, a fine piece of modern literature entitled The Silver Crown (content below the jump debatably NSFW but mainly silly):

… The sex occurs between humans and werewolves, as well as intra-species. [¶] On the other hand, the sex appears to be between consenting adults. No minors are involved. No bestiality is portrayed (unless werewolves count)… .

There’s really no way to describe the absurdity of obscenity jurisprudence adequately; judges (appropriately) apply a very different and more relaxed standard than English professors when searching for “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” I can’t even imagine what judges and their law clerks think when they have to read stuff like this:

She pushed him flat on back and got on top, her whole body pressing itself along the length of him. She put her mouth to his. They kissed closed mouthed for a little while, then slowly she worked her tongue between his lips. He opened his mouth like he belonged to her.

Some werewolves have a particular affinity for metal. All werewolves can sense mercury and silver. But he could do more than that. When he ran his tongue over her tooth he had only to graze it twice with the tip before he muttered, ‘Chromium alloy,’ and Sabrina laughed darkly into his mouth.

Would you let an inmate in one of California’s highest-security prisons read The Silver Crown? The assumption needs to be that you need to have a good reason not to; if you can’t come up with a good enough reason — and the Attorney General could not — then the book gets to go in and get passed around. I’d find the Attorney General’s arguments a little bit chilling if it weren’t for the fact that I realize the lawyer who got assigned this case has an obligation to offer whatever argument could be thought of to address a fundamentally silly situation.

And I think this is the right decision on the merits, even given the deference which prison administrators enjoy for purposes of maintaining order and control of a prison environment, because the goofy explicitness of the book does not seem like it could reasonably be foreseen to lead to violence even in a tough environment like Pelican Bay. The worst thing I could imagine resulting from this sort of “literature” is that a prisoner might read it and masturbate. If he could stop laughing about chromium alloy long enough to concentrate. If that’s the worst problem you’ve got going on in your prison, then I say hats off to you, Warden.

I didn’t look for a picture for this post, because I don’t want to put search terms on my computer like “sexy werewolf.” But rest assured, pending review by the Supreme Court, should you be incarcerated in California, your right to read novelized werewolf porn has now been secured.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Oh my not-God. I love this recent judicial opinion so much it’s difficult to even describe.

    You ‘like it as more than a friend,’ I believe is the phrase au courant.

  2. When he ran his tongue over her tooth he had only to graze it twice with the tip before he muttered, ‘Chromium alloy,’ and Sabrina laughed darkly into his mouth.

    Is that the titular crown?

    • I suspect not, chromium being a different metal than silver. The excerpt went on at some length about the displeasurable effects of silver-amalgam dental fillings during oral sex for the otherwise-fortunate werewolf. But I couldn’t bring myself to read much more than the first chapter so I can’t really say for sure.

  3. Thank God we still live in America, where convicts can read werewolf porn!

    *snif* God Bless “merica!

  4. I’m thinking a male inmate might be at risk of getting his ass kicked for reading it. At least I’m pretty sure a guy at my high school would have.

  5. I gave up trying to understand this upon learning that Barnes and Noble had a “Teen Vampire Horror Romance” section.

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