August 14th, 2006

In the Pioneer Valley area of Northampton, Massachusetts, there’s suddenly a debate over a proposed porn store, located about a block from where I rent an apartment. Signs have sprung up all over town for a new website,, a site dedicated to — you guessed it — not having a porn store on King St. in Northampton. They’ve got facts and figures and more long blocks of text than you have time in your life to read. And they’re freaked out by blue gloves.

However, despite their best efforts, I’m not convinced that this is genuinely a discussion about pornography in Northampton. I’m suspicious that this secretly might be more of a discussion about property values; there are already a couple of porn stores in Northampton; Drug tests; they’ve been here for years, and they have not elicited any sort of public outcry. The owners of are two writers who happen to live a couple blocks from the proposed site. Are they more worried about the culture of their town, or are they envisioning blindly crazed pornography addicts stumbling through their well-manicured Northampton backyard?

But: maybe there’s something to be said for community standards as well. Surely they don’t put the porn stores and the strip bars — and to a lesser extent, the Hooterses — in the best part of town. There’s a set of train tracks running through Northampton, and it’s increasingly clear that I live on the wrong side of the tracks, or as I have affectionately come to term it, the “Indolent Scumbag District”. On the average, the residents of my neighborhood already sit around and smoke on their front porch all day, with the occasional break for (I assume) Red Bull and vodka shots, and so maybe it doesn’t need to get worse.

So: in the spirit of open discussion, I’ve started C’mon in — it’s a Drupal site, so anyone can post a story (click “Speak Out!”) or shoot off a comment. And I hope you do.


8 Responses to “”

  1. Ben says:

    From noponoho:

    You know you’ve truly arrived when you get parodied. NoPornNorthampton welcomes a new website to the debate, Mo’ Porn is a creation of Jeff Hobbs. It is “dedicated to free speech, free trade, and most of all, filthy dirty blue gloves.”

  2. Jon Land says:

    Would the problem be solved if they only sold lesbian porn? I’m trying to mediate before this escalates.

  3. Jeff says:

    Yes, but, what problem isn’t solved by the sale of lesbian porn?

    And yeah, Evan, you’re right on. That’s the place. It was a Kia dealership, and I didn’t see them complaining then.

  4. Ben says:

    I for one would think that they’d welcome their new porno-toting overlords: It’s my understanding that property values in Northampton are too high already, no? Perhaps housing would enter the realm of affordable if there was mo’ porn down there.

  5. Andrew says:

    Why is it a bad thing to worry about property values?

  6. Jeff says:

    Nothing at all, as long as you’re up front about it as a primary concern, and that concern is not hidden behind a veneer of misdirection, fear-mongering and fake concern for the community.

    Check their site: it’s repugnant. They make allegations as to the purpose of “dirty blue gloves” that thye found behind a porn shop, they make qualitative assertions as to what kinds of porn are ok and which are not, and then they suggest that the people involved in the business end of issue — other people, not them! — should up quit their jobs over the issue.

    I can forgive you for not looking at their site, though, it’s massively long-winded and boring.

  7. Jim says:

    Has anybody seen my gloves?

  8. Brick says:

    What happened to Why is the site shut down?