Die Hard IV: Kindergarten Cop

I'm a cultural conservative. What does that mean? Well, for instance, it means that when I read a Garance Franke-Ruta op-ed arguing that we need to raise the age of consent for appearing in a pornographic film to twenty-one, in order to shrink the talent pool available for amateur smut purveyors like Joe "Girls Gone Wild" Francis, I think: Age of consent? Why not just throw the creep in jail on an obscenity charge? And when Garance explains that going after the pornography industry directly is too hard, because it would require "moralistic sermons and abridgements of speech," I think no, you actually don't need the moralistic sermons; a nice stint in prison does the trick just fine.

But being a cultural conservative doesn't mean being a puritan. You have to be able to distinguish between Debbie Does Dallas and D.H. Lawrence, between Ron Jeremy and James Joyce, between the violence in Hostel and the violence in The Godfather. You have to recognize, above all, that there are certain magnificent works of art that aren't supposed to be fun for the whole family - works of art whose greatness is inseparable from their willingness to show the world as it really is, warts and gunshot wounds and all - works of such raw genius and unsurpassed integrity that to censor or compromise them in any way would be akin to painting clothes on the nudes in the Sistine Chapel, or hanging a pair of Hanes on Michelangelo's David.

I'm speaking, of course, of the Die Hard movies. But apparently not everyone feels the same way.

(hat tip: Peter Suderman)