The MTA is the cruel, soulless bureaucracy that jacks up your subway fares, can't deal with crowds even though everyone else does, and sorta-robs you for sport & profit. You should hate the MTA. But you should also, apparently, pity the MTA, because it has to censor "risque" ads to cater to prude, whiney, pearl-clutching riders, who have almost certainly never been kissed. And that's just gotta be terrible.
A sprawling thousand-worder published yesterday in the New York Times confirms that ardor-fearing MTA passengers are engaged in a constant lobbying campaign with the agency to ban commercial materials that they -- the ones who don't do the sex -- deem too sexy.
"With scantily clad bodies lurking around every corner on billboards and magazines, the subway might be one of the last bastions of modesty in public," the writer, Emma G. Fitzsimmons, gamely explains of this dissenting opinion. The stance is shared by a disparate cohort of religious, cultural, and outdated interest groups, none of which, at press time, have been able to confirm they've ever mouth-kissed another person, even briefly.
Last month, it was this ad from DUMBO Moving Co., which features a clothed-enough couple maybe-kissing amidst moving crates. Obviously, this is a ridiculous premise, because the only thing less bone-able than a cardboard box is the people who schlepped said boxes into a new four-story walk-up with "great partial views." But still -- porn? Nah. "That’s not very racy," one rider told the Times. "You see it all the time."
See?! That rider has definitely been kissed, unlike the loveless twits who think safe-sex ads publicizing the availability of free large condoms (Fitzsimmons suggest this extremely SFW ad could also come under fire) are the same thing as a hardcore multiple-partner plowfest in 1080p. Won't you think of the children, dammit? They shouldn't be exposed to the concept of disease-free sex! It's... unseemly!
There's obviously a First-Amendment shouting match to be had on the subject. (A memorable recent MTA imbroglio went down in 2010 over the ads for and against the Ground Zero mosque.) This story is not about that, though. This story is about a bunch of New Yorkers who have never been kissed, and would rather no one else had been, either.
Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist, and thinks this is much ado about nothing. Also, he was an English major. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.