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Published in: November-December 2009 issue.


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Give Up All Hope The state of Alabama has begun to prosecute wine vendors for selling a brand known as Cycles Gladiator due to the picture on its label, which depicts a nude woman and a bicycle. Let the reader judge how prurient this picture is. It first appeared in 1895 on a widely displayed bicycle advertising poster—leading one magazine to run the headline: “Alabama: 19th Century Too Risqué” ( The state claims to be enforcing a law against advertising for alcohol that features “any person(s) posed in an immodest or sensuous manner.” Alabama is also the only state to categorically ban the sale of sex toys, which probably throws them back another century or two.