Monday, May 14, 2012


Censorship is there to protect people. The question is, do people need protecting? Are people that morally or intellectually weak or uneducated that they need protecting? And who decides who the protectors are? Once decided, who decides what is too much censorship? The need for protection only comes in as necessary by the uneducated or the religious. I think the rating system in movies has been very handy in that people who care, can moderate their intake of concepts and orientations.

The comments about Casablanca are well taken. It is perhaps my favorite film. But you are delusional if you think that back when it came out, it wasn't as racy as bare-breasts and swearing is now. it's allusions to Bergman having had sex with Bogey are really less powerful than having shown it more as they would do now?

Yes, I think it was classier how they did it. But the meaning is still there. The intent and corruption is still there. But was she corrupt in having sex with Rick, in order to save her husband, someone needed by the resistance and the world? Or was it a sacrifice and a noble thing for her to please Rick to save her husband? Even if you don't read it that way, she was leaving with him. Was it only out of love for Rick, or a noble sacrifice of salvation? there is a lot of pseudo science on the claims of what the "f" word has done to society, conjecture and self belief in what you want to believe. Maybe it's true, maybe not. But certainly not something to base needing censorship upon.

Do you read a scene where there is coarse behavior and language (coarse to whom?) when it would be there in reality, or do you read a scene that is censored so that it is an unrealistic portrayal of such a scene? Does that cripple a society in thinking they are reading a accurate portrayal of a situation? Do we as a society and as individuals want to be informed in realty or delusional in our assumption that we have an accurate view of real life through the filter of censorship?

Censorship always takes the path of eventually overstepping necessary limits. The film industry in acquiescing voluntarily to the Hayes Office led to fear of the Hayes office and some ridiculous self censorship at times. Did they turn out good films regardless? Yes, there were some great films. Did it lead the country down a somewhat delusional path and did that lead to things like the 60s? No doubt it did. Is it better to fear (censor) media than not? Shouldn't censorship come from the individual, not an umbrella organization? Should you censor yourself as an author?

There are free citizens who do not want censorship. In a "free" society, do we take that freedom away from them because an entity or group thinks it should be? If we freely censor can we guide society down a path that can come back on us in a negative way? Do we want a society that is fundamentalist Christian? Or Muslim, a group who censor images of their Prophet, as well as women's faces and bodies, and behavior? Is that not enough censorship, not enough control and we need more?

Censorship has been warned about for decade after decade and still it raises its ugly serpentine neck from time to time. But always from the members of the same groups. What we need isn't censorship, but a way for those desiring freedom to maintain that which is guaranteed by the constitution; but also a way for those who are concerned about their mental, emotional, spiritual "garden" from being polluted with "weed" thoughts and conceptual blight. Or genre that only those concerned with such things can go to for their style of entertainment and enlightenment.

But we have to remember this is a country of diverse beliefs and they all have the right to be here if legal under the law of the land.

I swear a little, sometimes, but I attune it to my audience if any. Meaning most the time, I speak G rated, but my concepts are more sophisticated. The young, uneducated usually don't follow if I feel like swearing and think it's inappropriate. Besides a HS teacher of mine told us once that someone who swears every other word, or uses things like "ya know" are being lazy and wasting people's time taking up more words to speak. Never lying, never swearing, I think makes one more intelligent because you have to be more clever to have the same impact (if not more).

I do love General Audience, "G" rated material in comedy, in films, etc., if of good quality; they have to be well done after all. But there is also too much "G" rated pablum around. Still, I do prefer it. Of course, I love the other end of the spectrum, too. I like quality in all its senses. But to censor is to eliminate some of the things that need to use "questionable" words and situations in order to show them, to know about them, to experience them, to be aware of them. Sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad, however you define them.

Knowledge after all, is power and knowing about things is just another step toward making them better. I much prefer having my eyes open rather than shut, remaining ignorant. There is a reason why we have freedom of speech in this country. Once you start curtailing it, you begin that ride on the downward slope of losing that freedom. And so, the only step to take is to allow it.

Censorship simply is not the way to go.

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