Where do you live and what sort of censorship exists there?
I got to thinking about this topic when, a few months ago, a comment I made about Bernie Madoff was flagged as inappropriate. I felt appalled because it had nothing to do with violence, wasn’t slander and, to any reasonable person who knows the story, the comment shouldn’t be offensive.
In Canada, anything that “incites to violence” will land you in prison… unless it’s popular hate, like “anyone that is intolerant about religion should die.” Ah, irony.
I think we more or less have laws against inciting violence (such as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater or the like) but mostly the First Amendment protects free speech and allows instigators to avoid jail because perpetrators have freewill
I live in a small oil town outside of Houston. The only thing that comes to mind is the school district’s choice to skip over evolution. Oops. I suppose whether that qualifies as censorship or not is debateable but I’m curious to what you said about Bernie Madoff.
It’s important to note that the commonly cited example of shouting “fire” in a theater originated from a judge justifying ruling protestation of the draft in WW1 illegal.
when the site’s name was changed to “Mubi” I wrote that the creator (who had previously worked for Goldman and Sachs) had “learned to screw people from the best of them”
“It’s important to note that the commonly cited example of shouting “fire” in a theater originated from a judge justifying ruling protestation of the draft in WW1 illegal.”
Huh, how ‘bout that. In Québec, they just cut off their little fingers to avoid the draft. It’s a bit immature, given that a 100,000 levy is a 100,000 levy and that if you don’t go, they’ll just make someone else who otherwise wouldn’t have…
If they want to seperate, they should just get on it already so we can occupy Montréal and burn down their stupid Château whatever the hell it is in Québec city. Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Well there’s definitely the “censorship of the market”, also the obvious and sad fact that depictions of violence are more socially acceptable than depictions of sex.
I live in Portugal and since the 70’s censorship was totally abolished. Films here have no trimmed sex or violence scenes.
I live in a Muslim country. Pork is not allowed in restaurants without the restaurant containing an entirely second kitchen to prepare it (and can only be bought from one single store in the town I live in), alcohol is only available in hotels with huge taxes on them, and though you are allowed to practice whatever religion you choose, a) the “choice” they even intellectually recognize is Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism (there literally is no such concept or idea or choice of being an athiest legally in this country, I learned, nor any other religion not mentioned above), b) if the religion you choose is not Islam, you cannot speak about it publicly outside your church or temple because that is considered preaching. Every movie that enters the country must be checked by a government office for explicit material, and I have no idea what the guidelines there consist of, but have a few impressions considering the lack of certain thematic material in the movies I have managed to see over here. The Internet is an interesting game of chess as considers firewalls and blocking, considering I’m somehow able to watch Sebastiane on YouTube but not a Tom Jones song about Muppets, I can find news items about this country’s own Sheikh torturing a farmer in the desert but I cannot download Skype, and for some reason some currency exchange sites are blocked whereas others aren’t, though they all pretty much provide the same information as far as I can tell. Meanwhile, if you’re driving and you get road rage, you can honk your horn, flash your lights, bumper check the other driver, slam on your brakes, stop completely, and wave your hands about quite dramatically, but if you flip the bird you will get 50 lashes and deported. You are allowed to hold hands in public but if you kiss you will get fifty lashes and deported. However, the Arabic and Indian cultures have a different relationship to holding hands than the West does, so over here it is much more common to find two men holding hands than a man and a woman. All public places have a “dress decently” rule that is entirely arbitrary to whomever feels like getting upset about dresscode (which basically means if you’re a woman and it looks like you’re trying to be attractive, you may get into trouble), and you are not allowed to blast radio or music for noise pollution purposes at all but get jolted awake five times daily by Call to Prayer from the nearby mosque, one of which is ALWAYS nearby (to be fair, this makes total cultural sense). You’re also not allowed to eat or drink in public during Ramadan, as I’ve recently gotten to experience. The best part are the books you’re not allowed to order ( Lolita ) versus the books you are ( Gravity’s Rainbow —> now which one has more disturbing sex, also keeping in mind that Sharia law sets the age of consent at puberty?). It’s all figure-it-out-as-you-go around here, in terms of what is or is not allowed, but the basic fundamental rule is no, you don’t have freedom of speech, you have freedom to not do something stupid to get yourself into harm’s way.
Nevertheless, I live in one of the most liberal Muslim countries. Any complaints one has here is typically met with, “Dude, at least you’re not 500 kilometers West” (Saudi Arabia).
Wow. Even though most of those situations don’t apply to me, I couldn’t imagine living in a place like that. Were you born there?
No, thank…. uh, Allah, I guess. I’m a United Statesican. But I’m over in the United Arab Emirates doing some video production and living up the culture shock.
Censorship for an artist is the holy grail; equivalent of winning at once the Super Bowl, World Series, and Tennis Grand Slam.
Yes, I would cut off my baby finger in exchange to have my work censored.
That looks like an yakuza promise there Robert :)
I think that “shouting fire in a crowded theater” is a responsible reponse when there actually is a fire in the theater. I believe that Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes stated that “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater” is not protected by the First Amendment.
I live in the US, and there is plenty of censorship here.
Several books about the suppression of Palestine have never managed to find mainstream publishers in the US, despite the timeliness of the subject. Videos on the subject get very little distribution, compared to Israeli missives. Ever wonder why an on-location hardcore resource like Britain’s Robert Fisk never gets quoted in the US? Even if you disagree with him, the press is too scared.
Remember “The Titicut Follies” by Frederick Wiseman? The film was banned from public screenings for years because the message wasn’t welcome. The film was buried as effectively as if it had been in Russia under Stalin.
Apart from that, the Big Filter (commercial interests/cross-company relations/advertizing) ensures that things are steered for the benefit of the Viewers.
It used to be you could shoot street scenes with impunity, faces, signs and all. Now everything is blurred as if it is a crime video, and logos in particular are taken out not to lose the blood money from the show sponsor. What’s it called? Ah yes, reality TV.
Environmental reports on ‘difficult’ subjects have run into trouble, as recounted in subsequent documentaries. There is always a reason why they don’t come out, or are edited to ‘fit’ better.
We are in 2010. And in the “Land of the Free”, in some states people are still is having conniption fits about people reading “Catcher in the Rye” and arguing whether Darwin was a liar…pathetic. Just pathetic. Scary too.
@PolarisDiB: …ever thought of using TOR (originally developped bythe US Navy) or a foreign proxy? You can rent a high-volume, high-bandwidth proxy (I personally have one) for a relatively modic sum (around $10 USD). You could try to find one in Russia, Greece or Italy or even France.
I like Comedy Central’s version of The Big Lebowski. “F*ck a stranger in the ass” becomes “Find a stranger in the Alps”.
There’s a difference between legal censorship and voluntary censorship.
There’s very little legal censorship in the US, although stuff that’s directly lewd will get censored on public channels.
There’s a whole lot of voluntary censorship, which is what Claus gets at. The media censors itself to avoid losing viewership. I don’t agree with it, but so long as it doesn’t prevent me from seeing whatever I want to see or writing what I want to write, it’s not as big a deal to me.
And for the record, the reason Catcher In The Rye ever got censored is that the main character sees a prostitute. He doesn’t sleep with her. He just goes to see one. But that has more to do with the infantilization of children then suppression of ideas. Obviously it’s silly to claim Darwin was a liar, especially with what we know now. But what do you suggest, that only views that you don’t agree with get censored? If I have the right to free speech, so do crazy people, and networks have the right not to broadcast what they don’t want to. Free speech doesn’t guarantee attention, or a media outlet. If you want more attention, first you have to have a message that will actually win people over.
Frankly, if you tried to institute some kind of system that guaranteed media attention or distribution, it’d get abused badly by whoever wound up in control of it.
“infantilization of children” seems perfectly reasonable, given that children… are infants, in general.
Yeah, the “infatilization of children” struck me as odd as well. Maybe he meant the infantilization of adolescents or adults (?)
“infatilization of children” I can dig it- to me. children are impressionable and weak but infants are those who are (hopefully) at the most vulnerable capacity