Friday, July 31, 2009

That @#!%ing stupid censorship

Let's keep it clean out there

The San Francisco Chronicle gave a little boost to freedom of speech this morning by publishing an opinion piece by Nick Danforth. The writer took note of Turkey's two-year ban on YouTube. It's a relatively unsuccessful ban, made all the more pathetic by the way Turks have taken to mocking it. Danforth points out that the notice “Access to this site has been blocked by order of the court” is no longer limited to popping up on the screens of Turks trying to access forbidden Internet sites. It has now been printed out on banners that protesters use to decorate urinals, escalators, and anything else that an enterprising free speech advocate might see fit to substitute for the word “site” in the original notice.

The Chronicle is to be praised for bringing this situation to the attention of its readers. I nodded my head in silent approbation when I read Danforth's article over breakfast.

Then I switched my attention to the Chronicle's Datebook section. Mick LaSalle's review of Judd Apatow's Funny People was on its front page. I like reading LaSalle's reviews and plunged right in. He was saying nice things about an Adam Sandler movie, which challenged my credulity just a little. (A good Sandler movie?) Then I got to the end of the review and spewed Cheerios as I read the notice (in bold!):
Advisory: This film contains sexual situations, strong language and multiple jokes about the male member.
Excuse me? “The male member”? Can't we just say the movie contains several penis jokes? Or doesn't the Chronicle allow the word “penis” in its entertainment section?

Access to this penis has been blocked by order of the court!


Jens Knudsen (Sili) said...

"Access to this penis has been blocked by order of the court!"


I thought it was entirely voluntary.

Anonymous said...

As an undergraduate, I was once thoroughly scolded by a professor for using the word "vagina" in class. (To put this in context, it was a Western poetry class, and I was told to explicate a very sexual poem in front of the class. Apparently I was required to describe the poet's euphemisms for "vagina" with more euphemisms. To this day I wonder how such an uptight professor could be foolish enough to assign such a sexual piece.)

Perfectly legitimate words are now on the "no-no" list, simply because they describe an activity or body part that some people (whom I'm assuming must still be virgins at mid-life) find offensive. It's belittling that these people seem to assume human beings are so base that we can't use legitimate biological descriptions without spiraling into depravity.

And for that matter, I think we have the right to spiral into depravity any time we damn well feel like it.

Interrobang said...

If what I hear about Judd Apatow is accurate, it's just as well the court blocked access...

My word verification word is "bignordi." I find that kind of amusing, contextually.