Friday, March 17, 2006



This word does not sit well with many young people. It's strange because when you think about it, we censore things all the time.

I, for instance, am not taking the liberty to write everything that I think of on this blog: I am being selective. Sure, there are things that I just wouldn't write because it isn't of interest (which is a kind of censorship in itself), but there are also those things that I don't write because I know that it isn't "appropriate" for some of my readers (read: that I don't want some people to see). Also, I do not write anything that is very personal to either my friends or I. I know that all sorts of people read this, or so I like to believe, so I will just not write some things.

Also, when we speak, perhaps we won't always say what we have on our minds, depending on whom we are talking to. There are some things that I will only say to a specific friend and not to an acquaintance, for instance. It's a kind of self-centorship. Perhaps you'd be more inclined to call it "tact" or "common sense", but I've realized that common sense can't just be thrown out there as a blanket term. Common sense, unfortunately, cannot be used to really designate anything. Sometimes I wish I could say, "Just use your common sense", and then that person would act accordingly, and you would know what to expect. Ah, but as fate and the differences in humanity would have it, the meaning of common sense varies from person to person. Some people's common sense tells them one thing, other people's common sense tells them something else, and some people seem to have left common sense in the womb. It's too bad really.

Of course, there is also the "other" kind of censorship, the "real" kind that bans books, controls media, and prevents certain actions. We may not have the same kind of censorship that other countries are subjected to, but certainly there is much in Canada that is censured. It is quite ridiculous when you hear of books and movies deemed either "unappropriate" or "obscene" because what the heck does that mean? Who is to judge what is either of those terms? I think I know the answer: a small group of people. Custom officers have the liberty to censore things coming into the country and deem them "unappropriate" for Canada, and these small groups of people have equally the same amount of power.

I guess I am to assume that our country is filled with a bunch of brainless idiots because why on earth do we need special people (who knows what kind of people they are) deciding whether or not I can watch The Tin Drum, for instance? Why do other people decide for me what is morally right or too obscene for me?

I suppose it's because of the same reason that some things on the news and in newspapers are "just not said". It's a kind of censorship that allows certain higher people to control us, control us to some extent of what we think and what to do. But anyway, I don't want to get into that.

There are some things that are censured that I just don't understand. I think books can be written about virtually anything, disgusting and all, because first of all, it's a book, not real people doing it to each other (perhaps "based on a true story" would bring about other problems, though), and second of all, you can decide not to read it! Yes! You can tell yourself that you won't read this book because of its horrendous content. There. You've just censured yourself from not reading it, and you can now walk away, buy some raspberries, and pick up a Margaret Atwood read (if you are so inclined, yikes).

It was just in the 1960s that Lady Chatterley's Lover was put back on the shelves, after being highly controversial and banned for years, no longer deemed hazardous for English readers. Because it had some "naughty" language in it and was all about the physical part of sex being so wonderful between a bourgeois woman and a peasant man, no less, the book was definitely gasp worthy, and the general public could not, under any circumstances, subject themselves to such a horrible read! Yup, that's what we were told by who knows who. When Lady Chatterley's Lover was written, the clergy had a stronger hold on society, so they probably had a lot to do with it. These days, it is rarely our elected government who decides these things; it is that small group of appointed people.

I say if people want to write obscene things or if they want to make the most disgusting porn films, then be my guest. I don't need other people to ban a movie that involves sex between a person and an animal and say it is "unappropriate" and "wrong"; I can decide myself not to watch it. We should all be able to decide ourselves what we want to see or not. But what about the children? The children?! Well, keep sex stuff away from them until they hit the wonderful age of 17, and then you can give them the Joy of Sex book for their birthday.

Child pornography, however, is a touchy issue because there are so many laws in our society surrounding it. It's really hard to determine what we can say about that. Of course, we all can agree that consent should be involved, but who is to judge if a child is old enough to make that decision?
I'm not saying that we should adopt the notion about kids in Brave New World, but maybe looking at it will make us think a little more and most likely bring us back to square one...

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