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Huck F'inn Finn





Dialogist
It seems "The Great American Novel" wasn't really that great...

Editing 'Huckleberry Finn' stirs up feelings

By Wilford Shamlin.

Source

Quote:
A Mark Twain scholar who recommended substituting the "N word" and the word "injun" in an edited version of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" said Thursday he wanted to prevent the classic novel from being removed from schools nationwide.

Alan Gribben said he merely wanted to rid the book of "now-indefensible racial slurs" Twain used in the original manuscript in "his effort to write realistically about social attitudes of the 1840s."

At least 7,500 copies of the new edited version will be released Feb. 15 by NewSouth Books, based in Montgomery, Ala. The n-word is replaced by "slave" and "Indian" is substituted for "injun."

Publisher Suzanne La Rosa said she anticipates exponential demand from schools and libraries for the revised "Huck Finn."

Department heads at two South Jersey school districts say they have no plans to switch to the edited version, which will omit racial terms many blacks and Native Americans find offensive.

"We'll continue to use the original version," said Thomas Anderson, curriculum director for Collingswood schools.

"We think that's the author's intent. The author had a purpose in mind. When rewriting classics and other works, where does it stop?

"It sets a dangerous precedent for any written work."

"The original version is fine as long as we teach it sensitively," added Anderson, who is white.

"If we change this now, in the 21st century, we're saying it didn't happen," said Tracy Matozzo, a language arts supervisor at Clearview Regional High School in Harrison.

"We're devaluing the negative experience that groups of people have suffered. They're trying to make a more sensitive version of what Twain was trying to replicate.

"Just because you change the language doesn't mean you change the sentiment," added Matozzo, who is white.

But Don Beam, a 62-year-old black resident of Cherry Hill, said he believes too much about African-American history is being deliberately kept hidden from public knowledge.

"Why hide the truth?" he asked. "The truth is the truth. I think they should leave history alone. Why circumvent it?

"Schoolchildren should know that. That's what's wrong with our history now. If Americans don't know their own history, how can they come to grips with it?"

Generations of high school students have read the novel about the title character who fakes his own death to escape an abusive father and embarks on an adventure along the Mississippi River with a black slave named Jim.

The novel was first published in the United States in 1885 -- decades before America moved toward desegregation --- and was criticized for its use of the "N word," which appears more than 200 times in the original text.

The publishing company acted on advice from Gribben, who said numerous teachers and some librarians were censoring the book because they were uncomfortable with the racial terms in the novel and the questions it raised among students.

"This is simply an alternative to those other texts," La Rosa said.

But Barbara Jones, director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, said the organization "opposes any alternation of books done in this manner, where a word is censored out of a book for political or politically correct reasons.

"We believe that the book as a classic stands on its own. Mark Twain chose the "N word' for a reason. And it wasn't because he was racist. He was anti-racist and anti-slavery and the book is, in fact, about that: the harm that racism does in American society.

"It is a great American book and many African-American authors and scholars agree that this book should not be banned or that word should not be changed even if it's a painful experience to read it," Jones said.

"Kids are not stupid," said Curtis Gail Banks, assistant librarian at Paulsboro Public Library. "They know the book was written at a time when that word was used.

"If we're going to change things that aren't politically correct, we're going to be changing a whole lot of stuff," said Banks, who is black.

Some Clearview Regional High School students currently reading the novel independently expressed concern about editing a classic novel because they said it could have a chilling effect on other creative works.

"I just don't think it's necessary," said Clearview junior Amanda Zarozny, 16, of Mantua. "By changing the words, it changes the meaning of it."

The students believe they are mature enough to handle words of a sensitive nature and agreed it was better to learn about the "N word" and its implied meaning in a classroom setting.

"You definitely hear a lot worse than that in the hallway," said Matt Wyatt, a 16-year-old junior from Mantua.

In an introduction to the edited version, Gribben writes that "use of such language has caused Twain's books to join the ranks of outdated literary classics Twain once humorously defined as works 'which people praise and don't read.' "

In a phone interview Thursday, Gribben added: "I don't believe Mark Twain could have prophesied the future that has evolved and known the incredible animosity and degree of negativity the word has maintained."


At which point do we begin going through the entire history of art and painting over all the nipples and blood?

Is it fair to edit a man's art in favor of what's expected now by today's standards? Is it fair for a non artist to do it? I'm not a fan of Twain's. I'm just a fan of letting an acclaimed author write. If the reasoning behind word usage is archaic then why do we not just deem this work as no longer relevant to us and just leave it alone, and then maybe, go watch our latest cinematic installment from Martin Scorsese and hypocritically celebrate the use of the same disparaging slur (by another non African American) because although made in 2006,

Quote:
"his effort to write realistically about social attitudes of the 1840s"


is now the social attitudes of downtown New York, from the 1970s to the 2000's, is still acceptable, regardless of whether of not its informative of our history.

Needless to say, the word is usually a lot less uttered publicly in modern times (bar some Mel Gibson/Michael Richardson career demolishing outburst) by people of non African American descent. It's usually 'pimped' (excuse my word usage, maybe I'll replace it with "slave" later, isn't "injun" just n*****r to n****a again?) by rappers and black movie stars and comedians (all artists in their own right) and apparently, that's just fine. Why? Because newsflash: We're still racist? I once heard an argument defending Quentin Tarantino's Martin Scorsese wannabe approach to screenwriting and his excessive usage of the n-word, claiming, "He's married to a black woman so he has a 'ghetto-pass'". In short, he married melanin and therefore equality is a pigment of your imagination.

Quote:
the edited version, which will omit racial terms many blacks and Native Americans find offensive.


Life is offensive. Where do I send my laundry list of complaints?

Artistic license and changing social attitudes aside, shall we remove John Lennon's "Women is the n*****r of the world" from music too? Should I even use asterisk to censor the title of an another man's piece of artwork? Should I do it when quoting another's words? Shall we do radio edits and play that particular word backwards like in commercially profitable rap songs? John Lennon would not be allowed to release that record today, and Bob Dylan would be asked to remove the n-word from his song, Hurricane too, even though he uses it to quote an instigator of the word. The American rapper Nas, however, did recently release an entire commercial album called "N*****r" and that is okay because he is black. Is it really okay? Positive discrimination, I mean? Is this how arrive at true equality? Or do we just, with one hand, racked by inherited guilt, rush around editing out our embarrassing errors and pretending it never happened, and with the other hand, keep throwing money at the blatant reversed mistralry of black-face white rappers and white-face black presidents? Because we've evolved so much since those times and our only taking of black people seriously still stays firmly within some sort of vaudeville, circus clown, performance entertainment system?

Was George Carlin right about it being "just a word" and the perceived "intent" is the actual racism? I personally don't think there's anything right or wrong with Twain's book and I'm not basing this on the time it was written nor the intent of the word usage. I'm basing it solely on the fact that its a work of fiction and as an adults or indeed children (who will become adults), I really don't think we need protecting or patronizing linguistically. Scenes of extreme violence or sexuality, maybe, but antiquated n-bombs? Not so much. And not for nothing, I think the word would be as ridiculously kitschly twee and non offensive as "darky" or "golliwog" had it been allowed to fade into absurdity by the very people it seems to offend so much, who seem to perpetuate its stigma eternally, whether through youthful disposition (like rappers) or through indignant outrage (obsolete self-appointed victims of something barely anyone in the West alive today has truly "suffered" through). Much like the c-word in mainstream prime-time communications (which bears no ethnic right to usage whatsoever), I'm all for banning the n-word completely. But only if you ban it completely.
deanhills
I wonder how long it is going to take for them to get to the Harry Potter books. Personally I am not interested in Harry Potter Books or Movies at all. However, I'm completely against censorship especially when it changes the content of what is being said. And I'm also against banning of books, unless there is a fundamentally good reason for the banning.
Quote:
In a number of states, there have been attempts, some successful, some unsuccessful, to have the Harry Potter books banned in classrooms, and banned or under severe restrictions, in school libraries. For example, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a parent challenged the Harry Potter books on the grounds that they promoted witchcraft. When school officials ruled against her, she went to the State Board of Education. When the BOE confirmed the right of local school officials to make such decision, she took her battle against the books to court. Although the judge ruled against her in the spring of 2007, she indicated she might continue her fight against the series.

Source: About.com
Dialogist
deanhills wrote:
a parent challenged the Harry Potter books on the grounds that they promoted witchcraft.


What's the worst than can happen? Are the female reciprocates of this literature going to grow up to be Wiccans and practice the dark arts of aroma therapy and holistic essential oils? Oooh, evil! You know, from all the Halloweens I've partaken in as a child, probably with a much darker connotations than anything JK Rowling ever dreamed of, I can't ever recall wanting to join the occult. And even if I did, that'd be fine too. You know why? Because it's not really a danger to anyone. You know why? Because it's a children's fairy tale about casting spells, and hey, sensible, concerned rational adult, it doesn't actually work. As far as Mother Nature or pantheism goes, that's a bud we need to nip out immediately. We can't have that. Next thing you know, they'll be projecting the anxieties of their over-sheltered parenting finding themselves furious at at every perceived pseudo-immorality that their gun toting Christian shotgun-wedded parents didn't approve of. Which leads me neatly to Sarah Palin:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/palin/bannedbooks.asp

Snopes are usually pretty good with dispelling urban myths, but as I read it, it was her original intent to ban some books from the public library. There was never a list though. Possibly due to the fact that Palin clearly isn't a reader. However, of the 4 or 5 books on that list that I haven't read yet, I have earmarked them for later research. It's awful when you need these people as the best authorities on what not to read isn't it? Especially when people like me use it as a fantastic resource for the exact opposite?
socceraggie
I heard about this literary scholar working to re-publish the adventures of tom sawyer and huckleberry finn without the racial slurs that are used throughout both books. I choose not to use those slurs in my life because I feel they are degrading and inappropriate; however, they were once a part of common social language in America. The novels were written about people who lived during this time and would have spoken in that way. I think changing the language in the novel changes the novel. These books are literary masterpieces because they capture part of American culture.
ocalhoun
If they want to republish the book with changes, that's fine... freedom of the press and all, and it's common domain now.

What they shouldn't be doing is publishing it as "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.
They should change the title, and add "Adapted from the version by Mark Twain."


As for the naughty words, bad words are given power by societal repression. The worst words will always be about what society represses the most.
Not long ago, these used to be all about bodily functions, body parts, and sex... These are still 'naughty', but as these things become more socially acceptable, they become less repressed, and therefore, less naughty.
What has become more repressed now, though, is any kind of racism or discrimination -- which is why words like '******' and 'injun' are now considered worse than 'ass' or '******'. *
The more you repress a given word, the more shock value that word has.



*If anybody is offended by me mentioning these words in the context of simply identifying them, please grow up, or society has no hope of a future.
*edit*
Looks like I got filtered.
Oh well, if you're mature enough, you can see my original text by quoting me.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
If they want to republish the book with changes, that's fine... freedom of the press and all, and it's common domain now.

What they shouldn't be doing is publishing it as "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain.
They should change the title, and add "Adapted from the version by Mark Twain."
Right, and maybe they should also explain in an Editor's Note why it has been adapted. So that children won't get to think that the version they are reading has just been slightly modified.
Afaceinthematrix
Dialogist wrote:
Is it fair to edit a man's art in favor of what's expected now by today's standards?


Is it fair to edit any man's art despite any standards? I agree that editing out the "n-word" and similar racial slurs in Twain's novels (which I quite like - I've read several of his novels and enjoyed them all) is wrong and that it's a disservice to students who deserve a proper education in literature and history. But is it only wrong in this case?

If I wrote a book today that was completely racist and took place today, then it still should not be censored. I am completely against censorship of any kind. There are some people that I just wish wouldn't talk because I despise their view (which is often morally wrong). But I do not believe in censoring them! If I wrote a book today about today's world and used all sorts of offensive slurs - referring to black people as "niggers," Middle Eastern people as "terrorists," etc. then it should still not be censored! So I hate the argument that we shouldn't edit books that were written for a different time; we shouldn't edit books, period! The only person with a right to edit Twain's novels is Twain and since he's dead, they need to stay as is.

Many books that are on the brink of being banned (To Kill A Mockingbird, Huck Finn, etc.) are extremely important for American high school students to read because they are a valuable part of our society and history. They can be educational at many levels. That is the reason why many high school teachers have chosen to use them over the years! I would be against a high school teacher choosing a downright offensive book for the students to read without reason. But there are good reasons for Huck Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird and so students should read them.

When I was in high school and we had to read those books, we would often have to read short passages aloud in class. My teacher gave the student (whichever particular student was doing the reading) the option of reading verbatim or leaving out words that they didn't want to say. I personally read verbatim because I have no problem saying those words when they're in a context that's not meant to hurt anyone. I would never, ever call someone a "******," but to read it outloud in an educational textbook isn't hard for me to do.
Bikerman
I think this is somewhat of a non story.

As far as I read nobody has actually proposed banning Twain's books. This seems to be a bit of a stunt by a publisher trying to sell an edited version of a book. The reaction seems to indicate that there is little to worry about - the librarian* said that they do not approve of changing the book and the school sources quoted said they would stick with the original.

*And as every author knows, you don't mess with the librarians. They may have an image of quiet respectability, but when they get annoyed you had better watch out Smile
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
I think this is somewhat of a non story.

As far as I read nobody has actually proposed banning Twain's books.


This is more serious than you give it credit for, Bikerman. Here in the U.S., the banning of books by schools is not unheard of and in many places is quite common. The more extreme cases ban books from even being read at school. So, yup, if you're a child in some school districts and you bring a copy of Harry Potter to school to read on your own time (while you're on lunch or after you finish your classwork and are waiting for everyone else to finish their work) you may get suspended.

The less extreme cases ban teachers from endorsing some common books that many students in the past have had to read. Some examples are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird, Farenheit 451, The Catcher in the Rye, The Lord of the Flies, and Of Mice and Men (along with many other books).

I do not know much about the U.K. curriculum but I had to read all six of those books while in school. I did, however, grow up near Los Angeles, CA, and CA is one of the more liberal places of the U.S. If I really wanted to, I could call up some of my family in Oklahoma and see if they're reading the same materials - but I do not feel like calling people I don't get along with or ever talk to. But I do know for a fact that many school districts in the mid-west have banned those books.

And these aren't just books that school districts don't want to endorse because they promote senseless violence/racism but offer nothing in return; these are books that are very important to the American culture and should be read by every student in every high school.

So yes. People have proposed that Twain be banned from schools and in many places he has been *sad face*.
Bikerman
Ahh...OK so this is individual schools, petitioned by the parents, removing books because of those petitions? I've heard that this is possible in US schools.
The problem is that a decision needs to be made, and it might not be the one you (and I) would prefer.
Basically the decision/question is - should schools be democratically accountable to the parents? Many people believe they should be and if that is your belief then the schools must remove the books if sufficient/majority of parents complain.

My own answer is a qualified no. I don't believe that schools have a responsibility to be democratically accountable to the parents. I certainly think that parents should be consulted and encouraged to give their opinions, but I think that teachers, as the professionals, must retain the final decision. The 'client' is not, when all said and done, the parents. The client is the child and I believe schools have not only a right but actually a duty to give children a rounded education even if that means going against the express wishes of parents.

Some people - in fact some people here - take a different line, and in that case I see no way to stop this happening....
Afaceinthematrix
Basically. Although I do not know how much power most schools actually have. I think it's mostly up to the district - which usually covers all of the high schools in a specific city. I think my district took care of four high schools plus a reform school high school where all of the academically challenged people and expelled people went to. So if a parent complains about a book at high school 1 and that high school says (which I think is really all they can do), "Take it up with the district" and the district caves, then ALL high schools will have to pull the books. Although there many be some high schools that are alone in their district in small towns or there may be private schools that have no district and so taking it up with the school is taking it up with the district.

What I really do not understand is that there are state schools standards in every U.S. state that I know of that control what children must learn yet school districts get away with these things (and other similar things). For instance, if a parent in a district (and this has happened) complains about the science textbooks and gets them pulled and so the next day the science teacher comes into the classroom and tells the students to open their "science" books to Genesis 1, how does a school get away with that? I think all private schools, public schools, and home schools have to get accredited and to do that, they need to prove their teaching the standards. So if the standards dictate English classes need to teach all of the important American literature and then the schools pull the books I listed above, then how are they really getting accredited? Those are some of the most important books in American literature! It seems like to make a change you should have to go to the state.

At least most Americans do not know anything about non-American literature - like Shakespeare. Shakespeare can get pretty colorful as well (the only thing that helped me get through it back in high school). If parents understood it, we wouldn't be reading it in many places in the U.S...

And I agree with you. Parents should have a say but the professionals need to have the final word.
ocalhoun
Often, it isn't about schools being held 'democratically accountable' to parents.
If it were, the 'vote' among the parents would much more often be "Let the kids read these books, because I read the same ones when I was in school".
Often, it's not a majority, or even close, of parents who want a book banned. Just one or two -- threatening a lawsuit -- can easily be enough to make a school district 'cave in'.
Even if the school district won the lawsuit, they still couldn't afford the (likely substantial) legal defense fees.





(On a side note, what bothered me more back in school wasn't banned or 'sanitized' books... it was 'condensed' or 'for the young reader' books. These books somehow managed to cut out all the interesting parts, leaving a dull, monotonous book where the story (more or less) followed the plot of the original book. Heck, they once made me read a version of Don Quixote that was condensed to around 20 pages. Having already read the original (well, the English translation anyway), the 'condensed version' was torture. I actually got a question wrong on the test, because I answered them based on the original version.
I think that these 'condensed' and 'for the young reader' versions are what make many young people dislike reading.)
Dialogist
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I am completely against censorship of any kind.


We agree for the most part but I still think a degree of supervision is required. Whether it be libraries, governing bodies or governments themselves. I agree that we shouldn't edit books, period. But there is some literature that needs to be pulled completely. Because following on from what ocalhoun suggested, I don't think the condensed for younger readers, illustrated, pop-up book version of "How To Make a Dirt Bomb" by TheUSMustPay can ever be recommended reading material. Clearly, that's never going to find its way into school syllabus, but who's stopping it from hitting the stands at Barnes & Noble, or the public library for the matter?

I had The Anarchist's Cookbook when I was younger and although this made great reading for 14 year old boy, I was still sensible (just about) enough to know that some of it was questionable in content. I did view it as an entertaining form of 'tourism' to an extent. You know, like "The guy who wrote this must be a real bad..." Adult? He was, I believe. Which goes to show that not all people are responsible. To be fair to him, it was creative and entertaining, and maybe therefore "art"? but it was mainly all tongue and cheek, childish, prankish "How to make a stink bomb" and "How to flood the school toilets" but even "stick a banana in a tailpipe" could have fatal results? Let's step it up a bit. "How to hijack a plane and crash it into a major government building". Do we really want this information freely available to the same aged enthusiast who wrote The Anarchist's Cookbook, or available in book stores or libraries in this climate of religious extremism? This is also why I don't fully support the right to keep the internet completely open and at liberty to any jackass with a modem. We should be liberal at all costs, and then extremely fascist without warning. This has always been my politics too. Once you create a precedent of do what thou wilt, you've dug your own grave and also invited all manner of lunatics to dance upon it.

I defended Twain, for two main reasons. Although as I said, I'm not his biggest fan, the first reason is because I can still appreciate that the man was a literary genius, celebrated by billions for centuries. It's under this assumption that I believe he knows a bit more about literature than we do. So that's an issue of an already proven and validated artist license. Another example is certain authors (Shakespeare for example) altering the English language itself, merely just by being so astute at it. This maybe suggests that the powers that be are preaching to the choir a little bit about what constitutes great literature. In short, maybe we should refer to the author of the "Great American Novel" for tips, instead it of replacing his art with "what we think he probably should have said". Confident?

Art is the second reason. The dictionary defines Art as:

Quote:
the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.


It's not only double-spaced, its also somewhat vague and if art truly is art then any attempt to exactly define it should fail in a similar fashion and I'd expect nothing less. However this definition does give us a good feel for what art usually encompasses. We don't need it in a lot of cases to determine if something is or at least tries to be art. Back to Carlin's "intent" for a minute, we know already if the work is at least intended to be artistic without a dictionary. Obscure use of hipster artistic irony, not included. I would also have to qualify this by saying not "all art" is beyond reproach. I do feel there's a certain need to censor some attempts at cinematic depiction that go just that little bit too far. You know? U, PG, 12, 15, 18, R18 and DudeSomethingIsSeriouslyWrongWithYou is how we should still classify them. I have no problem with that.

Censorship has it place and if you disagree with me, please remember, not everyone is as able minded, as intelligent and as responsible as you are.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
And I agree with you. Parents should have a say but the professionals need to have the final word.
Who would the professionals be?
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
And I agree with you. Parents should have a say but the professionals need to have the final word.
Who would the professionals be?
Teachers.
ocalhoun
Dialogist wrote:
but who's stopping it from hitting the stands at Barnes & Noble, or the public library for the matter?

That's the question, now, isn't it....
WHO would be the one stopping them?

The usual answer is 'the government'... but that has an inherent problem.
If the government is the one deciding which should be available, and which shouldn't, then sooner or later you're going to see books on the subject of 'why the government sucks' or 'look how great (different government) is' being banned... and if that happens, we've lost the main reason for having freedom of the press in the first place: a way to keep the government in check.

I would be happy to go along with your proposed rating system. That way readers (and their parents) could be aware of what they're about to read before they do.
But I do NOT support banning or 'restricting the access to' any literature at all.
Afaceinthematrix
Dialogist wrote:
I agree that we shouldn't edit books, period. But there is some literature that needs to be pulled completely.


Hell no! This leads to a situation similar to that in a book that I already referenced: Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Sure I don't want people making dirt bombs, but that's no excuse to censor what people can publish and read. If you want to make a bomb, you can already find instructions online so there's no reason to stop publishers.

Besides, where does it stop? The government starts banning books that they feel are dangerous. Then they start feeling that communist books are dangers. Then they start feeling that other political books are dangerous. Then they start to think that cook books for fried and unhealthy foods are dangerous to society. Etc.

I don't usually buy into a slippery-slope hypothesis but this is one case where it would be too easy for it to happen, and it could be quite dangerous. No one should be arbitrarily given the right to tell me what I can and cannot read nor what I could write. There are some laws about what you can write and say (which are reasonable... It would be foolish for someone to shout "fire" in a crowded building) and we do not need anymore.

The fact that there's words that we cannot say on the television and radio sickens me. We don't need anymore restrictions regarding our freedom of speech.
Dialogist
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I don't usually buy into a slippery-slope hypothesis


Me either, particularly in cases of classifying drugs. However this is slightly different. How do we feel about worst-case-scenario arguments. Say for example child-porn, snuff movies, Al Jazeera beheadings, extreme animal cruelty? Everyone has a sensitive point. What's yours? You'd be surprized at how many young internet folk sent me links to graphic videos of Saddam being hung and Asian animals being brutally slaughtered for the fur trade. I personally don't want that kind of imagery freely available. I can be told about it. I find it lures the curious (young people especially) towards emotionally damaging, voyeuristic mental scarring and to be honest, I find it just a little bit sick.

Yes, these things are aspects of real life (especially in middle eastern countries), but hopefully this delusion of living in a rational civilized society that I like to entertain means something. China don't even have the internet and a pretty low crime rate for the largest population in the world. There is a problem with localized interpretation. Rushdie wrote a book that the East stamped with a fatwa and its not even banned here. Their freely aired news articles of extremely graphic execution videos are not wanted here.

As far as 'raw journalism' goes, do we really need to see a child being raped to know it'll upset us and that it's probably wrong? The news will censor it. "The following images are too distressing to show..." Bravo. Censorship not doing its job?

Also its also arguable that the 7/7 attacks on the British subway couldn't have been possible without the internet being a depraved unsupervised chaotic crapfest. Those hobbyist bomber's recipes for their chemical cocktails were all found freely online. If you take the argument of 'they couldn't have done that 20 or 30 years ago' (students, youths, mainly with no military or guerilla training, just the internet and a misled religious persuasion) then yes, that point is valid. There's information published without any policing, filter or censorship whatsoever. And its free, seeks no credentials from its recipient and it costs lives.

How can we deal with it? Look at the way youtube censors copyrighted music. If we exercised the same greed motivation that we do towards the making and protecting of our money and then applied that same school of thought towards the protecting of civility we wouldn't have a 'global networks of terror' at all.

My only point is that while we should allow esteemed authors privilege and be very lenient with what we author-ize from lesser scribes we should also exercise some degree of vigilance to prevent mindless harmful crud. Like I said before, some people are geniuses yet most are the exact opposite.

ocalhoun wrote:
That's the question, now, isn't it....
WHO would be the one stopping them?

The usual answer is 'the government'... but that has an inherent problem.


As you went on to perfectly illustrate there. I agree, the same politically fueled minds that vilified Lennon, Koresh, Assange, Abu-Jamal, Chomsky etc are not the best organization for the job, and also the film classification people are perhaps a little bit too strict but I think we could manage to pull together a publisher's union of sorts. Sticks and stones (words and image) differ greatly to me, but the pen is still mightier than the sword and should remember that when judging literature like we judge video nasties. And we should take into account geographic cultural interpretation and also political/religious/current climate too. We're not stupid. So let's maybe protect the stupid from inspiring the stupid to be even stupider, at least. For example: Removing sharp objects from the surroundings of a mental patient is not censoring his access to them no more than removing "How to [do some really bad things]" from the possession of a lunatic or zealot is 'censoring'. It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.
ocalhoun
Dialogist wrote:
It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.

Perhaps you'd like to get into your compassionate and protecting padded cell, and let the rest of us enjoy our freedom?

Rarely have I seen someone so eager to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security.
watersoul
ocalhoun wrote:
Dialogist wrote:
It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.

Perhaps you'd like to get into your compassionate and protecting padded cell, and let the rest of us enjoy our freedom?

Rarely have I seen someone so eager to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security.


I'm in agreement there, and I wonder who we decide is the referee qualified to choose what is acceptable for the 'proles' to view or not?
gandalfthegrey
This kind of politically correct censorship is just plain stupid.
Dialogist
watersoul wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Dialogist wrote:
It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.

Perhaps you'd like to get into your compassionate and protecting padded cell, and let the rest of us enjoy our freedom?

Rarely have I seen someone so eager to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security.


I'm in agreement there, and I wonder who we decide is the referee qualified to choose what is acceptable for the 'proles' to view or not?


I think the referee should be somebody who knows at least something about literature, poetry and political climate but more importantly, what kind of proletariat the work may or may not affect or influence. I'm not arguing anything that isn't already implemented and working well for cinema. I'd just like to see some derivative of these principals applied to literature, not so much fiction.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Dialogist wrote:
It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.

Perhaps you'd like to get into your compassionate and protecting padded cell, and let the rest of us enjoy our freedom?
Rarely have I seen someone so eager to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security.
Ocalhoun, I am both curious and interested to know how your position on freedom of speech equates with heavy editing/censorship of posts?

Please note I don't want this to be a discussion on the merit of edits. I am just wondering whether the reasons for having those edits may not be that different from dialogist's reasons in favour of censorship, along the lines of compassion with those who may be offended and protecting them?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Dialogist wrote:
It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.

Perhaps you'd like to get into your compassionate and protecting padded cell, and let the rest of us enjoy our freedom?
Rarely have I seen someone so eager to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security.
Ocalhoun, I am both curious and interested to know how your position on freedom of speech equates with heavy editing/censorship of posts?

Please note I don't want this to be a discussion on the merit of edits. I am just wondering whether the reasons for having those edits may not be that different from dialogist's reasons in favour of censorship, along the lines of compassion with those who may be offended and protecting them?

Replied to in PM. Anybody else who wants to talk about this, please also use PM's.
watersoul
Dialogist wrote:
watersoul wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Dialogist wrote:
It's compassionate and protecting. Protecting us all.

Perhaps you'd like to get into your compassionate and protecting padded cell, and let the rest of us enjoy our freedom?

Rarely have I seen someone so eager to sacrifice freedom for the sake of security.


I'm in agreement there, and I wonder who we decide is the referee qualified to choose what is acceptable for the 'proles' to view or not?


I think the referee should be somebody who knows at least something about literature, poetry and political climate but more importantly, what kind of proletariat the work may or may not affect or influence. I'm not arguing anything that isn't already implemented and working well for cinema. I'd just like to see some derivative of these principals applied to literature, not so much fiction.


I've been reading this topic again and I really am struggling to see the justification for controls over what is published by whichever author anywhere. If someone wants to write a book about anything, even if I personally think it's distasteful or horrible or even simply below standard, it does boil down to freedom of expression.

The cinema argument has been raised, but it is slightly different to be fair. I don't know about the rules in other countries, but in the UK the BBFC British Board of Film Classification, previously BBF censors, only controls the classification of films to the point that they cannot show extreme pornography, child porn, incite hatred, cruelty etc. Even then, they are still governed by The Human Rights Act 1998 (freedom of expression) so if a film can argue its publication is for the ‘public good’ on the grounds that it is in the interests of science, art, literature or learning or other objects of general concern, then it will not be classed as an offence and will be available for sale - if not shown in a cinema.

I think we should be able to write and publish whatever books we wish. There is no guarantee that a book store will stock it, and if the quality of the book is poor then it probably will not sell. Whenever you have a censor, they are reading the material and by default deeming themselves 'more learned' or 'less vulnerable' than the proles are to make their own decision about the danger of the particular piece of writing.
I think thats ridiculous and as an adult, I want to make my own mind up as to whether something is likely to corrupt or damage me.
Have an age limit (18 in the UK) by all means, but don't deny adults the opportunity to decide for themselves - anything other than that position is, in my opinion, elitist and pompous.
ocalhoun
watersoul wrote:

I think we should be able to write and publish whatever books we wish.

The only qualification I would add to that would be an extention of copyright law that makes it illegal to publish a book under the name of an author other than the person who wrote it, and that edited versions of existing books (no matter how old) must make note of the editing in the title or subtitle (ie. adapted from the version by Mark Twain).

That way, anyone reading an edited book knows that it is not exactly what the original author wrote, and nobody can steal the credit for writing copyright-expired books.
jwellsy
The Canadian institutionalized censorship is a form of soft tyranny.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Canada
watersoul
ocalhoun wrote:

The only qualification I would add to that would be an extention of copyright law that makes it illegal to publish a book under the name of an author other than the person who wrote it, and that edited versions of existing books (no matter how old) must make note of the editing in the title or subtitle (ie. adapted from the version by Mark Twain).

That way, anyone reading an edited book knows that it is not exactly what the original author wrote, and nobody can steal the credit for writing copyright-expired books.

Agreed Smile

jwellsy wrote:
The Canadian institutionalized censorship is a form of soft tyranny.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Canada

I had a look at the link and it doesn't seem that bad really?
I'm not into censorship at all to be honest, but I do understand a watershed for TV, if only so my child doesn't turn it on in the day and accidentally sees violent stabbing scenes or some woman with a mouthfull of man while dubbed audio is playing a voice wailing "ah, tastes so good" Laughing
ocalhoun
watersoul wrote:

I'm not into censorship at all to be honest, but I do understand a watershed for TV, if only so my child doesn't turn it on in the day and accidentally sees violent stabbing scenes or some woman with a mouthfull of man while dubbed audio is playing a voice wailing "ah, tastes so good" Laughing

Yeah! Kids should have to go to the internet for that! Can't have it on TV.


In all seriousness though, yes, there are some 'offensive' things that should not be shown on a medium where you could easily view it by accident.
(ie TV, radio, outdoor advertisements... and interestingly, internet sites with misleading titles/links)
Any law on the subject needs to include a measure that prevents political, religious, or ethnic content from being deemed 'offensive' though.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Any law on the subject needs to include a measure that prevents political, religious, or ethnic content from being deemed 'offensive' though.
That would be the "fun" part for kids however, and when it is legislated, that is exactly what they would be looking for, along the lines of "forbidden fruit" tasting the nicest. Smile
foumy6
i think it should be left alone i have a thread called Huck finn if you wanna vote and post ur opinon feel free Smile so 100% have said yes Smile
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