i have to admit to difficulties regarding this topic.
and i realise i am preaching to the mostly converted. so be it. i'll preach anyway.
and i wholly realise that these are unanswerable and subjective questions. fuck all that, i value the conversation and comms.
let us move on.
personally, i don't feel a situation in which censorship is non existent to be intellectually or societally healthy.
though i have to explain that my censorship would not necessarily be artistic, it would be political and religious.
i can think of many instances at this present time wherein the evil, bigoted and dangerous ravings of political and religious fanatics [of every stripe, colour and creed] would be far better silenced. and the world would be far better off if the authors of this bile and nonsense were taken for the fuckwit bigots and repressed zealots that they are. imho.
there exist far too many examples to list.
that a fanatic almost always increases the ludicrous and evil appearance of his or her position and views the more fanatical they become is not unknown to me.
but rest assured, even the most fanatical can soon have slavering pinheaded acolytes hanging on their every word. thus the problem. thus the danger.
on to censorship in artistic terms.
we have certain means at our disposal to act as our own censors.
we do not have to watch bill hicks on television, we can choose to turn the television off.
we do not have to listen to rush limbaugh on the radio, we can choose to turn the radio off.
we do not have to see pornographic images on the internet, we can choose to avoid these sites and images.
we do not have to see the photographs of nan goldin or robert mapplethorpe, we can choose not to go to the exhibitions.
though let us digress a little and look at a real world example.
it is the example of nan goldin's photograph 'klara and edda bellydancing':
please look at the photograph using the link below:
please read some comments about the photograph on this idiotic forum:
pay particular attention to the exceptionally pathetic and idiotic post by DreSage; well in fact, let me reproduce it here:
'Whether the photo is "art" or not is not the relevant question. Anything can be "art", and is, simply because the "Establishment" - the elite New York liberals - label it as such. Any filth - including a Crucifix dipped in a jar of urine, or the Virgin Mary stained with elephant dung - can be "art" (with the possible exceptions of such gems as the Torah rolled up on a toilet paper roll next to a john, or Moses shitting on the Ten Commandments - those might be "offensive" to the "Establishment" crowd).
In this case, whether or not it is declared "art", the photo is a clear example of lesbian child pornography and hence should be banned for the protection of the child (who did not consent to the display of this pornography) and for the prevention of paedophilia.
The photographer, Nan Goldin, is a lesbian known for her homo-erotic pornography ("art"). Thus the "she's a woman photographer" argument, made by those who wish to deny the obvious perversity of what is is staring them in their eyes, just does not cut it. Why add to the sexuality of such an "innocent" picture by giving it such a pedigree?
The title of the "work" (Klara and Edda Belly Dancing) has a clear association with sexuality and in particular prostitution (belly dancers, as all the literate people who frequent these museums know, were the prostitutes of the ancient Arab world). Why add to the sexuality of the picture by giving it such a name if it is truly "innocent"?
The title of the book in which it was first published is the "Devil's Playground", which, beyond the reference to Satan (and evil), has connotations of sado-masochism and sexual perversion (many adult pornographic titles also employ Satanic terms) (and look at the way the standing girl is dressed). Why add to the degeneracy of an "innocent" picture by giving it such a name?
The supine girl, totally naked, has her legs spread, her vagina boldly facing the camera, and is staring at (and reaching her hands up toward) the vagina of the girl standing spread-eagled above her.
The standing girl, while she has panties on, is wearing a risque top which exposes her nipple and resembles dominatrix outfits - it might as well be a leather band crossing her torso. Also she stands in a sensual pose - from the way she holds her arms to the way her lips are pursed - it looks like she may even be wearing lipstick.
I really don't see how this can be judged a "normal" child picture - I would not dream of taking a picture of any child in that position, much less publicizing it for every degenerate person in the world to look at. If a normal person tried to develop a picture of their own child like this in a Fotomat or the like they would properly be arrested and sent up the river for repentance for sexually exploiting these poor girls. But then to sell the picture and even to post it publicly reveals a degeneracy!
Now, due to the decision of the authorities, it is totally legal to spread this image through the Internet. Now the paedophiles (male and female) will have a perfectly legal erotic child picture to masturbate to. Congratulations, Ms. Goldin, for making the world a better place!
let us not dwell on the incredibly infantile, fanatical [here we go again] and wrongheaded 'assumptions' and 'inferences' this idiot makes, such as 'it looks like she may even be wearing lipstick', 'the title of the book in which it was first published is the "Devil's Playground", which, beyond the reference to Satan (and evil), has connotations of sado-masochism and sexual perversion', and 'it might as well be a leather band crossing her torso'.
these statements say much more to me about DreSage's 'world view' than they say about the photograph. DreSage's world is not one i would like to live in. i see brown shirts and ovens on the horizon.
the photograph is troubling, of that there is no doubt, but the assertion that it is pornographic seems nonsensical.
the same is often said about the photography of sally mann [whom i admire greatly]. this seems to be the knee jerk reaction of a few cranks who assume that every picture of a child can be considered child pornography.
i have often thought i could get some wonderful 'motion blur' photographs of kids playing at the small local playground. but as you are no doubt thinking to yourself now, this is currently impossible. this seems wrong. it also seems odd.
it is like 'thoughtcrime' insofar as a small precentage of morons assume anybody wanting to take pictures of children in any situation are taking them for reasons of a sexual nature. again, this seem idiotic, smallminded and reactionary in the extreme. though it interests me to consider how we have arrived at this position.
and once again, these assertions say much more to me about the people making them than they ever say about any given artwork.
end of digression.
so the question, to censor or not to censor?
it is the same moral and philosophical quandry. it is age old.
do you want to have someone select what you can see, hear, read, and generally interact with. or are you capable of making your own choices? [and making choices for your offspring].
do you consider yourself an adult, or an 'adult child' needing moral, conceptual and aesthetic 'steering'?
and on to flickr:
personally, i do accept that flickr needs restrictions and a filtering process.
children should be freed from the lockjaw fuckwits who seek to 'mould' them in any way. religious, political, or any other vile and disgusting indoctrination. if you seek to suborn or indoctrinate a child i consider you beyond reproach. i consider you flat packed for hell.
you are an evil cunt.
let a child be a child. there will be time enough for hideous disillusion when the child becomes adult.
the religious fanatic. the political fanatic. the moral fanatic.
leave children alone. you are as evil as the priest who abuses as he/she pretends to 'teach', you are as abusive as the master who whips for his own fractured sexual delictation, you are as evil as the parent who seeks sexual congress with the child that you created.
why cannot corporations and profit making companies let a child be a child?
why cannot these fucked and amoral commercial entities leave your children alone?
because they want more profit.
from a clown, from a camel, from a cartoon, from a tie in, from a theme park.
the evil thing is, corporate society and corporations, disney|coke|hilfiger|camel|gap|mtv|barbie|et al seek to make a child a 'tween'. this is one of the most hateful, deviant and downright evil concepts i have ever come across.
the corporation seeks to mould the child into a 'young buying adult' at the first possible juncture.
what comes next, tee shirts for embryos?
and that is a serious statement. would corporations seek to advertise to the unborn? the answer is yes.
they want to rape your child finacially.
i digress again. such is my way.
black or white?
ps - i love the crucifix in the glass of piss.
who can object to that?
a little bill shakespeare to round off [from king lear];
the policeman who lashes the whore has a hot need to use her for the very offense for which he plies the lash
so often we see sexual degenerecy and sexual repression hand in hand.
finally, a little light reading that shows how jolly it would be to live in a theocracy governed by shariah law: