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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Censor

Are there any retired Censors in the house?

First, for the young people I will explain what a Censor was. In the old days, men and women were hired by the State to decide what was fit for members of the public to see and hear. Their presence was felt everywhere. Still, to an extent, what we are fed is subject to a voluntary form of censure, although you might not think so.

Official censorship ended because of pressure from the public who felt that having some people arbitralily decide for us was just not right. We thought we were more offended by that principal than having so much junk now dumped in our faces. However, if you are like me you might be fed up to such a degree that entertainment is no longer entertainment when it is just a platform to spew forth with profane language and simulated sex. (I think it is simulated.)

The film, "Three Weddings and a Funeral" begins with the first five minutes where all the actors repeat the same four-letter word for five minutes. I guess the director thought this was what, funny. creative? Other made for television or cinema films can be one continous string of explictives, and that wears the audience down to the extent that we do not enjoy the narrative.

It is becoming so that when we do view a work that is without explictives we may realize a pure form of enjoyment without even realizing why. Writers and directors have got to realize that the absence of censorship simply means that you are free to do anything you wish. It does not mean that you should do anything that comes to mind. There is responsibility that comes with that freedom, and the use of maturity in the production of entertainment is more creative.

I was born during an era of Victorian-like morality and prudence, so I have that as a yardstick to compare where we are now. Playboy magazine crashed through the barrier with its centerfold, and the wonderful mystery of women was lost forever. The other extreme, of course is to require that women dress from head to toe so that they are a complete mystery. That is just as bad, when the proper balance is to be found in the middle. In my opinion a woman who is dressed conservatively holds far more interest than one who leaves little to the imagination.

What has happened is that the pendulumn was stuck to the side of prudence and mind control, and now it has swung to the other extreme. Now, a person can be as sick as they want on screen and in print, and in doing so they infect their audience with such over the top perversion. That is not entertainment! The dialog given to actors and actresses is like vomit coming from their mouths. Well, we have seen that it could be done, and it is not pretty.

Some people really enjoy this sort of thing. I get that. I am also realistic enough to know that it will not change, just because I might like it to. However, if its trash it really does need to be clearly classified as such because I suspect that a growing number of people have had enough.

What I do hope will happen is that a more stringent form of classification will emerge to warn the public that if you don't want your senses to be assaulted give this one a miss. It would still be our choice to watch or read or not, but now we turn to a television channel and without warning our living rooms are flooded with words and images that are inappropriate either for our children or for members of our family.

As for our retired Censors they must be wondering why they even bothered to change the word damn to gosh, golly or Geewhiz.

Copyright (c) 2014  Eugene Carmichael