|3rd April |
Mexico's media agree to voluntary censorship
See article from washingtontimes.com
|26th February |
The King's Speech now available in a muted PG-13 version
Thanks to Nick
Based on article
See also article from
The has assigned a PG-13 rating to an alternative version of The King's Speech in which, a source said: the 'fucks' that earned it an R rating have been muted out.
The MPAA said it also has waived a rule that requires the distributor to
fully withdraw the original version of the film from theaters for 90 days before replacing it with an alternative.
|25th February |
25 years for inciting violent attacks on South Park Creators
Thanks to Nick
Based on article from
A man who admitted posting online threats against the creators of the animated TV series South Park has been jailed for 25 years.
Zachary Adam Chesser encouraged violent jihadists to attack South Park writers for an episode that
depicted Mohammed in a bear suit, court documents said. Chesser also admitted that he tried to go to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group that the United States considers a terrorist organization.
He posted online messages that
included the writers' home addresses and urged online readers to pay them a visit, the documents said.
His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out -- even in jest -- to avoid being labeled as enemies who
deserved to be killed, U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said: The fact that a young man from Northern Virginia could support such violence and terror is a sobering reminder of the serious threat that homegrown jihadists pose to this country.
Chesser was born in the United States and converted to Islam in high school.
|24th February |
John Stagliano refutes nutter campaign
article from business.avn.com
Adult film maker John Stagliano (Buttman) issued the following statement decrying the recent attacks on personal liberties by moral crusaders:
This week, the group 'Pornography Harms' continued its campaign to ban free
speech and adult entertainment through a letter circulated around Capitol Hill with the goal of spurring elected officials into enacting the group's dangerous agenda. The letter cites worn-out and debunked claims that view.
Recent statistics show those claims simply are not true. A study from a Clemson University economist showed that violent and sexual crimes have actually decreased as Internet usages have increased. The study's author found that
states whose Internet access expanded the fastest saw rapes and sexual crimes decline the most.
We are tired of being slandered. It is apparent that if people are left free to consume pornography, if they so choose,
the world is a healthier, less violent place.'
In 2008, the Department of Justice's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force brought charges against Stagliano in a trial which gained national attention over its free speech
implications. In July of 2010, the trial ended in a Judicial Acquittal after the Judge ruled there wasn't sufficient evidence presented by the prosecution to convict. Groups such as Pornography Harms have lobbied government agencies and elected officials
to continue to stifle first amendment / free speech rights through similar prosecutions.
The recent Pornography Harms letter urges readers to donate to Morality in Media, an organization with a long history of First
Amendment suppression tactics and alignment with other censorship driven groups. They have frequently used similar outlandish claims and factual distortions as part of their extremist agenda, such as claiming there's a link between gay marriage and mass
killings. If these anti-speech activists are initially successful with their censorship agenda, they won't stop until they have turned all broadcasts and publications in line with their narrow worldview.
The only real
violence involved is prosecuting someone like me with an obscenity law, a law that you can't know in advance when you are breaking it.'
|21st February |
Call of Juarez: The Cartel
14th February 2011. From gamepolitics.com
The video game, Call of Juarez: The Cartel , is set to release this summer. Unlike the previous releases in the series, The Cartel is set in the present day and focuses on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico. But apart
from this, little information has yet been released about the game
The modern-day setting combined with the title has rubbed law enforcement officials in south Texas up the wrong way. Gang and drug cartel-related violence is very real to towns in
southern Texas bordering Mexico.
Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia says that any game involving organized crime sets a bad example:
Unfortunately there are companies that are looking to capitalize on
the violent situation in Mexico which has had a very negative impact on the country, said Garcia. There have been spillover cases in certain areas of our country with cases of kidnappings and murders. This is a serious topic and this is just another
violent video game.
It doesn't matter if it deals with the cartel in Juarez, the Gulf Cartel or the Sinaloa Cartel. It is simply not something that is appropriate for our youth, Garcia added. This leaves lasting images
and ideas in teenagers who get caught up in the game and may try to make it a reality and live the violent lifestyle they see in these games.
While Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio admitted that he was not familiar with the
game, he says that he agrees with Garcia that any type of media that glamorizes the criminal lifestyle should be discouraged.
The title itself leads one to believe that the game deals with
narcotic trafficking organizations. Games like these create a false idea in the minds of teenagers who are still developing and may grow up and want to imitate these characters. Sadly enough these kind of games are protected by freedom of speech, but the
violence that comes from cartels is not a game and it affects us all.
Update: Chihuahua lawmakers recommend Call of Juarez: The Cartel
21st February 2011. Based on
article from globalvoicesonline.org
The video game Call of Juarez: The Cartel by game developer Ubisoft has drawn criticism from Mexican and US officials even before anything substantive is known about the game beyond the promotional statement:
You'll embark on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico immersing yourself in a gritty plot with interesting characters and a wide variety of game play options. Take justice into your own hands in this modern Western
Mexican blogger Ismael Flores explains that legislators in the state of Chihuahua,where Ciudad Jua'rez is located, have now called on the Secretariat of Governance and the Secretariat of Economy to prohibit the sale of
the video game in Mexico.
It remains to be seen whether Mexico's federal government will act upon the request. But of course if they do they will have to answer why they are not spending their time concentrating on banning the real violence in
|21st February |
Connecticut bill to uncensor UFC
Interesting to note that the debate is all about money. Nutter 'concerns' about copy-cat violence or whatever don't get a look in. 20th February 2011.
Mixed martial arts, an intense and increasingly popular sport that blends boxing, wrestling, karate, judo and other forms of fighting, is currently not permitted in Connecticut. But the legislature is considering a bill that would sanction MMA matches,
provided they are regulated and the ticket revenue is taxed.
State Rep. Matthew Lesser has introduced legislation that would open the door for Connecticut to join 46 other states that have legalized MMA.
Lesser said he was spurred to raise
the bill by a constituent who is an MMA fan.
It doesn't seem to make sense to tell fans from Connecticut that they have to leave the state to watch it.
Lesser says MMA could also boost the state's bottom line. Average ticket sales
for an Ultimate Fight Championship match topped $2.8 million in 2007. UFC, the company that promotes most of the top-ranked MMA matches, is also a major player in the pay-per-view market. Taxes on MMA gate receipts could provide a pretty significant
economic boom, he said.
Massachusetts and Maine both recently legalized MMA, but New York is one of four states that has not. That provides an opportunity for Connecticut, given its proximity to the Empire State, Lesser said.
been criticized for its violence. Senator John McCain famously referred to it as human cockfighting. Lesser's bill would regulate it, just as boxing is regulated by the state.
MMA's fan base overlaps with that of professional wrestling.
Lesser said Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment is lobbying against the MMA bill.
Update: The Sport Has Grown Up
21st February 2011. Thanks to goatboy. See
article from web.archive.org
The John McCain quote is out of date, he was against it when it was no rules ( UFC 2 may well be the most violent video the bbfc have ever passed, no joke) but the state athletic commissions wrote up a list of rules to turn it into a
legit sport and McCain has since said The sport has grown up. The rules have been adopted to give its athletes better protections and to ensure fairer competition.
Interestingly there appears to be little in the way of MMA regulation in the
UK and UFC has run here many times.
|17th February |
Producer of genre classics from Blood Feast to Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS
See article from nytimes.com
David F. Friedman, a film producer who cheerfully and cheesily exploited an audience's hunger for bare-breasted women and blood-dripping corpses in lucrative low-budget films like Blood Feast and Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. , died
on Monday in Alabama aged 87 from heart failure.
Friedman plumbed the low-rent depths of the movie business with a sense of boldness and a sense of fun. In the early 1960s he and a partner, the director Herschell Gordon Lewis, made a handful of
films in a genre known as nudie-cuties, in which young women would perform ordinary household tasks or cavort in sun-dappled settings half-dressed or entirely undressed.
In 1963, Friedman and Lewis made the gleefully gore-soaked Blood Feast
, considered by many to be a groundbreaking film in the horror genre, the first so-called splatter film. It tells the story of a murderous Egyptian caterer in Miami who is especially fond of decapitating women. To promote the film, Friedman
warned viewers that it might be sickening and supplied theaters with airline vomit bags to distribute to customers. Made for $24,500, the film reportedly earned millions.
Friedman and Lewis followed Blood Feast with two other gore fests
that are exemplars of their ilk: Two Thousand Maniacs! , which takes place in a Southern town during a Civil War centennial celebration in which the townspeople take their revenge for losing the war on visiting Yankees; and Color Me
Blood Red , about a painter who gets his distinctive reds from the blood of his murder victims.
Friedman made films in the soft-porn vein --- they had titles like Trader Hornee and The Erotic Adventures of Zorro --- and
eventually, while serving as chairman of the Adult Film Association, made a handful of hard-core movies as well.
Perhaps his most famous title was Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. , about a sadistic and insatiable female Nazi prison guard,
generally considered a camp classic of sexploitation.
|17th February |
US takes down 84,000 websites
Based on article from
The US Government has yet again shuttered several domain names this week. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security's ICE office proudly announced that they had seized domains related to counterfeit goods and child pornography. What they failed to
mention, however, is that one of the targeted domains took down 84,000 innocent websites with it.
Thousands of site owners were surprised by a rather worrying banner that replaced their website. Advertisement, distribution, transportation,
receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution, was the worrying message they read on their
The shared domain in question is mooo.com, which belongs to the DNS provider FreeDNS. It is the most popular shared domain at afraid.org and as a result of the authorities' actions a massive 84,000 subdomains were wrongfully seized as
well. All sites were redirected to the US takedown banner.
Eventually the domain seizure was reverted and the subdomains slowly started to point to the old sites again instead of the accusatory banner.
Hilary Clinton scolds other nations for internet censorship
Based on article from bbc.co.uk
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned repressive governments not to restrict internet freedom, saying such efforts will ultimately fail.
She said the US was committed to global internet freedom and announced that the US government would
invest an additional $25m to help online dissidents and digital activists fight state repression.
She named China, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam and Burma as countries restricting online speech, and noted that Egypt's attempt to stifle protesters by
switching off the internet was unsuccessful. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook were important tools that gave voice to people's aspirations.
She acknowledged that the internet has a problem with hateful speech which can inflame
hostilities, but said that efforts to curb such content often become an excuse to violate rights to free speech: The best answer to offensive speech is more speech. People can and should speak out against intolerance and hatred .
...BUT...she drew a sharp distinction between Wikileaks' possession of secret government correspondence and internet freedom.
Fundamentally, the Wikileaks incident began with an act of theft, Clinton said: Government documents were stolen, just the same as if they had been smuggled out in a briefcase.
|12th February |
Film maker explains how trailers get a higher BBFC rating than the feature even with the same material
5th February 2011. See video from
Pat Higgins is the Writer/Director of straight-to-DVD horror movies such as Hellbride, KillerKiller, The Devil's Music & House on the Witchpit.
He explains how his Trash House DVD ended up with an 18. He also asks how
the MPAA could give the same rating for both the King's Speech and Saw 3D
See the video
Update: The Hidden Cost
of Easter Eggs
8th February 2011. See video from youtube.com
Pat Higgins, director of The Devil's Music, explains economic censorship resulting from the BBFC fee structure for DVD extras.
See the video
|11th February |
Lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, and easily offended
4th February See article from
The BBC has apologised for remarks made on the television programme, Top Gear , that caused 'outrage' in Mexico.
The comments about Mexicans were made when they were discussing Mexican sports cars. Reviewing the Mastretta, Richard
Hammond said vehicles reflected national characteristics: Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat. The
presenters, known for their edgy jibes, then described Mexican food as refried sick .
Jeremy Clarkson added that he was confident he would not receive any complaints about their comments because the Mexican ambassador would be asleep.
But somebody on the ambassador's staff must have been awake, as the ambassador demanded an apology, calling the remarks offensive, xenophobic and humiliating .
In a letter to Mexico's ambassador in London, the BBC said it was sorry if it
had offended some people, but said jokes based on national stereotyping were part of British national humour.
Our own comedians make jokes about the British being terrible cooks and terrible romantics, and we in turn make jokes
about the Italians being disorganised and over dramatic, the French being arrogant and the Germans being over-organised, the BBC said. It added that stereotype-based comedy was allowed within BBC guidelines in programmes where the audience knew they
could expect it, as was the case with Top Gear . Whilst it may appear offensive to those who have not watched the programme or who are unfamiliar with its humour, the executive producer has made it clear to the ambassador that that was
absolutely not the show's intention .
Hundreds of Mexicans contacted the BBC Spanish-language website BBC Mundo to protest about the remark More expressed outrage in e-mails to Mexican newspapers and websites, where the Top Gear jibes have received huge coverage. The matter was also raised in the Mexican senate, where lawmakers were considering a motion of censure.
An all-party group of British MPs also urged the BBC to apologise, calling the remarks ignorant, derogatory and racist .
Update: Too Close to Home for Comfort
11th February 2011. See
Scenes in which Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May poked fun at Mexicans will be cut before the show is broadcast in the
United States next week. The show is broadcast on the BBC America channel
|8th February |
Florida proposes to add 'simulated' sex to its obscenity law
See article from
Florida House Bill 385 is a proposal to revise Florida's laws on obscenity. The gist of the bill is to add the term simulated to the definition of sexual conduct in our obscenity law.
Specifically, the bill addresses:
- Actual or simulated lewd exhibition of genitals)
- Actual or simulated physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, bottom or female breasts in a sexual context.
- Actual or simulated actions that would
otherwise be defined as sexual battery under Florida law.
What, exactly, does it mean to simulate this kind of physical contact ? If it doesn't matter whether one is clothed or unclothed, then does dirty dancing become obscene? The lambada? A really steamy tango? What about suggestive
cheerleader routines? What about bump-and-grind adult dancers?
The bill has drawn the concern of groups ranging from naturists to civil libertarians to the adult-business industry.
The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders would have to be stopped
at the state line, worries Richard Mason, president of the South Florida Free Beaches/Florida Naturist Association.
Luke Lirot, a Tampa lawyer well known for defending adult-business cases, thinks the bill is unconstitutional. Redner thinks it
|8th February |
US government produces technology to bypass website filtering by encoding censored data into emails
See report from
The U.S. government has developed technology that can cut through Web censorship barriers in countries like China and deliver news and information to people who don't have currently have access to it.
The Feed Over Email (FOE) system, outlined in
a recent report by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, uses email to transport censored data to end users. A server encodes the required internet data (pages, files, applications, RSS feeds etc) and encodes them into an email. The end user runs a client
program to decode the data into familiar internet formats.
The government hopes that FOE will allow people to receive the latest news from censored Web sites and also complement existing anti-censorship tools, according to the report. People also
can use the tool to download other anti-censorship software, such Tor, Freegate, or Ultrasurf.
The technology was tested between February and June 2010 in the Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shenzhen and performed well in all tests,
according to the report. However, the agency said it's unclear how it will work when publicly available.
The U.S. has undertaken previous efforts to help bypass government Internet censorship, but the report marks the first public
disclosure of technological efforts to do so.
|1st February |
Uttering 'bullshit' helps King's Speech director get over his censorship impediment
Thanks to Nick
It's been prize winning week for the movie King's Speech , but producer Harvey Weinstein is now considering cutting the film to PG-13 to broaden the audience.
At issue is a series of 'fucks', uttered by Colin Firth playing King George
VI, as he attempts to overcome his stutter.
Director Tom Hooper says he doesn't support cutting the film ...BUT... he said that it might be bleeped.
Speaking to EW, Tom Hooper said,
wouldn't support cutting the film in any way. I think we looked at whether it's possible to bleep out the f—s and stuff, but I'm not going to actually cut that part.
He said that no final decision has been made about
creating a PG-13 friendly edit, but reiterated: I'm not going to cut the film.
Co-star Helena Bonham Carter said:
I don't think it needs to be cut down. I think every 13-year-old knows [the words], I
think every 8-year-old [does]. It's the whole point of it. It's not to be offensive. I think they said they were going to put the bleeps.
|31st January |
Male sports presenters don't know the rules of easy offence
Thanks to Nick
article from foxnews.com
See video from youtube.com
US cable television network TNT has issued an apology for a comment made by comedian Tracy Morgan about former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during a live broadcast.
During a pre-game chat on Inside the NBA, co-host Charles Barkley asked the actor,
Sarah Palin's good looking, isn't she?
Morgan replied, Let me tell you something about Sarah Palin, she's good masturbation material. The glasses and all of that... She is great masturbation material.
TNT issued the apology
within minutes amid 'outraged' phone calls and emails about Morgan's comments.
It's unfortunate Morgan showed a lack of judgment on our air with his inappropriate comments, said Turner spokesman Jeff Pomeroy in a statement.
|27th January |
US distributor considers a cut version of the The King's Speech
The LA Times is reporting that the film distributor Weinstein is contemplating editing The King's Speech in order to get its R-rating reduced to PG-13 and so increase the market able to see it.
The reason that the film was given the
restricted label in the first place is because of MPAA inflexibility over a scene in which King George VI spurts out numerous curse words in order to help him get over his stutter.
The film was originally rated 15 in the UK, but the BBFC were
asked to think again, and the film now has a 12 rating allowing it to be seen by a family audience. And successful it has been too.
This is a terrible, terrible idea. As far as I know, there is no difference between the cut being shown in British theaters vs. US theaters, meaning that this isn't a problem of content, but rather an issue of
bullshit standards and qualifications by the MPAA. This would perhaps be understandable if we still lived in the 1920s, but I've personally never met a 13 year old kid who is completely unaware of the existence of words like fuck and shit.
|22nd January |
DC comics opts out of a historic morality code in favour of its own self rating scheme
Based on article
After nearly sixty years, DC Comics has decided that none of its publications need carry the Seal of Approval of the Comics Code Authority.
The announcement was made in a communique to direct market retailers, which also included the news that
DC will employ a new ratings system of its own design. Deployment of DC's new ratings system will begin in April.
The new self rating scheme is described as follows:
Appropriate for readers of all ages. May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.
Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild
violence, language and/or suggestive themes.
T+: TEEN PLUS
Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive
Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older
The Comics Code Authority
The previous moralistic code was established in 1954 after moral panics of the era.
General Standards Part A
- Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
No comics shall explicitly present the unique details and methods of a crime.
- Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to
create disrespect for established authority.
- If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
- Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous
or to occupy a position which creates the desire for emulation.
- In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
- Scenes of excessive
violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gun play, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
- No unique or unusual methods of concealing weapons
shall be shown.
- Instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a criminal's activities should be discouraged.
- The crime of kidnapping shall never be portrayed in any
detail, nor shall any profit accrue to the abductor or kidnapper. The criminal or the kidnapper must be punished in every case.
- The letter of the word crime on a comics magazine shall never be appreciably
greater than the other words contained in the title. The word crime shall never appear alone on a cover.
- Restraint in the use of the word crime in titles or sub-titles shall be exercised.
General Standards Part B
- No comics magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title.
- All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be
- All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
- Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to
illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly nor as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
- Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and
vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism and werewolfism are prohibited.
General Standards Part C
- 1Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
- Special precautions to avoid references to physical afflictions of
deformities shall be taken.
- Although slang and colloquialisms are acceptable, excessive use should be discouraged and wherever possible good grammar shall be employed.
Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible.
- Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
- Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.
- Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
Marriage and Sex:
- Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor represented as desirable.
- Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at or portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are
- Respect for parents, the moral code, and for honorable behavior shall be fostered. A sympathetic understanding of the problems of love is not a license for moral distortion.
The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.
- Passion or romantic interest shall never be treated in such a way as to stimulate the
lower and baser emotions.
- Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested. Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
The code was updated over the years to allow for the depiction of werewolves, vampires, the corruption of elected officials, and gays of which the taboo itself became taboo.
|22nd January |
Art censor claims his censorship was not properly censorship
Of course it was censorship. G.Wayne Clough would retain a bit more credibility by arguing that it was censorship necessitated by circimstances
article from latimesblogs.latimes.com
G. Wayne Clough, head of the Smithsonian Institution, has acknowledged that he acted too quickly before deciding Nov. 30 to remove a controversial video from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
In an interview after a long-planned
speaking engagement in downtown L.A., Clough said the decision to remove David Wojnarowicz's 1987 AIDS-protest video, A Fire in My Belly , on the same day that two top Republican congressmen had complained that the exhibition offended
Christian sensibilities, was the most painful thing I've ever done, but denied it could properly be called censorship.
Clough said threats of budgetary consequences by House Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor played
into his decision, but a primary concern was preventing a media pile-on that would hijack the exhibition by turning the discussion away from the art on display and make it an excuse for a heated and polarizing debate of tangential issues.
Clough spoke proudly of
Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture being the first major museum exhibition devoted primarily to gay and lesbian artists' sensibilities.
|14th January |
Museum of Modern Art acquires A Fire in My Belly
Thanks to Nick
article from foxnews.com
The Museum of Modern Art announced the purchase of the controversial video exhibit featuring an image of Jesus on a crucifix covered in ants that was pulled from the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery last month.
The New York museum
have announced their acquisition of David Wojnarowicz's original 13-minute version of A Fire in My Belly, and a 7-minute excerpt, MoMA Director Glenn Lowry said.
The work was included in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National
Portrait Gallery, sparking an outcry from some conservative members of Congress and organizations including the Catholic League, which culminated in its removal from the gallery.
The current debate surrounding the removal of the piece from the
National Portrait Gallery exhibition brought the work to our attention and provided us with an opportunity to look more closely at it and to deepen our engagement with this artist by adding it to our holdings of his work, MoMA said.
is described as a collage of images filmed primarily during the artist's travels to Mexico, it combines footage from a number of sources that refer—often in graphic detail—to death, social inequality, faith, and desire. It is now
housed in MoMA's Contemporary Galleries with other works made during the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
|11th January |
Pennsylvania State Police to end charging people for swearing
Pennsylvania State Police reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that retires them from policing the dictionary. This, after 770 people were cited in a one-year period, and faced a fine and potential jail time, for speaking
words the state police deemed obscene.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit in May on behalf of Lona Scarpa, who called a motorcyclist an asshole after he swerved too close to her and another pedestrian. When she reported the incident
to the police, Ms. Scarpa found herself charged with disorderly conduct for swearing and faced a possible $300 fine and 90 days in jail.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and many other courts, have made it very clear that profanity —
including dirty words, foul language, and rude gestures — is protected speech. Nevertheless, an ACLU investigation revealed that the state police had, on average, issued more than two such citations per day.
Using profanity toward
someone, whether an officer or not, is just not one of those things that you can put someone in jail for, explains Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
As part of the settlement, the state police have
agreed to retrain their officers to make clear that they cannot cite people for profanity, indecent speech, or gestures.
|11th January |
Arizona shooting blamed on violent political rhetoric
See article from bloomberg.com
|7th January |
Opens outside the National Censored Portrait Gallery
Based on article from
Anyone who missed David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly before it was removed from the National Portrait Gallery exhibit Hide/Seek on November 30 will soon be able to see it right outside the museum.
Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax
Iacovone, who were detained on December 6 for playing the video on an iPad in the NPG lobby, have followed through on their promise to host a temporary gallery for censored work.
They've now obtained the permits they need to park a trailer outside
the Gallery's F Street NW entrance. The Museum of Censored Art will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (mirroring NPG's hours), until Hide/Seek closes on February 13.
The City Paper quotes Iacovone as saying, we
haven't said anything to NPG, but I suspect they're going to find out real soon.
|6th January |
US appeals court finds FCC wrong to fine ABC over a showing of NYPD Blue
See article from
A federal appeals court has struck down a penalty imposed on ABC by the FCC in 2003.
The $27,500 fine was originally charged after an episode of cop drama NYPD Blue contained a brief shot of a woman's nude buttocks.
According to the
Associated Press, the 2nd US Court of Appeals has now ruled that since television stations are not fined for fleeting, unscripted profanities in live broadcasts, the brief nudity should not have resulted in a penalty.
The FCC previously
claimed that the scene dwelled on the nudity of actress Charlotte Ross and was shocking and titillating .
|4th January |
Huckleberry Finn published with the word 'nigger' replaced by 'slave'
Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic . Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on
lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single word: nigger.
Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books now plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn , in a single volume with The
Adventures of Tom Sawyer , that does away with the word 'nigger' by replacing it with the word slave. It also replaces the word Injun .
This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind, said
Gribben: Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.