Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Things You Shouldn't See

We recently celebrated Banned Books Week, sponsored each year by the American Library Association to warn us of the dangers of allowing other people to decide what we're allowed to read and think. But there are also legions of people out there who would also like to decide on your behalf what you are allowed to see.

Ever since the technology to put moving pictures on a screen was developed, there has been controversy about what pictures are appropriate for audiences of various ages...or any age, for that matter. Religious and social action groups often object to entire films or to particular scenes for one reason or another. Some of those reasons are obvious, others less so.

This short video presentation, titled "Forbidden Images," provides a very interesting look at some of the scenes that censors wanted removed from films through the years. It was made for the 2007 72 Hour Film Festival in Frederick, Maryland, and features a compilation of clips from films that will make you nostalgic for the days when - in the words of the song "Anything Goes":

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
was looked on as something shocking
Now heaven knows,
Anything goes!

To me, depictions of terrible violence on screen are much worse than any of this...or even than most of the sexy images that are pretty much standard today. But I think I ought to be the one to decide if I ought to watch them. And I think it's the responsibility of parents to guide their children to make the right decisions about what they read and what they watch until they can make the decision on their own.

Remember Bilbo's First Law: "Don't let anyone do your thinking for you." Especially if it's me.

Have a good day. Decide for yourself what to read and watch. More thoughts tomorrow.



Anonymous said...

Actually, all we've done is switch the forbidden topics. In the past frank sexuality was forbidden; now frank discussion of human cultural differences is forbidden. For example, we're supposed to pretend a social system that condones stoning women to death for alleged adultery is the moral equivalent of executing a mass murdererr who designed, planned, and convinced a teenager to immolate himself in a public market, taking 50 innocent schoolgirls with him.

On the other hand, about half of the film seems to be focused on foot fetishism. Hmmmm....

Eminence Grise

KathyA said...

Absolutely scandalous (NOT)! I think the censors must have had a foot fetish and these scenes just heightened their shame.
As always, I decided what I view/read. Great advice, Bilbo.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

There are a lot of foot images!

Mike said...

I was waiting for the big finish. There wasn't any.