Censorship: This Is The ***** Information They Allow You To See
Censorship is still around.
I live in a hamlet on the outskirts of one of the greatest cities in the States, namely Madison, Wisconsin. There are so many intelligent people here, it's a refreshing place for free inquiry. That is why I was disappointed to find a controversial page torn out of a book from the Pinney branch library, also a great library I might add.
This is not a plug for the book. In fact my wife and I found Michael S. Broder M.D.'s book The Panic-Free Pregnancy (2004 Berkley Publishing Group) to be mediocre at best and macho at worst. As the title implies, it's a book written by a fairly sanctimonious male OB/GYN medical doctor telling pregnant future mothers not to be a bunch of whiny, panicky overprotective females. It reads a little like a parts manual for John Deere tractors. I'm not defending the contents of this book. I am wishing though, that my wife and I would have been able to read all of it. Someone equally or more sanctimonious than Dr. Broder tore out one of the more interesting pages! Come on, where am I in a 1930's Berlin time warp?
Seriously, get out of here, move away.
They decided for you and I what was right, wasn't that thoughtful of them?
Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe the page torn out was just ripped out by someone too cheap or lazy to make copies of the text they wanted to take home for safe keeping. The page in question P.123/124 had something to do with Marijuana use during pregnancy. As it continued onto P. 125 it reads: "...on IQ scores. This stands in stark contrast to cigarettes: IQ scores drop as a mother's cigarette smoking increases. That is, heavy cigarette smokers consistently have children with lower IQ's than do nonsmokers. While marijuana use does not lower overall intelligence, some scientists believe it affects reasoning skills. These suspicious are far from proven."
Yes it said "suspicious" not "suspicions" as you might expect. Perhaps the self-appointed do-gooder was trying to save future Mother's from having to bear witness to more poor grammar or low-grade pulp proofreading. Or maybe some ill intentioned medicinal user finally decided to show her husband once and for all that it's OK for her to eat a brownie to take the edge off! Or maybe, and I believe this to be the case, someone decided that just like the aforementioned pot-smoking Mom, they thought others might believe it's OK to ingest this infamously slandered cousin of the hops plant.They decided for you and I what was right, wasn't that thoughtful of them?
The very next Q & A (P. 125) in the book is, "What effect can cocaine have on my baby?" Apparently the all-knowing authority that allows us to read what they think we should decided that this information was acceptable. This section shrugs-off the possibilities of drug-use as is pretty much the mood of the book. But it goes further and actually does state that there are many ill effects associated with cocaine use that can cause low birth weights and birth defects.
I guess at this point I hope by some miracle of coincidence and kismet that my censor will bump into my article. I would like to invite them to move to Iran, North Korea or any other number of countries that embrace censorship, you would fit right in. As America's Great Punk Rocker Joey Ramone once opined, "Learn to listen, listen to learn. You gotta learn to listen, before you get burned!"
Leave our books alone or get out of Madison. We don't need your censorship here. Long live free speech and liberty!
Censorship: Won't be nothin' you can measure any more.
Censorship Versus Denying Vitriol: Where Do We Draw The Line?
Update: February 4, 2011
A strange phenomena has occured on this, not too well performing hub article of mine. I have had to "censor" some of the comments! Haha. Strange curve ball I never saw coming.
I have had several, hate-filled comments aimed here, from more than one reader. In my country, in the USA, our constitution guarantees the right to free speech in the first amendment, unless that speech (read:expression) hatefully targets any group specifically inciting violence.
Who gets to draw the line? Well, for me, here on this hub, I do. If you want to print shoddy, out of context statistics, racist/homophobic/misogynistic or any other hate filled verbiage, print it on your own damn hubs! I believe in my democratic republic, but these articles are mine to do with what I please. I am not going to perpetuate propaganda and myopic diatribes of hate here, there's plenty of that in the mainstream media if you ask me. I am also someone who has been struggling his entire life to save for owning property. Though I haven't gained any terra firma yet, at least I own this little bit of digital territory here on hubpages!
So is it censoring? Am I a hypocrite? Perhaps. Perhaps I just don't want to add gasoline to the hate fire that is burning hot white in my country. I have been turned down by many editors and publications over the years. I guess I could cry and whine that they were prejudicial towards my writing and that they were censoring me. But in fact, it was probably just not a good fit. So dear reader, yes, I may edit your comment below. I may delete it. I may mail it back to you. But what I won't do, is play thepropagandagame. If you have a cogent point to make, make it brief. If it's controversial that's fine, but it has to be referenced and it has to be objective. I won't print vitriol or hate propaganda here.
Here is a well cited and thoughtful article on the subject of hate crimes and free speech that I have used in my own research, enjoy!
February 8, 2011
Well, after much thought, I've decided to shut down the comments section on this hub. It's too much work! Haha. The irony here is not lost on my mind to be sure. The jockeying and fact checking necessary to print provocative, possibly vitriolic, possibly benign comments (responsibly at least) is not in my schedule. I realize what a can of worms this is, and what a turd it can be.
I have deleted comments on my other hubs without batting so much as an eye. Seeing as these are mine, and I get to decide what gets printed, I ditch some comments if they are (perceived by me at least) to be full of hate. So it is all the more excruciating and I feel like the microscope for violence inciting language versus freedom of speech is amplified. In conversation you can't decide what is said or not. On video scenes can be edited to include or exclude moments as is often the case in lots of mainstream media, so as to warp the context of an argument or dialogue. Statistics can be useful but are also easily warped, and so when used with a hate filled motive, or a motive of propaganda, can be dangerous indeed.
Luckily, I believe there is a collective of writers, philosophers, poets, artists, and other free thinkers here at HubPages who will do the fact checking for you, and let you print freely. I just can't be that guy, too many kids to raise, too much writing to create and art to make.
Keep on writing, if they aren't locking us up, we're still free to write and speak.