Censorship is boring, isn’t it? Careful what you wish for, boys.

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Discussion (43)¬

  1. Not just boring. Frustrating. Annoying. Infuriating. Insulting.

  2. Jbiemans says:

    An interesting thought; Every religion is blasphemous to every other religion, would that mean that blasphemy laws would effectively silence all religious talk, from every religion ?

  3. HaggisForBrains says:

    This strip says it all.

    PS where’s the “reveal” button?

  4. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Jbiemans – Good point! It’s an ill wind…

  5. jean-françois gauthier says:

    at the risk of a platitude, this would be funny if it weren’t sad.

    when the cartoon scandal first came up, newspapers like libération tried to rationalize that they were actually taking the high road by *not* publishing the cartoons, asserting that the drawings were not really good or funny. kinda makes your head explode that a newspaper that would cave in to obscurantism and religious intimidation would bear the name “libération”; ptoiiing.

  6. Unruly Simian says:

    The irony is strong with this one…..

  7. author says:

    @jean-françois I think Liberation have redeemed themselves with their strong support of Charlie Hebdo after it was firebombed last week.

  8. Andrew Hall says:

    One of the most difficult lessons for people to learn is that they do not have a right not to be offended.

  9. FrankN.Stein says:

    But the absolutly WORST thing about censorship is **************!

  10. Trine says:

    From the note: “As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.” Aren’t you really censoring yourself, Jesus and Mo? Free speech is a difficult subject.

  11. Gary Kleppe says:

    As Pat Paulsen said, “There is a place for censors. And we only wish we could tell you what it is.”

  12. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Free speech with out cult machination
    Treason, to many a mid eastern nation
    New ideas for the rabble
    Not dogmatic babble
    Calls for sharia to bring stabilization.

  13. Krylle says:

    @Trine; you can’t choose your race, your sex or your sexual orientation, so harassing on that basis wouldn’t be fair.
    @jean-françois; I don’t think the cartoons were very good. They were mostly just completely unfunny (except for the one with young Muhammed taking the piss in Urdu on the editors at the publishing paper). I was an editor, I’d not print them either. I might commission Author, though 🙂

  14. author says:

    @Trine – In addition to what Krylle says, the difference between state censorship and website comments moderation is like the difference between making tobacco illegal and not allowing guests to smoke in your house. This is my house. People are still free to say whatever racist, sexist or homophobic things they want – elsewhere.

  15. FreeFox says:

    @author: Yay! ^_^

    Anyone should be free to say whatever they want. And anyone else should be free to hate them it as much as they like. No, really, I think that’d great.

    In the (DelRey) edition of Fahrenheit 451 that I first read he had this wonderful ranting Coda in which he writes: “There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist, Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib / Republican, Mattachine / FourSquareGospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse kerosene, light the fuse. Evey dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, likcs his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme. […] Fahrenheit 451 describes how the books were burnt first by minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the libraries closed forever.” – and then goes on to tell how during the years editors at Ballantines edition by edition censored 75 seperate sections of the book Fahrenheid 451 itself until some Student informed Bradbury who then ended his contract with the company and took the book to some othe publisher…

  16. Author have you seen Charlie Hebdo’s cover for this week? Hilarious.

  17. author says:

    @Ophelia – Yes, that’s brilliant. Bravo Charlie Hebdo!

  18. Sondra says:

    Dude! You nailed it!

  19. TRIALNERROR says:

    xxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx THE BIBLE OR XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX THE KORAN!

  20. Peakcrew says:

    When the religious, the global warmists, and the radical feminists* acknowledge that they offend me by what they say, and give me the right to decide when they can or cannot speak freely, I will still say “No, free speech is worth too much for me to stop you saying things that I do not like”.

    *All groups that support censoring of free speech.

  21. People also forget that Freedom of speech isn’t limited to first speech, but is also for replies, reactions and commentaries about said first speech.

  22. mary2 says:

    @random, good point.

  23. Peakcrew says:

    Agreed, Random. Very well observed.

  24. HaggisForBrains says:

    Off topic, but the Brits here might be interested in how to acquire a free bible, NIV, hand delivered to your door by real xtians. All you have to do is go to this website and complete ten quizzes on the bible. Not as hard as it sounds, since you get as many goes as you like, and simply entering ten quizzes qualifies you for a free book no matter how badly you do.

    Now that I have mine, I’m having fun bookmarking and highlighting all the chapters and verses I like to be able to quote to Jehovah’s Witnesses etc when they come to the door (eg Numbers 31 – genocide of the Midianites). A case of beating them at their own game.

    Here is an extract of the email I received after the bible had been delivered:

    We understand from our local representative that you have now received your free Bible, following your successful completion of ten of the quizzes on the website. We really hope that it will prove to be a help to you in your further study of God’s word.

    At the moment we advertise the website through Google and using leaflets. We are happy to do this of course but, given a choice, we would prefer to invest in the Bibles themselves rather than the advertising. For this reason we ask all of those who receive a free Bible to *do their best to let their friends or other contacts know about the site* – though please remember that we can only deliver Bibles in the UK. If you would like more of the leaflets, just let us know, but you can also tell others about the site through social networking websites or just by word of mouth.

    There, I’ve done my best. Have fun!

  25. Oh yes the dreaded “radical feminists” again. Peakcrew, laws protecting free speech are compatible with social pressure that discourages the use of (for instance) degrading epithets. Would you like Jesus and Mo better if the barmaid started calling Mo a towelhead? Would you like it better if Jesus started calling the barmaid a cunt?

  26. FishHawk says:

    “Jesus and Mo” has been included in this weeks A Sunday Drive. I hope this helps to attract even more new visitors here.

  27. FreeFox says:

    @Ophelia Benson: No, but they certainly should have the right to. But maybe you hit the spot there – most religious peeps simply can’t live with the “social pressure” of being thought of as silly gits or annoying busybodies. Unfortunately that goes for a lot of other groups too, including many self-professed sceptics, feminists, and – I admit it – queer activists. Silly gits. ^_^

  28. Peakcrew says:

    @Ophelia Benson – sorry for the delay in replying. I wasn’t around over the weekend to keep up to date, but Freefox has answered roughly what I would have said. However, I go further, because I do not claim, and never have, that it is necessarily wrong to shout “Fire” in a crowded building.

    By the way, when I use the word “cunt” (a perfectly acceptable Anglo-Saxon word fulfilling a purpose), I usually apply it to men. Women on the receiving end of my ire are usually “Bitch” (and, for clarification, I am not calling anyone names, merely stating that my use of language is different from that implied by Ophelia).

    Expressing irritation by the use of “bad” words (which are usually explosive sounds, because of the part of the brain engaged) is good and natural. As pointed out above, no-one has the right not to be offended, and I don’t have a moral duty not to offend others. I try not to, but it is not possible – there are too many ways in which people can take offence. An apology after the fact, if it is brought to my attention, should be adequate – and yes, in Kantian terms, I do “will that this become a universal law”.

    Communication is far too important to be hemmed in by individual rules about what can and cannot be said.

  29. I had arguments with my dear father when I was a teenager. I’d say, but Dad, “shit” and “excrement” mean the same thing. They are just different words. Why do you get mad at me when I say shit, but you find “excrement” acceptable? He had no answer, except to say he didn’t like it when I said “shit”. It took Stephen Pinker to explain this to me. We actually keep our taboo words in a different place in our brains, much closer to the amygdala, the emotional center. Taboo words carry an additional emotional punch, and this is what people are really objecting to. They are objecting to the emotion, not the words. The funny thing is, nobody can find a good objection to the emotion if it is expressed without taboo words. But that’s what’s really offensive. I’m all for depowering those words. Use them so much and so often, in so many situations where the emotion is absent, that they become meaningless. Fuck you, dad. I loved you, you dear departed old fart. But your attitude to language was really fucked up.

  30. Beggars Belief says:

    I get that “cunt” is a degrading epithet if used against only women (which in my experience it isn’t- it’s truly bi-gender, but maybe I’m fortunate not to know anyone who does use it like that). And in fact, I think that “bitch” against only women would be similarly questionable as surely this use just reinforces a stereotype(?).
    But I’m not sure I fully get what it would take to resolve your (e.g. Ophelia’s) gripe. If “cunt” was used completely equally (and statistics to prove it) against men and women would this be okay? Or never to use it against women, but okay against men? Or a complete cease of calling man or woman “cunt”? If the latter, is it equally applicable to no one calling anyone “dick” too? I guess it would have to be that no one should call anyone an epithet that’s associated with just one gender: so rather ‘idiot’ or ‘fucker’.
    Have I just spelt out something obvious, or am I still missing the point?

  31. jude says:

    since english is not my mother language i find it silly when people are offended by the word cunt. Cos i saw my english friend’s reaction to this word , silly reaction . But i like the sound of the word cunt , pretty funny.

    But it’s same in my mother language ‘arabic’ if i greet a woman by saying good morning “charmota” she will hit me with her bag cos we both know it’s meaning or the influence and the weight of this word on our ear and culture . But if a british man said charmota to an arabic woman he will see her reaction as silly although charmota has the same weight as cunt ” even if he knows this fact” , but he will never feel the weight of this “offensive” arabic word on his ear, therefore he will find her reaction silly .

    So if mo said to the barmaid ” thx for the beer charmota ” it will all be cool for english peeps’ emotional reaction , they’ll probably find it funny , even the barmaid might like the sound of it.

    this offense business is bull shit so we should exchange words , from now on if i want to greet an arabic woman i will use “good morning cunt” , english peeps should use “charmoota” , and we will tell them this arabic word is the equivalent of the word cunt , this way we will scam our indoctrinated brains .

    Ok u charmootas ?

  32. Beggars Belief says:

    I thought ‘sharmoota’ meant (female) prostitute? So this isn’t an exact equivalent insult to cunt (at least not in terms of the feminist stuff above) as there are widely-used male genitalia insults too. ‘Rent boy’ not so much and only very specifically.

  33. jude says:

    true , charmoota means female prostitute , but it’s the most common word in use on daily basis , many people were shot dead because of this word when it’s used in a verbal fight by a male insulting another male’s mother or sister .

    It’s not that vulgar but it’s widely used as an insult . if u want a vulgar word u can say ” kiss ” means female genitalia ” oh what a kiss ” , ironic!

    about blasphemy law check this out :

    both christian and muslim leaders are in love with blasphemy law , it’s probably the only thing they have in common .

    Blasphemy law is written in the lebanese constitution and as u can see in the link , it’s used on death metal fans and emos or self harming mentally disturbed youngsters , instead of giving them professional help they use Blasphemy law . I don’t know if i should laugh or cry.

  34. Jerry w says:

    A brief Canadian sharmoota / charmoota parable.

    A somewhat drunk guy walks into a bar in Northern Montana and says in a loud voice, “The only things Canada is good for are hockey players and prostitutes”.
    After a moment, a three hundred pound six and a half foot tall cowboy stands up and says “My mother is from Vancouver”.
    The drunk guy thinks about this then says “What team does she play for?”.

    Blasphemy is in the ear of the beholder…..

  35. Jerry w says:

    Sorry, that should have been:
    “Blasphemy is in the ear of the beer-holder…..”

    Once again, typing faster than the speed of thought…

  36. @Author “the difference between state censorship and website comments moderation is like the difference between making tobacco illegal and not allowing guests to smoke in your house. ”
    Perfect answer. Perfect analogy. I may use that one someday.

  37. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ DH

    I’m all for depowering those words. Use them so much and so often, in so many situations where the emotion is absent, that they become meaningless.

    The problem with that is that if it works it leaves us without the necessary vocabulary to use when we are really upset. We then have to escalate to a new higher level of insult. I think this is why “motherfucker” is becoming common – “fucker”, through overuse, just doesn’t have the power it used to have. This escalation process has been going on throughout my lifetime (and no doubt for a lot longer). I can remember when people said “darn” rather than”damn”, and calling someone a bastard was beyond the pale. Each generation has to outdo the previous one, it seems. Fuck knows where we go next :-)!

  38. Peakcrew says:

    @HfB – I can still remember the first time I used the phrase “You fucking bastard” in her earshot. I was about 12yo, and had heard the phrase at school but had no real idea of its meaning (it was not heard in most places at the time). I could not understand why she was coming towards me with “that” look on her face and shouting almost incoherently!

    I did stop using those profanities for another couple of years, until I realised that “damn” just didn’t work for getting rid of anger and frustration any longer. I do keep trying to find neutral words that give the same satisfaction when spoken with feeling, but haven’t succeeded really.

  39. Techs says:

    Researchers have found that the use of foul language reduces pain and people who use foul language as part of their regular conversation don’t get that benefit.

  40. @Techs I’m not aware of any pain I need to reduce and I’d be interested in just how the researchers established that “fact”. Sounds to me like one more speculative justification for a silly taboo, rather like the claim that use of banned words indicates a lack of vocabulary. I just find the whole concept of “dirty” words and “foul” language rather silly. It’s ideas and emotions I find objectionable, not words.

  41. Peakcrew says:

    @DH: For once,I have to disagree with you. I don’t find ideas and emotions to be offensive – I find actions based on some ideas and emotions to be offensive. To suggest that some kinds of thoughts are “wrong” (which is what “offensive” means to me) seems to be a bit Orwellian – thought-crime, and all that – and exactly what religionists do with their arguments (see next strip).

    Regarding offensiveness, without taking a great leap, has anyone else seen this regarding morality – It is quite interesting, but wait for the theory they are supposed to be testing! It should generate some comments …

  42. @Peakcrew either you misunderstood my meaning, or I did. If a person holds a sign reading: “kill the cock suckers” while another holds a sign reading: “exterminate all homosexuals” it isn’t the words on the sign that I find offensive. It’s the thoughts and emotions behind the words. Forcing people to obey language taboos doesn’t do anything to address the problem, thus calling words “dirty” is, literally, attacking the messenger. 🙂 This is all I was meaning. I completely agree with you, it’s the actions that are objectionable. I think that’s actually what I was trying to say.


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