I wonder if anybody else is getting tired of censorship. We’ve just seen two major incidences of censorship in the name of correct thinking; the release of Mark Twain’s Huck Finn and the banning from Canadian air waves of Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing.
The edited release of Huck Finn, is being led by an “academic” in Alabama. Twain’s use of the word “nigger” is to be replaced with the word “slave”, the term injun is also to be removed. The thinking is that schools are more likely to use the book if they can avoid the discomfort of loaded words. Never mind that a discussion of the place of offensive language would benefit all students, we wouldn’t anyone to have to deal with something they found unpleasant.
In a related story, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has shown it’s willingness to kowtow to people demanding censorship. After an individual in Newfoundland complained, a Dire Straits song, Money For Nothing, has been pulled from Canadian airwaves; for an ironic use of the word “faggot”.
Have we all gotten so weak that we can’t even tolerate words written years or centuries ago from people we’ve never met and never will meet? Have all the years of self-esteem building failed? Has all the affirmative action been in vain? Are we allowing the frailty of a few to govern what is available to all?
From where I sit our society has not progressed, it has actually reverted into something less robust, weaker, and less healthy. If can’t stand the occasional use of unpleasant words, how are we going to cope with the real challenges of the 21st century?