Saturday, August 08, 2009

On censorship

     It is often difficult to navigate the boundary between when someone should and should not be able to block certain types of discourse he may find offensive. The extremes are easy. Anyone should able to block the hurling of epithets in his own home if he finds it offensive. Contrariwise, no one should be able to block any type of speech that he would not even know about if he were not looking for an excuse to be offended.
     On my own blog, I will delete any comment in which the language turns blue. (I delete all of Clostridiophile's comments because it reached a point where everything he posted was a foul-mouthed string of personal insults. Someday, he might put forward a decent post. But I will not know. I have no desire to sift through that and will delete them without reading them.) But on other blogs, I do not focus on language turning blue for how it turns the language blue. I will note, for example, when it is turning an "admission of a mistake" into sarcasm. But then I am calling on the inappropriate sarcasm.
     There are some people whose idea of entertainment is a 30-minute, non-stop barrage of four-letter words. I have even been told that I have "no sense of humor" because I am not impressed with that sort of thing. Now, I do wish that that wasn't quite so prevalent. I like sublety and depth to my entertainment; and it is just difficult to find. The people who like that sort of thing are welcome to have it. I do not begrudge them their tastes. I just don't like the way it has become so ubiquitous that finding anything else is nearly impossible. It is as though the entire artworld were taken over by nothing but "the blue duck."

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