Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
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18-09-2013, 07:15 PM
Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
Today in English class we discussed the concept of censorship as we have began to read the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, By Oscar Wilde. We started off by explaining the roles of the characters and we talked about whether or not Lord Henry was gay or not, since that seemed to be very controversial to many in my class (Many highschoolers act very homophobic). Then, my teacher brought up the subject of art and the role it has in society, both in the Victorian Era and nowadays. This included the idea that art can bridge the gap between the earthly and heavenly, which got me listening. Then, out of nowhere he started on a tangent of how we need to protect people from "corruption" and "bad influences" by censoring the art people are able to see. I just couldn't understand that an English teacher of all people would be supporting the censorship of writing and art. He said that, "at your age I would have been against all censorship but as I am now a father and uncle, I now see that we need to restrict what people can and can't see." Is that a valid opinion? Do people need to be protected from supposed "bad influences?"

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18-09-2013, 07:18 PM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
How can getting all information on a subject be a bad thing?

All information in the above post is my own opinion and will not
necessarily be logically sound or conform to reality as we know it.

You have been warned. Tongue
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18-09-2013, 07:38 PM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
I pride myself on being able to see many sides of almost any issue, but that fails me here. Anything that anyone should be allowed to see (so, not snuff or nasty kiddie pics) should be available for everyone to see. This really is binary in my head. A work should either be in the tiny, tiny category of the universally prohibited, or there should be open and unrestricted access.

The Picture of Dorian Gray has been banned by a number of groups over the years, and it was used in court as evidence against Wilde when he was charged with "gross indecency." He was convicted, and spent two years at hard labor for his "corrupting influence," which you are now required to read in class.

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18-09-2013, 08:05 PM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
There is a place for censorship. I think most of us, enough of us to make it a societal rule, and law to not to allow nude children to be displayed for someone's please, or a statue of two people fucking in the public park, or any number of extremely violent acts, especially against children. It really just becomes another argument on where to draw the line, and there is a lot of grey area. Some people would even argue against the examples I listed, and I'd be more willing to allow nudity in public - an act which is appalling to many people. There is no "right" or "wrong answer, only more right and more wrong answers, I think.

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19-09-2013, 04:42 AM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
No way. The ability to accept offensive art is a sign of rationality, IMO.

Does your English teacher consider Wilde's work to be dangerous?
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19-09-2013, 05:18 AM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2013 05:22 AM by ClydeLee.)
Re: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
He's basically said, I've changed my position based on an emotional overly protective attitude for my children and niece/nephew.

I don't find that valid reasoning. Explaining or analyzing why art is the way it is has a benefit; while censorship is abandoning an opportunity for learning.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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19-09-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
Fuck lazy parents, they can't be bothered to educate their own spoiled brats, so they want society to eliminate everything they deem wrong.

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19-09-2013, 11:09 AM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
(18-09-2013 07:15 PM)elegant_atheist Wrote:  This included the idea that art can bridge the gap between the earthly and heavenly, which got me listening.

Yea - that would get me listening, as well. The idiot has probably never made a shred of art before in his life.

Your teacher thinks that many or most people have no self control or self awarness. I would say that it is most likely because he notices that he himself has none or very little... and since he needs some kind of rules or divine intervention, then obviously everyone else needs them, too.

Either that or he's trying to get people to openly contest these ideas as a part of class discussion. I have no way to assess what he might be getting at but, his opinion should be considered his own opinion and nothing more. I would advise you to not let this or any teacher, censor your opinion. Ever.

ClydeLee is correct: censorship is abandoning an opportunity for learning. No better way to think about it. Thumbsup

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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19-09-2013, 11:15 AM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
I do see a very narrow set of circumstances where censorship is a reasonable idea, depending on the audience. Public areas where children will see the work, for example, shouldn't boast grossly violent or sexual works. In forums where your audience is of an appropriate age, however, I don't believe there should be any kind of censorship, especially considering that the most horrific things you could imagine have happened at some point in history. We should learn about and learn from these things, not pretend they never happened. The viewer has the option to look away if it's uncomfortable for them. With everything under the sun being widely available on the internet as it is, well, it is no one but the parents responsibility to decide what is acceptable for their children depending on their age and maturity level. This shouldn't mean that what is not acceptable material for your children should be completely removed from all forums for all audiences.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it- not even if I have said it- unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha
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19-09-2013, 12:38 PM
RE: Artistic Censorship, Right or Wrong?
Here's the problem with censorship: It assumes that the censor is more competent than the viewer:

It's an issue that is probably more relevant now, than ever. You don't want your preteen son or daughter to know that sex exists, but guess what: They only have to type the word into Google and Pandora's box is open. It's not a question of whether right or wrong. Censorship is gone!

Yes, right or wrong, there are those who want to keep it alive. But it ain't gonna happen. Censorship is a thing of the past. Like it or not!
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