Incognito Press

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Archive for September, 2007

Blogging for independence in Burma

Posted by E on September 28, 2007

myanmar_blog.jpg 

Decades ago, back in 1988 to be precise, when bloodshed last erupted in Burma, thousands of student protesters were killed behind closed doors. Today it is a different story. The biggest story yet is not only the footage of peaceful Buddhist monks being fired upon by the army, but the individual acts of revolt that aim to spread the word about the violence on the streets of Rangoon.

Blogging for Political Change: Myanmar’s Dissidents is an ABC news article that depicts some of the struggles encountered by Burmese bloggers who are trying to get the word out via internet forums and online journals.

Censorship is not something new, and dissidence in the form of smuggled correspondence has been around far before the age of internet. However, nothing has reached as many people as fast as spreading news through this medium. Let’s hope that those nameless brave bloggers, wherever they are, will somehow sense and be empowered by all the support directed at them throughout the free world.

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Posted in blogger, blogging, buddhism, burma, censorship, commentary, freedom, media, myanmar, news, politics, press, revolution | 1 Comment »

Porn vs. Violence: why is murder on tv ok, but we can’t watch porn during primetime?

Posted by E on September 27, 2007

In the wake of new video games that glorify combat violence, as well as the increasing popularity of gruesome TV shows like CSI and Numbers, I feel the need to take on the old question I’ve always asked myself: why is violence “sexy” on tv and in the movies, while nudity is considered risque and bordering on obscene? In other words, why can’t we watch porn during primetime?

As a regular, thinking individual with no predisposition toward any “moral” or religious reasons behind my formulation of opinions, I have to really ask:

Why isn’t sex and nudity mainstream on television? Why, instead, is violence, murder and dismemberment so popular? Sex is a natural act for human beings; it is something we will all engage in at some point. And of course, we come into this world naked and leave it the same way. So why is nudity considered obscene? Why are pornographic movies not played on mainstream television? The reality of porn is that it is a seeking of pleasure, an unabashed, rutting seeking of gratification and pleasure. Why is it wrong? Yet serial killers who rape, maim and kill are depicted on prime time every night?

I remember being about six years old and visiting my parents’ friends who lived in Sweden. One night, while the adults were busy talking, one of my playmates picked up the remote control and started surfing the channels. This being Scandinavia, porn flicks were not limited to the after midnight only rule, so we randomly discovered a show where a man was taking a woman’s dress off and licking her breast. I was fascinated to see such a thing – I always thought that only babies nurse at their mothers’ breasts, so why was this grown man doing this?

Suddenly, my mother flew into the room and proceeded to freak out. She covered my eyes and grabbed the remote control, muttering intelligibly about this being “dirty”, terrible stuff. I tried to ask what the two people were doing, but she just wanted to have no part in explaining anything. No discussion ever took place, but I understood that there were terrible, unspoken things that men and women did which involved being naked.

Fast-forward a couple of decades, I am a pre-law university student studying criminal psychology before CSI ever made it out of a nutcase producer’s feverish brain. The only risque shows on television were Law & Order, which now pales in comparison to the more disturbing trend of tv and movies such as Saw, Hostel, Irreversible, the Hills have Eyes, High Tension, Wolf Creek, The Departed, and even Passion of the Christ, which is basically a snuff film rapped up in religious zealotry.

As I studied the profiles of serial killers in my class, I never once found it to be a glorious and exciting event. Volunteering inside prisons, where I talked with women who killed their children, I never thought that in just a few short years the university’s Criminology program would be teeming with Forensic Inspector-wanna-bees who unabashedly would declare that their interest was first aroused by shows like CSI.

Why is it so fascinating for people to see limbs being severed, eyes being gouged out, entrailes removed, torsos crushed with hammers and pick axes, and women being raped and tortured, yet mainstream porn films which show women enjoying themselves be considered so wrong? Why does everyone assume that porn is the “gateway drug” to crime, when in reality only a minuscule number of porn-watchers become actual rapists? And how many of those rapists actually got off on violent films, using the realism involved in television portrayals of torture and murder as feeding fodder for their imagination?
I would rather my child watch a porn film anyday before allowing her to see half the primetime shows on TV.

These violent movies and video games on a subconscious level begin to change you. They are destroying a new generation of youngsters, robbing them of their own humanity, since it is humanity itself that is being degraded, mutilated, and has its soul ripped out for bloody entertainment. We have travelled back into the dark annals of a gory Roman time where the only form of entertainment was to see massacres and blood flowing through the acqueducts of Colloseum forums.

The dead are no longer human; they are things you look at, but no longer comprehend that they are like you. The tortured, the dismembered, the grotesquely murdered are only entertainment.

Yet anything to do with the beauty of the naked human form, with its enjoyment of the senses, and yes, this includes sex, is being puritanically and categorically censored. Even in the Middle Ages all the way up to the Impressionist era, the beauty of the human form was pursued in creative outlets. Only this “advanced” century would have Michaelangelo’s David and his Sistine Chapel nudes censored in elementary schools.

Just two weeks ago Facebook banned several women who had uploaded photos of themselves nursing their babies. Under the auspices of these photos being “Obscene” since they involved a partial view of a woman’s naked breast, the Facebook gestapo would rather believe that babies nursing is a sick act, unnatural, immodest and dirty.

How low has this society come, for people to regard natural life aspects like sex, childbirth and nursing as something to be held privately, behind closed doors, yet unnatural blood and gore as exciting, fun and gratifying entertainment?

I would not want to be a child growing up in this violent, irrational time. I dread to think of the effects on their maturing psyches. In this age, murder is no longer taboo; it is something that gets you on TV.

In this age, to be a celebrity you just have to be an anorexic rich walking imbecile, a pop singer or an actor. Should you invent the cure for cancer and HIV, should you discover new constellations, write great novels and dance like the wind, you are certain to go to your grave without being a coffee-table name. But if you shoot a few people on a university campus, you can be sure to have your name on a collectible trading card.

Sad.

Posted in censorship, children, commentary, culture, facebook, media, mother, movie, nudity, sex, thoughts, tv, violence, wtf | 10 Comments »