James Early, Humor Columnist
I have returned, dearest readers, though not by choice. The feminine wiles of one harpy-esque editor have shackled me yet again to my creative impulses and brilliant wit. Until I can steel myself against her powers, I will remain your ever faithful font of wisdom. This week’s topic is the very thorny topic of censorship.
A great man once said “Censorship that comes from the outside assumes about people an inability to make reasoned choices.” Now, were it not for my editor (may her devilish name never be spoken) I would gladly claim to be that great man. However, as she pointed out, being haunted by George Carlin’s spectre would be inconvienent. I have plenty of drinking buddies already and ghosts are notorious lightweights. Regardless, as this fine article’s title suggests, censorship is shit. It is insulting to my brilliance as a writer, your intelligence as my readers and to the spirit of the American people.
If I want to write an article on cockblocking, then I’ll be damned if I allow it to be tainted with needless censorship! Of course, the most clever among you will recall that I did write such an article and it was, in fact, censored. Let us examine why. The word cockblocking, specifically the root word cock, may be considered offensive to some of our more sensitive readers. Censors would offer a seemingly intelligent compromise: “Just throw a star in there and no one could possibly be offended.” Readers, dear readers, can you still tell that c*ckblocking is the same thing as cockblocking? Of course you can. You are intelligent enough to read my articles, therefore you are more than capable of switching out that symbol for a letter. If I threw a star into shit, fuck, damn, or asshole, you’d be able to quickly identify the poorly hidden curse word. With this insultingly idiotic substitution system, one must ask who is being protected?
Crybabies. When I say that I don’t mean just those blubbering puss-bags who dislike the occasional “fuck” or “god damn.” I include children in that category as well. Still, the older crybabies can just as readily interpret the star-system, so the intent is still there regardless of the word’s appearance. Censorship has failed. This must mean that its purpose is to protect our future generations, the children of today who will be the doctors and serial killers of tomorrow. Their tiny brains are certainly incapable of translating “c*ntf*cker” to, well, I’ll leave that translation to you, readers. Unfortunately, this theory of pea-brained children is as knee-deep in bullshit as the idea of censorship (perhaps they could start a fertilizer business). As I am certain you have already guessed, I was a gifted child and by age six could already string together words in a manner which would cause old women to weep and even the most stone faced of old men to shed a single tear. Though I am a rather extraordinary case, most children I have had the misfortune of spending any amount of time with are able to read adeptly by around the same time they are collecting an ever-increasing vocabulary of curse words. Simply stated, if they can read, they can probably read curse words, regardless of how those words are censored. If you edit something to make its underlying sexual, religious or political themes more difficult to understand, you’re only going to encourage the inquisitive child to search for the answers between the lines. Censorship seems to be merely a tool for those who seek to control the language of those around them and as a result, control their minds (again, this is more of George’s idea than mine).
Don’t misunderstand, dear readers. I am not callous. I don’t want little Bobby to be exposed to lines like “Fuckhead Liberals challenge Cocksucking Conservatives in Congress” any more than their parents do. I offer a simple solution. Parents, don’t let your children read college newspapers filled with articles written by egocentric, self-important, opinionated douchebags (present writer and his lovely editor excluded, of course). The government, the newspapers and society shouldn’t have to do your jobs for you. On that note, I must humbly appeal to my readers. I require a small file. Those shackles I mentioned earlier were not metaphorical and I’m afraid my ankles are beginning to chafe.