Has Censorship Gone Too Far

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Smartalk, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Smartalk

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    Nude cake row



    A mother who wanted to give a 21st birthday cake to her son featuring a photo of him as a baby was forced to have it censored because the picture showed his bottom.
    Gail Jordan, 41, went to Asda in Liscard, the Wirral, Merseyside, with the photo of her son David taken when he was five-months-old.
    Staff initially refused to use the picture because it featured nudity but eventually agreed to put a star over the offending part of the photo.

    What are your thoughts on this story

    Smartalk
     
  2. eattom

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    It's utterly absurd.
     
  3. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Ridiculous, however she should have taken her business elsewhere. Private citizens are free to censor what they like in their own homes and businesses. Whether we tolerate that censorship or not is our choice.
     
  4. cockoloco

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    You never know what to expect from some people. This is stupid, I mean being OFFENDED by a baby's bottom? who on earth can be possibly be affected in a negative way by that? much worse things they might have put in their own mouths for god's sake
     
  5. Shelby

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    Was it gaping?
     
  6. marleyisalegend

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    Business might as well become obsolete if they're not allowed to enforce their own policies. If I don't like the price of batteries in a store, I get em elsewhere.

    She could always take the if-want-something-done-right approach. Learn how this is done and do it yourself, of course that would mean less time playing Bingo on Yahoo and yapping on the cell phone.
     
  7. ZOS23xy

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    Baby bottoms have been featured in many movies over the year, sometimes as the punch line in a cartoon.

    The way censorship is going, maybe people are trying to cover their own ass.
     
  8. invisibleman

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    The lady could make that cake herself. She could put a photo on it herself. This way the blame could all be on her.

    But when it involves bakers and another person's baby pic. I think that the bakers had a right to at least protect themselves by putting a star up on the offending part.

    Americans can get sued over stuff that could be mistaken as child porn.
     
  9. marleyisalegend

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    Quoted For Truth. If businesses are expected to allow free reign of images presented, what happens when someone wants Nazi insignia on their cake? What happens when someone comes up with a picture of a horse fucking a prostitute and they want in a cake?

    How dare this business maintain standards!!! Ain't they ever heard of liberation?!?!
     
  10. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    The two examples you just presented are substantively different. The Nazi insignia (swastika, I assume), though offensive, would still be legal. The prostitute fucking a horse may or may not be legal depending on obscenity/bestiality laws and how they are enforced where the cake was made. The prostitution part would be illegal, however there is no way to know if a woman in a photograph is a prostitute. The child's bottom is closer in comparison to the latter-- it could be misconstrued as child pornography by local law enforcement and subject the bakery to legal trouble. The swastika cake probably wouldn't break any laws on the books no matter how tasteless.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable that a business be able to choose their clientele and what they are willing to produce. Eharmony.com has done something similar by refusing to allow gay people to use their site to find same sex mates. I know people in my profession who will not work gay events or events that they have moral objections to. I don't agree with eharmony and my colleagues on these issues, I do think they have the right to refuse service to whom they please to a certain point.

    However, it is sad to me that a company is made to fear something so innocent as a birthday cake with a baby's bottom on it because of fear of getting in trouble for child pornography. Baby bottoms and naked babies have long been accepted as neutral and non-sexual in our society, but are becoming less so because of how hyper-vigilant we are about child pornography and how we equate any nudity with sexuality. I have some photos of my son where you see his buttcheeks that are fabulous but I will most likely not be putting them on my website or printing them outside of my home. That's sad to me. Nudity is part of life.

    This begs the question of where a business can set their standards versus what could be considered discrimination. Right now, homosexuals are not a protected group, but what if a dating site or a photographer refused service to black people? Is that really substantively different? How would the law view such discrimination? I don't know if I can answer any of these myself. I'm very socially liberal but I'm also very libertarian, so I'm having trouble making a disctinction in my head.
     
  11. submit452

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    Absurd overreaction to laws that are necessary but overzealously invasively implemented. No one but a very sick person is going to want to fuck a cake with a baby picture on it.
     
  12. marleyisalegend

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    In the context of the story, when babies congregate and demand their right to be presented in the nude on cake I will knock on the door of every business in America and demand that their desire be considered. I think it grossly belittles the black struggle of black America to relate it to the image of a naked baby on a cake. Is it that much of a shock in a country where public nudity is illegal?

    The two that you compared are night and day, apples and coconut trees, completely unrelated.
     
  13. midlifebear

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    Dear Marleyisalegend:

    I was detained by customs in Atlanta, GA., two years ago because during a random security search of my luggage, evangelical gloved hands opened a protective envelope containing a couple of post card baby photos taken circa 1890. You know the kind, a one year-old male child is stylishly positioned upon a crumpled bear skin rug (or Persian carpet) butt naked and grinning from ear to ear into the camera? On the opposite side was the name and date of the photographer, and "¡Felicitaciones! !Mi primer cumpleaño!" (Best wishes/congratulations! My first birthday!" The backs were engraved in silver and gold with a place to write the mailing address of an aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin and the imprimatur for postage stamps. I purchased the photos (5 Euros each) at the flea market at the end of La Rambla (las ramblas) in Barçelona one Sunday because the baby portraits were absolutely hysterical. I knew that my nieces (twins and devout mormons with their own one year-old boys) would get a kick out of the post cards. But no.

    TSA agents handed me over to FBI personnel and I missed my connecting flight. I can assure you that, without losing my temper or using inappropriate language, a bad time was had by all. Only by insisting that I had a higher sense of moral authority than anyone else was I able to stare them all down and make them return the photos. (See, I learned something handy from teaching elementary school for five years!)

    Marleyisalegend, you probably think I'm a horrible "Hate the USA" type who thinks everything is better in other countries. Yes and no. You see, there was a time when MY OWN HYPER-RELIGIOUS PARENTS in Ewetaw went with the flow and had naked glamor shots taken of me on my 1st birthday, posed on a bear skin rug. All of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, step grandparents and a slew of cousins received a copy of me doing my first cheesecake. And they received these naked photos sans envelopes via the US Postal Service! I've never felt compelled to post them on the Internet, but 1950 'Mericuh, despite the scare of a Commie under every rock, was dominated by a relatively balanced and sophisticated society (racism and equal rights, notwithstanding). And among Brahmins of that era of sophistication came a great deal of money and political muscle to repeal things such as "separate but equal", poll taxes, and institutionalized racial discrimination.

    And up until the late 1970's Johnson's Baby Powder (and baby lotion) was often advertised on National Broadcast Television (back when we had only three networks) with some young naked tyke crawling around looking all cute and adorable with the announcer promising the naked male or female tyke would remain "baby fresh" if you used those Johnson products. Not anymore.

    On the cusp of 1980 The National Council on Advertising was admonished by consumer/viewer advocates to counsel advertisers to be "morally and politically conscious" when hawking products. Once the Commies were no longer a threat pedophiles became the biggest potential threat to the moral backbone of the USA (homosexuals too, just ask Anita Bryant).

    In answer to your question: Has censorship gone too far? You can bank on it. Just Google the ever-expanding list of books censored in school districts all over the USA (not just the Bible Belt) as unfit for reading in public schools. In fact, even The Betty Crocker Cookbook was temporarily banned in a Westchester County, New York, Intermediate and High School because it blatantly ignored and promoted "non Kosher" food. Oy veys mir!

    Oh, yes. The USA is a much more uptight and sexually repressed society than even 20 years ago. The axiom of "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" no longer applies in 'Mericuhn public media. There's an old book that's pure bull poop called The Hidden Persuaders. It's still a popular tome because it appeals to our the fear and paranoia. If you're not familiar with it you need to be. The author is completely obsessed with "mind control techniques" used by advertisers. He seems to make absolute sense, but in the light of reason and calm thought . . . not to mention real science . . . the guy is a loon. And his theories feed the censorship movement to keep 'Mericuh Red, White, and Blue (especially white).

    However, most of us are still able to make choices. With regard to the example with which you started this thread, the parties wanting the photo spray painted on the cake could have huffed out of the place and found another bakery to do the same job. That's what I would have done. And then I would have organized a peaceful protest in front of the offending baker's business claiming they were puerile and regarded babies to be lewd.

    Just sayn'
     
    #13 midlifebear, Jun 27, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  14. marleyisalegend

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    Midlifebear, wonderful post but, umm, I didn't start this thread, Marley is NOT the OP.

    And censorship hasn't gone too far, it went too far the moment it was introduced because it directly contradicts the idea of free speech. Conservatives pick and choose their battles because the following shows equal a total of about 20 seasons of jokes about racism, violence, sex, pedophilia, government incompetence and all the things censorship loathes:

    Reno 911, Lil' Bush, Mad tv, Family Guy, Simpsons, South Park, American Dad, Boondocks, Aquateen Hungerforce, Robot Chicken, etc..

    Because of censorship, the businss discussed in the OP is cautious about the image of naked children, and rightfully so. If someone at the party wanted to, they could've EASILY taken the bakery to court for child pornography, especially in a country where the court system entertained a woman suing Mcdonald's for selling her coffee that was "too hot." I'm not supporting censorship, I'm just not surprised at its role in the incident described in the OP. Do you think that if that mother were a member of LPSG, that a picture of that cake would've flown well with our Mods?

    On the contrary, we've gone from a nation that considers showing neck "too much skin" to a woman wearing anything more than a spaghetti strap is "conservative."

    Look at Warner Brothers racist cartoons from the 50's, they were given free reign to ridicule and condescend black Americans, you can still find the cartoon on youtube and, keep in mind, it was aired in the 50's. (I'm aware of the can of worms you open when you talk about censorship and the internet)

    In the time it's taken me to write this post, I could've watched Family Guy joke about a teenage mother dispose her baby in a dumpster on prom night, or watched a caricature of Bush blow all the Katrina relief money on building an island above NO where he, Condi, and Nader sip on lemonade while hungry NO residents beg for relief. Don't you think LOTS of Bush supporters would love to censor that cartoon?

    I actually believe the opposite is true, UNcensorship has gone too far. A Nazi White Supremecist can post an anti-black rant on youtube and if I express displeasure or complain about it, I'm called a whiny bitch and told to just skip past the user's videos.
     
    #14 marleyisalegend, Jun 27, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  15. marleyisalegend

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    posted twice by mistake!!
     
  16. midlifebear

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    Dearest Marleyisalegend:

    Well, fuck me runnin' (as long as you give me a head start)! Sorry about accusing you of starting this thread. I scrolled up to what I thought was the beginning and my addled old-man's brain focused on you. I'm out-of-the-loop with regard to Lil "Bush and Family Guy. Haven't seen them. But we do get South Park, but it's in Spanish and not nearly as vulgar -- and by extension, funny. Don't get me wrong. I LIKE vulgar. Especially vulgar 3rd graders.

    As for those Warner Bros. Cartoons, Yikes! I believe the majority of the most offensive ones were created during WWII. I fully admit to sitting glued to our black and white TV soaking them all up in the 1950's. But I don't remember when the FCC, or whatever, had them all pulled from syndication. There's a DVD out called Cartoon Taboos (or Taboo Cartoon's) which has most of them. They also have a collection of porno cartoons that were created by Fleischer Studios, the animators of Betty Boop and Felix the Cat. Yup. Although Warner Bros. should have known better, they didn't. As for Fleischer Studios, they were a famous group of underground pornographers.

    As for cable television or subscription channels such as Comedy Central, are women's bare breasts and everyone's bare bottoms pixelated in the USA? I remember being irritated by seeing this commonly done on basic cable when I would visit my family. I'm just too accustomed to accepting stuff that often times is far over to the other extreme (infantile sexism with males making the most tasteless jokes as cameramen zoom in on breasts, and crotches of both sexes). Outside my building (Barçelona) is an illuminated street sign that hits me at eye level every day. It's a public service ad about prenatal care and shows a mother, naked from the waist up, nursing her newborn. It's a beautiful photograph. I doubt this would make it with billboard advertisers in the USA. Here it's a straightforward, sensible ad.

    I see ads for "Girls Gone Wild" and "Boys Gone Wild" after 8:00 PM on regular broadcast television. But I find it odd that the young women and men flashing their goods all seem to be 'Mericuhn college students at Mardi Gras or on spring break. Is male full frontal nudity common on subscription cable in the US? I really don't know. Here is all rather a big yawn. If you want to see tits, ass, and dicks you just go to the nude beach in this city. It's common to see grandmothers wrapped in loud beach wear, sitting under umbrellas as they watch a clot of naked grandchildren (mixed sexes up to about 9 years old). After 9 years, adolescents automatically show up in designer two-piece outfits (for girls) and banana hammock trainers (for boys). The eastern coast of Spain has a very open society. I suppose I'm jaded by US standards.

    Something that has changed for the worse in the US is being able to swim naked in lakes, ponds, and streams out in the west. In my grandparents, parents, and my generations no one, adult, teen, or child, thought there might be anything wrong by stripping down and swimming at the local watering hole. Of course, men swam with men and women swam with women. We didn't mix the sexes together (until high school late at night). However, now it is illegal (even in Nevada!) and the local sheriff (after he has whacked off watching everyone with his binoculars) shows up and arrests everyone for lewd behavior.

    I suppose we can go tit (pun?) for tat regarding censorship in the USA and outside of the USA, but the temerity of those TSA agents regarding old-fashioned naked baby photos as pornography . . . nope. I'm having none of it. My choice of living outside the USA is not for everyone, but it is certainly for me. At least for the time being, Spaniards are intelligent enough to change the channel if something offends them. And that's the way I like it. I prefer to change my own channels than have someone's goofy, self-conscious moral code change the channels for me.


    Remember, the cost of freedom is constant vigilance. That's why god invented the remote control. :smile:
     
    #16 midlifebear, Jun 28, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  17. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    I don't think you understand what I meant with my post. I'm sorry if I was being unclear.

    There are two broader questions related to this issue. The first is how much right a business has to choose its clients and how much control they can retain over what they create. While most of us will agree that not wanting to risk legal trouble by making something that can be misconstrued as chlid pornography is pretty understandable, it becomes less so when someone denies service to someone based on their sexuality, and it becomes possibly illegal to deny service based on a person's skin color. It's an interesting topic to me because it's not clear where the line should be drawn. This is a much bigger issue than just this incident with a cake. When is it okay to tell someone to take their business elsewhere and when does it become discriminatory?

    The second broader issue is the sensationalistic paranoia about child pornography coupled with the oversexualization of both children and nudity in general. It's not a coincidence that our society simultaneously sexualizes young children and goes apeshit over any inkling of pedophilia. Obviously the cake in question is just more fallout of this unfortunate aspect of our society.

    I don't think I was making the direct comparison that you seem to be drawing from my words.
     
  18. marleyisalegend

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    There's the hilarity of "censorship" in the US, it's inconsistent, it's not okay to show breasts, but as long as you don't curse you can make a racist statement about mexicans. You can't say "penis" but you can say "that was some wild, nasty, raunchy, digusting, filthy sex I had with you last night." You can say "ass" whether you mean the booty or Al Sharpton, but as soon as you attach "hole" to the end, it's bleeped. I dunno how to explain this, selective censorship. I personally find pixalation (by the way America now pixalates the middle finger and some stations pixalate your mouth when you say the curse word. THAT'S going too far since I know why someone's holding their hand up and I know what women have under their shirts and blurring it doesn't erase the fact that it's there. The FUNNIEST thing is the other day, at 4 pm, I saw a commercial on a local station for extenze, a male enhancement product. The commercial was CLEARLY intended for daytime use because the entire dialogue is innuendos. Penises aren't discussed at all, it's said that "the product enhances, well, you know" with sort of a wink wink tone.

    Leaving America was the best decision you ever made. If there's one thing we LOVE to do is employ our values onto one another. A European who doesn't like pickles doesn't eat them. An American who doesn't like pickles wants them banned from every school cafeteria, store shelf, and fast food joint. We sleep easier if we think we're fighting a "cause."

    You'd have gotten Marley points if your second post were the first, the second explained it SO much better. You don't have to include the "black" analogy for me to understand, though it's an understandable move as its the most easily relatable for me. I can't really argue with anything you said in that second post, but the problem is you and I are a minority, people who don't fall for sensationalism. There was another thread on another side where people were asked if they'd help a lost child at a mall or park. The overwhelming response was no, for the same reason the business wouldn't do the cake, even if they wanted to and probably have naked pics of themselves or their own kids in the family scrapbook. Most of the people on that thread were less concerned with helping a child and more concerned with their psycho parent spinning their assistance as "attempted rape or abduction." Americans LOVE to sue, and we love to get riled up about nothing. It's damn near impossible to say anything without offending someone.

    As far as having gone too far? Again, it went too far the minute it was introduced because it directly contradicts free speech and, indirectly, other amendments. What's happening now is that with the internet and media, we get a birdseye view of how irrationally sensitive people can be.
     
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