The Tricryptogon

Banny And Lissa
by Dave Lerner

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The Corrupt Censor

Hello and welcome to my E-ditorial. The E-, by the way, is similar to the e- in e-mail.

Proponents of Censorship use a number of arguments.

The first, and most compelling argument, is: We have to protect the children. Fair enough. Leaving aside the question of whether, for example, a non-sexual view of a woman's breast is more harmful than the literally dozens if not hundreds of television commercials foisted on children daily, I admit that there are certain forms of entertainment too... intense for children. However, saying that ADULTS can't enjoy something because it is unsuitable for children is like saying adults can't wear shoes larger than children's sizes because the shoes would be too big for children. As long as there is a disclaimer there should be no problem.

Another argument is that some things are offensive. Good. I believe it was John Cleese who said, "Some people should be offended." If it offends you, stay away. I, for example, avoid the Sex With Dead Baby Animals Home Page. Again, an adequate disclaimer should be sufficient.

Finally, some would-be censors claim that certain material can corrupt adults, and they want to protect us from that. Do you see the problem here?

Let's say that the Sex With Dead Baby Animals Home Page would indeed make you want to go out right this minute and have sex with dead baby animals. The censors, having only your best interests in mind, want to prevent you from seeing this page in the first place. The problem is, if they block a page based on its name alone then we "preverted webbies" can just change the name. Besides, you wind up with incidents such as one several months ago, when AOL blocked the word breast, thus preventing women from learning valuable potentially life-saving information about breast cancer. However, if the censors read the site, then, by their own definition, they have been corrupted. Do you want some corrupt pervert who sees more smut in a week than you'll see in your entire life determining your morality for you?

Most would-be censors try to claim that, due to education, willpower, racial superiority, or moral centeredness, they are better than the rest of us. This claim alone suggests that they may already be corrupt.

That's my opinion. What's yours?

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