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Archive for November 18th, 2021

Censorship, once condemned by all ethical people, has now become almost universally popular.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

The speed at which censorship, up to and including calls for literal book-burning, has increased in the past few years is horrifying to any thinking person (by which I mean any person who thinks for themselvs rather than simply parroting what their “thought leaders” tell them to think).  This year’s column for “Banned Books Week” linked no fewer than 14 articles collected over a six-month period, but conditions are degenerating so quickly I’ve collected four more just since the beginning of this month.  Only one of them is about corporate media censorship:

Streaming media giant Roku pushed back on “clickbait” headlines…saying its decision to remove “‘non-certified channels” goes beyond banning Pornhub and other private pornographic channels.  Responding to multiple headlines this week [derived from claims by Morality in Media and other pro-censorship groups]…Roku…[released] a statement saying that the decision to eliminate “non-certified” channels aligns the company’s screening of content with what Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Xbox already do with apps…the fact that Pornhub and other adult entertainment platforms had found their way onto Roku televisions through private or non-certified channels was incidental to the decision, which intends to standardize the tools that app developers use to create channels…

But the others are all about government censorship of books; the first in Kansas:

The Goddard school district has removed more than two dozen books from circulation in the district’s school libraries, citing [a bandwagon they want to jump on]…The list…includes…The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas…The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky…Fences…by August Wilson and They Called Themselves the K.K.K…[bureaucrats claimed the ban isn’t really a ban because they’re belching out the words] “unsuitable for children” [while banning them]…

Not to be outdone by Midwesterners, Virginia’s authoritarians are calling for literal book-burning:

The Spotsylvania County School Board has directed staff to begin removing books that contain [what they have chosen to label] “sexually explicit” material from library shelves and report on the number of books that have been removed…The board also…indicated that it will consider a division-wide library audit…[and] plans to [add other categories to its definition of]…“objectionable” for a further review of library holdings…Two board members…Rabih Abuismail and…Kirk Twigg, said they would like to see the removed books burned.  “I think we should throw those books in a fire,” Abuismail said, and Twigg said he wants to “see the books before we burn them so we can [demonstrate to ignorant bigots] that we are eradicating this bad stuff”…Abuismail [then convulsively vomited out filth about how]…public schools “would rather have our kids reading gay pornography than about Christ”…

And Texas authoritarians are unsatisfied with merely torturing librarians by forcing them to assist violently-fanatical censors:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott…sent a…letter to state education authorities claiming minors “have been exposed to pornographic books and content in Texas public schools” and [belching out the words]…“obscene”…“protect Texas students”…”no educational purpose”…[and] “clear violation of the law.”  Abbott also [defined books censors dislike as]…“pornography being provided to minors”…[and threatened school librarians with life-destroying] “prosecution to the fullest extent of the law”…

I’m really hoping that this is a short-lived phenomenon. But given what I’ve seen over the past decade, I suspect that hope will be a forlorn one.

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