Most of Mexico's largest news media outlets have agreed to a set of drug-war reporting guidelines, promising not to glorify drug traffickers, publish cartel propaganda messages or reveal information that could endanger police operations.
voluntary, self-policed guidelines are the first of their kind in Mexico, where more than 35,000 people, including at least 22 journalists, have been killed in drug-related violence since the government stepped up its offensive against cartels in late
We in the news media should condemn and reject the violence arising from organized crime, the agreement says.
It also vows to ignore and reject any information coming from criminal groups with the purpose of propaganda.
Actress Emily Browning has criticized the MPAA's treatment of a love scene she filmed with Jon Hamm for forthcoming action flick Sucker Punch , written and directed by Zack Snyder.
I had a very tame and mild love scene with Jon Hamm. It was like heavy breathing and making out. It was hardly a sex scene... I think that it's great for this young girl to actually take control of her own sexuality. Well, the MPAA doesn't like that.
They don't think a girl should ever be in control of her own sexuality because they're from the Stone Age. I don't know what the fuck is going on and I will openly criticize it, happily. So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look
less like she's into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That's the only way he could get a PG-13 (rating) and he said, 'I don't want to send that message.' So they cut the scene!
America's MPAA lumbered the uncut King's Speech with an R-rating on account of 'strong language in a speech therapy context'. Worried about the impact this decision might have on the film's box office, the Weinstein Co. have opted to release a
new PG-13 in the hopes of attracting a wider audience. The new cut version is set for release in 1,000 screens.
While such a re-release would usually have to wait 90 days from when the old version was pulled from cinemas, however MPAA bosses have
signed a waiver which will allow the PG-13 version to be released in quicker succession.
With the Weinstein Co. preparing to head a marketing campaign to explain the changes to America's movie-going public, the new version will feature a number of
muted fuck 's, and a few instances in which shit has been substituted in instead.
Brett And Melanie: Boi Meets Girl is the seventh in an ongoing series of films from award-winning director Tony Comstock.
The unrated director's cut of the film has now been completed. The Boi Meets Girl Meets the MPAA project will
submit the film to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and on the basis of the MPAA's feedback, they will produce a DVD showing the exact difference between the Unrated, NC-17, R and PG-13 rated versions of the film. Monies raised will
go to covering MPAA submission fees, re-editing costs, and DVD authoring.
Videos of each rating version of the film will also be uploaded to popular video sharing sites, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion, etc to see how various MPAA-rated
versions are treated by the vagaries of Community Guidelines.
Tony Comstock said:
We're undertaking this project because kerfuffles over ratings generate a lot of anger and publicity, but they don't seem to
leave anyone any better informed about the rating process, and we'd like to change that.
By taking Brett And Melanie through the MPAA process, we'll be able show just what sort of alterations were required to
achieve various ratings. And once we have those ratings in hand, we can test the MPAA's content rating system and level of transparency against places like YouTube and Facebook.
Fangoria have revealed the US release details for A Serbian Film:
Distributor Invincible Pictures said that Srdjan Spasojevic's movie will play select theaters across North America from May 13 in an edited version. The unrated A
Serbian Film will be released exclusively via digital media distribution outfit FlixFling the same day.
CEO Tom Ashley said: It was always our intention to release this film uncut, but given the recent charges against Sitges director Angel
Sala, we have decided to release an edited version. We believe this film deserves to be seen as the filmmakers originally intended and hope to be able to release A Serbian Film uncut in the future.
The US film censors of the MPAA, have agreed to overturn the R rating on director Julian Schnabel's Miral .
Schnabel and producer Jon Kilik had contested the ratings board's decision that denied the film the lower PG-13 . Their
I understand the MPAA is by nature a protective organization, but I felt very strongly that they didn't need to protect teenagers from my film, said Schnabel in a statement: Quite the contrary, teenagers are the
intended audience for Miral's story. I am very happy the MPAA proved to be open minded and ultimately agreed.
Producer Jon Kilik agreed. We are happy to have the MPAA find that our film respected the guidelines of their rating
system, he said. To have lost the ability to share Miral with the generation most affected by the story's message would have been at odds with the meaning and purpose of our film.
For comparison the UK film censor rated the film 12A uncut with the advice: Contains moderate language, violence and injury detail. The BBFC explained further in their extended classification information:
Miral is a drama telling the stories of several generations of Palestinian women living through the occupation of their land since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The film was classified 12A for moderate
language, violence and injury detail.
The film contains aggressive and directed uses of the words bitch and whore . This moderate language exceeds the terms of the BBFC's PG Guidelines, where there
may be mild bad language only and is therefore more appropriately classified at 12A .
The film contains several sequences of documentary footage from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict depicting violence in
military action and street riots that will be familiar from television news broadcasts. There is also one dramatised street riot scene in which a teenage girl is shot and killed. There is, however, little detail in these images which give a sense of the
chaos and tragedy of the situation without presenting gratuitous displays of violence. The implied strangling of a character and the beating of a young woman with a stick, as part of an interrogation procedure by security forces, are also presented with
discretion and without lingering on the details of the violence being inflicted. The Guidelines at 12A/12 state that Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional
gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context . Injury detail is seen in a hospital setting with some sight of injured soldiers but this is not dwelt upon to any undue extent.
A key scene in the film
involves the suggestion of a young teenage girl being sexually abused by an older male member of her family. The event dictates the path the girl's life will take and although it is briefly distressing, the abuse is not shown with strong detail and
mostly plays off the frightened reactions of the girl's younger sister who is also in the room. The Guidelines at 12A'/'12 state that Sexual violence may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated, and must have a strong contextual
The film also contains a discreetly implied suicide, scenes of smoking which are not glamorised to any significant extent, and milder language such as hell and shit .
Further curbs on the portrayal of smoking on television, in films and on the internet are to be considered by the government, which said the tobacco industry continued to find ways of promoting products despite legislation banning advertising.
The Department of Health in England promised to continue to work to reduce the depiction of smoking and tell regulators and the entertainment industry to consider what more could be done.
Guidelines produced by Ofcom, the UK
communications regulator, say smoking should generally not be shown before the 9pm TV watershed and should never be glamorised or condoned.
A spokesman for the BBFC said a public consultation in 2009 had asked whether portrayal of smoking should
be regarded as a classification issue, concluding that the overwhelming response was, people did not believe it should be.
Action over internet controls, however, will have to be pursued at a global level, potentially through the World
The government's tobacco control plan states that the way smoking is portrayed can create the false impression that tobacco use is a normal, or even glamorous, activity, and rarely shows the real life negative consequences
of tobacco use .
It adds: Smoking in the media can also give a false impression that tobacco use is more common than it actually is. [Bollox! Far few smoke in the media than in real life]
remain especially concerned about how these influences affect perceptions of social norms and how they encourage young people to take up smoking.
The unusual, hilarious and endearingly weird Rango hit US theaters last weekend, but the animated PG western is causing a stir among anti-smoking advocates who say that the number of characters who light up are unacceptable.
lot of kids are going to start smoking because of this movie, said Stanton Glantz director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California.
Glantz's group and other smoke-free organizations are renewing
efforts with the MPAA to slap an R-rating on any film that shows smoking.
Critics and audiences are praising Rango for being a grown-up cartoon, making references to spaghetti westerns (lots of smoking in those films ... ) and other
A spokeswoman for Paramount said: The images of smoking in the film ... are portrayed by supporting characters and are not intended to be celebrated or emulated.
Interesting to see that TV censorship can have a serious downside for the broadcasters. This was revealed in a comment piece about the US wrestling shows from WWE:
Remember the last time Stone Cold came to
host, just before last WrestleMania?
It was unbearable to watch because they censored nearly every word he said and the programming just showed us that we are actually watching a show catered for kids.
Well recently, USA Network, including Sky Sports around UK and Europe, have stopped censorship on words and allowing the programming to flow without censoring words like Bitch or Ass. We can finally go through their
programs without that censor man pressing the censor button every time someone uses those words, and we can finally watch it in peace.
Well, The Rock actually started this. If you remember when he did return to give us
that speech, they did censor words, but rumors are circulating that Vince actually told USA network to stop censoring it because that was The Rock's persona, and it would ruin what he was famous for.
An unofficial cut of Kanye West's music video for Monster hit the Internet months ago. Still, on Monday, it was announced that MTV unsurprisingly rejected West's Monster video for air, asking the artist and label to re-edit it.
no doubt that Monster is dark--to the point of almost being a five minute horror show. West greets us with images of dead women throughout, their bodies hanging by rope from the ceiling while other haphazardly lie deceased in bed. One scene in
particular shows West holding the severed head of a young lady.
MTV deny 'banning' the video, explaining in a statement:
MTV has not banned Kaye West's 'Monster' video. We have been in constant
communication with the label regarding this matter... HOWEVER ... we are still awaiting the edits we requested in order for the video to be suitable for broadcast.
Ron Leone is associate professor at the communication department at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and a film scholar who studies movie ratings. His latest article, published this week in the Journal of Children and Media examines
ratings creep in the United States.
The term refers to the belief that various types of adult content escalate in films with the same rating over time, and Leone's latest study finds that films rated PG-13 today are significantly more
violent than those with the same rating a generation ago.
In their latest study, MPAA Ratings Creep: A longitudinal analysis of the PG-13 rating category in U.S. movies , Leone analyzed the content of a sample of PG-13 movies from
three different years: 1988, 1997 and 2006. They documented each incident of violence, sexual content, nudity, use of adult language and presentations of substance abuse.
Our quantitative content analysis of 45 films indicated a significant
increase in violent content in these films, despite the ratings remaining the same, says the professor: We searched for evidence of 'creep' in all categories, but our results pointed to one conclusion . In the PG-13 rating category, the
only area of adult content on the rise was violence.
According to Leone, none of the other four areas showed any statistically significant evidence of ratings creep: Our results suggest a leniency toward violent content by the MPAA ratings
board that parallels America's parents' greater comfort with children being exposed to violence than other types of adult content in the unrestricted PG-13 rating category .
Former US Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democrat from Connecticut, has now been appointed to head the Motion Picture Association of America
The film industry is at a critical juncture, as one of America's largest export industries faces piracy in
foreign markets and dwindling audiences at home. Attendance is 22% llower than this time last year, ratings for Sunday's Oscarcast was down 10%, and DVD sales have plummeted.
The times call for savvy in finance and international relations, both
strong suits for Dodd, says Toby Miller, professor and chair of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside.
Hollywood is a major employer and export earner, says Professor Miller. Most of
Hollywood revenue comes from DVDs, downloads, and TV. Cinema attendance hasn't been its major contribution economically for decades. Our overseas image is affected by what Hollywood produces. And this job is the key point person to D.C. in terms of
regulation, stimulus, and piracy.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has received a great deal of backlash for their actions of seizing tens of thousands of domains over the past year, and accusing site owners of counterfeiting, piracy, and ,most recently,
engaging in child pornography. Even a US Senator has pointed out that these actions may violate the constitutional rights of site owners affected, however ICE Director John Morton continues to defend the domain seizures as a noble effort to protect
Morton points out that websites are property that the government has the right to seize when evidence of a crime is revealed: We can seize and forfeit them just like we seize and forfeit bank accounts, houses and vehicles that
are used in other crimes. Any instrument of a crime is subject to our jurisdiction in terms of seizure and forfeit.
Morton also states that the domain seizures are not a tool to censor websites ...BUT... to simply enforce
copyright laws: We're about making sure that the intellectual property laws of the United States, which are clear, are enforced. When somebody spends hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the next movie or a billion dollars to develop the next
heart medicine, the innovation and the enterprise that went into that effort is protected as the law provides. It's that simple.
Fine words but they will be lost on the tens of thousands of innocent website owners who had their domains seized
last month. It is also the duty of these agencies to preserve the rights of Americans. These domain seizure processes need to be reviewed and appropriately overhauled before more mistakes are made and more innocent people are affected.
Gay campaigners of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) have filed an FCC complaint against the Spanish-language television talk show Jose Luis Sin Censura ( Jose Luis
The show is produced by the California-based Liberman Broadcasting and airs in Los Angeles on KRCA, channel 62.
The groups claimed in a statement that the show routinely features indecent, profane, and obscene material,
offensive language, nudity, and on-air verbal and physical attacks against women as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people .
The show often prompts guests and audience members to engage in verbal and even physical
attacks, especially against people perceived to be LGBT. Many episodes showed the audience standing and shouting anti-gay epithets and profanity at guests, the groups said.
It is extremely disturbing to see a show like José Luis
Sin Censura air this violent language with impunity and without any regard for the safety of our community, GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said: At a time when LGBT youth and adults face harassment and violence, it is unacceptable for media
to fuel such a climate of intolerance about our community.
GLAAD has also launched an online petition against the show.
A new sexy party computer game has 'outraged' parents with lurid adult content which they claim will encourage orgies and under-age sex.
The Nintendo Wii game We Dare has styled itself sexy but has only been given a 12+
Many parents insist it is not suitable for a console which is popular with families and teenagers.
In an 'explicit' trailer, two girls can be seen virtually kissing, the couples stripping to their underwear and spanking each other.
And other parts of the two-minute video, viewed over 150,000 times on the Internet site You Tube, are suggestive of orgies, pole-dancing and wife-swapping.
The game is to be released on the Wii and Playstation 3 next month, with the promotion line
The more friends you invite to party, the spicier the play! It is described as a sexy, quirky party game that offers a large variety of hilarious, innovative and physical, sometimes kinky, challenges .
Parents have described
the 12+ certificate as appalling and unbelievable . Laura Pearson from Birmingham, said: I have a 13-year-old daughter and if I knew she was playing such a highly charged sexual game with boys, I would be appalled. It is encouraging
under-age sex. The video pretty much shows them swapping partners, girl-on-girl kissing. That kind of thing is not something that young teenagers should be exposed to.
George Hardy, a 46-year-old father, said: No wonder we have problems in
society with unsafe sex and under-age sex when kids can get hold of games like this. This sort of computer game will only serve to fuel sexual tensions and, in a worse-case scenario, sexual touching or assault. Imagine a room of testerone-fuelled
teenagers playing this, something could get out of hand. It sounds drastic but I could see it.
The body responsible for classifying computer games in Britain yesterday defended the 12+ certificate.
Laurie Hall, director general of the Video Standards Council, said: The average 16-year-old would think everything in We Dare was beneath
them -- although the game contains innuendo and suggestion, if it showed anything sexual it would be have received a 16 rating . Hall added that a part of the game which included characters stripping did not show anything more revealing than cartoon characters in bras and pants
and said that it was in the context of a game about characters losing weight.
He said that a YouTube trailer for the game was more extreme than anything in the game itself. There is no sexual activity, he said. There is
suggestion and innuendo if you're that way inclined but you don't actually see anything .
Labour MP Keith Vaz, a long-time critic of aspects of the video games industry, said: The new 'We Dare' game has clearly been wrongly marked as a 12
plus. As a family friendly console, Wii must ensure that there are proper checks and a full consultation before games are graded for use by children. This game should not be released until these checks are made.
Meanwhile, the upcoming Nintendo Wii and PS3 game We Dare is due for release in Australia on March 3 and has been rated PG by the Classification Board. The box promises flirty fun for all , above an image of a plush pink chair draped in
lingerie and padded handcuffs.
The game has caused an uproar amongst British tabloids which quoted parents accusing it of promoting orgies and lesbian sex to kids as young as 12.
A man who admitted posting online threats against the creators of the animated TV series South Park has been jailed for 25 years.
Zachary Adam Chesser encouraged violent jihadists to attack South Park writers for an episode that
depicted Mohammed in a bear suit, court documents said. Chesser also admitted that he tried to go to Somalia to join Al-Shabaab, an Islamic militant group that the United States considers a terrorist organization.
He posted online messages that
included the writers' home addresses and urged online readers to pay them a visit, the documents said.
His actions caused people throughout the country to fear speaking out -- even in jest -- to avoid being labeled as enemies who
deserved to be killed, U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said: The fact that a young man from Northern Virginia could support such violence and terror is a sobering reminder of the serious threat that homegrown jihadists pose to this country.
Chesser was born in the United States and converted to Islam in high school.
Adult film maker John Stagliano (Buttman) issued the following statement decrying the recent attacks on personal liberties by moral crusaders:
This week, the group 'Pornography Harms' continued its campaign to ban free speech
and adult entertainment through a letter circulated around Capitol Hill with the goal of spurring elected officials into enacting the group's dangerous agenda. The letter cites worn-out and debunked claims that view.
Recent statistics show those claims simply are not true. A study from a Clemson University economist showed that violent and sexual crimes have actually decreased as Internet usages have increased. The study's author found that states whose Internet access expanded the fastest saw rapes and sexual crimes decline the most.
We are tired of being slandered. It is apparent that if people are left free to consume pornography, if they so choose, the world is a healthier, less violent place.'
In 2008, the
Department of Justice's Obscenity Prosecution Task Force brought charges against Stagliano in a trial which gained national attention over its free speech implications. In July of 2010, the trial ended in a Judicial Acquittal after the Judge ruled there
wasn't sufficient evidence presented by the prosecution to convict. Groups such as Pornography Harms have lobbied government agencies and elected officials to continue to stifle first amendment / free speech rights through similar prosecutions.
The recent Pornography Harms letter urges readers to donate to Morality in Media, an organization with a long history of First Amendment suppression tactics and alignment with other censorship driven groups. They have
frequently used similar outlandish claims and factual distortions as part of their extremist agenda, such as claiming there's a link between gay marriage and mass killings. If these anti-speech activists are initially successful with their censorship
agenda, they won't stop until they have turned all broadcasts and publications in line with their narrow worldview.
The only real violence involved is prosecuting someone like me with an obscenity law, a law that you
can't know in advance when you are breaking it.'
US Representative Jim Matheson, a Democratic member of Congress is preparing a bill that would require porn sites to use sophisticated age verification technologies. He also wants to impose a 25% tax on porn sites to pay for the enforcement of the age
Historically (pornography) has been age-restricted at a point of sale that's a brick-and-mortar store, Matheson told the Deseret News recently: For us to assume that since it's on the
Internet that we should ignore it is wrong. As a society we've already made a decision that we want to restrict sales to a certain age.
Attempts to impose mandatory age verification on porn sites is nothing new, of course, and extend all the
way back to the first Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which was passed in 1998 but which never took effect after the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2007 lower court decision that found the law facially in violation of the First and Fifth
Amendments of the United States Constitution. COPA required all commercial distributors of material harmful to minors to restrict their sites from access by minors.
Content bases taxes also have a hard time when faced with constitutional
"As an institution of higher learning with a long tradition of
upholding the art world’s 'traditional values and skills', we, the Graduate School of Figurative Art, find it difficult to allow facebook to be the final arbiter – and online curator – of the artwork we share with the world".
As the Academy makes its first bold forays into the expanding worlds of social media, we find ourselves reeling from a recent exchange with facebook, and on the
edge of an interesting debate.
exhibition curated by the Academy and shown at the Eden Rock Gallery in St. Barth's.
As an institution of higher learning with a long tradition of upholding the art world's traditional values and skills, we, the
Graduate School of Figurative Art, find it difficult to allow facebook to be the final arbiter -- and online curator -- of the artwork we share with the world.
If facebook is a new online Salon de Paris, where a
faceless group of curators determine what artwork the public should see, well then please consider our website the Salon de Refuse's!
And so we now ask: How is FACEBOOK controlling ART?
An Unwritten policy that sometimes allows drawings?
Facebook now says it made a mistake. While the company bans nude photographs, its representatives say the company has an unwritten policy that
allows drawings or sculptures of nudes.
We count many amateur -- and some professional -- artists among our employees, and we're thrilled that so many artists share their work on Facebook, Simon Axten, a Facebook spokesman, claimed in a
statement: In this case, we congratulate the artist on his lifelike portrayal that, frankly, fooled our reviewers. [yeah yeah!] Each member of our investigations team reviews thousands of pieces of reported
content every day and, of course, we occasionally make a mistake. We're sorry for the confusion here and we encourage the artist to repost his work.
But this sounds like bollox from from facebook:
A number of other figurative artists
say they too have had their work removed by Facebook, and in some cases had their accounts blocked. They say they feel that Facebook is taking aim at their work and accuse it of censorship.
It seems like they have really gone after artists,
said John Wellington, an artist in New York who is a graduate of the academy. The images they are taking down are clearly paintings. After one of his paintings was taken down recently, Wellington said he deleted from Facebook all the images that
he had uploaded that showed a nipple, for fear that his account would be disabled.
Richard T. Scott, another graduate of the academy, who lives in Paris, said some images he had uploaded were also removed. He said he knew of more than 50
paintings, including some entered into an online contest of figurative drawings, that were deleted by Facebook. Scott said he was particularly concerned because Facebook had allowed him to showcase his work and to be discovered by galleries and
collectors. For figurative painters, Facebook has been a democratizing force, and it has been pivotal for my career, he said.
The video game, Call of Juarez: The Cartel , is set to release this summer. Unlike the previous releases in the series, The Cartel is set in the present day and focuses on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico. But apart
from this, little information has yet been released about the game
The modern-day setting combined with the title has rubbed law enforcement officials in south Texas up the wrong way. Gang and drug cartel-related violence is very real to towns in
southern Texas bordering Mexico.
Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia says that any game involving organized crime sets a bad example:
Unfortunately there are companies that are looking to capitalize on
the violent situation in Mexico which has had a very negative impact on the country, said Garcia. There have been spillover cases in certain areas of our country with cases of kidnappings and murders. This is a serious topic and this is just another
violent video game.
It doesn't matter if it deals with the cartel in Juarez, the Gulf Cartel or the Sinaloa Cartel. It is simply not something that is appropriate for our youth, Garcia added. This leaves lasting images
and ideas in teenagers who get caught up in the game and may try to make it a reality and live the violent lifestyle they see in these games.
While Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio admitted that he was not familiar with the
game, he says that he agrees with Garcia that any type of media that glamorizes the criminal lifestyle should be discouraged.
The title itself leads one to believe that the game deals with
narcotic trafficking organizations. Games like these create a false idea in the minds of teenagers who are still developing and may grow up and want to imitate these characters. Sadly enough these kind of games are protected by freedom of speech, but the
violence that comes from cartels is not a game and it affects us all.
Update: Chihuahua lawmakers recommend Call of Juarez: The Cartel
The video game Call of Juarez: The Cartel by game developer Ubisoft has drawn criticism from Mexican and US officials even before anything substantive is known about the game beyond the promotional statement:
You'll embark on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico immersing yourself in a gritty plot with interesting characters and a wide variety of game play options. Take justice into your own hands in this modern Western
Mexican blogger Ismael Flores explains that legislators in the state of Chihuahua,where Ciudad Jua'rez is located, have now called on the Secretariat of Governance and the Secretariat of Economy to prohibit the sale of
the video game in Mexico.
It remains to be seen whether Mexico's federal government will act upon the request. But of course if they do they will have to answer why they are not spending their time concentrating on banning the real violence in
Mixed martial arts, an intense and increasingly popular sport that blends boxing, wrestling, karate, judo and other forms of fighting, is currently not permitted in Connecticut. But the legislature is considering a bill that would sanction MMA matches,
provided they are regulated and the ticket revenue is taxed.
State Rep. Matthew Lesser has introduced legislation that would open the door for Connecticut to join 46 other states that have legalized MMA.
Lesser said he was spurred to raise
the bill by a constituent who is an MMA fan.
It doesn't seem to make sense to tell fans from Connecticut that they have to leave the state to watch it.
Lesser says MMA could also boost the state's bottom line. Average ticket sales
for an Ultimate Fight Championship match topped $2.8 million in 2007. UFC, the company that promotes most of the top-ranked MMA matches, is also a major player in the pay-per-view market. Taxes on MMA gate receipts could provide a pretty significant
economic boom, he said.
Massachusetts and Maine both recently legalized MMA, but New York is one of four states that has not. That provides an opportunity for Connecticut, given its proximity to the Empire State, Lesser said.
been criticized for its violence. Senator John McCain famously referred to it as human cockfighting. Lesser's bill would regulate it, just as boxing is regulated by the state.
MMA's fan base overlaps with that of professional wrestling.
Lesser said Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment is lobbying against the MMA bill.
The John McCain quote is out of date, he was against it when it was no rules ( UFC 2 may well be the most violent video the bbfc have ever passed, no joke) but the state athletic commissions wrote up a list of rules to turn it into a
legit sport and McCain has since said The sport has grown up. The rules have been adopted to give its athletes better protections and to ensure fairer competition.
Interestingly there appears to be little in the way of MMA regulation in the
UK and UFC has run here many times.
David F. Friedman, a film producer who cheerfully and cheesily exploited an audience's hunger for bare-breasted women and blood-dripping corpses in lucrative low-budget films like Blood Feast and Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. , died
on Monday in Alabama aged 87 from heart failure.
Friedman plumbed the low-rent depths of the movie business with a sense of boldness and a sense of fun. In the early 1960s he and a partner, the director Herschell Gordon Lewis, made a handful of
films in a genre known as nudie-cuties, in which young women would perform ordinary household tasks or cavort in sun-dappled settings half-dressed or entirely undressed.
In 1963, Friedman and Lewis made the gleefully gore-soaked Blood Feast
, considered by many to be a groundbreaking film in the horror genre, the first so-called splatter film. It tells the story of a murderous Egyptian caterer in Miami who is especially fond of decapitating women. To promote the film, Friedman
warned viewers that it might be sickening and supplied theaters with airline vomit bags to distribute to customers. Made for $24,500, the film reportedly earned millions.
Friedman and Lewis followed Blood Feast with two other gore fests
that are exemplars of their ilk: Two Thousand Maniacs! , which takes place in a Southern town during a Civil War centennial celebration in which the townspeople take their revenge for losing the war on visiting Yankees; and Color Me
Blood Red , about a painter who gets his distinctive reds from the blood of his murder victims.
Friedman made films in the soft-porn vein --- they had titles like Trader Hornee and The Erotic Adventures of Zorro --- and
eventually, while serving as chairman of the Adult Film Association, made a handful of hard-core movies as well.
Perhaps his most famous title was Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. , about a sadistic and insatiable female Nazi prison guard,
generally considered a camp classic of sexploitation.
The US Government has yet again shuttered several domain names this week. The Department of Justice and Homeland Security's ICE office proudly announced that they had seized domains related to counterfeit goods and child pornography. What they failed to
mention, however, is that one of the targeted domains took down 84,000 innocent websites with it.
Thousands of site owners were surprised by a rather worrying banner that replaced their website. Advertisement, distribution, transportation,
receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution, was the worrying message they read on their
The shared domain in question is mooo.com, which belongs to the DNS provider FreeDNS. It is the most popular shared domain at afraid.org and as a result of the authorities' actions a massive 84,000 subdomains were wrongfully seized as
well. All sites were redirected to the US takedown banner.
Eventually the domain seizure was reverted and the subdomains slowly started to point to the old sites again instead of the accusatory banner.
Hilary Clinton scolds other nations for internet censorship
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned repressive governments not to restrict internet freedom, saying such efforts will ultimately fail.
She said the US was committed to global internet freedom and announced that the US government would
invest an additional $25m to help online dissidents and digital activists fight state repression.
She named China, Syria, Cuba, Vietnam and Burma as countries restricting online speech, and noted that Egypt's attempt to stifle protesters by
switching off the internet was unsuccessful. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook were important tools that gave voice to people's aspirations.
She acknowledged that the internet has a problem with hateful speech which can inflame
hostilities, but said that efforts to curb such content often become an excuse to violate rights to free speech: The best answer to offensive speech is more speech. People can and should speak out against intolerance and hatred .
...BUT...she drew a sharp distinction between Wikileaks' possession of secret government correspondence and internet freedom.
Fundamentally, the Wikileaks incident began with an act of theft, Clinton said: Government documents were stolen, just the same as if they had been smuggled out in a briefcase.
The BBC has apologised for remarks made on the television programme, Top Gear , that caused 'outrage' in Mexico.
The comments about Mexicans were made when they were discussing Mexican sports cars. Reviewing the Mastretta, Richard
Hammond said vehicles reflected national characteristics: Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat. The
presenters, known for their edgy jibes, then described Mexican food as refried sick .
Jeremy Clarkson added that he was confident he would not receive any complaints about their comments because the Mexican ambassador would be asleep.
But somebody on the ambassador's staff must have been awake, as the ambassador demanded an apology, calling the remarks offensive, xenophobic and humiliating .
In a letter to Mexico's ambassador in London, the BBC said it was sorry if it
had offended some people, but said jokes based on national stereotyping were part of British national humour.
Our own comedians make jokes about the British being terrible cooks and terrible romantics, and we in turn make jokes
about the Italians being disorganised and over dramatic, the French being arrogant and the Germans being over-organised, the BBC said. It added that stereotype-based comedy was allowed within BBC guidelines in programmes where the audience knew they
could expect it, as was the case with Top Gear . Whilst it may appear offensive to those who have not watched the programme or who are unfamiliar with its humour, the executive producer has made it clear to the ambassador that that was
absolutely not the show's intention .
Hundreds of Mexicans contacted the BBC Spanish-language website BBC Mundo to protest about the remark More expressed outrage in e-mails to Mexican newspapers and websites, where the Top Gear jibes have received huge coverage. The matter was also raised in the Mexican senate, where lawmakers were considering a motion of censure.
An all-party group of British MPs also urged the BBC to apologise, calling the remarks ignorant, derogatory and racist .
Scenes in which Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May poked fun at Mexicans will be cut before the show is broadcast in the
United States next week. The show is broadcast on the BBC America channel
Florida House Bill 385 is a proposal to revise Florida's laws on obscenity. The gist of the bill is to add the term simulated to the definition of sexual conduct in our obscenity law.
Specifically, the bill addresses:
Actual or simulated lewd exhibition of genitals)
Actual or simulated physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, bottom or female breasts in a sexual context.
Actual or simulated actions that would
otherwise be defined as sexual battery under Florida law.
What, exactly, does it mean to simulate this kind of physical contact ? If it doesn't matter whether one is clothed or unclothed, then does dirty dancing become obscene? The lambada? A really steamy tango? What about suggestive
cheerleader routines? What about bump-and-grind adult dancers?
The bill has drawn the concern of groups ranging from naturists to civil libertarians to the adult-business industry.
The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders would have to be stopped
at the state line, worries Richard Mason, president of the South Florida Free Beaches/Florida Naturist Association.
Luke Lirot, a Tampa lawyer well known for defending adult-business cases, thinks the bill is unconstitutional. Redner thinks it
The U.S. government has developed technology that can cut through Web censorship barriers in countries like China and deliver news and information to people who don't have currently have access to it.
The Feed Over Email (FOE) system, outlined in
a recent report by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, uses email to transport censored data to end users. A server encodes the required internet data (pages, files, applications, RSS feeds etc) and encodes them into an email. The end user runs a client
program to decode the data into familiar internet formats.
The government hopes that FOE will allow people to receive the latest news from censored Web sites and also complement existing anti-censorship tools, according to the report. People also
can use the tool to download other anti-censorship software, such Tor, Freegate, or Ultrasurf.
The technology was tested between February and June 2010 in the Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shenzhen and performed well in all tests,
according to the report. However, the agency said it's unclear how it will work when publicly available.
The U.S. has undertaken previous efforts to help bypass government Internet censorship, but the report marks the first public
disclosure of technological efforts to do so.
It's been prize winning week for the movie King's Speech , but producer Harvey Weinstein is now considering cutting the film to PG-13 to broaden the audience.
At issue is a series of 'fucks', uttered by Colin Firth playing King George
VI, as he attempts to overcome his stutter.
Director Tom Hooper says he doesn't support cutting the film ...BUT... he said that it might be bleeped.
Speaking to EW, Tom Hooper said,
wouldn't support cutting the film in any way. I think we looked at whether it's possible to bleep out the f—s and stuff, but I'm not going to actually cut that part.
He said that no final decision has been made about
creating a PG-13 friendly edit, but reiterated: I'm not going to cut the film.
Co-star Helena Bonham Carter said:
I don't think it needs to be cut down. I think every 13-year-old knows [the words], I
think every 8-year-old [does]. It's the whole point of it. It's not to be offensive. I think they said they were going to put the bleeps.
A U.S. supermarket has sparked 'outrage' after it covered with a family shield a magazine showing a picture of Elton John, his husband and their newborn baby.
The Arkansas store deemed the image of the gay couple and their child, on the
front of Us Weekly, to be offensive.
Staff say complaints from shoppers prompted them to cover the magazine with an opaque cover as used for pornographic magazines.
The Harps grocery chain store in Mountain Home, Arkansas also wrapped lthe
magazine in a protective plastic shield to stop youngsters flicking through it.
Only the very top of the magazine was visible, with the cover reading: Family shield. To protect young Harps shoppers.
The move sparked 'outrage' among
representatives from GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). On its blog, a GLAAD spokesman said the shield should never have been put up in the first place , adding: Obviously, someone felt that shoppers should not have to look
at this smiling, happy couple and their newborn baby.
And after receiving a plethora of complaints, the store management have now un-censored the magazine.
The LA Times is reporting that the film distributor Weinstein is contemplating editing The King's Speech in order to get its R-rating reduced to PG-13 and so increase the market able to see it.
The reason that the film was given the
restricted label in the first place is because of MPAA inflexibility over a scene in which King George VI spurts out numerous curse words in order to help him get over his stutter.
The film was originally rated 15 in the UK, but the BBFC were
asked to think again, and the film now has a 12 rating allowing it to be seen by a family audience. And successful it has been too.
This is a terrible, terrible idea. As far as I know, there is no difference between the cut being shown in British theaters vs. US theaters, meaning that this isn't a problem of content, but rather an issue of
bullshit standards and qualifications by the MPAA. This would perhaps be understandable if we still lived in the 1920s, but I've personally never met a 13 year old kid who is completely unaware of the existence of words like fuck and shit.
After nearly sixty years, DC Comics has decided that none of its publications need carry the Seal of Approval of the Comics Code Authority.
The announcement was made in a communique to direct market retailers, which also included the news that
DC will employ a new ratings system of its own design. Deployment of DC's new ratings system will begin in April.
The new self rating scheme is described as follows:
Appropriate for readers of all ages. May contain cartoon violence and/or some comic mischief.
Appropriate for readers age 12 and older. May contain mild
violence, language and/or suggestive themes.
T+: TEEN PLUS
Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive
Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older
The Comics Code Authority
The previous moralistic code was established in 1954 after moral panics of the era.
General Standards Part A
Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals.
No comics shall explicitly present the unique details and methods of a crime.
Policemen, judges, government officials, and respected institutions shall never be presented in such a way as to
create disrespect for established authority.
If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity.
Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous
or to occupy a position which creates the desire for emulation.
In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds.
Scenes of excessive
violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gun play, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated.
No unique or unusual methods of concealing weapons
shall be shown.
Instances of law enforcement officers dying as a result of a criminal's activities should be discouraged.
The crime of kidnapping shall never be portrayed in any
detail, nor shall any profit accrue to the abductor or kidnapper. The criminal or the kidnapper must be punished in every case.
The letter of the word crime on a comics magazine shall never be appreciably
greater than the other words contained in the title. The word crime shall never appear alone on a cover.
Restraint in the use of the word crime in titles or sub-titles shall be exercised.
General Standards Part B
No comics magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title.
All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be
All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated.
Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to
illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly nor as to injure the sensibilities of the reader.
Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and
vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism and werewolfism are prohibited.
General Standards Part C
1Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden.
Special precautions to avoid references to physical afflictions of
deformities shall be taken.
Although slang and colloquialisms are acceptable, excessive use should be discouraged and wherever possible good grammar shall be employed.
Ridicule or attack on any religious or racial group is never permissible.
Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure.
Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
characters shall be depicted in dress reasonably acceptable to society.
Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
Marriage and Sex:
Divorce shall not be treated humorously nor represented as desirable.
Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at or portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are
Respect for parents, the moral code, and for honorable behavior shall be fostered. A sympathetic understanding of the problems of love is not a license for moral distortion.
The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.
Passion or romantic interest shall never be treated in such a way as to stimulate the
lower and baser emotions.
Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested. Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
The code was updated over the years to allow for the depiction of werewolves, vampires, the corruption of elected officials, and gays of which the taboo itself became taboo.
G. Wayne Clough, head of the Smithsonian Institution, has acknowledged that he acted too quickly before deciding Nov. 30 to remove a controversial video from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
In an interview after a long-planned
speaking engagement in downtown L.A., Clough said the decision to remove David Wojnarowicz's 1987 AIDS-protest video, A Fire in My Belly , on the same day that two top Republican congressmen had complained that the exhibition offended
Christian sensibilities, was the most painful thing I've ever done, but denied it could properly be called censorship.
Clough said threats of budgetary consequences by House Speaker John Boehner and House majority leader Eric Cantor played
into his decision, but a primary concern was preventing a media pile-on that would hijack the exhibition by turning the discussion away from the art on display and make it an excuse for a heated and polarizing debate of tangential issues.
Clough spoke proudly of
Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture being the first major museum exhibition devoted primarily to gay and lesbian artists' sensibilities.
The Museum of Modern Art announced the purchase of the controversial video exhibit featuring an image of Jesus on a crucifix covered in ants that was pulled from the Smithsonian Institute's National Portrait Gallery last month.
The New York museum
have announced their acquisition of David Wojnarowicz's original 13-minute version of A Fire in My Belly, and a 7-minute excerpt, MoMA Director Glenn Lowry said.
The work was included in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National
Portrait Gallery, sparking an outcry from some conservative members of Congress and organizations including the Catholic League, which culminated in its removal from the gallery.
The current debate surrounding the removal of the piece from the
National Portrait Gallery exhibition brought the work to our attention and provided us with an opportunity to look more closely at it and to deepen our engagement with this artist by adding it to our holdings of his work, MoMA said.
is described as a collage of images filmed primarily during the artist's travels to Mexico, it combines footage from a number of sources that refer—often in graphic detail—to death, social inequality, faith, and desire. It is now
housed in MoMA's Contemporary Galleries with other works made during the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Pennsylvania State Police reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that retires them from policing the dictionary. This, after 770 people were cited in a one-year period, and faced a fine and potential jail time, for speaking
words the state police deemed obscene.
The ACLU of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit in May on behalf of Lona Scarpa, who called a motorcyclist an asshole after he swerved too close to her and another pedestrian. When she reported the incident
to the police, Ms. Scarpa found herself charged with disorderly conduct for swearing and faced a possible $300 fine and 90 days in jail.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and many other courts, have made it very clear that profanity —
including dirty words, foul language, and rude gestures — is protected speech. Nevertheless, an ACLU investigation revealed that the state police had, on average, issued more than two such citations per day.
Using profanity toward
someone, whether an officer or not, is just not one of those things that you can put someone in jail for, explains Mary Catherine Roper, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
As part of the settlement, the state police have
agreed to retrain their officers to make clear that they cannot cite people for profanity, indecent speech, or gestures.
Still, if the evil moment is going to be exploited, let it be exploited in a useful way, as an impetus to change the tone of discourse in the U.S., to self-censor our own modern habit of violent talk.
Keith Olbermann, a TV talk show host, around
the same time he was creepily assigning blame, also offered up something good. It was that: Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or anything in my past that may have even
inadvertently encouraged violence.
Everybody else (right, center, and left) should be saying the same thing. At the same time, we can drop the character assassination that's become modern entertainment.
That's true for Rachel Maddow,
CBS, Fox, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, CNN, Jon Stewart, and the birthers. It's true for all the snarky blog posters and tweeters who gleefully suspended their inhibitions and keyed in material about crushing wingnuts, impaling feminazis, and so on. It's
also true for all the violent talkers in Arizona, whose own sheriff commented that the state was out of control.
Is it not the American hard right who usually argue that what we see and hear
can influence our actions? Be it violence in films, or porn we are prey to evil influences, no? Is that not what they insist on? Hence censorship is the only way to save us...
Now however, in a surreal twist, we have the Democrats accusing the
Republicans of having caused this with their rhetoric.
And true to form, the American right wing suddenly don't believe people can be swayed by what they see and hear on TV. Suddenly this was just a disturbed individual.
wonders if the same such restraint reigns, next time something happens they wish to correlate with violence on TV or pornography.
It seems a strange and very sudden conversation to the belief that we are not merely slaves to what we see and that
we have a will of our own.
Anyone who missed David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly before it was removed from the National Portrait Gallery exhibit Hide/Seek on November 30 will soon be able to see it right outside the museum.
Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax
Iacovone, who were detained on December 6 for playing the video on an iPad in the NPG lobby, have followed through on their promise to host a temporary gallery for censored work.
They've now obtained the permits they need to park a trailer outside
the Gallery's F Street NW entrance. The Museum of Censored Art will be open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (mirroring NPG's hours), until Hide/Seek closes on February 13.
The City Paper quotes Iacovone as saying, we
haven't said anything to NPG, but I suspect they're going to find out real soon.
A federal appeals court has struck down a penalty imposed on ABC by the FCC in 2003.
The $27,500 fine was originally charged after an episode of cop drama NYPD Blue contained a brief shot of a woman's nude buttocks.
According to the
Associated Press, the 2nd US Court of Appeals has now ruled that since television stations are not fined for fleeting, unscripted profanities in live broadcasts, the brief nudity should not have resulted in a penalty.
The FCC previously
claimed that the scene dwelled on the nudity of actress Charlotte Ross and was shocking and titillating .
Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a classic . Yet, for decades, it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the country, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright, appearing again and again on
lists of the nation's most challenged books, and all for its repeated use of a single word: nigger.
Twain scholar Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books now plan to release a version of Huckleberry Finn , in a single volume with The
Adventures of Tom Sawyer , that does away with the word 'nigger' by replacing it with the word slave. It also replaces the word Injun .
This is not an effort to render Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn colorblind, said
Gribben: Race matters in these books. It's a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.