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2012: July-Sept

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21st September

  Hardcore Yarnography...

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Cuddly art in New York's SoHo winds up a few nutters
Link Here

lana sutra video A new United Colors of Benetton pop-up store in New York's SoHo neighborhood has lead to a social media outburst from a few 'offended' parents

The temporary store, titled Art of Knit, is a fall pop-up shop featuring yarn art created by sculptor Erik Ravelo, however the pieces, amidst the racks of brightly colored sweaters, depict graphic sex positions and some parents are reported to be less than thrilled.

One mother claimed: This corrupt society we live in does not value nor respect the innocence of children.

The installations, were called hardcore yarnography by one parent, are also seen as amusing by others.

The wooly installations will change every few weeks, according to a statement released by Benetton, with up and comers including more family friendly knit covered dolphins.

 

16th September

 Update: Selectively Banned...

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Google said to be more powerful than Egypt or Libya in deciding whether to ban The Innocence of Muslims
Link Here  full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

Google logo Google lists eight reasons on its YouTube Community Guidelines page for why it might take down a video. Being cited as the cause of riots is not among them. But after the White House warned that a crude anti-Muslim movie trailer had sparked murderous violence in the Middle East, Google acted.

Access to  a 14-minute clip from The Innocence of Muslims was blocked in Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia and Afghanistan.

Legal experts and civil libertarians, meanwhile, said the controversy highlighted how Internet companies, most based in the United States, have become global arbiters of free speech, weighing complex issues that traditionally are the province of courts, judges, and occasionally, international treaty.

Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor said:

Notice that Google has more power over this than either the Egyptian or the U.S. government. Most free speech today has nothing to do with governments and everything to do with companies.

...Read the full article

 

16th September

 Extract: Nothing, however vile, justifies censorship...

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Even in the hardest of cases such as this anti-Islamic film, the old arguments against censorship remain the best
Link Here  full story: The Innocence of Muslims...Muslim world gets wound up by silly movie

Free Speech Awareness Rectangular Sticker The friends of freedom should not make exceptions because freedom's enemies never do. Admittedly, the trailer for Innocence of Muslims (one of its many titles) makes the temptation to allow just one exception close to overwhelming. It advertises an amateur and adolescent piece of religious propaganda that depicts Muhammad as a violent and lascivious fool. Copts probably made it. As there is no great difference between Christian and Islamist extremists, why not intervene in this clash of fundamentalisms and stop one sect inciting another sect to violence?

...Read the full article

 

5th September

  Censor Bullshit...

Google initially censor political TV advert over bleeped 'bullshit'
Link Here

green party advert video The Green Party have won a public-relations battle with Google in the US, forcing the company's television advertising division to book time for a commercial in which its presidential candidate uses the (partly bleeped) word 'bullshit' to describe the policies of the major-party candidates.

Google TV Ads, which fills advertising slots for television stations, initially rejected the commercial in an e-mail to the party's ad agency, citing the use of inappropriate language by Jill Stein, the Green nominee. No doubt trying to avoid violating the Federal Communications Commission's vague standards for what constitutes indecency on television, Google TV Ads instructs clients to avoid bleeped-out expletives where curse words are still identifiable from the audio.

The Green Party then called on its supporters to:

Tell Google TV Ads Not to Censor Our Ads! Never mind that these ads already comply with F.C.C. regulations regarding appropriate content, what Google does not seem to understand is that federal law prohibits broadcasters from censoring ads submitted by candidates for public office.

Google TV Ads relented and agreed to pass the ad on to broadcasters.

 

4th September

  Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D...

Reports of censorship problems to get an MPAA R rating
Link Here

texas chainsaw massacre 3d Lionsgate's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D has just been rated R (17A) by the MPAA for strong, grisly violence and language throughout.

Bloody-Disgusting reports that the film had previously received the uncommercial NC-17 (18) rating, and that it had taken the producers several attempts to cut the movie for an R Rating.

This had substantially delayed the release date, which is now set for January 2013.

The film slots into the TCM series as an immediate sequel to Tobe Hooper's original and is set in the same 70's era.

 

31st August

 Update: Droning On...

Apple censors app informing users of US drone strikes
Link Here  full story: iPhone iCensor...Apple is censorial about apps for iPhone

drones plus Apple are censoring an app that sends users a pop-up notice whenever a flying robots kills someone in one of America's many undeclared wars.

Apple keeps blocking the Drones+ program from its App Store, and therefore, from iPhones everywhere. The company claims that the content is objectionable and crude, according to Apple's latest rejection letter.

It's the third time in a month that Apple has turned Drones+ away, says Josh Begley, the program's New York-based developer. The company's reasons for keeping the program out of the App Store keep shifting. First, Apple called the bare-bones application that aggregates news of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia not useful. Then there was an issue with hiding a corporate logo. And now, there's this crude content problem.

Begley explains that Drones+ doesn't present grisly images of corpses left in the aftermath of the strikes. It just tells users when a strike has occurred, going off a publicly available database of strikes compiled by the U.K.'s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which compiles media accounts of the strikes.

 

29th August

 Update: Nutter Romney...

Republicans adopt a policy line threatening to enforce anti-porn laws
Link Here

us republican party logo The US Republican Party is calling for a crackdown on pornography. As they prepare to nominate Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate for the Nov. 6 election, Republicans have added language to their official platform that anti-porn nutters said would encourage the federal government to step up prosecution of pornography involving adults.

Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced, the platform says, according to a draft obtained by Reuters.

Republicans are planning a Tuesday vote on the document, a nonbinding statement of principles that tackles everything from monetary policy to abortion.

This appears to be the first time that the party has called for a crackdown on sexually explicit material involving adults, a multi-billion-dollar industry. Adult obscenity cases have been exceedingly rare over the past 20 years. Though the administration of George W. Bush promised a crackdown, only the most extreme forms of pornography have been targeted.

Anti-pornography nutter Patrick Trueman said the language in the Republican platform would bolster a broader push against the type of sexually explicit material that is sold by convenience stores, by hotels via pay-per-view television programming, and satellite and cable TV providers.

According to Trueman's group, Romney promised earlier this year that he would push for strict enforcement of obscenity laws, as well as the broader use of blocking software to screen out Internet porn.

 

29th August

  Slaves to Easy Offence...

Spanish magazine provokes debate with photoshopped Michelle Obama nude
Link Here

michelle obama magazine cover This month's cover of Spain's Fuera de Serie , magazine features Michelle Obama in a mocked up nude.

The Spanish Magazine either decided to go provocative or political when featuring a manipulated image of the first lady pictured as a topless, enslaved woman.

Taken from the Famous Nudes series done by artist Karine Percheron-Daniels, the painting was created by superimposing Obama's face onto the body of the Black enslaved woman shown in the 1800 Portrait d'une ne'gresse by French artist Marie-Guillemine Benoist.

Clearly provoked by the sight of Obama showcased as an enslaved woman, the black blogosphere has waged a digital war against the cover, claiming that the image is nothing short of blatantly racist propaganda.

By choosing to use such a jarring image to tell the story of how America's first lady seduced the people of the United States and stole the heart of Barack Obama, as Fuera de Serie describes her, writes Brande Victorian of Madame Noire, it's clear the magazine agrees with that mentality and wants to spread the message loud and clear: todavi'a estamos esclavos. We are still slaves.

 

29th August

 Offsite Article: Left Out in the Cold...

Link Here
Blizzard cut off Iran from World of Warcraft citing trade sanctions and conveniently can't pay refunds for the same reason

See article from bbc.com

 

28th August

  No Easy Day...

Pentagon to review book describing the final raid on Bin Laden
Link Here

No Easy Day Firsthand Account The Pentagon is reviewing a copy of a forthcoming firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, checking for leaks of classified information.

The book, No Easy Day , is scheduled for publication on 11 September, the anniversary of the 2001 attacks that bin Laden masterminded.

The author, Mark Owen, a former US navy Seal who participated in the raid, did not submit the book until now for the pre-publication review that is required by the military secrecy agreements officials say he signed.

Pentagon regulations stipulate that retired personnel, former employees and non-active duty members of the reserves shall use the DOD security review process to ensure that information they submit for public release does not compromise national security .

Pentagon officials say that if they determine the manuscript reveals classified information about the raid, the Pentagon would defer to the department of justice . If the book has classified information, the former Seal could face criminal charges.

 

19th August

 Offsite Article: High hopes, low notes for film world's NC-17 rating...

Link Here
The designation had a promising start as a way to distinguish adult-only content, but 22 years later confusion reigns over rules and few have embraced it.

See article from latimes.com

 

17th August

  Looking Back...

Kirk Douglas speaks about Spartacus, censorship and Mccartheism
Link Here

Spartacus DVD Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas earned a standing ovation from a packed Los Angeles theater as he introduced a screening of the 1960 classic Spartacus that included a previously censored scene.

When you're 95 years old, you don't look forward. You look backwards, you take inventory, Douglas said, as he sat on stage to talk about the film that immortalized him as a movie legend.

Douglas said that Spartacus challenged censorship during an era when Hollywood actors and screenwriters were blacklisted due to their alleged communist sympathies.

Douglas hired Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, who wrote the script under a pen name. Douglas however put Trumbo's name in the film credits. You have no idea how terrible those years were when we had the blacklist, said Douglas.

The complete Spartacus, which was restored in 1991, includes a homoerotic scene that censors cut out when the movie first screened. In the scene, Laurence Olivier's character, a wealthy Roman, comes to his slave, a young, half-naked Curtis and asks him to enter the tub and help bathe him.

 

6th August

 Offsite Article: The William Friedkin Interview...

Link Here  full story: Killer Joe...Movies goes out with an NC-17 rating for violence
Part 1: Good vs. Evil, Killer Joe and the MPAA

See article from ropeofsilicon.com

 

3rd August

  Too Much Control Freakery...

US Cybersecurity Bill blocked in the Senate
Link Here

US Senate A Democrat-sponsored cybersecurity measure that the Obama administration claimed necessary to protect the nation's infrastructure was blocked by Republicans opposed to what they considered to be undue regulation.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 needed 60 votes to move to a vote by the full Senate, thanks to a Republican filibuster of the measure.

The measure, sponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins started life as nasty piece of work that was more about surveillance than security. It would also have enabled substantial internet censorship.

However it was watered down to meet the objections of anti-regulation Republicans who argued that forcing companies to meet minimum security standards would be unduly burdensome. The latest version made the security standards voluntary. Meanwhile, privacy advocates largely supported the revised bill after it was amended to include provisions designed to preserve civil liberties and the privacy of users that might be threatened by increased information sharing between businesses and government.

There were a flurry of late amendments, including one to prevent warrantless tracking of consumers via GPS and one to protect consumers from monitoring by ISPs. But pro-business Republican objections -- and the filibuster -- ruled the day, although a gun control amendment that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) refused to withdraw may also have influenced opposing Republicans.

 

2nd August

 Updated: Expendable Hype...

The Expendables 2 rated R by the MPAA
Link Here  full story: Expendables...Tough guys and whimpy censorship

expendables 2 There was an earlier episode of hype from Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris claiming that the up n coming The Expendables 2 would be PG-13 rated.

This hype had already been discredited by subsequent statements from the film makers but now it has been confirmed by the MPAA that the film has just been awarded an R rating. The MPAA also added the tag that the R rating is for strong bloody violence throughout.

The Expendables 2 stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, Nan Yu, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's based on a screenplay co-written by Stallone and Richard Wenk, and directed by Simon West.

The film opens in U.S. theaters on August 17th, 2012.

Update: BBFC Rating

2nd August 2012. See  article from  bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC has passed the cinema release of Expendables 2 as 15 uncut for strong bloody violence.

It is expected to open in the UK on 16th August 2012.

 

2nd August

 Update: Devastating for User Content Sites...

Injunction obtained against age verification law re sex ad images
Link Here

Washington state seal A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of a new Washington state law that would require classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people in sex-related advertisements.

Gov. Chris Gregoire claimed the law this year to cut down on child sex trafficking. The law received unanimous approval from the Legislature and had been scheduled to take effect in June, but courts have put its implementation on hold.

The Washington law would allow for the criminal prosecution of anyone who knowingly publishes or causes the publication of sex-related ads depicting children, unless they can show they made a good-faith effort to confirm that the person advertised was not a juvenile.

The decision U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez stops the law from taking effect until the lawsuit challenging it can be heard in court.

The website Backpage.com and the Internet Archive, a popular archive of Internet sites, asked for the preliminary injunction.

Backpage and Internet Archive argue the new law violates the Communications Decency Act of 1996, as well as the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Backpage.com argues that SB6251 would force websites to become the government's censors of users' content and would place an incredible burden on the company to review every bit of third-party content, as well as obtain and maintain records of individuals' ID.

These obligations would bring the practice of hosting third-party content to a grinding halt, according to Backpage.com's legal suit.

In his ruling, Martinez found merit in some of their arguments that the state law would conflict with existing federal law. He also drew a distinction between the idea of the law and the reality of its enforcement.

 

2nd August

 Extract: Insulting American People...

A trivial insult escalated to major 'outrage'
Link Here

holmes vs obama The mayor of Caldwell in Idaho asked for an electronic billboard at one of the entrances to town to remove a message that has sparked angry responses across the United States and beyond.

The message, which compares President Barack Obama's foreign policy to the actions of Colorado mass-murder suspect James Holmes, will be gone soon --- but not because the city asked for it to be removed, said Maurice Clements, chairman of the Ralph Smeed Memorial Foundation and a promoter of the billboard.

Clements said the group typically runs messages on the board for a week or so, then puts new ones up. I didn't realize this was going to be as emotional an issue as it has become, said Clements, who estimates that he's received about 1,000 emails and phone calls. Apparently this one here struck a raw nerve.

...Read the full article

 

2nd August

 Updated: It Takes a Bit of Spunk...

Indian nutter asks court to ban Jism 2 because the actress is a porn star
Link Here

jism 2 If any publicity is good publicity, Pooja Bhatt's Jism 2 is doing just fine.

A case has been filed in the Allahabad High Court seeking a ban on the release of the film even before it has been cleared by the CBFC, as well as challenging the provisions of the law which define the powers of the Censor Board.

Nutter Rakesh Nayayik has raised an objection to the inclusion of hardcore porn actress Sunny Leone in the film. His legal counsel, SMA Kazmi, explained:

We have sought a stay order on the release of Jism 2 because of the sexually explicit content of the movie, and the inclusion of Sunny Leone in the film, for the adverse moral impact that her presence would have on society.

Kazmi argues that bringing an adult film star from the West into mainstream Bollywood cinema would send out a wrong message to aspiring actresses in the country.

The lawyer has also challenged the validity of Section 5(B) of the Cinematography Act allowing the Censor Board to examine the content of a film and stop its exhibition if it is considered to be violating the morality or decency of society. He argues that it does not give enough teeth to the Board to be able to question the impact of a star's persona and that when the law was chalked in 1952, no one would have conceived a situation such as this, when a porn star is allowed to act in a film.

A the court has deferred hearing the case until August 8.

Update: Meanwhile the censors ask for cuts

27th July 2012. See  article from  sawfnews.com

CBFC logo Pooja Bhatt's film Jism 2 featuring adult star Sunny Leone has given a cuts list by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) saying its lovemaking scenes need to be toned down by at least 50%.

Jism 2 will obviously get an A certificate at a later stage but only when she incorporates the changes which we have asked for, a senior member of the board told Mumbai Mirror. The objections are for the length of the intimate scenes, explains the officer.

There are four lovemaking scenes in Jism 2, all with Sunny Leone in them. The problem is not the number of such scenes, but their length. All four scenes are too long and will have to be cut so that their impact is diluted. There is no frontal nudity but 'kaafi explicit hai'. Hence, we did not issue a certificate. We will certify the film only when Pooja returns with the modified version, which should have the intimate scenes cut to half their length.

BBFC logo Update: BBFC have their say

1st August 2012. See  article from  bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC have passed Jism 2 as 15 uncut for strong language, sex and violence

Update: Censors at half cock

2nd August 2012.  See  article from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

CBFC logo A very reliable source from the Censor Board tells us that all the love-making scenes featuring the irrepressible Sunny Leone in passionate contact with her two co-stars Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh have been reduced by half. The source said:

There are four major love-making scenes in Jism 2, 3 featuring Ms Leone with Randeep Hooda , and 1 with Arunoday Singh. Each of these was 2-3 minutes long. We asked Pooja Bhatt to reduce them to 1- 1 1/2 minutes each.

Apparently Pooja Bhatt agreed to comply with the cuts rather than go with the film to the Revising Committee. Says our source from the Censor Board Of Film Certification:

Pooja did argue. But she had clearly come to us with lengthy love-making scenes. We've nothing against characters making love on screen... AS LONG As ... they get their mutual feeling across without over-staying their welcome. We collectively felt the 4 love-making scenes in Jism 2 were over-staying their welcome. Once the mutual passion between the two partners was establishment there was no need to prolong the erotic content.

Update: Poster causes nutter 'offence'

2nd August 2012. See  article from  indianexpress.com

jism 2 Jism 2 posters featuring adult movie star Sunny Leone have been considered too hot to handle by Mumbai civic authorities as the Mayor has ordered their removal from BEST buses.

The action follows a complaint by NCP legislator Vidya Chavan that the posters were obscene.

We received a complaint from Chavan, who alleged that the posters were obscene. I have asked BEST general manager to remove such posters from BEST buses, Mayor Sunil Prabhu told PTI.

 

26th July

 Updated: Warners Pull Trailers Featuring Guns...

Who will take the heat? Guns, or movies featuring guns?
Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman

gangster squad videoWarner Bros have pulled their Gangster Squad trailer after the Colorado cinema massacre and in addition, are cutting gun scenes out from Dark Knight Rises trailers.

It's a small, symbolic concession to show that the violence has shocked the studio to the core. It's something that we expected, but could more restrictions be placed on trailers? Is this also going to have an impact on gun laws in the future?

Next time you watch a trailer for an action movie, check out the gun references to see just how visible they are.

Update: Gangster Squad will be the Fall Guys

24th July 2012. See  article from  odt.co.nz . thanks to Nick

gangster squad movieWarner Bros is now rethinking its plans for the film Gangster Squad in light of a scene featuring a movie-theatre shooting, but beyond that Hollywood executives expect little fall-out from the mass killing at a Batman screening on Friday in Aurora, Colorado.

Officials at Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros are expected to discuss whether to remove or edit the Gangster Squad shooting scene, or to change the September 7 release date for the film. Warner Brothers have already pulled the trailer that included the scene in which men open fire with machineguns on an audience in a movie theatre.

Industry experts said moviegoers were likely to move on quickly from the shooting and studios would proceed mostly as planned. Theatres tightened security over the weekend to reassure customers and one chain imposed new rules on costumes.

The immediate reaction is to go to some dark place when something like this happens. By Monday that's forgotten and the business of releasing a movie takes over, said one person familiar with the studios' thinking. Especially for big-budget films, studios like to stick with planned openings as they spend tens of millions of dollars to raise awareness in advance. Filmgoers don't dwell on isolated incidents for long, said Peter Sealey, a former Columbia marketing chief who now heads the Sausalito Group consulting firm.

Ronn Torossian, chief executive of New York-based 5W Public Relations, agreed that the public has a very short-term memory of news events and said the Aurora shooting would not leave a long-term impact on film promotion.

Update: Warners Donate

25th July 2012. See article from variety.com . Thanks to Nick

Warner Bros. is making a substantial donation to victims of Friday's shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado., during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

A spokeswoman for the studio said that execs have arranged for the donation following conversations with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Update: Reshoot Ordered

26th July 2012. See article from hollywoodreporter.com

Warner Bros. is moving the release of Gangster Squad to Jan. 11, postponing it from its scheduled Sept. 7 release date in order to accomodate reshoots because of a scene of a movie theater shoot-out in the completed film that became problematic in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado. massacre.

The film included a climactic gun that was filmed at Grauman's Chinese Theater. The scene could be glimpsed in a trailer for the movie that the studio pulled from circulation on July 20 after the shooting that claimed 12 lives.

 

24th July

 Extract: Thanks Preach...

Great message to share with the grieving families of the Aurora Tragedy
Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman

afa today logoWhat I find utterly revolting and indecent, however, is the rush by the Religious Right to exploit this tragedy to trash their enemies, judge the victims, and bully people into joining their religious and political movement.

On the American Family Association's radio program AFA Today, the hosts wasted no time lining up a far-right Evangelical minister, Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries, to tell the audience that among the dead in the theater only those who were true Christians have gone to heaven. The rest, he suggested, are already consigned to hell.

Thanks, Preach. Great message to share with the grieving families. Of course, AFA Today doesn't give a turd about their feelings; the lesson of the day was not of comfort or comprehension; it was yet another opportunity to scare their listeners into joining the flock. And not just any flock. The program went to great lengths to discredit any minister or church that deviates from the Old Time Religion view of God as a stern and wrathful judge. How, according to Rev. Newcombe, should we respond to the shooting?

...Read the full article

 

23rd July

  Fluffed Rating...

Romcom Dorfman rated PG-13 after appealing R Rating for the word 'fluffer'
Link Here

dorfmanThe independent romantic comedy Dorfman has won a battle to have its R rating changed to a PG-13, the appeals board of the Motion Picture Assn. of America has said.

The movie had been assigned an R rating because of some sexual content , specifically the word fluffer, which refers to an employee on an adult film set who prepares male actors for performing sex scenes.

The appeals board heard statements from both the film's producer, Leonard Hill, and its writer, Wendy Kout, as well as MPAA chairwoman Joan Graves. After conferring briefly, the board unanimously overturned the rating, 12-0.

Hill commented:

We were basically told that unless we replaced the word in question with a term less noxious --- like 'hooker' or 'stripper' --- that we had to keep the R rating. It seems so bizarre and arbitrary. Still, we made a determination to appeal it, even though we had to waste two months and $300 for the right to appeal, which isn't nothing for a small production like we are.

 

21st July

 Offsite Article: Batman Cinema Massacre...

Link Here  full story: Colorado Massacre...Mass murder at a cinema showing Batman
Daily Mail looks to blame killer's membership of adult website, whilst US commentators more wisely consider that the problem may be best addressed through gun control

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

13th July

  Thou Shalt Build a Shopping Mall...

Mormons unimpressed by Bloomberg Businessweek magazine cover
Link Here

businessweek-cover-mormonThe new Bloomberg Businessweek magazine cover on finances of the 'Mormon Empire' has drawn nutter criticism.

A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said:

The Businessweek cover is in such poor taste it is difficult to even find the words to comment on it, said Michael Purdy,  Sadly, the cover is a reflection of the bias and speculative nature of the article itself. It is narrow and incomplete, omitting, for instance, a good deal of information given on how church resources are used.

The article misses the mark and the cover is obviously meant to be offensive to many, including millions of Latter-day Saints.

The cover caricatures a classic LDS painting of what to Mormons is a sacred visitation by John the Baptist to early LDS leaders Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery The cover headline reads Inside the Mormon Empire. The accompanying illustration portrays John the Baptist telling Smith and Cowdery to build a shopping mall, own stock in Burger King, and open a Polynesian theme park in Hawaii that shall be largely exempt from the frustrations of tax, to which Joseph responds: Hallelujah.

Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, a school dedicated to excellence and integrity in journalism said:

As someone who has been watching the coverage of politics and faith and more specifically of 'the Mormon question' for the last year, I see this as a great step backward. I thought we were past ridiculing sacred images of other faiths, even radical Muslims, let alone our fellow Americans. I doubt the story is as out of whack as the cover, but on its own, the cover crosses way over the line between commentary and bigotry.

Richard Mouw, president of the Fuller Seminary, a graduate-level seminary for Evangelicals said:

This cover ridicules respected spiritual leaders and the Mormon faith by distorting a picture of sacred value and respect and turning it into a caricature.

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, posted a comment about the cover on his Facebook page:

This is simply disgusting.

 

12th July

 Update: Lets Get Real...

More nonsense about kids unable to come to terms with a Photoshopped world
Link Here  full story: Photoshopped Models...Campaigners to ban photoshopped adverts

Teen Vogue 2 year automatic renewal Teenagers Carina Cruz and Emma Stydahar delivered a 28,000 signature petition to Teen Vogue to express their distaste for the common magazine practice of airbrushing images.

A group of approximately 10 girls staged a protest fashion show outside the Conde' Nast building in Times Square to deliver the petition. Smiling for the cameras, the teenagers walked up and down a makeshift runway holding placards like Let's get real -- all girls are beautiful and Teen Vogue #KeepItReal.

Emma Stydahar, 17, a high school senior said:

I don't think girls should grow up in a world where beauty magazines dictate they should have a low self-esteem.

Images that have been photoshopped have a bad effect and can really hurt young girls. We're looking for more diversity of girls and body types [in these publications].

According to Stydahar, 75% of girls get depressed within three minutes of shuffling through a beauty magazine's pages because the beauty patterns they convey as ideal are unattainable.

[And if the images were no longer airbrushed then girls would still get depressed within three minutes of shuffling through a beauty magazine's pages because the beauty patterns they convey as ideal are unattainable]. Fashion models are unattainably pretty, even without Photoshop...Get over it.

Update: Teen Vogue Unimpressed by the Whinging

23rd July 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

The girls were allowed to meet with Teen Vogue editors, where they handed over a petition to the magazine with more than 20,000 signatures, however they told Jezebel the editors reactions were not what they expected.

They explained: We walked in, there was no handshake, no "my name is", none of that. Just, "you sit here, you sit there. So you wanted this meeting - what do you want to say?" We said what is in our petition... They proceeded to take out handfuls of magazines with little Post-It notes in them, [marking] what they perceived to be diverse images.

Most of them were thin African-American models. It was a good start - we love seeing women of color in these magazines. But two or three an issue - and all of them super stick skinny - isn't what we're looking for.

Emma added that the meeting consisted of the editors telling the teenagers that they hadn't done their homework , and that Teen Vogue is a great magazine, being unfairly accused.

 

10th July

 Update: Addicted to Self Importance...

More health researchers call for an R Rating for movies with smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Krew Coffin ash tray Another team of health campaigners feel that the US film censorship system should be used to further their pet cause.

Movies that show actors smoking tobacco should automatically earn an R rating in order to minimize copycat smoking among impressionable tweens and teenagers, the authors of a new study suggest. Lead author James D. Sargent, M.D., a cancer-prevention specialist and professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, in Lebanon, N.H. said:

The movie industry [should] treat smoking like it treats profanity and sex and violence. If saying the 'F' word twice gets you an R rating, certainly something as important as smoking should get you an R rating.

He seems to be saying that because the censorship scheme is naff in one area, then they may as well make it even more naff in another area. There is no comment from team on how this will effect the all important credibility of film ratings.

The study, which appears in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics , was designed in part to refute the notion that it's difficult to untangle movie smoking from the many other situations, both on-screen and off, that may contribute to adolescent impulses.

PG-13 films account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents see on the big screen, according to the two-year study, which surveyed roughly 5,000 children ages 10 to 14 about the movies they'd seen and whether they'd ever tried a cigarette.

Smoking in PG-13 films---including background shots and other passing instances---was just as strongly linked with real-world experimentation as the smoking in R-rated films. For every 500 smoking scenes a child saw in PG-13 movies, his or her likelihood of trying cigarettes increased by 49%. The comparable figure for R-rated movies was 33%, a statistically negligible difference.

Assigning an R rating to all movies portraying smoking would lower the proportion of kids who try cigarettes at this age by 18%, the authors estimate. (Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult to buy a ticket for an R-rated movie.)

Sargent and his colleagues can't prove from this study alone that movies incite kids to smoke. But they did zero in on movies by controlling for a wide range of extenuating factors, including race, household income, school performance, parenting styles, smoking among friends and family members, and even personality traits such as rebelliousness.

Since 2007, the MPAA has included smoking among its key ratings criteria, along with language, sex, violence, and drug use. According to the association, film raters consider smoking in this broader context, and they also consider how frequent, glamorized, or historically relevant it is.

 

1st July

 Update: Revealed as Tits...

The Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction legal case comes to an end with the TV censor's massive fines being declared as invalid due to its unannounced policy change
Link Here

US Supreme CourtThe long legal battle between CBS and the Federal Communications Commission over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show is over.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the FCC's request to reinstate a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS for the halftime performance featuring Jackson and Justin Timberlake, who at the end of a song tore a piece of Jackson's top, exposing her bare breast to an audience of about 90 million.

So the legal trail end at the last judgement in November when an appeal court in Philadelphia upheld its earlier ruling that the FCC's indecency fine against the network was invalid. The court didn't say whether the incident was indecent but said the FCC's fine represented an undisclosed change in the enforcement of its policy with regard to fleeting images and hence could not be enforced.

In a statement, CBS said it was gratified to finally put this episode behind us and noted that at every major turn of this process, the lower courts have sided with us. The network added that since the Super Bowl, it has added delays to all live programming to prevent similar incidents from happening.

MPAA logo

MPAA

Motion Picture Association of America

Films are rated for US theatrical showings and video formats by the MPAA.

The MPAA is a trade organisation, not a state censor. Ratings are voluntary and are not sanctioned by US law. Distributors can opt out of MPAA ratings and release the film MPAA Unrated.

The MPAA are also very active in actions against film piracy.

The MPAA established the modern ratings under the presidency of Jack Valenti

MPAA Presidents:
 - Jack Valenti 1966-2004
 - Dan Glickman 2004-2010
- Chris Dodd 2011-present

MPAA Ratings:

-  G: General Audiences: All ages admitted

- PG: Parental Guidance: Some material may not be suitable for children

- PG-13: Some material may  be inappropriate for children under 13

- R: Restricted: Under 17 requires  accompanying  parent or adult guardian
[in UK terms = 17A]

- NC-17:  No one 17 and under admitted
[in UK terms = 18]

- Unrated, not an MPAA rating but a distributor opt out

Previously there was an X rating which was replaced by the NC-17 in 1990. Distributors could also opt for this X rating without submitting the film for rating. This opt out was commonly used by porn distributors and the X rating became associated with porn. The replacement NC-17 is only available for films submitted to the MPAA.

The NC-17 is commercially unattractive as many theatres and a few retailers consider  themselves 'family friendly' and therefore refuse adults-only material.

MPAA's  film rating department is called Classification and Rating administration (CARA)

Websites:
  MPAA Corporate
CARA

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ESRB logo

ESRB

Entertainment Software Ratings Board

ESRB is a US trade organisation that assigns the age and content ratings displayed on all computer and video games, enforces marketing guidelines, and advises on online privacy issues.

ESRB Ratings:

- EARLY CHILDHOOD (EC) Content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.

- EVERYONE (E) Content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

- EVERYONE 10+ (E10+) Content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

- TEEN (T) Content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

- MATURE (M) Content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.  This category is particularly designed to ensure that the most adult possible can be sold at many supposedly 'family friendly' retailers who refuse to stock adults only titles

- ADULTS ONLY (AO) Content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.  Many US retailers refuse to carry AO titles

- RATING PENDING (RP) Titles have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)

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