Pick-up artist Daryush Valizadeh, known as Roosh V, is at the centre of another internet storm as feminists get offended by his books and claim that they are pro rape in a change.org petition calling for the books to be banned on
Amazon currently stocks 22 books written by the writer, from Washington, who identifies himself as a champion of neomasculinity .
About 200,000 people having signed the peitition.
The petition was launched three weeks by
London-based activist Caroline Charles. Her starts with the warning line: This petition contains details about sexual assault. She cites a passage:
While walking to my place, I realized how drunk she was. In
America, having sex with her would have been rape, since she legally couldn't give her consent. It didn't help matters that I was sober, but I can't say I cared or even hesitated. I won't rationalize my actions, but having sex is what I do.
Valizadeh has penned a series of books in his Bang series, which all detail similar subjects and stories from countries around the world including Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and Poland.
Inevitably Charles ludicrously claims she
does not believe in censorship:
To those who'll cry 'censorship - back off,'. He's entitled to write and think and say what he likes. He's not, however, protected from the backlash against his output, or removal of
platform. This isn't about banning books ...[BUT]... it's about ensuring he, and Amazon, can't profit from rape.
New Zealand's book censorship review board has arisen from the dead and slapped an interim ban on a book for the first time since the current law was passed 22 years ago.
The president of the Film and Literature Board of Review, Don Mathieson has
issued the Interim Restriction Order banning the sale or distribution of Auckland author Ted Dawe's award-winning novel for teenagers Into the River until the full board can consider whether the book should be restricted.
The moralist campaigner,
Family First director Bob McCoskrie, who requested the review, said the interim order - the first affecting a book under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 - showed people could still use the censorship system. He spouted:
Hopefully we have set a precedent and people start bringing other books to the fore that they are concerned about.
Where a book is targeted at teenagers it needed to be language and theme
The order is the latest twist in an extraordinary saga for Into the River , which won the top prize in the 2013 Children's Book Awards. The censor's office first classified it as unrestricted with a note about explicit
sex, drugs and offensive language. The review board later imposed an R14 restriction, but this was overturned last month when deputy chief censor Nic McCully ruled that the book should be unrestricted.
Pro-censorship Mathieson, who argued a
minority case for an R18 restriction in 2013, said in the new interim order it was debatable, and a matter of independent public interest, whether the chief censor acted lawfully in overturning the board's decision.
It is now illegal to
supply the book to anyone until the full board made a final decision.
The head of the Christian morality campaign, Family First, said he never demanded the book Into the River be banned. Bob McCoskrie told Radio NZ Family First had wanted censors to reinstate the book's R14 rating, which had been removed
last month, and require that the book carry a warning sticker. McCoskrie spouted:
We're not calling for it to be banned and we never have. We'd just like an age restriction in the same way that a movie has an R16 or
R18. If you want to blame anyone for the book being banned, blame the censor's office because they went against due process.
It has sexually explicit material and it's a book that's got the c-word nine times, the f-word 17 times
and s-h-i-t 16 times.
Perennial Hindu whinger, Rajan Zed, has turned his attention to a Doctor Who comic book, The Twelfth Doctor: Volume 3.
Doctor Who fan site Kasterborous described the storyline of the episode:
Kaliratha are like the demon Raktabija, an innumerable threat that seems to increase in size whenever one of its horde falls. Unlike Raktibija, however, the Kaliratha are the servants of Kali, Goddess of time and death. One would be hard pressed to find
a more apt villain for a Doctor Who story taking place in India.
Zed took easy offence at a website description of the episode:
Kali, oldest and deadliest of these creatures, was thought defeated
long, long ago; her body scattered throughout time to prevent her return.
Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in Nevada, called for Titan Comics to withdraw the comic, both from stores and online, and offer a public
apology from all those responsible. He said that the goddess Kali was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effect in comics. And that calling her a creature was
hurtful to her devotees.
Zed spouted that Hindus are in favor of free speech as much as anybody else, if not more so ....BUT... faith is something sacred, and any attempts at belittling faith hurts the devotees.
apologised for any 'offence' caused by the representation of Kali in this comic and said:
This particular character is an alien that uses the iconography of Kali to infiltrate India in the 1800s. The story eventually
reveals that this entity is not the goddess of the Hindu faith. Titan s Doctor Who comics draw inspiration from historical events and cultural traditions from all over the globe .
A young person's book that has been restricted to people aged 14 and over for two years has been cleared for unrestricted release after an unusual appeal by librarians.
Deputy chief censor Nic McCully ruled the R14 restriction on Into The
River, byTed Dawe, was an arbitrary and unfair breach of the right to freedom of expression.
But Bob McCoskrie, director of the morality campaign group Family First director, who originally complained about the book to the Film and Literature
Board of Review, has appealed to the board again, claiming it is laced with detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking .
Dawe explained that he wrote the book for teenage boys who don't read books, who
come from working-class and possibly Maori backgrounds and who don't have books that speak to them. It's told in quite a confronting language and I don't mince words in terms of what kids do.
Dawe praised librarians at Auckland City Libraries
who applied for the R14 restriction to be reconsidered. He said:
Librarians - they really are the warriors for books I had not given up hope, but I didn't really believe they would succeed.
Libraries collections manager Louise LaHatte said:
The decision of the Board of Review was based on the fact that it dealt with bullying and racism, and we considered that children should be able to read about topics
like that because it will help them understand and make sense of their own experiences.
The chronology of the book censorship is as follows:
June: Into The River wins top prize in NZ Post Children's Book Awards.
July: Internal Affairs Department submits it to the censor after complaints from the public.
September: Censor classifies it M (unrestricted) with a
descriptive note contains sex scenes, offensive language and drug use .
December: Review Board partially upholds Family First appeal and imposes R14 restriction.
March: Auckland Libraries ask the censor to reconsider the classification.
August 14: Censor reclassifies the book unrestricted with no descriptive note.
August 18: Family First appeals to Review Board again.
The author Anne Rice has been debating the subject of book censorship on Facebook. She concluded with the following telling post:
I want to leave you with this thought: I think we are facing a new era of censorship, in
the name of political correctness. There are forces at work in the book world that want to control fiction writing in terms of who has a right to write about what. Some even advocate the out and out censorship of older works using words we now
deem wholly unacceptable. Some are critical of novels involving rape. Some argue that white novelists have no right to write about people of color; and Christians should not write novels involving Jews or topics involving Jews.
think all this is dangerous. I think we have to stand up for the freedom of fiction writers to write what they want to write, no matter how offensive it might be to some one else. We must stand up for fiction as a place where transgressive behavior and
ideas can be explored.
We must stand up for freedom in the arts. I think we have to be willing to stand up for the despised. It is always a matter of personal choice whether one buys or reads a book. No one can make you do it. But
internet campaigns to destroy authors accused of inappropriate subject matter or attitudes are dangerous to us all. That's my take on it. Ignore what you find offensive. Or talk about it in a substantive way. But don't set out to censor it, or destroy
the career of the offending author.
Three employees at the Kerala office of India's Censor Board were arrested in connection with the piracy of recent Malayalam blockbuster movie Premam .
Earlier, the anti piracy cell of the state police had found that the pirated copy of the
movie uploaded on the internet had carried the water mark censor copy. This made the police suspect the involvement of staff at the Censor Board. Police had raided the censor board office and found that a section of staff used to take out copies of films
submitted for censoring.
An Adelaide bookshop owner has been gently raided by police for selling copies of the cult novel, American Psycho that were not plastic-wrapped.
The novel, by American author Bret Easton Ellis, has been classified R18 by book censors
since its release in 1991, requiring it to be sold in plastic and only to those aged over 18.
It is a satirical book depicting a psychotic high-flying Wall Street worker in an era of greedy America and includes a number of very violent and
graphically shocking passages.
Imprints Booksellers co-owner Jason Lake said previous editions had always been plastic-wrapped but the most recent edition was a Picador Classic with an introduction by famous Scottish author, Irvine Welsh, and it
did not come plastic-wrapped. He said:
We just assumed the classification has been lifted.
It's the only book on our shelf that we ever have with a plastic wrapper.
the police were very gentle when they arrived and asked that the book be removed from the shelf. He said the raid occurred because somebody complained to police after reading in a weekend newspaper column that the book was being sold by bookshops without
English PEN has announced the publication of Draw The Line Here , a collection of cartoons drawn in response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January 2015.
The book is a collaboration between the Professional Cartoonists'
Organisation (PCO), Crowdshed, and English PEN. It features cartoons drawn by British artists in the days immediately after the attacks. The work of 66 cartoonists is featured, including Steve Bell, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Peter Brookes and Ralph
Steadman. The book features a Foreword by Libby Purves and an introduction by Robert Sharp of English PEN.
Two themes appear repeatedly in the cartoons. The first is the black balaclava of the terrorist - a menacing yet somehow compelling image.
Whether it is Jihadi John in Syria or the Paris gunmen, the masked face of the assassin has already become shorthand for murderous intolerance.
The second theme is that of a writing implement as a weapon. Pencils that counter the gun barrel, or
pens held aloft like a crusader's sword. Such images are a form of wish fulfilment - if only a pen or a brush could really stop bullets.
The profits from Draw the Line Here will be shared between the Charlie Hebdo victims' fund and English PEN's
free speech campaigns for embattled writers and artists around the world. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect to this book, therefore, is that the contributors have used their own freedom of expression to defend the free speech rights of others. It is a
positive and creative response to a moment of destruction, and should give us cause for hope.