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The offensive arms trade...

Megan Markle attracts a little more coverage in Saudi Arabia


Link Here 14th July 2018
Saudi-based journalist, Ahmed Al Omran, recently tweeted a photo of a censored magazine cover featuring Meghan Markle in Saudi Arabia with a crudely drawn black ink  stole covering her bare shoulder.

One Twitter user shared a different version of the cover, with white stickers covering the Duchess' arms and shoulders. The tweep told StepFeed it was taken in Jeddah at Aldanoub Supermarket.

However, staff members at Arab News visited several newsstands in the kingdom, and said the issue of the cover was available and uncensored.

The censorship is commonplace in the Middle East and hardly newsworthy, but when they vandalise images of royalty in such a way then the censorship attracts a little more coverage from the press.

 

Commented: Problematic opinions...

Theatre critics whinge at The King and I claiming it to be politically incorrect


Link Here 14th July 2018
The King and I is back in the West End, 67 years on from its Broadway debut.

But its portrait of a white woman being both fascinated and repelled by a society depicted as both backward and barbarous is winding up a few PC critics.

The Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish whinges The King and I one of the most problematic musicals of the 20th Century American canon. Michael Billington expresses similar sentiments in The Guardian , saying it seems to endorse the idea of the civilising influence of the west on the barbaric east.

The Independent's Paul Taylor detects a smack of imperial condescension to this story of a widowed, well-bred Victorian governess who... gives a funny foreign despot... a stiff dose of Western values.

Time Out's Andrzej Lukowski, meanwhile, calls the musical kind of racist ... like an elderly relative who you make allowances for on grounds of age.

Director Bartlet Sher responds that the show remains resonant, powerful and extremely well-conceived. He also dismisses suggestions the piece has dated, saying its views on colonialism, gender equality and the conflict between modernity and tradition make it as timely and powerful as ever.

I wonder if these PC critics would have banned British cave rescuers from helping out in Thailand lest heroically saving children's lives affirms 'white saviour' stereotypes.

Offsite Comment: The King and I : a West End treat

14th July 2018. See  article from spiked-online.com . By Christian Butler

Those crying Western imperialism are really missing the point.

 

Offsite Article: Video games like Fortnite are fun...


Link Here 12th July 2018
So they must be bad. By Toby Young

See article from spectator.co.uk

 

Unbelievable censorship...

Censorship prevails in a Pennsylvania court supporting a transport company who claim that just the mention of the word 'atheists' is somehow controversial


Link Here 11th July 2018
Full story: Atheist Buses...Atheists fund adverts about enjoying life
A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that a transport authority had every right to reject an atheist advertisement, the latest chapter in a  saga that's dragged on for more than six years.

In 2012, atheist Justin Vacula and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Freethought Society attempted to place the following ad on buses in the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS).

Although there should be nothing controversial about the word 'atheists' and two text links to atheist societies, during this period, atheist and religious groups around the world were producing adverts rather more obviously knocking the other side. And perhaps it was what these other groups were doing that led COLTS refusing the advert claiming it be 'controversial' and so could be rejected.

Justin Vacula appealed the decision with the help of American Atheists, but the COLTS administrators stood by their claims.

This kicked off legal actions that have culminated in the court's affirmation that COLTS' censorship is legal.

 

Morality in Media recommends streaming service Roku...

Its got better access to hardcore porn than its competitors


Link Here 11th July 2018
Moralists campaigners of Morality in Media (now calling themselves the National Center on Sexual Exploitation) is well impressed by the US streaming service Roku. The campaigners write:

A popular media streaming company is being called out for helping the public gain secretive access to pornography channels.

Dawn Hawkins of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation says Roku has a backdoor to private, sexually explicit channels while other competitors have stayed away from hardcore pornography.

They are facilitating access to hardcore pornography channels - hundreds of private and hidden channels - and none of the other streaming companies allow this.

Hawkins says the company is not even hiding its affiliation with hardcore porn. In fact, she says, the porn industry advertises the accessibility via Roku.

National Center helps parents protect their children from objectionable content so it has a step-by-step guide to help parents block content. But there is one streaming service without parental controls -- Roku.

 

A trigger warning label for books...

Author Julian Barnes is aghast at American students demands for trigger warnings


Link Here 10th July 2018

Sensitive snowflake students will soon need trigger warnings for some of the world's most famous literature, an award winning author has claimed.

Julian Barnes was stunned to learn young university pupils had been critical of the behaviour of book character's like Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary.

Students in the US called the protagonist, Emma Bovary, a bad mother based on her affairs, her lifestyle longing to escape dull, provincial life.

The 72-year-old told those gathered at the celebration of the Booker's half-century on Sunday:

I don't know where to begin to unpick that.

As for students asking to hear in advance the bad things that happen in Titus Andronicus.

We might as well have a trigger warning on all great works of literature.

 

Stereotypically PC...

Ofcom is offended by 1944 cartoon featuring historical racial stereotyping


Link Here 2nd July 2018

Suddenly It's Spring
That's Oxford, 17 March 2018, 11:20

That's Oxford is a local television service for Oxford and the surrounding area.

Suddenly It's Spring was a children's cartoon made in 1944, featuring the doll Raggedy Ann setting out on a mission to ask the Sun to shine on her poorly owner. On her journey she was shown asking other weather elements, Mr Cloud, Mr Breezy and Mr Zero to assist her.

Ofcom received a complaint that the character of Mr Cloud was depicted as an offensive and outdated racial stereotype of a black person. Mr Cloud was depicted in the cartoon as a black person from the deep south of America with exaggerated facial features. In addition, he was portrayed as indolent with slow, slurred speech.

Ofcom considered:

  • Rule 1.3: Children must206be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them206.

  • Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context206Such material may include, but is not limited to, ...humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...race....

The Licensee accepted that the cartoon contained a racial stereotype that was likely to cause offence and apologised for any offence caused.

Ofcom decision

Ofcom considered whether the characterisation of Mr Cloud in this cartoon was unsuitable for children. In Ofcom's view the exaggerated facial features and indolent nature of the character reinforced an outdated, pejorative and harmful racial stereotype of a black person which was not suitable for children to view.

Rule 2.3 states that in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that potentially offensive material is justified by the context. Context includes, but is not limited to, editorial content of the programme, warnings given to listeners, the time of the broadcast and the likely expectation of the audience.

We first considered whether this content was potentially offensive. Given this cartoon included a negative stereotype of a black person, which reinforced racial prejudice, Ofcom was of the view that this material was also highly offensive.

We next considered whether there was sufficient context to justify any potential offence. We acknowledged this cartoon dated from 1944 when there were very different attitudes towards portrayals of race and when race discrimination was prevalent. We also accepted that with the appropriate level of context such archive material may still be broadcast. However, in our view UK audiences today would find such racial stereotyping highly unacceptable and out of step with generally accepted standards as it was broadcast in this case. Therefore, the broadcast of this offensive content without a warning or any other context was also a breach of Rule 2.3.

Breaches of Rules 1.3 and 2.3

 

Shoddy Instaban...

Instagram apologises for its censorship of a gay kiss


Link Here 2nd July 2018
Full story: Instagram Censorship...Photo sharing website gets heavy on the censorship
Instagram has apologised for censoring a photo of two men kissing for violating community guidelines.

The photo - featuring Jordan Bowen and Luca Lucifer - was taken down from photographer Stella Asia Consonni's Instagram.

A spokesperson for the image sharing site regurgitated the usual apology for shoddy censorship saying

This post was removed in error and we are sorry. It has since been reinstated.

The photo was published in i-D magazine as part of a series of photos by Stella exploring modern relationships, which she plans to exhibit later this year. It only reappeared after prominent people in fashion and LGBT+ rights raised awareness about the removal of the photo.

 

Offsite Article: British Council accused of censorship over Bahamas exhibition...


Link Here 2nd July 2018
Art, politics, slavery and Windrush prove a heady mix for diplomats

See article from theguardian.com

 

This article may be inappropriate for those of a snowflake disposition...

Canada introduces trigger warnings for stage shows


Link Here 1st July 2018

New theatre audience advisories in Canada are warning about specific plot points that could trigger emotional trauma for those of a snowflake disposition.

This spring, Western Canada Theatre attached a warning to Children of God, a musical about residential schools, that indicates the production's mature and potentially triggering scenes involving residential schools and sexual abuse.

A subsequent production, Armstrong's War , a play about an Afghan War vet, came with the following advisory:

This hard-hitting yet inspiring drama about bravery and survival contains some potentially triggering content about the horrors of war and mental illness.

And unsurprisingly the trigger warnings have sparked a bit of a debate.

James MacDonald, artistic director of Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, B.C., is in favour of using trigger warnings where the material justifies it.

I think if we inform the audience beforehand, and they're not blindsided by it, then they don't have a negative reaction to it.

MacDonald said he saw a need for trigger warnings after his company staged a play that featured a scene of a daughter being sexually abused by her father. He said:

Even though we had put a content warning on the play to say that there was adult content and scenes which may disturb people, that particular scene evoked many reactions and responses from the audience, and they felt like they were blindsided by it.

For other theatre professionals, trigger warnings are the very antithesis of what theatre is designed to do: provoke reactions.

Montreal's Imago Theatre specializes in English-language plays written from women's perspectives and often features plays about challenging subject matter, like rape and violence against women. But there isn't a trigger warning anywhere in sight. Imago's artistic director Micheline Chevrier explains:

I think we have to be careful with trigger warnings. I'm not a fan of wanting to tell somebody exactly everything they're about to experience.

She worries trigger warnings are the first step toward avoidance of difficult material altogether, a slide into self-censorship by playwrights and directors afraid of offending patrons.

 


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