Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Censorship and Common Sense

A writer friend of mine, Pamela Foster, wrote on her blog today about censorship and common sense. I really liked her title and her blog (I always like her blog! and her titles for that matter.)

Pamela Foster Secrets and Vices

In addition to my little snafu with Facebook this week, last night at the writers group, we were asked to curtail our readings. We weren’t asked to change our scenes or our writing styles, but to refrain from using certain words (for example the “f” word) in the church where we meet. My first response was “Well, “f” that,” but that was just my sick sense of humor because I’ve never read the bad words to begin with. The issue for me isn’t that I’m in a church. I don’t say the words out of respect for many of the members of the group. There’s really no need to say the words, especially when they have a hard copy of the reading to begin with.

Believe it or not, I was taught manners. I NEVER, I mean NEVER, use profanity around my mother. EVER! It’s just not done. If I could only see the rest of the world as my mother! How I can let all kinds vileness fly from my mouth when I’m among friends and involuntarily stifle those same comments when my mother is the room is quite amazing. To be honest though, I never use foul language around elders. It’s simply rude and offensive.

That’s not censorship. That’s polite.

BUT that’s my opinion. I have a right to it. The folks in my writers group who want to scream “fuck you” from the pulpit have that right too. Like I said in my blog posting earlier this week, if I’m offended, guess what? I don’t have to listen to it.

The fact that I can write this blog, stating my opinion to all 13 folks who read it, is called the 1st Amendment.


Comments on: "Censorship and Common Sense" (9)

  1. I feel the same about abortion. I may never want a woman carrying a child of mine to do it, but I’d fight kicking and screaming for every woman’s right to have one.

  2. Madison Woods said:

    Good post, Claire. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what *is* and what *isn’t* censure.

    re: Wayne’s comment about abortion, I agree. Except I think I’d also agree that if the man intends to take full responsibility for the child once it is born, should have the right to fight for that child’s life.

  3. Good post. Keep’em coming!

  4. Madison Woods said:

    And I should learn how to use the right word. Censorship. Not Censure.

  5. Duke Pennell said:

    As usual, we agree. To expand on the idea, the worst kind of censorship is when someone (anyone) convinces you that you “shouldn’t” say “that.” Self-censorship that’s induced out of guilt has to be one of the worst cases of manipulation known to man. George Orwell (1984) understood this perfectly. He’d probably have made a good member of a critique group too, but I’ll bet he would have said “poo” whenever he thought his point required it.

  6. I agree with both sides in our critique group situation, but I don’t know how to solve it. We must defer to the church members’ and their request because we are guests in their church (home). Like Claire, I would not use certain words in some company that I might use in others’ because I respect their rights as well as my own.
    That is called good manners, by the way, not censorship. So let’s not worry overmuch over this situation. I can say to those who are offended by the request to think about this for just a moment, and realize that when you’re offended by their request, you might realize what’s going on. See you.

  7. Velda beat me to the ancient point that as guests, we have to respect the wishes of our hosts. I tend to be irreverent, but when I think about how much we’d have to pay to rent a similar room, I’m willing to let my questionable words be read and not heard.

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