On censorship – an honest opinion
I find myself in a weird position: Defending what seems to be something I don’t wanna defend.
On one hand, it’s one of the more… … … debatable issues out there: censorship of Japanese modern art depicting minors in sexually appealing positions (and in some cases, depicting said minors engaging in sexual acts). As a supposedly moralfag Christian, it is my responsibility to point out how sickening this is (and even though I’m actually desensitized to such things, from an intellectual standpoint, it is disturbing to see such things, for reasons I will explain below, and not because of some supposed idol worship of the innocence of the child) and most people would expect me to jump the shark and proceed to call for draconian legislation to ban such images.
On the other hand, cooler heads have said it’s a whole lot of paper and ink, and it doesn’t harm anyone. Better yet, the fact that such material exists might also help in curbing actual child abuse cases (if studies concerning pornography are to be believed). That, and that the resources could be better served freeing actual victims of child abuse. Since going nuts over supposedly fictional characters is supposedly doing a great disservice to children who are actually being abused (and I do believe the abused would agree with me on this).
Honestly, I really have nothing that might seem useful to the whole issue, even though I am believed to have a strongly-worded opinion on censorship in general. And I’ve given the whole issue much thought. Censorship (or rather, something similar), as I’ve said before, has backfired on itself and has led to people being more anti-establishment, even though it was probably done for thier own good.
Now, as a moralfag Christian, I’d like to say that porn, in any form OR fetish, no matter how useful it is in keeping sex crimes down, only illustrates how little faith we have in ourselves in trying to approach girls and asking them out (with zero intentions for trying to sleep with them). While I DO understand that a man has urges that require some form of physical relief that sometimes cannot be relieved by automatically jizzing in your pants at night, the fact that porn is used as an aid (rather than say, your imagination. Lewis Black has one or two things to say about that.) only goes to show how unimaginative a man has become. Yes, that applies even to me.
But does that mean I should campaign for people to actively censor what they do not like? That’s not my job, nor is it my responsibility. Some moralfag Christians think that they should be trying to block people from seeing such things. Let’s just say that as a moralfag Christian, my job is to point out the flaws and educate, not to censor. If my Father Up There deems it okay for me to see just how rotten, how despicable and how sickening the human condition is (Romans 8:23 becomes PERSONAL when you are in the Army, and it’s not about how the recruit is the lowest on the foodchain), then I should be cool with people CHOOSING to go see pictures (and idealized pictures at that) of of minors dressing up in “sexy” clothing, posing in erotic poses, and engaging in sexual acts. I’m only here to inform, first and foremost, and to live my life according to what I know.
On the flipside, censorship, especially when defined within a limited scope, can be extremely useful. The issue I have with censorship (especially in my country) is that the definition of what can be censored is not just plain vague, but highly contradictory at times. Which basically means, for some people, that it’s something used to control information, like what China does. In Singapore, while we do get the BBC and CNN, our local media outlet (yes there is only one media company in Singapore), does not cover what the opposition does, for reasons I’ll not discuss. That in itself is a form of censorship. A form of censorship that still puzzles me to this day. And in Singapore, you cannot speak your mind freely on things that do not toe the party line. No lie.
In any case, while I personally see no problem with people wanting to see idealized art of children in sexually provocative poses (or engaging in sexual acts) even though I have told them many times that there’s something wrong in viewing the materials (the issue here is NOT perversion, but a matter of confidence) because it’s THEIR choice, there is a problem with the fact that there are people and organizations out there who ARE wasting time on making decisions without understanding Japanese culture.
The issue then becomes less of a censorship issue, but rather why are they trying to actively ostracize Japan instead of, you know, trying to HELP them?
Drm Note: My stance on censorship is this. “The most dangerous blade is a sheathed one.” I’d love to have it at hand for the inevitable, but it is my most sincere wish to never use it. It is also the same stance I take with abortion. Also, I think I’ll be talking about this issue for some time to come. Idle hands, etc.
Links because I am Obligated to.
Google Censors Lolicon
Google blocks Baka-Updates from Adsense
Google Blocks lolicon, the Aftermath
The Obligatory Reaction Piece
Obligatory Reaction Piece, Part 2
Why is Kuro Here I don’t Even
Yes To Freedom