tuenight censored
(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)

Nothing to See Here

(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)

Chances are when you hear the word “Censored”, you think of the PMRC, 1985, Tipper Gore, Frank Zappa, 2 Live Crew and the beginning of parental advisory labels — if you’re a Gen-Xer.

If you’re under 35 you’re probably like, huh?

It’s funny to think back on how little effect the PMRC ultimately had on shutting down artistic expression; you just have to watch a tv zombie get a spike through its eye or sing along with the “explicit” version of Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” to know we’re in a brave new world. We spent the night inside Sheena Easton’s coulda-been-censored  “Sugar Walls” and never looked back.

Or, did we. (I mean, I didn’t. But anyway….)

Censorship may have a shiny new banner. It was reported recently that Apple has developed new technology that automatically scans and removes swear words from music — and books. Of course that’s by choice, for now. Stand-up comics at colleges are being required to “keep it clean.” And as we watch social media grow in influence, we see governments try, try again to tamp it down.

What is permissible is never an easy issue. Where do you draw the line on freedom of speech? Even the freedom we allow ourselves?

Speaking of which, last weekend I watched the wonderful new HBO documentary, Everything is Copy, about the late writer Nora Ephron. After years of sharing the most intimate details of her life, Ephron told nearly no one that she was sick with cancer (not even Meryl Streep!). “Everything is Copy,” was a phrase Ephron’s writer mother used to say and one Ephron seemed to live by — until she got sick. That’s when she kept things to herself. A thought-provoking film.

This week:

Speak freely,


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