All posts tagged: Censored

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Policing My Mouth: On the Art of Self-Censorship

My second grade teacher, the truculent Mrs. Dunham, masking-taped my mouth shut. She pulled the shrieking roll of tape all the way around my head thrice in front of the entire class. My crime? Announcing in the middle of math drills that the Bookmobile was circling and circling the parking lot because its regular spot was blocked and it had nowhere to park. My classmates’ faces silently told me they were on my side and that I had shared news they needed immediately. What would the driver do? Why was that truck in the Bookmobile spot? It was almost Bookmobile time, so time was of the essence! Someone needed to go do something before the Bookmobile drove away! Mrs. Dunham didn’t want to do anything except punish me for talking. Again. So while the Bookmobile looped like a man without a country, the class beheld the new spectacle of me called to the front of the class while Mrs. Dunham attempted censorship via brown tape. Around it went, sticking to my hair but not truly …

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Ovarian Rhapsody: Side Effects, Unfiltered

Rock the Taxol. (Photo credit: Margit Detweiler/TueNight) I’m lying flat on the bed with just yoga pants on. My legs are propped up on a stack of pillows. I can’t muster enough energy to finish getting dressed this morning, so here I am, half nude. My mind wanders to that hilarious Bill Murray SNL skit about an out-of-shape Hercules and his bad back. “If I lie flat like this it will fix itself!” If only. My entire left side feels swollen and pricked with pins and needles — it’s probably neuropathy, a chemo side effect. Yet…  I can’t be sure if this is actual neuropathy or the fact that I have a recently developed a blood clot in my leg. Or that I now have a new toe infection because of the clot, because of the chemo, or because of surgery. Who knows. The icing on the cake? I have a cold so I’m coughing and hacking and sneezing out chunks of blood. The blood thinners I’m on, to combat the clot, make bleeding from any orifice …

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I Read Banned Books and Hope You Do, Too

When you think of the word “censorship,” what comes to mind? You might imagine a black bar over an image, a political speech, perhaps something sexually explicit. But you probably won’t think about a young Iranian girl, a sensitive teenaged boy or a character created by one of our country’s most revered authors. All of those — and many, many others — have been and are on lists of the most frequently banned books of the past. . .year. That’s right. Not past century or decade but just this past year. Even in modern society, we’ve made so little progress on some fronts that literature of great merit continues to be banned in some classrooms due to “controversial” topics. (The phrase “controversial subject matter” is actually used by more than one book-banning group to describe a volume on this list.) Banned books change with the times. Once, these titles were the most frequently challenged; in 2015, the five below have hit nerves. Notice that almost all of the books on the “older” list are now …

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Life Lessons from Going Balls Deep in Bangkok

(Photo credit: Juan Antonio F. Segal/Flickr.com) I am a hypocrite. A hypocrite holding a ping-pong paddle. On this night, the ping-pong paddle has just hit a ping-pong ball that is coming directly at me, as ping-pong balls do. But it is the ping-pong ball’s provenance that concerns me: It has just been launched from inside the vagina of a visibly bored, thirty-something Thai woman sitting spread-eagle on a dingy stage. For over a year, I have lived in Bangkok as an “expat,” a term I dislike intensely. I am, no escaping it, white privilege embodied. But I have tried to encounter the culture in which I now live on its own terms — terms of respect and deference, with an eye toward understanding the world better and being a worthy representative of my country in a far-off place. Curiosity has gotten the better of me, though. I want to understand the famously forbidden parts of the city I currently call home. And that curiosity has brought me to Patpong, a part of central Bangkok that …

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Margit’s Note: 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 …