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There's a banned book meme going around, which is nice, but what I'm curious in is seeing the list of fiction that Australia has banned. Anyone got that?

It's all very well and good to talk about America's banned books, but honest now, that doesn't mean anything to me. It's nice to see people saying that they want to read Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. It's a good book, you should read it. But lets be honest, none of those books are particularly difficult to purchase, which strikes me as a rather odd when one considers that they have been banned. (Or, you know, banned in one State for a couple of months in the sixties.) Show me a person who is struggling to find Catcher in the Rye and I'll start paying attention to this banned book meme.

Meanwhile, gay writers are being banned in Virginia, and it seems to me people ought to be more concerned with that, than if they can find Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.

Who designs these banned book lists, anyhow? Surely there were a few more interesting choices.

It strikes me that talking about how Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was banned doesn't make much sense. The general thought at the end of a conversation about why it was banned these days will be, Well, that was stupid. The same sort of response you have when you hear that Christians have banned Harry Potter from their schools because they think their kids are going to fuck God off and ride around on brooms and be disgustingly wholesome. They should be so lucky. It strikes me that it's more important to talk about those books that just might deserve to be banned, the books that challenge, that push boundaries, that piss people off, that make you think about anything... Why aren't there banned book memes out there for those books? They must exist. If something like the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is being banned, then there must be some other books that no one is talking about.




I've been watching a bit of telly of late. Zoning. Waiting for illness to detach and leave. So I've been surfing the box and what I've noticed is that there a all these ads for ring tones. Seriously irritating little commercials where irritating cartoons make irritating ring tone noises for what feels like ten minutes... who's buying this shit?

Has anyone reading this seen one a ring tone commercial and responded to it? I feel like kicking the shit out of someone every time that little blue/grey thing with the censored penis comes on.

If I could just burn it eyes out.




I did find this one show on the telly, however.

It's called Dead Like Me and has reportedly been canceled in the States. It's a shame, since it has a really dark and delicious humour when it comes to killing people. The show, if you haven't heard of it, follows a teenage girl who is killed by the falling toilet seat of a Russian Space Station, and finds herself having to work as one of Death's little minions, collecting recently deceased souls.

It's not perfect. The scenes where the girl goes back to her family are laboured and unnecessary, and there's a whole, 'why do people need to die' conscience conflict in that main character that's not going to go anywhere. You could chop the family and those thoughts out of the show and turn it into a half hour thing that focuses on people dying. The episode I caught the other night had a pair of animal rights protesters mauled to death by the bear they were defending. The episode returns to the bear later, when the central character (Georgia, I think her name is) goes to pick up the soul of a TV anchor who will also die in relation to the bear. The joy of that death was that you thought he would be mauled by the bear as the animal rights people were. That is, indeed, how it is played as the reporter begins his News Spot. Then the bear escape, and he charges in to cover it, and suddenly there is the bear, looming up behind him as it lets out this huge roar--

In response, the reporter pisses his pants.

The urine runs down his leg, pools on the ground, and then flows into an open power cable where it hits the electricity and, well, that's how he died, burnt up and smelling of his own piss.

Well, it made me laugh.

Comments

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shadowsandice
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:13 am (UTC)
Heh. Heheheheheheh. Heh.
benpeek
Mar. 9th, 2005 11:25 am (UTC)
heh.

sorry, just thought about that again. dead in electricity and piss.
minus9
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:25 am (UTC)
what I'm curious in is seeing the list of fiction that Australia has banned. Anyone got that?

They do, and you can ask them online.
benpeek
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC)
we sure ban a lot of porn.

(thanks for the link. if i was thinking, i would have thought of this.)
coalescent
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:38 am (UTC)
Dead Like Me never really grabbed me, though I know a lot of people who really really like it. The deaths were funny and inventive, but in the end they were pretty much all I was watching for.
benpeek
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:43 am (UTC)
yeah, i know what you mean. i've seen two episodes and they're the only reason i'll go back, which may or may not happen. (though i have to say, i do find the main character kind of charming, in a slacker, cynical way. it must be because i recognise it.) i have a hard time remembering tv slots.
ashamel
Mar. 8th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
We liked it a lot, though thought it was much better on a scene-by-scene basis than for long-term stories (which tend to become inconsistent and inconclusive). We grabbed it on DVD after seeing one or two eps, but aren't sure we'll bother with S2.
benpeek
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:23 pm (UTC)
yeah, i don't know that it would be something i would pay for. was a bit too patchy for that.
ashamel
Mar. 8th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)
I got a list of banned materials from the OFLC many years ago, under Freedom of Information (before all this computer stuff made it a lot easier). It was a fairly pointless exercise all up, but quite interesting.
benpeek
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
most of the list i saw last night appeared to be hard core pornography and things listed as NSW Police and WA Police. it was kind of odd. it also struck me that you don't see people get up in arms over hard core porn. i mean, censorship is censorship. let it thru, i say. doesn't mean i'll buy it.
ashamel
Mar. 8th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
I've been fairly apathetic about the whole censorship thing lately, but I can point you to our Censorship page on the website, which says some sensible things on the subject, I believe.
benpeek
Mar. 9th, 2005 11:26 am (UTC)
hey, cool. thanks. i'll have a looksee later tonight.
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