We Are In Dire Straits

I am a FIRM believer that the arts reflect the times in which they are created.  I, like you, do not enjoy everything all the time.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder blah blah blah; or yadda yadda yadda for you Seinfeld fans.  I’m not here to comment on the validity of using racial, social or sexual slurs in literature or music.

But YOU CAN NOT EDIT THE WORK OF MARK TWAIN!  Yes I’m all-capping all over the place in this one folks.  In the first article listed below we discover that Huckleberry Finn has been republished with the “N” word replaced with “slave”.  REALLY?  What’s next?  IS NOTHING SACRED?

Colloquial English, and the evolution of English, has been taught for eons.  We study the evolution of our society as represented in art and music as well.  Are we now to crouch down, with hands over ears chanting lalalala pretending work we don’t enjoy doesn’t exist, because the language or image is no longer acceptable by society as a whole?

Take the word “bitch” for instance.  We know that it means a female dog.  Dog breeders use this word freely and without negativity.  It was only through misogynistic use of this word that it became a pejorative term.  The language evolved (albeit unfortunately).

In Lucialand we look at the ever evolving arts and hope we have learned from our past.  We have learned through open discussion that certain images and language are deemed offensive to a demographic and we hope that the use of these things will dwindle out of our lexicons as we educate ourselves about the impact.  Slang isn’t going away, it merely evolves.

People have the right to publish whatever they want when it’s fresh.  Blogs are a testament to this.  Millions of people have died for freedom of speech.  I personally have made my living writing in, and for, the voice of others to effectively reflect their message.  I CAN NOT AND WILL NOT support editing the great work of a man deceased.

One could say we should “refudiate” this adamantly, but if you do my brain will explode.

Shall we edit the Bible, the Torah or the Quran now because a large group disagrees with some of the literature?  Not that I’m equated your God with Mark Twain but the principle remains the same.  Literature reflects our times and we ought to be very careful about censoring history.

With rap music propagating misogynistic and criminal attitudes, television propagating the sexualisation of children, magazines promoting unhealthy body images and pharmaceutical companies advertising dangerous medications as quick fixes, I say we are in Dire Straits when we ban once loved music and edit  beloved classic literature to suit what is becoming an ever narrowing perspective on the diversity of society.

As I stated in “Be Careful What You Google For”, our perspective is influenced by our personal choices.  We are in charge of what we promote.  If you don’t like something turn the freakin channel, don’t edit history.

Provocateur du jour:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/tabatha-southey/huckleberry-finn-was-never-supposed-to-be-good-for-you/article1861868/

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Dire+Straits+tune+ruled+offensive+Canadian+radio/4102932/story.html

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4 Responses to We Are In Dire Straits

  1. Rob Dekker says:

    Lucia,

    I agree with your comments.
    If you don’t want to read it – don’t open the book.
    If you don’t want to hear it – turn it off.
    If you don’t want to watch it, switch the channel.

    The narrow minded thinking of the complaint buys into the threory that people need to be told what is good or bad for them. Everyone has the ability to make a choice. Some will want to be guided on their choice and others do not. Taking away choices does not bode well for how our society will be governed in the years ahead. As technology opens up more options for everyone, does that mean we need to shut down previous choices that were available to us?

    In the case of Mark Twain and now Mark Knopfler the works of art created reflect the times they were written in and for. They remain as relevent as they are allowed to be in their original form. Changing the form changes the relevance and alters the effect of the message and the medium the message is delivered in.

    We have now allowed Mark Twain and Mark Knopfler to become irrelevant for their times.

    Thank goodness neither were one hit wonders!

    Rob

  2. CERB says:

    Thanks for drawing my attention to this silliness.

    Your article/rant has a couple of grammatical errors in it so I think we should submit a complaint to the Canadian Publishers Grammar Council and have your article banned.

    or maybe I’m complaining about the depiction of blue collar workers who only get to intall microwave ovens , custom kitchen deliveries.

    Somehow faggots with earings and makeup get to be the successful ones and hard-working family values (no families have gay people) types are limited ina socio economic sense?

    For shame!

    This is stereotyping. Many renovation guys (and yes bitches rebovate too don’t get all lesbian on me) can rise above nigger level work and become successful and have jet airplanes and be millionaires.

    Yeah, come to think of it F&*K Mark Knopfler (knob gobbler!) and his motherfucking shit-assed grammy winning MTV historical song. It deserves to be censored.

    BTW: who the c(*ting f)&k said faggots have to be GAY? And isn’t it presumptuous of the CBSC to assume that calling someone a faggot means one is “dissing” fudge-packers?

    There is nothing wrong with being who you are. What I hate are people who pose as members of a stereotyped subculture group just to seem like the bashing victims and get sympathy and use that to bolster their carrers. They party with them, wear the uniforms (you know earrings and makeup etc.) and pretend to like shoe shopping and musicals and stuff but when you ask them which same sex people they are sleeping with they get all defensive and say: “that’s none of your business” and things like: “You can’t ask that!!”.

    Card carrying time I say.

    The Kykes experienced it and I think it’s high time the Council made it clear that if you want to complain about negative stereotyping of “their” subculture then he (or she or whatever the choices are) has to be certified as a member of the group you are defending by carrying a certification card or maybe wear a tatoo of some sort. I’m sure we could find a convenient spot on the body that was easily shown to the authorities.

    Then we could be safe from the dangers inherent in letting artist and people just freely make up what is and isn’t appropriate for the public to hear.

    I’ve known many a faggotty straight guy (the ones who listen to Phil Collins a lot). I’ve know plenty of butch gay guys (their c&^%s taste better if you ask me!) but we can eliminate the damned posers if we work at it.

    Next someone will be telling me I can’t have a statue of a young black man dressed as a porter holding a lantern on my porch.

    I dunno, Dire Straits is right but we must be clear on where we draw the motherf#$%ing line.

  3. Kilroy Was Here says:

    Thank you for making my point so eloquently …

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