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Kinokima

Banning of Films

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I can't believe we're actually having this discussion in America in the 21st century. Banning? Burning? REALLY??? Something offends you so we should destroy it? A THOUGHT or an IDEA is offensive to someone so it should be eliminated?? Ok, once again, where are we?? Germany in the 1930's?? The Soviet Union in the not-too-distant past? China or Iran or Iraq TODAY?? Young American men and women are dying , even as we write these threads, to stop tyrannical, totalitarian, self-righteous religious fanatics from spreading their terror to other parts of the world and , still, people want to ignore the very principles of our Democracy because OH, they're offended by a MOVIE??? Freedom is hard won and Freedom is hard kept. God help us all if we are so readily willing to throw it all away because we don't like what somebody else is saying. Don't like a movie? Don't see it. Don't like a TV show? Don't watch it. Don't like certain music? Don't listen to it. But do NOT attempt to use your own pious attitudes to stop me or any one else from enjoying our FREEDOM as Americans.

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No matter which century you live in, from the 1st to the 21st you are almost always going to have certain individuals who think it's their God given right to protect other individuals from evil { in their small minds } or ideals or beliefs that do not coincide with their own and these people are willing to start banning books, films, science or anything else to protect the masses from themselves and God help those who try and interfere with those on a mission from the Almighty....

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ClassicViewer,

 

In Germany it's illegal for the average citizen to own a copy of Mein Kampf but it is considered fine to read it in certain contexts (history classes, library-only readings, etc.) Instead of destroying The Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will outright, why not show them in this manner instead? I don't endorse this at all but I think it makes far more sense than jumping to reduce them to stills and essays.

 

Specifically on Triumph of the Will: If we destroyed all traces of this film, what stops us from shredding the newsreels and other visual records of what happened during that time? Those could be used in much the same way as Triumph. It's an enormous privilege for us to see these events as they happened, something the people of the 19th century and prior didn't have. We actually get to see Hitler's famously magnetic oratory skills and we get to study it. If it were reduced to paper, we would lose a crucial dimension in understanding that part of history. I think it would be wrong enough to forbid us from experiencing that but to bar our descendants 300 years from now from getting the opportunity to see it?

 

On the other hand, trashy/"culturally worthless" artifacts: I think that stuff like pornography or the worst B films of the 70s and 80s do have potential cultural worth if it gives some information to later generations on how we thought about these things or consumed them.

 

I'm morally against banning or censorship because it really is a slippery slope. If we make it okay to scrub out parts of the past, we have less ground to prevent anyone from controlling what information we receive in the present which is the most important thing of all.

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> What if TRIUMPH OF THE WILL becomes a big film again in 100 years, when some Aryan sect decides to use it to rally its followers the way Hitler did.

 

What if the films of Dalton Trumbo become big again in 100 years when some neo-Communist sect wants to use them to rally their followers?

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I don't subscribe to the slippery slope theory. A lot of posters try to bring up dramatic examples of if we order pizza without pepperoni, what's to stop us from ordering it without cheese. No. We just don't want the pepperoni.

 

We can make judgments about works of art. We can decide to remove certain things from our lives. We don't need to feel bad about that. Besides, pepperoni may not be very healthy.

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> {quote:title=Fedya wrote:}{quote}

> > What if TRIUMPH OF THE WILL becomes a big film again in 100 years, when some Aryan sect decides to use it to rally its followers the way Hitler did.

>

> What if the films of Dalton Trumbo become big again in 100 years when some neo-Communist sect wants to use them to rally their followers?

 

We don?t have to wait a hundred years. Those people are already here. They are the ones who want to ban and censor our films.

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> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> I don't subscribe to the slippery slope theory. A lot of posters try to bring up dramatic examples of if we order pizza without pepperoni, what's to stop us from ordering it without cheese. No. We just don't want the pepperoni.

>

> We can make judgments about works of art. We can decide to remove certain things from our lives. We don't need to feel bad about that. Besides, pepperoni may not be very healthy.

 

Your problem is that you want to decide what everyone else eats on their pizza.

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The one thing that makes America great is that *Mein Kampf* and *The Communist Manifesto* can sit on the same self at a local library.

 

Start worrying when they can not!

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Yes, that is my right as a commie pizza baron. LOL

 

But seriously, just because a group of people are advocating for the removal of something does not mean they want to remove everything else. It should be all right, it should be more than all right, to remove works that inflame due to racism and prejudism.

 

Edited by: ClassicViewer on Aug 13, 2010 12:17 PM

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That does not make sense. Why should we celebrate the presence of literature that does not lead to the betterment of society and in fact helped cause some of the greatest problems known to man (and woman) in the previous century.

 

It's like saying, we have some good sardines on the shelf in the pantry, and we also have some rancid sardines. Thank goodness we can keep the rancid ones, as that is our constitutional right. But who the heck can use rancid sardines...just rancid people.

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> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> Yes, that is my right as a commie pizza baron. LOL

 

 

I?m warning ya. You had better leave my pepperoni alone!

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}

> The one thing that makes America great is that *Mein Kampf* and *The Communist Manifesto* can sit on the same self at a local library.

 

Speaking of ?Mein Kampf?, it was a fad among progressive young Americans to read it back in the ?60s and ?70s, so I read it, but I found it boring and I basically didn?t understand it.

 

But years later, after I retired, I read a lot of Darwin books, such as ?The Origin of Species?, ?The Descent of Man?, and ?Voyage of the Beagle?, and I read books about the spin-off theory known as ?Eugenics?, which was invented by Darwin?s cousin, Francis Galton.

 

Eugenics was the theory of ?improving? the human race by keeping ?inferior? people from breeding (called negative eugenics), and encouraging ?superior? people to marry and breed (called positive eugenics).

 

A year or so later I decided to read ?Mein Kampf? again, and when I did, I was amazed. The first half of the book is about evolution, Darwinism, and eugenics. Since the promotion of Darwinism and eugenics was a big fad among intellectuals in America and England in the 1930s, and was actually taught in public schools in the US, with government ordered sterilizations being fairly common in some states, that is why Hitler?s and Germany?s racism didn?t offend American and British intellectuals in the 1930s.

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Fred has a valid point with his pizza joke; Who is this 'we'? The bottom line is that there is NO 'we' that gets to define what is shown or not shown on a widespread basis.

 

Small groups (e.g. a school district), can have specific restrictions. Again, I don't support these but since they don't impact me directly I also don't care much. But if my state of CA was going to ban the owning or showing of specific movies because of racist content than I would be involved to remove those responsiblie using the power of the vote.

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The point I was trying to make is that our government or any group of people can not tell any of us what we can and cannot read. Yes I am against BOTH philosophies but in the same light I can not oppose anyone from reading them.

 

Freedom of thought is a cherish right. We have to thread carefully. :)

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But it sounds like you are trying to dictate who is in power and to make sure they define it the way you do. Where is there any freedom in that? You have to be tolerant and see that groups who want certain materials removed have the right to do that.

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> {quote:title=ClassicViewer wrote:}{quote}

> But it sounds like you are trying to dictate who is in power and to make sure they define it the way you do. Where is there any freedom in that?

 

 

It?s called ?voting?.

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I think you are trying to throw a philosophical blanket on this discussion in order to quash something you don't agree with...

 

I posted earlier in the thread about the OUR GANG comedies. Only one person replied to that. That is a perfect example of what we're debating. Many of those short films have been pulled from distribution, essentially banned from reaching an audience. How come all the people who are crying about the constitution and freedom are not bemoaning the fact that the decision to see the OUR GANG reelers is now out of their hands? I suppose they might obtain bootleg copies, but out on the open market, they are blocked from getting access to that material. A censorship is in place.

 

Now you don't have to enjoy or even like Spanky and Alfalfa, but if you adhere to specific principles, then you should be advocating that all the OUR GANG movies are available to the public right alongside Mein Kampf. But I don't hear anyone doing that. Nobody is really applying the test to this specific example. Why not? Because they want to pontificate and philosophize about rights, but they don't want to put it into action when their so-called rights are in jeopardy. Hypocrisy.

 

Also, going along these lines, these same concerned individuals should be advocating that the Amos N Andy TV series also return to widespread distribution so that while reading Mein Kampf the viewers can again look at offensive racial sterotypes and have the right to decide about that.

 

But you know what, the OUR GANG comedies are not going to come back to the mainstream in this lifetime...and neither is Amos N Andy. Someone has decided, this 'we' that is part of today's political correctness, they have decided to supersede your rights under the Constitution and remove those works. You have to accept that. You have to live with that. Because if you don't, then it seems like you are using the Constitution as an excuse to keep racially divisive materials in the public domain, and that makes you look like a racist.

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"You have to be tolerant and see that groups who want certain materials removed have the right to do that".

 

I don't agree with the sentence above at all.

 

By removing certain material a group takes away the rights of EVERYONE else to decide if said material should be viewed or not. I will NOT be tolerant of that since that is NOT the type of political system I wish to live under.

 

I have the same view towards other issues like same-sex-marriage and abortion. It doesn't matter if I support these or NOT, I don't feel I have the right to decide what others can decide.

 

Don't you see the major difference?

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Fred there is a modern concept of Eugenics called *genetic engineering.* I recently heard on the news about the fact that people can have "tailored made" children called *Designer Babies* with certain traits like hair / eye color, intelligence, etc. Hitler would had drooled if he had this technology..

 

How far off are we from the scenerio in "Star Trek II, The Wrath of Kahn" that Gene Roddenberry warns us about?

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CV, for the most part it is not the job of literature, in the form of fictional literature, to

lead to the betterment of society. As for political works such as Mein Kampf and

The Communist Manifesto, their authors believed, however misguided they were,

that their theories would lead to the betterment of society. These works should be

available to all, but in practical terms I doubt either title mentioned will have much of

an impact today..

 

While Hitler's racist beliefs may not have offended some American and British intellectuals

of the 1930s, it is too much of a blanket statement to say they didn't offend all these

intellectuals.

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Classic Viewer you have every right to not read or watch what you want but you don't have the right to tell me what I can and can't read.

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> {quote:title=C.Bogle wrote:}{quote}

 

> While Hitler's racist beliefs may not have offended some American and British intellectuals

> of the 1930s, it is too much of a blanket statement to say they didn't offend all these

> intellectuals.

 

Yes, I understand that. I was talking about the ?intellectuals in charge? of the countries, the governments, the medical institutions, the schools, etc.

 

Of course many of the Jewish intellectuals were very anti-Hitler and anti-eugenics in Germany in the ?30s, because of what Hitler had said specifically about them in ?Mein Kampf? when the book was published in 1925.

 

What I was talking about were books published in the 1930s that said things like this:

 

 

Bertrand Russell, ?Marriage and Morals?, 1929 and 1938. This text was scanned from my 1938 copy of the book:

 

?EUGENICS is the attempt to improve the

biological character of a breed by de-

liberate methods adopted to that end. The

ideas upon which it is based are Darwinian,

and appropriately enough, the President of

the Eugenics Society is a son of Charles Dar-

win; but the more immediate progenitor of

eugenic ideas was Francis Galton, who

strongly emphasized the hereditary factor in

human achievement.

 

----------

 

Eugenics is of two sorts, positive and nega-

tive. The former is concerned with the en-

couragement of good stocks, the latter with the

discouragement of bad ones. The latter is at

present more practicable. It has, indeed, made

great strides in certain states in America, and

the sterilization of the unfit is within the scope

of immediate practical politics in England.

 

-----------

 

Feeble-

minded women, as everyone knows, are apt

to have enormous numbers of illegitimate chil-

dred, all, as a rule, wholly worthless to the

community. These women would themselves

be happier if they were sterilized, since it is not

from any philoprogenitive impulse that they

become pregnant. The same thing, of course,

applies to feeble-minded men. There are, it is

true, grave dangers in the system, since the

authorities may easily come to consider any

unusual opinion or any opposition to them-

selves as a mark of feeble-mindedness. These

dangers, however, are probably worth incur-

ring, since it is quite clear that the number of

idiots, imbeciles, and feeble-minded could, by

such measures, be enormously diminished.

 

----------

 

In extreme cases there can be little doubt

of the superiority of one race to another.

North America, Australia and New Zealand

certainly contribute more to the civilization of

the world than they would do if they were still

peopled by aborigines. It seems on the whole

fair to regard negroes as on the average in-

ferior to white men, although for work in the

tropics they are indispensable, so that their

extermination (apart from questions of hu-

manity) would be highly undesirable. But

when it comes to discriminating among the

races of Europe, a mass of bad science has to

be brought in to support political prejudice.

Nor do I see any valid ground for regarding

the yellow races as in any degree inferior to

our noble selves.?

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Some of those are frightening to read but if you look around I bet you can still find people today saying similar things.

 

And maybe it is a bad comparison but I can see similarities between what is being said about eugenics and banning certain works of art. After all in both cases at first it might sound nice to get rid of "bad stuff" but who is to say what is desirable and what is not. It's very scary.

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> {quote:title=Kinokima wrote:}{quote}

> And maybe it is a bad comparison but I can see similarities between what is being said about eugenics and banning certain works of art. After all in both cases at first it might sound nice to get rid of "bad stuff" but who is to say what is desirable and what is not.

 

Me.

 

:)

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