The other day, my comrades, I had to register my blog’s profile for this thingy that would grant me a quicker access within the blogging community. Yes, I said “thingy” because if you knew me at all you’d understand the tragic degree of technological retardation from which I suffer. Still, it blew my mind to know there were millions of us out there — hard-working, fast-moving doers, courageous and dynamic writers, who’ve comprised their world via the screens of their laptops; and that way — create changes in it. Instead of freaking out about the competition — my artistic penis got erect:
“How fantastic!” I thought. “The opportunities to produce AND distribute your art are limitless via the mighty, and not so long ago ephemeral for me, WWW-dot! And we can all do our thing!”
So, back to the “thingy” I had to create. To present myself to the rest of my invisible but audible blogging comrades, I had to choose a rating category to which my writing would belong — a point I somehow didn’t foresee when taking my career into my own control just a few months ago. However, there I sat: rereading the ratings system. Am I composing R- or X-rated material over here? I am obviously nowhere near PG-13. Right?
Very quickly, I remembered a recently viewed documentary on the hypocrisy — and if you ask me, idiocy — of the Motion Picture Association of America, This Film is not Yet Rated.
Now, my dear American comrades: As someone who escaped the butt-rape by the unimaginable consequences of my home country’s former dictatorship, the very topic of censorship sends chills down my back. But, as they say, “When in Rome — watch your language!” (Or however that saying goes. I’m a foreigner, you see: Cliches, for us, are harder to learn than the new country’s hygienic rules.) So, I’ll immediately agree that, as the mighty and anonymous (gulp!) members of MPAA preach, we all must look out for the safety of our children. ‘Mkay, I can live with that. So, in the name of the children, the other night I chose the R-Rated category for my site, despite my fear of soon getting spammed with porn and dating services ads after the process was complete. I never aspired to attract a younger reader anyway, I shrugged — not with “sex” in the very title of my blog — even though the topics of birth control and self-esteem I myself could’ve used quite a bit at my own tender age of thirteen.
That’s all fine and dandy, but can someone please explain to me why are we much more concern with sex than the bloodless violence splattered all over our film screens and daytime television? (By the way, it’s bloodless due to yet another MPAA regulation; which adds to the anesthetization of the American public — and children — about the look and the consequences of violence. As if this country’s geographic isolation from other war-torn countries or the lapses in its educational curricula haven’t contributed to our children’s ignorance enough.) As the above mentioned documentary quotes, according to the censoring apparatus’s admission, “Nearly four times as many films received an NC-17 for sex as opposed to violence.” So, a stunning piece of art like Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers was tagged with the harshest label of NC-17 — which consequentially affected its distribution and exhibition, and therefore, its profitability — due to its menage a trois scenes (or was it the insinuated male homosexuality?) Aha. But then every other piece of action crap starring, shall we say, our state’s former Governor has earned a more tolerant rating of PG-13. I’m just trying to figure this out, my American comrades, so I know what awaits me as I continue to pursue further publishing opportunities.
As an artist, I AM concerned with the way my new country’s system of censorship is going to affect my income. Am I going to have to bleep out the meatiest portions of my writing in order to be heard — and to be paid — on a larger scale? (Have you heard the censored version of Enrique Iglesias’s Tonight I’m F**ing You? Not as fun as the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQziQCvu8CI&feature=related).) And will I be urged to apologize to my publishers for the “rawness” and the “courage” of my material for which thus far I have been praised by my readers of both genders, every age or marital status alike? On the one hand, it is a huge ego rub to think of my trials and tribulations similar to the ones of Bertolucci; but then, I better start meditating on the possibility of having to self-publish — if I ever want to earn my dough via my art.