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Censoring Books

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Kenshi, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. Bernard

    Bernard New Member

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    I'm very confused as well. I guess this thread is more about whether or not we should allow SOCIETY to refuse minors access to explicit material deemed unsuitable, and specifically in this case, books. It's true that in every other form of entertainment we have ratings that allow us to provide a specific age at which a consumer can buy a product. With books, we don't. I don't think that it's necessary to have these types of ratings on books. And I'm mostly speaking about novels or literature in general. A book is very different than a movie or a song as you have to use your own imagination to create what is being written on the pages. And I think it should also be the responsibility of the parents. They should put a foreword in books to advise parents of the contents.

    As for censoring??? No, I don't think we should censor anything.
     
  2. dolphinfire30

    dolphinfire30 New Member

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    I don't feel that the goverment should decide what my child can and can not read. The goverment is getting out of hand as it is. They are my children and only I should decide how I want them raised not the government. I allow my 12 year old to watch R rated movies if I have previously viewed it and feel there is nothing in the movie that she should not see. By putting ratings on everything we are taking the responsibility away from the parents and making them lazy. Also as I said earlier just because there is a rating on something doesn't mean that children are not going to find some way to get it anyways. If they can't get it at a book store they will get it from a friend at school. Or if it is something their parents have they will sneak it. In my opinion censorship is stupid. To many people rely on the fact that it is rated and assume that is enough to keep it away from children.
     
  3. Motokid

    Motokid New Member

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    Again...this comes back to the original question...to me, "censor" means to remove from society completely, to make it totally unavailable to anybody and everybody....having a ratings system is a tool for people, manufacturers, and stores to use for making decisions....

    Are movies "censored" in that they have a ratings system?

    What is the original question asking?
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Active Member

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    Kenshi stated that it was different with DVDs, which in my mind implies a rating system.

    Don't we (in the US) already do some of that or is it now possible for kids to go about and purchase sexually explicit material?

    I would caution against any system that relies on parents, since not all children are properly supervised.
     
  5. cajunmama

    cajunmama Active Member

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    I think it really should be up to the parents to decide what is appropriate and what isn't. Case in point from my life recently. I had Chuck Palahnuik's novel Haunted by my bed a few weeks ago, and my 10 yo daughter asked to read it. I said no, its a book for grown ups. I read it and there are things in there I feel that she really does not need to read at her age. I just felt that my daughter did not need to read about
    a boy shoving a carrot up his ass to heighten his pleasure when masturbating, a teenager with progeria seducing (with many details) an older nurse then blackmailing her, the bludgeoning and subsequent eating of someone, the details of the birth and death of a baby, and many details of self-mutilation.
    According to several reasonings, if she asked to read it, I should have said yes. I feel that would have been detrimental to her mental health. Granted, she may or may not have gotten past the first page, but it is my responsibility as a parent to make these decisions and to allow my children to be children for as long as possible. At 16, she'll probably be mature enough to read it, but 10? No way. Just because a kid sees something and thinks they want it is no reason to give it to them.
     
  6. Motokid

    Motokid New Member

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    which is why I asked for the age of the original poster....

    I think it would be advantagous (spelling?) for people to post whether or not they have kids in a thread like this....or if they are kids....

    Most parents are not all for allowing their children to read anything and everything they show an interest in....most I say.....many of coarse never pay attention....but that's a different topic.
     
  7. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent question!. I guess that it's one thing to read about the D-Day landings, it's quite another to view it during the first fifteen minutes of "Saving Private Ryan." which will give anyone shell-shock. :eek: Movies get in trouble for being overly graphic in depictions and that kind of thing. Reading about a similar graphic situation in a book just doesn't compare in stamping an image in a person's consciousness perhaps. Also, it takes more knowledge to know which books to get and many kids just aren't that acquainted with controversial works. Trouble-making kids will think about trying to view a horror movie or porno flick before they ever figure out what Lolita is about, let alone know that there is a book with such a title. Now I could be wrong here, I'm just taking a stab at your question. :D :)
     
  8. clueless

    clueless New Member

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    I think lots of people get it wrong when it comes to what is appropriate for what age. So books or films are (or should be) rated by checking whether they contains sex, drugs, violence and strong language or not? I think sex, drugs and violence are pretty easy to explain and, as for strong language, your children probably know as many swear words as you.

    At the same time, books like "Gulliver’s Travels" are considered ‘children classics’, as if a 10 year-old could appreciate the criticism of XVIII century society and mores.

    Based on that, I would recommend the following:

    For 8 year-olds, "Scribblerus". That’s pretty short. You could also try "Invisible Cities". As it there isn’t a story line, your children can start before going to camp, continue after they are back, without having to start again because they forgot the plot.

    School play? Waiting for Godot, The Bald Soprano or Bohemian Lights.

    Non fiction. Critique of Pure Reason or Principia Mathematica for those with an interest in humanities and Superstring Theory (2 vols.) for the scientifically minded.

    Yes, I do have children.
     
  9. Caelda

    Caelda New Member

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    If the parents already do not pay attention what the child is doing, then a label on a book is not going to make a difference. Look at the gaming industry. There are plenty of kids out there playing "M" related games that are approximately eight years of age. It boils down to the responsibility of parents to monitor their children. Allowing certain books to be read or not to be read by children, is up to each parent as each child is different.

    I also agree with dolphinfire30. We do not need the government any more involved in something they don't need to be. If parents wake up and actually be a parent, there wouldn't be this discussion.
     
  10. Motokid

    Motokid New Member

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    ....but what about the store clerk?

    Can a store clerk refuse the sale of an "M" rated game/cd/book to an 8 year old?

    I should send my 9-year-old to the Borders counter with a $20.00 bill, and an uncut Eminem CD, and see if they let her purchase it.....

    again...rating something based on the nature of the material inside is not censorship...or is it?

    Putting an "M" label on a book or DVD or CD does not prevent an adult from purchasing it. It might prevent an 8 year old though...and I don't see what's wrong with that. If the parent thinks the child is ready for it they can buy it for the child. But the child should not have free reign on that decision.
     
  11. Caelda

    Caelda New Member

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    Just to clarify . . . I wasn't trying to imply that kids should have free reign on purchasing products.
     

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