Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Is Censorship Dead?

Is Censorship Dead?

Now lately I have been planning a holiday to Japan next year, A once in a lifetime opportunity I cannot wait to do, the flights are long, very long, 8 hours from Manchester UK to Dubai then 7 hours from Dubai to Osaka Japan, What is there to do on such a long flight apart from watch films right? Now the flight I am on serves up free alcohol which is great but with flying to Dubai with their very strict laws I have decided that it’s probably for the best not to arrive tipsy so I have gone for the option of films!
This got me thinking of the best way to watch some films and indeed what to watch, I have checked on the airline site and they give you a list of what is currently playing, pretty much it has to be said they show as you would expect mainstream Hollywood tosh, Romantic Comedies and Kid’s movies, No spider Baby here I'm afraid. So I have decided to take the jump and purchase a decent Tablet, not an iPad as the prices are ridiculous and me and I-tunes just do not get along.
So whilst perusing my film collection various titles such as my favourite ever movie Dawn of the Dead and classics such as Todd Browning’s Freaks sprung to mind as great travel viewing but then I had a thought, what if these films are banned in the countries I will be visiting? Would I get into trouble for taking them? What if they can and will check the contents of my Tablet? Now it may sound a bit paranoid I guess but you never know.
This brings me on to the main point of is Censorship dead? Because face facts, Most countries do have varying degrees of censorship  laws when it comes to the art medium whether it be films. Music or in some cases even TV, Now I know I could just “Google” it which indeed I already have and it still seems pretty unclear, With the UK having the good old B.B.F.C and the U.S.A having the good old M.P.A.A the guidelines in these countries are pretty straight forward and to find lists of Banned or certain cuts of movies but with Asia it’s a very difficult thing to actually define.
Don’t get me wrong I see the argument on both sides for Censorship but anything you want now is so easy to get hold off, just Google it! I am all for the point of children not seeing certain stuff until they reach an age of which is deemed acceptable but everyone is different, now I'm not talking about internet porn here just mainly films and TV. Basically if you live in a so called westernised style country you can get to see what you want through various means,  fully uncut versions of movies that are banned in the UK or vice versa in the U.S.A, These are not just accessible through the rise and fall of Torrent sites but just have a look at your phone’s app store, whether it be an I-Phone or Android device you will find apps within their stores where you can watch movies and TV shows instant streaming without paying to watch them. I also have at home Netflix and recently saw on-line that you can through various programmes out there on the internet that you can even hack your Netflix account thus allowing you to view the American Netflix with literally thousands more titles, I personally haven’t bothered doing this as it involves downloading programmes that I have never heard of but if you were to do it surely with every single movie on there not one of them would have been Certified by the B.B.F.C so how does that work? Now I have to say that I have no idea, is there censorship on YouTube? There is to a degree but it seems its governed by them and them alone, I could film something today, say a car crash on my street, within literally minutes it’s there on YouTube, Looking into the policies of YouTube they will react and ban video but only if there is a significant number of complaints, so basically whatever is up there is worldwide instantly and dodges every countries censorship laws.Odd.
Recent developments in the world of TV and Film has seen the launch as a Beta test in the states of Google Fibre, a super-fast broadband that is 1000Mbps with the TV box having settings such as record 8 TV shows at a time and a massive storage system of 2TB, They have launched this and teamed up with YouTube and have pumped in millions of Dollars to set up various YouTube TV channels such as it seems the recognition of the worldwide power of YouTube users and views, now this is pretty exciting times for such things but who will be doing the Censorship? It comes down to the fact that pretty much everyone in the world who has access to the internet has a voice, this is some respects is a good thing as with the internet age it has certainly globally raised awareness of Homophobia, Bullying, Oppression and wrong doing by many a worldwide government. These acts have indeed opened the minds and awareness of many people including myself of events that are happing daily, so my basic point is that how fast technology is moving, just think about it, less than 30 years no-one had access to anywhere near the information we have nowadays, you had to believe and trust what your daily newspaper told you, you had to trust what the TV News told you, But now just Google it and you get so many variations on so many websites it’s mind blowing.
Of course you have you conspiracy theorists that believe that we are now living in the most censored times that mankind has ever know but how much and how far do you go? Yes there are indeed still declassified government documents that are revealed today such as the recent news story that the U.S.A government covered up a “Accident” where a Bomber broke up in mid-air in the 60’s and dropped a nuclear bomb on the states that was 2.5 times bigger than the one dropped on Hiroshima but luckily it failed to explode, these stories and documents will continue to be released. So which should you believe, what is censored, I guess you have to trust your gut instinct and go with what you believe, But the fact remains that nowadays we have the access without censorship to make a choice and don’t have to believe what you see and are told, Unless of course you live in North Korea in which case how are you accessing this??

Jonny T. 

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