Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

At what price - political correctness?

By hillct in Op-Ed
Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:18:27 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

By now everyone is familiar with the Simpsons episode that Fox considered removing from syndication (but later left it up to the affiliate stations), and the trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man movie that featured the World Trade Center. Recently a humor website that I run was the target of a small boycott due to a reference to the World Trade Center in one of the list items on the site. The list dated back to early August, before the events of September 11. Regardless, there were many objections so we elected to edit the item removing the reference to the WTC. It seems important to ask, what price are we willing to pay for political correctness?

An earlier story on K5 discussed the reaction to comments by Bill Maher, Ann Coulter and others but the question there was whether or not they should be penalized for speaking their mind in the shadow of a tragedy. I'd like to pose a slightly different one: Should we react to the WTC tragedy by erasing previously existing references to the World Trade Center? At some point this behavior borders on Orwellian style revisionist history. Do we as a nation really intend to remove all references to the WTC from popular works? Electronic Arts is 'sanitizing' future packaging for its retail games "Command & Conquer Red Alert 2" and "Yuri's Revenge Expansion Pack," which depict U.S. monuments amidst a hypothetical war. Microsoft went so far as to release a patch to their popular Flight Simulator 2000 who's purpose is to remove the World Trade Center from the rendering of New York within the game. I submit that this practice does not appropriately honor the memory of those who lost their lives.

Certainly it's outrageous that Ari Fleischer would suggest 'Americans need to watch what they say' because he was referring to political/social commentary but there are other types of protected speech which serve the lesser purposes of entertainment and profiteering. While free speech is an important aspect of American culture, in these lesser cases perhaps the author might consider whether his words are tempered by good taste, however his is not to say that others should temper the words of any author.

Over the past three weeks political commentators, publishers and entertainers have sought to identify that line and approach it but not cross it. On one level closure can not be achieved without this definition, but conversely, perhaps the social mores surrounding the terrorist attacks on the WTC will be evolving and changing well into this century, much as the social mores around the holocaust and other human tragedies of the last century where the surviving victims make a point of the great importance that we 'never forget' what happened, such that we never allow it to happen again. To remove references to the World Trade Center from our culture is not only a disservice to the memory of the victims but it is a grave disservice to future generations. The last thing we should be doing is compounding the tragedy of the events of September 11th.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Should old references to the WTC be removed from media?
o Yes, everywhere 1%
o Only in violent contexts 3%
o No, PC sucks 94%

Votes: 134
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Simpsons episode
o Spider-Man movie
o a humor website
o a small boycott
o story on K5
o Bill Maher
o Ann Coulter
o a patch
o Flight Simulator 2000
o Americans need to watch what they say
o Also by hillct

Display: Sort:
At what price - political correctness? | 36 comments (32 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Ari Fleischer needs to watch what he says. (4.62 / 16) (#2)
by Ialdabaoth on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 10:49:13 PM EST

Who is this guy, anyway? Is he the President's press secretary or something? If so, he has no legitimate authority and should stick to being the President's mouthpiece. I don't want some little man who wasn't even elected saying that Americans have to watch what he says. Whether there's a war on or not, Americans need to be able to criticise the people in charge and question authority. Whether at war or not, the government is still the servant of the people and may only govern with the consent of the governed.
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley

Mouthpieces (3.25 / 4) (#12)
by Verminator on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:12:13 AM EST

I assumed Fleischer was speaking as the Presidents mouthpiece when he made the remark. I may very well be incorrect in this. It doesn't change that fact that said comment was wrong, just who we fault for making it.
If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state subsidized alcohol! And our powerlifting team better kick ass!
[ Parent ]
He said.. (none / 0) (#34)
by eightball on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:52:47 PM EST

.. that he had not spoken to Bush about it.

So, unless he was being very presumptuous (about being the 'Mouth of Bush' and nothing else :), then no, he was not.

[ Parent ]
was he fired (none / 0) (#36)
by slothman on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:03:22 PM EST

I don't know exactly what he said but I can still suppose. Was Fleischer fired? If he was not then obviously Bush agreed with him. You are probably going to say that Bush still likes him even if hee disagrees but I would reply that if Fleischer blatently disagrees with Bush he SHOULD be fired.

[ Parent ]
Yes, he is (3.50 / 4) (#16)
by PresJPolk on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:20:24 AM EST

Ari Fleischer *is* the President's Press Secretary, and the statement was made during a daily briefing.

I pasted the exact things he said from the conference, as quoted from the White House web site, on http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2001/9/30/93514/5291/23#23

Strong statement, something to be alarmed about. Don't be worried by Fleischer, though. Be worried by Bush.

[ Parent ]
Fear and loathing (3.25 / 4) (#17)
by Ialdabaoth on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:40:27 AM EST

I'm worried about all of them: Dubya the Clown, the Mouth of Dubya (Fleischer), that McCarthyite masquerading as an Attorney General, Colin Powell (who seems to prefer 'peace at any price') and the rest of those clowns. Not that I trust the Democrats much either -- I fear and loathe them as well.

What really troubles me is that the Republican Party hasn't renounced the Christian Coalition after that shit Falwell and Robertson said last week. The Republicans will denounce those demagogues in public while taking their money in private. That makes me nervous.
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley
[ Parent ]

Re: (3.50 / 4) (#27)
by BurntHombre on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:32:24 PM EST

Being small, fearful and nervous is no way to go through life, son. It'll all be okay.

[ Parent ]
You're the Problem (3.00 / 13) (#3)
by DarkZero on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 11:13:49 PM EST

You complain about the problem of people backing down to pressure and censoring their own works, or just feeling that they should tone their works and publications down because it's "good taste", when you yourself edited your own site because of complaints. That's hypocritical. You're just as much the problem as any of these other people that are censoring their works so they will be seen more favorably in the Court of Public Opinion.

People that willingly back down to the pressure of the idiots and assholes of the world have no right to complain about them.

Actually, it was me..... (4.62 / 8) (#4)
by baptiste on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 11:51:10 PM EST

hillct didn't edit the item on our site, I did. He was just trying to make a point about having personal experieince in removing WTC references. However I'm in total agreement with his piece, and its not as hypocritical as you make it out to be.

Ours is a fledgling site - its a labor of love, but a little revenue to pay for bandwidth is nice. We got an email from someone saying they thought the item should be deleted. The item was part of the list "Top Things To Do With Unwanted Pennies." The item in question: "Throw them off the top of the WTC, first to 100 dead wins" The item was added to the list in late July when the list was created. The list was published Aug 4th.

Since our site content is added by hundreds of users, the 'humor' can be wide ranging. While we do moderate new items added to lists, its very rare we reject something (usually an item added by an immature user that has no bearing at all with the list topic) Just about everything else goes.

Now the basic premise of Keepers is users vote on items so the good stuff rises and the bad stuff drops. So when we got this first email about deleteing this item, I replied back with our standard response - we don't delete items in published lists - if you don't like an item vote it down.

I figured that would be it - remember - we publish a list daily and the list in question was from Aug 4th! However, later in the day we started getting more and more emails from people complaining - seems the first user had started their own little campaign in various forums telling people to boycott our site. Traffic in some forums was running along the lines of 'right on - we'll help you spread the word of the boycott' This was not what we needed.

So hillct and I talked about what could be done. While we figured this wouldn't be a big deal, we did worry about this snowballing as people, going on emotions, didn't think. So we decided to edit the item. I changed it to something like "Throw them off skyscrapers, first with 100 hits wins" In a list with dozens of items it was a minor thing, the item context was still the same, and hopefully it would prevent any more users getting pissed and boycotting the site.

So yes, we caved. But both hillct and I felt like it was kinda crazy - all this over some item in some list from over a month ago? Then news of Bill Maher and Ari and the rest start coming down and it makes you squirm. So hillct wrote this piece because he had firsthand experieince with it, on a very small scale.

So call us hypocrits if you like. We didn't want to do what we did, but given the # of emails from users complaining (including a few from people who said they lost extended family memebrs) and the fact that it was a fairly simple change, we felt it was the better choice. But hillct and I still don't feel all that comfortable with it. Thus this piece - to generate discussion both about the 'history revision' and also the pressures being brought by some segments of society on the producers of content.
Top Substitutions For 'Under God' In The Pledge Of Allegiance
[ Parent ]

thats right (2.75 / 4) (#20)
by ganglian on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 12:35:39 PM EST

It is exactly the act of knuckling under to bleeding heart pressure from the thought police that gives them momentum. You should have spiced up your site even more in defiance and lled with a long and angry diatribe about the evils of Political Correctedness.
You heard me.
[ Parent ]
My thinking relating to editing the website (5.00 / 3) (#24)
by hillct on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 01:53:29 PM EST

I could have objected in a long diatribe, to making a minor one word change to one of more then 50 items in a to 10 style list that is in itself one of over 500 on a small website. While I believe that all speech should be protected and there should never be a legal distinction in classes of speech, you have to consider the reality of the situation. The speech in question was not political or social comentary or military analysis. It was speech for the purpose of entertainment. With that in mind I felt it was my obligation to further that goal - to entertain. The best means available to serve that goal was to make the change we did. While I'm not 100% sure what we did was absoluitly the best solution, I can live with it.

I could make the argument that we made a change which did not alter the substance of the item because it's basis was not the WTC, but any skyscraper. In fact though, there was a cliche about throwing pennies off the WTC and that added value is lost. Perhaps this puts us at the top of a slippery slope.

Slippery slope arguments are notoriously difficult to make. In order to justify your ations using a slippery slope argument you must defent any and all instances of the situation you propose to protect. Consider the ACLU. While I support the ACLU, you have to realize why their support doesn't have a much broader base than it does. Support of civil liberties is far broader than support of the ACLU because they find they needed to use a slippery slope argument to justify their actions. This creates a political policy cul-de-sac from which they have never emrged. They find themselves defending the most morally reprehensible instances and people who find their civil liberties infringed upon. Potential supporters then look upon these actions and can't seperate them from the vary laudable goals of the organization.

For this reason I wouldn't presume to suggest the action we've taken do not impact the meaning of the speech in question. We simply acted in furtherance of our stated purpose of entertaining our users.

I don't believe this position precludes my other (decidedly political) position that our civil liberties including free speech are of paramount importance. These issues are discussed at length in other places.

Here, the issue is how to best balance service of users/customers with service to society as a whole as the memory of the victims of the September 11 Terrorist Attack, and to future generations.


--Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
[ Parent ]
Oh man...... (3.83 / 6) (#6)
by daystar on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 12:41:21 AM EST

I'm pretty sure that's my FAVORITE simpsons episode.

"Only crab juice or mountain dew!" "Ewwwww..... Okay, I'll take the crab juice."

clam juice? I don't remember. Still. Drunken incoherent babbling but I'd HATE to think I'll never see that episode again.

Actually, I remember watching the second tower fall, and thinking about Homer going up and down trying to get to the bathroom. Brought a tear to my eye. Jeezus.

On as serious a note as I'm capable of right now: I take pride as an american in the WTC. I think that if we pretend that they never existed, we're just victims for people who lash out at our cultural symbols. I think it's NEAT when the towers are in the background in Friends reruns. I think it's good to be reminded....

There is no God, and I am his prophet.

Khav Khalash guy (none / 0) (#35)
by Riktov on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 02:54:43 AM EST

At the risk of perpetuating an ethnic stereotype... the Khav Khalash guy was actually a secret bin Laden operative!

[ Parent ]
musings (3.50 / 6) (#7)
by ZorbaTHut on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:08:52 AM EST

I expect this'll be going on for years . . . and someday someone's going to release a movie based on it, and people will complain. (Yes, it will happen. Look at Schindler's List. End of subject.)

I just wonder what this says about people (or what this says about Americans? are these sorts of things happening in other countries? If not, would they happen if it was one of their landmarks?) ahem. anyway. I just wonder what this says about people, when their response to something like this is to remove every single reference to it from their lives.

I also find myself wondering who exactly it is that wants this - the current k5 poll is 36 in favor of "no, I hate PCness", and zero for the other two options. Is it completely nuts of me to think this is one of those cases where politicians who think they're working for the Greater Good impose restrictions on us civvies that nobody actually wants?

As long as it's not a TV movie. (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by Verminator on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 07:22:47 AM EST

I do not want to see David Hasselhoff leading Fire Company A into the towering inferno.
If the whole country is gonna play 'Behind The Iron Curtain,' there better be some fine fucking state subsidized alcohol! And our powerlifting team better kick ass!
[ Parent ]
Don't forget the WTC... (4.71 / 14) (#8)
by flieghund on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 02:19:42 AM EST

I consider myself rather fortunate that I did not lose anyone I know in the tragic events of September 11. The closest I come is that my best friend works a dozen or so blocks from the WTC -- but he's a slacker and hadn't left for work that Tuesday morning, so he wasn't even in Manhattan at the time.

That being said, I am taking the attacks (both NYC and DC) pretty hard. These events hurt me, hurt my perception of the world. It's easy to dismiss these feelings by spouting off how ignorant Americans are, but that's not the case with me: not only have I been able to name and locate every country on a map of the world since the fifth grade (in public school, no less), I take pride in staying atop current global events. Even with this fairly good knowledge, I never thought something like this would happen. Sure, something like this was a possibility. But an asteroid smashing into the earth is also a possibility, and before September 11, I'd have ranked the asteroid as more likely than terrorists crashing multiple airplanes into multiple national targets.

So, the events have caused me a lot of pain, and I still twinge whenver I see an image of the World Trade Center. But despite that pain, the last thing I would ever want is to never see the towers again. Watching a show that used to have images of the WTC that have now been edited out would be more painful and insulting to my sensibilities. It's like the Powers That Be are saying, "Oh, the towers are gone now, so let's make it like they never existed in the first place." What utter bullshit! The World Trade Center towers were modern engineering marvels. I remember studying their innovative (even by today's standards) structural system in architecture school. A structural system, I might add, that functioned exactly as it was designed, mostly collapsing as a "controlled implosion" (rather than falling over) and even then only after the steel structure was weakened by burning jet fuel.

Unlike the Media, who seem hell-bent on eradicating any reference to the WTC except as a rallying cry en route to bombing Afghanistan, I realize that other people may not share my sensibilities. Therefore I applaud the game companies who are "sanitizing" their games -- but only as long as the patches they are distributing are voluntary and limited patches. If the only what I can get my new joystick to work with Flight Simulator is to install the patch that erases the WTC, then I want my money back. But if I can selectively choose to install the WTC-erasing patch or not, then it would seem that all parties are satisfied.

How to handle other appearances of the WTC in popular media is not quite as easy. Things like the Simpsons episode mentioned in the article are indeed matters of some concern. However, I would prefer such episodes be aired, in their unedited entirety, rather than forever banished from public exhibition. This allows the people who either don't mind or don't care (yes, they exist) to watch the episode, while the people who might feel offended or upset can simply choose not to tune in. Of course, this option would require the public to develop some kind of willpower, because we all know how incapable the public is when it comes to self-censorship of what they watch. :-/

Even before the attacks, I had often noticed the WTC towers in popular media; it was hard to miss them towering over the cityscape of New York. Like I mentioned above, they were marvels of engineering, a testament to mankind's desire to leave its mark on the world while reaching up. Now, after the attacks, I continue to take pride in their former existence. There is no shame in recalling their grandeur. The fact that they were destroyed in a horrible terrorist attack seems like fragile justification for eradicating their image from media history. As a future architect, my research often covers buildings that no longer exist, but which held some significance while they did. The WTC towers are no different. Yet their rapid transformation into a taboo subject will not honor their innovative nature, memorialize the people who died, or preserve the importance of both the buildings and the tragic events for future generations. It will only serve to bury their memory, depriving the future of what is certainly a valuable lesson.

Another take on it: simply erasing the WTC from pop media sends the signal that it was not important, because it can be so easily removed and forgotten. How horrible is that?! As I have mentioned above, and as any New Yorker will tell you, the WTC towers have been an indelible feature of New York City since they were built. Now we are expected to simply forget they ever existed? What trite crap!

A lot of people get sad, angry, or both, when images or mention of the WTC and/or the attacks are brought up. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, I would say that this is a good first step towards recognizing just how much we have been affected. But the next step must not be to bury the memory of the towers as some kind of societal taboo. As any pop psychologist is sure to tell you, supressing bad memories now will only lead to all kinds of bad problems later on as the lingering effects of those memories come back to haunt us.

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
Distinction (4.33 / 9) (#11)
by Ludwig on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 06:00:47 AM EST

There's a critical distinction between removing them from contexts that purport to take place in the present, some parallel version thereof (Spider-Man), or the future, and removing them from historical contexts. Seems most of the revision being done is of the former variety -- Zoolander, Spider-Man, video games... It wouldn't make any more sense to include the towers in Flight Simulator 2002 than it would to include Ebbets Field or the Colossus of Rhodes. (Patching FS2000 is up to the individual, obviously.)

It may still be too soon to blithely rerun that Simpsons episode, and there's no question that we can never see it the same way again, but I don't think purging it forever is even a realistic option -- people have it on tape, and it seems a lot more disrespectful to turn it into some illicit forbidden fruit to be traded at comic-book conventions.

Episode? (2.80 / 5) (#14)
by Lord INSERT NAME HERE on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:53:44 AM EST

Why was the episode not shown? Simply because it features the WTC?

Not being American, I hadn't heard about this.
Comics are good. Read mine. That's an order.
Re: Episode (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by mish on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 12:58:20 PM EST

It was the season 9 premier where Homer parked his car in the middle of the WTC. In it, he also traveled up to the top of both towers in search of a bathroom. It was a very funny episode, but relied on the WTC for much of its plotline.

[ Parent ]
That ep. also mentioned Pentagon... (none / 0) (#29)
by joev on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:33:44 AM EST

According to SNPP, this episode also mentioned the Pentagon:

Except Homer, the Simpsons are travelling via the subway. Lisa is talking to a bum.
Lisa: Here's a better idea. You give me your address and I'll write to you.
Bum:  OK. Send it to Jesus, uh, care of the Pentagon.

[ Parent ]

Laughing.. (3.11 / 9) (#15)
by Iris on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 10:36:02 AM EST

Honestly, I can't take this post seriously. You caved on practically no pressure. No nasty ISP email. No visit from the FBI. No nothing. Just some 8 year old on a Pokemon website whining. And yet you think you can come here and seriously ask a question about censorship. 'How far should we go to censor history?' you ask. Well you already answered your question: With little provocation, as far as humanly possible, making sure to generate some noise about it afterwards under the pretense that we're actually discussing something, thus absolving us from any responsibility.


You missed the point (4.33 / 3) (#18)
by baptiste on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 11:48:19 AM EST

This isn't a black and white issue. Like almost every situation there are many shades of gray - The point is, where do you draw the line? Nobody said it was all or nothing. If you read my post farther down, you'd see the circumstances surrounding our decision. It wasn't just some '8 year old' - we received a number of emails from many different people, some very moving from people claiming to have lost loved ones (though whose to know whats real in email!)

Nobody said we needed a letter from an ISP or FBI. Thats not the point. We made our decision based on a variety of issues. The change was minor - the item still got the same point across. Obviously our site is obscure enough that we wouldn't expect any official intervention (which would be illegal anyway) So for us, in teh grand scheme of things, it was better for us to just tweak the item vs. stand our ground on principal and possibly lose a number of our users. It wasn't worth it - its not like standing our ground was going to generate CNN coverage. But given the numebr of emails we started to get, we realized we COUDL lose a number of or users for at least some time.

So again, this post is very timely and telling. People are being faced with decisions like this at all levels, from the biggest companies (Fox & Microsoft) to the tiniest of websites (like ours) And I don't believe it is hypocritical for us to tweak an item but still feel, on a larger scale that historical revisions are wrong. You'll note we did NOT delete the item. That was never an option. We just tweaked it replaceing WTC with 'skyscrapers' To us, given the emotions of many people, it seemed like a decent thing to do. People make decisions every day that they may not be 100% comfortable with, but given the circumstances it may be the right decisions. Standing on a pedistal and laughing saying its hypocritical means you've simply never had to make the tough decisions where everything is NOT black and white.

Again, hillct wrote this piece to generate discussion. He & I faced a tough choice. WE made a decision in teh best interests of our site even though we weren't 100% comfortable with it. SO he wrote this piece to generate debate and see what others thought. So instead of laughing, maybe you should think about what you would do in this situation or another... You might be surprised by the answer.
Top Substitutions For 'Under God' In The Pledge Of Allegiance
[ Parent ]

poooof! (4.16 / 6) (#22)
by Iris on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 01:07:24 PM EST

. Standing on a pedistal and laughing saying its hypocritical means you've simply never had to make the tough decisions where everything is NOT black and white.

I've moderated forums, and fought on the side of very difficult fights. Legal Pedosexual sites if you must know. Very grey indeed and very hot to handle. These places get continuous pressure from all kinds of people, including newspapers, vigilantes, ISPs and the police. I've probably got a dossier open down at the FBI. And you know what? It's worth it.

So, after everything I know that has gone into keeping difficult sites online, to see you cry about this and cave and tailor history makes me want to puke. You just don't have what it takes.

If you want to live in a country with freedom of speech, you have to have the skin thick enough to bear the scuffs and scrapes of whiners and malcontents. You might even require a kevlar vest. Freedom of speech extends only so far as anyone is willing to push it. And if somebody is pushing you back, then every step you take better be forward or not taken at all if you value your words and your ability to make those words public. You have to fight. Yes, this is trench warfare. You thought it was something else?

You say that the principle of the thing just wasn't worth standing your ground for? Well, I'm telling you just the opposite. Your cave-in is just the inspiration for more of the same. First it was the flight simulator, then it was the Simpsons, now all the references are game as everyone gets into the self-censorship orgy. Half of the fight to protect your speech is for yourself but the other half is for your country, and for your friends and neighbors. Every cave-in begets a cave-in. Every bit of ground held, holds yet more ground. Every step forward pushes the whole line forward. Without your support they may not be able to say what they want to say, need to say. And you've just pulled a rivet out of that bridge. You just took a step backwards.

Speaking specifically about revising history: If history is no longer a matter of academically decided truth, but of keeping with the fashion of the times, then it will have no meaning. It will be just another sideshow to entertain us at the end of the world. My opinion is that you should put the damned words back in, 10 times larger than before with blink tags around it, and if any whiner stops reading your page, call it a gift from God because the world doesn't need yellow, shivering cry babies who can't stand to read a few words. Just like it doesn't need a couple of cave-in theoreticians manning the outposts of accepted speech. (!!)

And don't tell me that it's all different because the whole world is different because the disaster was different and different different different. Today the World Trade Center, and tomorrow the Sears tower. Pretty soon every text in the world will refer to some vague blob somewhere, sometime just so that the crybabies of the moment won't have to deal with reality.

And don't think I'm not sympathetic. There's just nothing sympathetic about caving in on principles that made this country worth crashing airplanes into in the first place. Nothing.

How's that for missing the point?


[ Parent ]

I want to make an adendum (4.33 / 3) (#23)
by Iris on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 01:49:04 PM EST

If I received an email complaining about the color of my website, saying that it was hard for her to read, and could I change it, I might actually entertain the idea and make some changes. Why? Because I'm an accomodating son of a bitch. And what does it hurt to tone this down, turn this up a shade? Nobody and nothing.

The difference in this situation is this: It's no longer a matter of accomodating someone, but in replying to an attack. Someone said to you (in effect) 'If you don't change the color of your website, I'm organizing a boycott!' I'd tell them to get stuffed. No way, no how. It hurts freedom of speech! It weakens the right for people to express themselves as they like.

In the face of a wave of censorship, I fight.


[ Parent ]
You still missed the point (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by baptiste on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:47:58 PM EST

Since you keep harping on censorship and moderation.... First, is it censorship if someone posts something to a moderated site and the comment is not posted OR is posted and later removed? You calim past moderation experieince so you shoudl knwo that. I'm not talking about a wide open discussion board where posts were deleted - I'd fight like hell against that too. Instead it was a minor alteration and you're puffing yourself up like its an assault on the 1st amendment.

Again - like I said in my original reply... this piece is a good discussion topic - where do you draw the line between peoples sensitivities and history? We're NOT talkign censorship here. Its NOT telling someone they can't say the phrase "World Trade Center" Instead it was to explore where the line is between ng past entertainment media.

Personally, I don't mind a minor change here or there to ease someones pain, but start outright deleting things and I'd fight as hard as you would. But don't confuse the issue here - we aren't talking about suppressing future speehc, rather where the line is when folks want past entertainment media revised. I lean towards NOT revising things, but in a world where everythign isn't black and white, a little bit of a change is NOT going to be the end of the world like you claim. But wholesale deletion of content is and shouldn't be done.
Top Substitutions For 'Under God' In The Pledge Of Allegiance
[ Parent ]

My thoughts on being "PC" (3.25 / 4) (#19)
by ganglian on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 12:32:57 PM EST

My thoughts on this subject will be kept general, but I would like to say one thing in regard to the twin towers; some of us want to remember, and the revisionist and censors among us can kiss my ass. PC is itself an insidious tool that has been allowed to go too far. I for one have grown bored with the antics of wannabe thought police with too much free time. The world is not a perfect utopia and aint gonna be anytime soon. PC is an attack on people's right to express themselves, good, bad or indifferent. Think about this, Iran has it's Morals Police, and the Taliban has a Ministry of Virtue, Vice and something something, and then take a look at being "PC", and see it for what it is.
You heard me.
What are you going to do about it? (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by robwicks on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 04:24:22 PM EST

The world is not a perfect utopia and aint gonna be anytime soon. PC is an attack on people's right to express themselves, good, bad or indifferent. Think about this, Iran has it's Morals Police, and the Taliban has a Ministry of Virtue, Vice and something something, and then take a look at being "PC", and see it for what it is.
And you plan to do what about it? The government isn't doing anything about it one way or another. What people love to call PC is really just PO, popular opinion. It's been around for ages. In the past, sometimes the groups on the receiving end of bad popular opinion have been oppressed, and occasionally killed in large numbers. Hopefully, we won't have the same thing happen here, but the only thing I can think which will turn the tide is if you can convince people that whatever you are saying which they don't like, is, in fact, the correct position. Or do you want to abridge other people's rights to protest against something someone says or does?

"Logic . . . merely enables one to be wrong with authority" Doctor Who
[ Parent ]

AI on DVD (3.25 / 4) (#26)
by Ialdabaoth on Sun Oct 07, 2001 at 08:48:52 PM EST

Wasn't there an image of the WTC in one of the scenes in Spielberg's AI? If so, will Dreamworks cut the image of the WTC out of the movie before releasing it on DVD?
"Act upon thy thoughts shall be the whole of the Law."

--paraphrase of Aleister Crowley

Sad.. (3.40 / 5) (#28)
by Sheepdot on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:13:12 AM EST

What's sad isn't their complete ignorance of daily lives, but their arrogance regarding what the WTCs really were.

We shouldn't hide the fact that America boasted the WTC, we should revel in it, and rebuild. Oddly enough, everyone is already calling for a memorial. I wish we'd just rebuild two towers of the same height in the exact same location (albeit with better design) and if they want a memorial, fine, we put one down below in a park-like area. The WTC covers enough area for a decent one to be built down below.

Let's not ruin the WTC by banning it from mention across the world, let's instead keep talking about how much it meant to us, and when we rebuild, name the new location the same.

AMEN! (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by baptiste on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 01:12:49 PM EST

I couldn't agree more. LIke I've stated below - a littel sensitivity isn't a bad thing but go too far and you do a diservice to the memory of those who died.

I'd love to see the WTC rebuilt - maybe even taller - just to thumb our nose at the idiots who thought this would make us hide. Sure - spend a little extra cash on 'air defenses' on teh roof :) But revuild them - put the memorial in the plaza between the buildings.

I know some folks are scared to work in tall buildings - but that too shall pass. Its time to show the world we can pick ourselves right back up after being attacked and do things even better.
Top Substitutions For 'Under God' In The Pledge Of Allegiance
[ Parent ]

Upsub Antefiling (4.50 / 2) (#32)
by the Epopt on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:11:05 PM EST

times 9.11.01 reporting k5 userreply doubleplusungood refs unbuildings rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

Taliban Humor: NOT FOR THE SQUEEMISH (2.00 / 1) (#33)
by bmasel on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:26:37 PM EST

Q: What is the difference between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance?

A: The Taliban has a rule against taking more than one limb at a time.
I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State.
At what price - political correctness? | 36 comments (32 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!