Friday, June 25, 2010

Musings on Censorship

This is a topic that has been on my mind lately, dear readers, and I wanted to share my musings with you all. Censorship. It all began when my Bomb Shelter Life Mate Rye-Bread and I were playing with his new cellular telephone, which has a speech-to-text feature, and we (being 12 year olds in Mid-20 year old bodies) decided to see what the phone would say when we said a bunch of swears into it. Much to our disbelief-the phone censored our text, or changed the words to non-swears! Now, I love swears just as much as the next Survivalist Librarian (yes, I will pay the extra dollar to have the swears in my iTunes songs) and I can't believe that I can not text someone "You are a chickenshit head and I hope your ass catches on fire you dumb bitch!" because the phone will say "You are a ######## bed and I hope your ### snatches on fire do ######." Now, I must say, that is not nearly as satisfying. (Although, for the humor-factor, I am a proponent of substituting non-swears for swears, because it makes me giggle. i.e. "Bob Saget!" and "PISS!" For more information, search You Tube for the Tourette's Guy.)

I am running into this problem in my work-life as well...as a Librarian I am supposed to shun censorship in all forms, but as a Prison Librarian, I am expected to censor certain things while fighting to let other things into the library. Case in point-I can not allow certain pages of the survivalist manual When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency by Matthew Stein, (a necessary text for anyone who is going to survive 2012) because they portray in detail how to make stone tools, fire, hunting implements, and alcohol and that might cause problems in the facility. (Even though these people have no access to flint, sharpened sticks, or a distiller.) However, I CAN let in various and sundry Urban Fiction books where every other word is fuck, nigger, bitch, ho, shit, etc. and that portray the "hood life" in all its glory. Now, I have to let those books in, but when a library patron says any of those words out loud, or forgets that they are in prison and not da hood, I tell him or her "LANGUAGE!" or "That is not appropriate for the library." Personally, it doesn't bother me when people pepper their speech with swears, which is probably because I spent so much of my pre-Survivalist Librarian life working in restaurants which are notorious bastions of potty-mouthedness.

Now, I am sure you are wondering, dear readers, what does this have to do with the Bomb Shelter??? Well, let me tell you. When the World as we know it comes to an end in 2012 and the only texts that survive the Apocalypse are the ones that we select, that is a giant responsibility. Luckily, you have Librarians running the Bomb Shelter Collection Development so you can be assured of a well-rounded, unbiased collection of titles. (As opposed to the Southern Baptist Bomb Shelter Collection Policy--"Evolution??? Not in MY Bomb Shelter!") And we will not censor the swears because although it will be a new world order run by yours truly-Pink Panda and myself- we will still let you cuss like sailors if you should choose to do so. Not to mention, the Mythbusters have PROVEN that swearing ups one's tolerance for pain, and since we won't have anesthesia (unless we can get an anesthesiologist on board in the next 2 years) that is looking like the best option should we need to preform emergency surgery or C-sections, or limb removals. So, loyal followers I encourage you to go forth, and fight the good fight, and don't censor anyone, bitch!