If there is one thing cats hate, it’s water. If there’s two things cats hate, it’s water and Internet censorship.
A group called The Pussycat Riot (not affiliated with the band) is using famous Internet cats to draw attention to world leaders who suppress their peoples’ access to information online. It’s a project launched by Hide My Ass, a for-pay site that allows Internet users to access blocked content from anywhere in the world. Kittehs draw attention to their cause, but also to the part of their site where they sell (very expensive) Vladmir Putin and Kim Jong Un scratching posts and litter boxes featuring the faces of other despotic leaders. Can cats get people who take their freedoms for granted to pay attention to Internet censorship? Who knows. It may not help, but probably couldn’t hurt.
“Boobies” isn’t a bad word, especially when it’s being used to promote a breast cancer awareness campaign. A judge in Pennsylvania seems to think so, too, which is why he reversed a Pennsylvania school district’s decision to ban the “I (Heart) Boobies” bracelets. In a 9-5 decision, the court ruled that the “bracelets here are not plainly lewd and because they comment on a social issue, they may not be categorically banned.”
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A Wisconsin newspaper just made “The Vagina Monologues” a whole lot dirtier: changing the title to XXXXXXX. The Ashland Daily Press censored the word “vagina” in an ad for the upcoming production of the famous Eve Ensler play. In the ad the word “vagina” was marked out repeatedly with Xs in order to obscure the word. The paper also removed the full description of the production and an additional warning that the play contained material about violence against women, sexual content, and graphic language. At least on their web site, the Ashland Daily Press explained that in the play women “reference subject pertaining to women’s bodies, different experiences both good and traumatic, self image and empowerment.” It looks like they could use a little empowerment of their own if they’re still treating “vagina” like a dirty word. [Jezebel]
Update, 5:15p.m.: Chicago Public Schools have rescinded the order to yank Persepolis from the shelves. This is great news! [Chicago Tribune]
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, is one of the best series of graphic novels that I have ever read. I recommend it to everyone. And I read a lot of graphic novels. The memoirs recount Satrapi’s childhood in Iran following the Islamic Revolution and the increasing strictures on the life of an artsy young woman who is increasingly at odds with the fundamentalist Muslim religious police.
It’s touching, inspiring, and educational — and I’m far from the first person to point out that graphic novels are a great way to get young adults who don’t love to read to engage with literature.
So why, then, have the books been pulled out of Chicago Public Schools? Keep reading »
The British Advertising Standards Authority strikes again! The ad censorship watchdog, responsible for putting the kibosh on everything from scummy American Apparel ads to a photo of an underage Dakota Fanning holding a perfume bottle between her legs for Marc Jacobs, is cracking down on another campaign. Next up on the chopping block is a Chanel Coco Mademoiselle fragrance commercial starring Keira Knightley. Keep reading »
Okay, you might want to be sitting down when I tell you this, but I watched “Mean Girls” for the first time a couple weekends ago. I was pretty well acquainted with… well, nearly every single line in the movie from having read the internet, although I got a good laugh out of “Four for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco,” as it was just about the only quote in there that I hadn’t known was from “Mean Girls.” But I decided it was probably time to actually experience the movie, and stop trying to absorb it only from cultural diffusion.
So yeah, I knew next to nothing about “Mean Girls” other than that a lot of parts of the internet that I respect and enjoy are obsessed with quoting it and that it’s about high school, not, for example, that it was written by Tina Fey. Rest assured, these gaping holes in my knowledge have been filled, and so now I completely understand how against the message of the film it is for MTV to bleep a wide swath of non-curse-words, including “vagina,” when it aired on the network this weekend… but not “whore” or “slut.” Read more…