Showing posts with label censorship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label censorship. Show all posts

Thursday 20 July 2023

Comics Wrap-Up - Those Pesky Mortals

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Title: Comics Wrap-Up. Background: lined-notebook-style with speech bubbles containing heart symbols

It's Thursday, life is hard sometimes, this is Dora Reads, so let's get some comics-y superhero-y goodness!

Sunday 26 February 2023

Nerd Church - The Roald Dahl Edits Are Capitalism, Actually

Warning: this post discusses general bigotry, as well as more detailed anti-Semitism and racism, and other related topics. 

Links may include distressing content.

I'm Welsh, bookish, and a rebel - of course I'm going to talk about the Roald Dahl edits. 😅

Title: The Roald Dahl Edits Are Capitalism, Actually

Thursday 14 July 2022

Comics Wrap-Up - In Case Anyone Was In Doubt


'Comics Wrap-Up' with speech bubbles containing heart symbols

It's Thursday, this is Dora Reads, the UK is Too Hot (I feel like I'm melting,) let's get some comics-y superhero-y goodness!

Thursday 12 September 2019

Sunday 24 March 2019

Nerd Church - The Dilemma of Morally Dubious Media (Ft. American Psycho, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter)

Warning: this post discusses morally dubious media, including but not limited to: rape, murder, incest, general violence.

'First learn the rules then break them' written on a chalk board
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

American Psycho is about a serial killer that takes pleasure in raping and killing women in the most horrible ways, and the narrative goes into gratuitous detail about it.

Do I have your attention? Buckle up, dearest nerdlets!

No matter what, there is always gonna be media - books, films, TV series, whatever - that is kinda dubious on the ol' morality front.

Is that ok? Is that something we should be consuming? Is that something that people should be creating?

And if it isn't, is that something that we should be supressing?

Should we be, to put it bluntly, censoring it?

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Month in Review(s) - September 2018

Ohmygod September.

September was a f**king rollercoaster. The type where you throw up a lot.

September title image with purple and pink leaves on an autumn forest background
(I'm actually kind of quietly impressed with this graphic that I threw together in like, 15 minutes! Lol.)

On the good side:

It was my birthday! Woop!

(If you wanna give me a present, you can get me a coffee here! If not, I still love ya! 😊)

Sunday 23 September 2018

#BannedBooksWeek: Nerd Church - F**k It, Let's Talk Censorship (Ft. Thirteen Reasons Why)

Warning: this post discusses suicide, suicidal thoughts, mental health problems, sexual harassment, and censorship.

Links may also discuss these topics.

(Did you notice I self-censored in the title of this post? I can't bring myself to swear without *'s because in a traditional Welsh household, the only one allowed to swear is your mam. Lol.)

Banned Books Week banner with megaphone and book: 'Banning books silences stories speak out! Banned Books Week September 23-29, 2018'
Via Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is back! (23-29 Sept 2018)

And, darling nerdlets, I'm here once again to ask all the goddamn awkward questions!

Cos that's kinda what this week is about!

Friday 21 September 2018

Friday Fics Fix - Love Vs War. Freedom Vs Silence.

'He’d read all of Bucky’s letters over and over till he almost knew them by heart, and none of the phrases in the transcript were in any of those letters. There must be another letter, one that never got sent.'

fics fix title image with purple background and white lightning bolt shape

Stop the presses, Cee's back on the Stucky!

Shocking, I know.

(Fangirling notes: Stucky is a Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Bucky Barnes romantic and/or sexual relationship. You can't tell me it doesn't make sense.)

Sunday 3 June 2018

Nerd Church - Light in the Dark

silhouette of woman on beach at sunrise or sunset, with pink-y light contrasting with shadows in scene

This week, between the sh** Germaine Greer said*, and the cr*p Tommy Robinson pulled**, it might've seemed like the whole world had had a moment of extreme bigotry.

(...and I realise those are only two examples. I could've come up with a ton more, but it's too dispiriting, honestly, so I've stuck to these two.)

But there are people in this world who are willing to point out just how jerky Greer and Robinson are (and no, I have absolutely no problem putting the two in the same sentence.)

*Link CW: rape, victim blaming

**Video in link may auto-play.

Link CW: EDL, general bigotry, Islamophobia, references to child sexual abuse case.

Background info: Tommy Robinson is a right-wing extremist and founded a hate group (the English Defence League.)

Sunday 14 January 2018

Nerd Church - Yes, We Damn Well Need Fair Reviews

To my non-blogging readers (hi! don't leave! I neeeed you!!! 😉 Lol) and also my blogging readers who haven't seen the ripples on bookish Twitter lately, let me explain something:

There seems to be an attitude, at the moment, for authors to defame, abuse, harass, and denounce, book bloggers for giving them 'bad' reviews.

star made up of books

Now, I'm not going to go into the semantics and the 'he said, she said' of the thing. But I am going to make some comments regarding fair and critical reviews.

Because this isn't something that's new. It happens.

Unfortunately, it seems to be happening with increasing frequency, but that's another matter.

Those of us involved in the Diversity Movement are probably the least surprised. Diverse reviewers tend to be the first in the metaphorical firing-lines.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Nerd Church - 5 Things I Learned From Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (Without Reading a Word)

'Oh scream, America, scream. Believe what you see. From Heroes and Cons.'

American flag graffiti

We are in the middle of the 21st Century Breakdown.

Unfortunately, I don't think Green Day meant their apocalyptic concept-album to be an instruction manual. *laughs slightly hysterically*

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Month in Review(s) - September 2017

September was a mixed bag.

But then, that's life I suppose! Still, it was my birthday month, so there's that at least ;)

(I ate soooo much pizza and chocolate cake!!!! 🎂🎂🎂🍕🍕🍕😁)

2017 September calendar pic

Sunday 24 September 2017

#BannedBooksWeek | Nerd Church - On Censorship

24th-30th September 2017 is Banned Books Week, as set up by the American Library Association (ALA.)

I'm all for intellectual freedom my nerdlets; I'm against censorship in general.

book on fire picture

Saturday 26 November 2016

Why Critique Is The Opposite of Censorship

Dearest nerdlets, I have a few things that I want to say:

Firstly, guess what? Not everyone is going to have the same opinions as you.

That's why there are countless bloggers out there instead of just one person. We all think different sh**. That means that sometimes other people are going to have completely different opinions to you.

Sometimes, hell, OFTEN, the difference in opinion is going to get awkward.

You loved a book. That's great. Someone else didn't. They have a different take on the representation, or the prose, or the characterisation, or whatever. Guess what? That's great too.

Feelings tend to get most heated when discussing representation of marginalised groups. And there are reasons for that - historic reasons that come from a lot of hurt, prejudice, and negative representation.

But if someone hates a book you loved, people often react like it's a personal criticism. It's not.

Critique - and that's what bloggers and reviewers are supposed to do, isn't it? we're not marketing machines, we're critics - is not meant to attack anyone.

Critique is a way of discussing what is in this book.

If we all claimed that every book was perfect, firstly, it'd be boring, and secondly, it'd be lying.


There is no book on this planet that is universally loved, with no flaws. Every book has good stuff, and bad stuff. Stuff you'd change, and stuff you wouldn't.

Now, someone else? They may keep all the stuff you'd change, and change all the stuff you'd keep.

The excuse that people use to bypass critique is censorship.

Critique is not censorship. Critique means someone has a different opinion to you - that someone disagrees with you, and is willing to express that.

Critique means that people are thinking about what they're reading. That people are allowing others to openly disagree. That people are not silencing the voices of dissent.

It's no coincidence, I'm afraid, that the voices that tend to be silenced are those belonging to people of colour (PoC,) LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalised groups.

Calling critique censorship is just another way to silence those voices. And that's not ok.

If someone complains about the way their identity - race, sexuality, religion, etc., is being portrayed, then don't accuse them of being unfair, or of censoring you.

Unless they have a history of personal vendettas with a particular author (and sometimes even then,) then they will have a reason for what they're saying. Listen to it. You may learn something.

And even if you don't, ultimately, agree? Their concerns and opinions are still valid.

Too often, you see people using the argument of censorship for their own purposes.

Trolls do this a lot - and, again, it seems to be PoC who get the worst of this - it's the attitude of 'I can say this horrible thing because free speech, but you can't disagree with me because censorship.'

The troll flexes their troll-y muscles by being the biggest a*shole.

Shouting 'Shut up, censorship!' when someone disagrees with you is censorship. Don't. Just don't.

People have a right to voice legitimate concerns.

Do I always agree? No. Of course not, I'm a stubborn little so-and-so.

But those opinions are totally valid.

Sometimes - and this counts especially for us white people, because we are, notoriously, really bad at this - you have to step back and listen to others.

The only way we understand is by listening.

And yes, I've changed my views by listening to people before now.

Look, we're human. We're going to disagree. There are even, unfortunately, going to be times when we can't get past* those disagreements. BUT WE'RE NEVER GOING TO AGREE WITH EVERYTHING EVERYONE ELSE SAYS.

*is it past or passed? I can never figure that out.

People from marginalised groups are not a hive-mind. And all of their opinions are valid.

But you have to listen - yes, even when there's not one opinion, but several.

It's easy to stand up for diversity and marginalised groups when the members of that group are agreeing with you. When they don't agree with you? You still have to listen.

Surely we can agree to give air-time to opinions that differ from our own? (And no, I don't mean the opinions of Nazi a*sholes.) I mean opinions about representation - from people affected by that rep.

No, it's not always going to be comfortable. But that's ok. It doesn't have to be comfortable. It just has to happen.

Because people have a right to raise their voices in disagreement. Not allowing them to do so? That's censorship.

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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Banned Books Week 2016 - Dangerous Words

As part of Banned Books Week 2016, I figured I'd look at some quotes from books that are often challenged.

So, are words really that dangerous?

I thought that I'd throw together just a few quotes from some of the books featured on the 'most challenged' list of 2015. See what you think ;)

All quotes are from the Goodreads page for that title.

"I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God." - Looking For Alaska by John Green

Amazon links: UK - US

"Don't place some vague moral judgement on yourself based on what others might think. Don't waste your energy." - Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

Amazon links: UK - US

"There is no reason that we should ever be ashamed of our bodies or ashamed of our love." - Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Amazon links: UK - US

"What would happen if we spoke the truth?" - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Amazon links: UK - US

"The Sufi saint Rabi'a Al-Adawiyya was seen carrying a firebrand and a jug of water - the firebrand to burn Paradise, the jug of water to drown Hell...

So that both veils disappear, and God's followers worship, not out of hope for reward, nor fear of punishment, but out of love." - Habibi by Craig Thompson

(Yes I chose this one because the similarity to the Looking For Alaska quote struck me!)

Amazon links: UK - US

"I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them." - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Amazon links: UK - US

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Monday 26 September 2016

Banned Books Week 2016 - Diverse Books Under Threat

Given that diverse books make up a relatively small amount of the total books available (in English, at least,) it should be eye-opening that the most challenged and banned books are those which allow diverse voices a platform.

A look at the 2015 list of the 10 most challenged books should show you the truth of this.

Except for The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, each of these books either has an author from a diverse community, and/or has diverse characters.

(Even Looking For Alaska, I'm told (by Wikipedia,) has a PoC character.)

This year's Banned Books Week from the American Library Association (yes, I know I'm not American - but dudes, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold,) is focussed on celebrating diversity.

And the banned-books-flag is starting to be flown over here in the UK too.

Diversity is not a threat. Diversity is under threat.

Diversity is vital. Diversity is wonderful. Diversity gives you the opportunity to hear other people's voices.

Why would you think hearing the voices of others is a bad thing?

And a little food for thought...

All graphics & infographics are from the ALA/Banned Books Week Coalition

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Wednesday 14 September 2016

Censorship - Are We All Hypocrites...?

...and I mean that in the nicest possible way ;)

This post is going to be more questions than answers I'm afraid, but feel free to give your opinions in the comments - because I'm trying to sort out my own feelings on this!

Cee, what are you blathering on about?

Well, it's like this: I'm currently reading 'And Then There Were None' by Agatha Christie (UK - US) for Ely @ Tea & Titles' Mystery-a-thon.

I didn't realise that And Then There Were None wasn't actually the original title of this book. The original title was something extremely racist.

Would I have read this book with it's original title and racism? No. Will I read it now? Yes.

And therein lies the beginnings of my ethical problems.

I've always been completely against censorship, and for free speech. Yet changing the title is a form of censorship which I support... Help!

Does this make me a hypocrite? Very possibly. But can anybody honestly say they wouldn't feel the same?

If that book was published today with its original title, I would be appalled.

I'm seriously uncomfortable with the fact that it ever had that title. And, as I said, would not read it if the title hadn't been changed.

But would it be right - in this hypothetical scenario where this book was published today, with it's original title - to ban or censor it?

I would certainly complain to the author. I would not buy it, not read it, not support it. But would I ask for it to be banned or censored?

I honestly don't know. If it was in my library, would I ask for it to be removed? Would I ask the publishers to recall the copies? Would I take my pen to copies and eliminate the racist words?

Part of me says yes. Part of me says that I should get rid of those words by any means possible. Because, and let's make no excuses here, that kind of language is wrong.

But part of me also says no. That's the part that says that people have a right to say what they want - even if you don't like what they have to say.

Because it's only when you let people speak that you can defend your own position.

It's only by hearing opposing opinions - no matter how vile they may be - that we can shape our own attitudes... But there's also the danger that those vile ideas will take hold, and that's the last thing we want.

In the first chapter of 'And Then There Were None,' there is anti-Semitism.

If it was straightforward, then I would've stopped reading. As it is, it's hugely uncomfortable, but it's in the POV of a dodgy character (although, literally all of these characters are highly morally suspect,) so I don't know what to make of it.

It's not right. But does that make it wrong, in this context? I don't know.

Would I support that part being removed, given that this book has already been censored by changing the 'n' word throughout? Again, I have no easy answer.

And that's without even touching on the rights-and-wrongs of Huck Finn.

Because I read Huck Finn with the 'n' word intact.

Just like Agatha Christie, Mark Twain was writing in a time where that word was (unfortunately) socially acceptable.

But I think - and I may very well be wrong - that there's a difference between the 'n' word in the original version of And Then There Were None, and the 'n' word in Huck Finn.

Because, whatever your feelings on Huck Finn, slavery, and Jim's role as an escaped slave, is main theme of the story.

There aren't any black people in And Then There Were None - the 'n' word is used purely as a gratuitous metaphor, in the form of a racist nursery rhyme. The story makes perfect sense without it.

You remove the 'n' word from Huck Finn, though, and you change the entire dynamic and meaning of huge sections of the story. I'm not saying it's right - I have mixed feelings about it at best, but I'm saying that it's a different situation to And Then There Were None.

Should censorship depend on context then?

Again, I have absolutely no idea.

Would I be less disgusted with Donald Trump if his language was gentler? Possibly a little, but his vile outlook on life would remain.

So, am I a hypocrite? Possibly. I am human, after all.

What about you? Does anyone have an answer for these questions?

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