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Old 08-20-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
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Brooklyn Library restricts access to Tin Tin book

Sigh. Is it Banned Books Week yet?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090820/...restricts_book

I had a friend once who used to pass out buttons that read, "No Censorship. No Exceptions."

I'm for that.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:52 PM   #2
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The LA Times had a nice editorial on the NYPL & censorship -- http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla...gone-gone.html

And the NY Times covered not just the book, but the NYPL's (and other libraries') overall approach to controversial books -- http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...hat-offend/?hp
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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I have never understood censorship from a country that has the freedom of speach as nr 1 rule.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:59 PM   #4
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It's an odd practise that libraries keep certain books in their collection away from the general public like this.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
I have never understood censorship from a country that has the freedom of speach as nr 1 rule.
Let me explain it. America has never really believed in free speech. Disralies' quote, "I utterly disagree with what you are saying, but I will defend to death your right to say it." is not truly part of American psyche. We think it is, but really what we think is that free speech only apply to me. Since America is formed of a large number of minority groups (in the broadest reading of minority), freedom and free speech are default positions, because no group usually has a majority control position. When one has achieved a majority control throughout our history, freedom went by the wayside. Then the majority splinters or otherwise drops into the minority and the restrictions get repealed by those people oppressed by the rules of the former minority....

(This'll get me a lot of brickbats. Most people have a great difficulty looking in the mirror and seeing things they don't like...)
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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You're totally right when it comes to people not really being for free speech. They hate it, until someone tells them they can't say something. People always think they know better
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Let me explain it. America has never really believed in free speech. Disralies' quote, "I utterly disagree with what you are saying, but I will defend to death your right to say it." is not truly part of American psyche. We think it is, but really what we think is that free speech only apply to me. Since America is formed of a large number of minority groups (in the broadest reading of minority), freedom and free speech are default positions, because no group usually has a majority control position. When one has achieved a majority control throughout our history, freedom went by the wayside. Then the majority splinters or otherwise drops into the minority and the restrictions get repealed by those people oppressed by the rules of the former minority....

(This'll get me a lot of brickbats. Most people have a great difficulty looking in the mirror and seeing things they don't like...)
I have to agree. Lots of people _claim_ America is the land of the free and you're free to speak your mind, but that's only until you say something they personally don't like. Then they try to shut you up by any means possible. It's really ridiculous, but it seems to be how humans are wired. They all seem to feel "My way is the right way, and don't you forget it!"
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:32 PM   #8
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It's a 1930 comic. Congo was a Belgian republic. Hergé was 23. He hadn't traveled, so his information sources probably reflect those of the people he hung out with or popular opinion at the time. I am not in any way defending his work nor do I condemn it; I am trying to establish some context.

Land of the Soviets (Russians), The Blue Lotus (Chinese), Tin Tin in America (Native Americans), Cigars of the Pharoah (Arabs and Egyptians), all these contain pretty stereotypical portrayals of various cultures. Was there malicious intent behind it? I don't know, but I don't think so. I read these as a kid. I enjoyed them. I didn't pick up on any of these supposedly racist overtones. Did these stories shape my image of an entire race/country of people? Not particularly; or at least, not that I am aware of.

At the same time, Hergé isn't exactly free of controversy. The current controversy isn't new, and there was that whole WW2 thing. (Congo also gets crap from the animal rights groups for, um, blowing up a Rhino with TNT (!) and shooting a monkey and wearing its skin to fool other monkeys; we all know that cartoon violence involving animals leads to animal cruelty ).

He popularized/pioneered the ligne claire style, which I love. This library thing seems overkill. "a vault-like room, accessed by appointment only"? You can walk in and grab a copy of "Mein Kampf" anytime but this comic is treated like unstable plutonium. Bizarre. PC madness.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sir Edward View Post
Let me explain it. America has never really believed in free speech. Disralies' quote, "I utterly disagree with what you are saying, but I will defend to death your right to say it." is not truly part of American psyche. We think it is, but really what we think is that free speech only apply to me. Since America is formed of a large number of minority groups (in the broadest reading of minority), freedom and free speech are default positions, because no group usually has a majority control position. When one has achieved a majority control throughout our history, freedom went by the wayside. Then the majority splinters or otherwise drops into the minority and the restrictions get repealed by those people oppressed by the rules of the former minority....

(This'll get me a lot of brickbats. Most people have a great difficulty looking in the mirror and seeing things they don't like...)
Wow, how cowardly! You say a bunch of utterly vile nonsense, and then put in the disclaimer "People won't like this because they're weak, and so they'll disagree with me." Sorry, you don't get to announce my motivation for telling you you are full of it. I'm telling you you're wrong because that's the truth.

No one has majority control in America? Hello? Ever heard of a straight white Protestant male?
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:59 PM   #10
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I have to agree. Lots of people _claim_ America is the land of the free and you're free to speak your mind, but that's only until you say something they personally don't like. Then they try to shut you up by any means possible. It's really ridiculous, but it seems to be how humans are wired. They all seem to feel "My way is the right way, and don't you forget it!"
So...is this about America, or the whole world?

Nothing you said is true.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:33 PM   #11
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No one has majority control in America? Hello? Ever heard of a straight white Protestant male?
Hey, you forgot rich!
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:16 PM   #12
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You're totally right when it comes to people not really being for free speech. They hate it, until someone tells them they can't say something. People always think they know better
That's exactly right. A lot of people are so oblivious to the importance of free speech in a democratic society. Without free speech, democracy cannot exist. We already have a dubious democratic system with far too much interference by the corporation and the church. We have to guard free speech.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:32 PM   #13
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Censorship is very general that's why it really tends to interfere with our freedom of speech. they should be much clearer about how and why they do it.

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Old 08-20-2009, 09:45 PM   #14
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Yeah! Stop saying all those vile things that make me uncomfortable!

You should be stopped, really!


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Old 08-20-2009, 10:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by acidzebra View Post
It's a 1930 comic. Congo was a Belgian republic. Hergé was 23. He hadn't traveled, so his information sources probably reflect those of the people he hung out with or popular opinion at the time. I am not in any way defending his work nor do I condemn it; I am trying to establish some context.

Land of the Soviets (Russians), The Blue Lotus (Chinese), Tin Tin in America (Native Americans), Cigars of the Pharoah (Arabs and Egyptians), all these contain pretty stereotypical portrayals of various cultures. Was there malicious intent behind it? I don't know, but I don't think so. I read these as a kid. I enjoyed them. I didn't pick up on any of these supposedly racist overtones. Did these stories shape my image of an entire race/country of people? Not particularly; or at least, not that I am aware of.

At the same time, Hergé isn't exactly free of controversy. The current controversy isn't new, and there was that whole WW2 thing. (Congo also gets crap from the animal rights groups for, um, blowing up a Rhino with TNT (!) and shooting a monkey and wearing its skin to fool other monkeys; we all know that cartoon violence involving animals leads to animal cruelty ).

He popularized/pioneered the ligne claire style, which I love. This library thing seems overkill. "a vault-like room, accessed by appointment only"? You can walk in and grab a copy of "Mein Kampf" anytime but this comic is treated like unstable plutonium. Bizarre. PC madness.
Nice post!
It resumes a well-known controversy in France, Belgium and elsewhere.
It's true that non-white people is usually depicted as mentally simple in several Tintin books as opposed to the insinuated superiority of white race. Personally, as an adult (?) I think that it is clearly racially offensive. I am pretty sure that such content could not be published today.
I read too a lot of Tintin as a kid (in French), but I was not able to make such a judgement being so young. Actually (and not proudly), I remember that I was dumb enough to smile with the way that black people was supposed to speak in french.
I hate censorship, but the fact that racism is rather insinuated in Tintin and these comics are supposed to be read by kids makes the case completely different as compared to "mein Kampf".
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