We've got far too many hung juries and not enough hung defendants.
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Lord Galen
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Censoring For The Children
May 31, 2009

This rant could very easily be based on any number of news stories. I see them all the time, as I'm sure you do as well. Stories are constantly coming out about yet another parent or group of parents or "concerned citizens" who want some book, movie, video game, or something like that to be pulled from the shelves. The reasons they give are always the same: It's "for the children" and to "protect the children." Protect them from what? Well, from things that might harm them, of course! But one must ask, just how is information harmful? And the answer they inevitably give is also always the same: Certain books, TV shows, etc. are harmful because they will influence kids to do bad things.

That's a covert way of saying that these products will influence kids in a way other than the way in which the parents WANT them to be influenced. There's nothing wrong with influencing, indoctrinating, and outright brainwashing kids, it's just a picky little matter of HOW they're influenced, indoctrinated, and brainwashed that gets the Sheila Broflovskis of the world all up in arms.

Now, I could go on and on and on about the myriad of ways in which this is retarded behavior. I could argue freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the freedom of our children to absorb and assimilate ALL information, regardless of its subjective "moral value" (a stupid concept in the first place). I could argue that no book or movie should ever be banned for any reason at all. I could argue that no young person should ever be denied the opportunity to view something that's objectionable to his or her parents because that young person has the right to form their own opinions, not be a slave to the narrow dogmatic worldview of their parents.

I could make all of those arguments (and more), but I'm not going to. I'm going to take the same approach that I did in 2007's Why God? rant. In that rant, I argued from the assumption that God does exist, that the Bible is the correct and perfect Word of God, etc. I do not actually share those beliefs, but for the sake of argument and making my point, I accepted them as true for the duration of that rant. And now, in this rant, I will accept another absurdity as truth. For this rant, I am going to assume that the holier-than-thou busy-body parents of the world are absolutely correct about certain types of "undesirable" media. I will assume as absolute fact that Grand Theft Auto influences kids to kill hookers and steal cars. I will assume that a copy of Vladamir Nabakov's Lolita turns little boys into pedophiles and little girls into willing sex toys for adult men. I will assume that Beavis & Butthead cause children to start fires everytime Beavis strikes his lighter and yells "FIRE! FIRE! heh heh heh heh fire!" I will assume that violent movies teach kids that violence is ok, except when it's the Passion of the Christ, then it teaches kids that Jesus was awesome because he went through all that "for you, lol! sweet dreams little billy!" And yes, I will even assume that pornography teaches kids that sex is not only ok, but fun too (wait, what?).

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Yes, I will assume all of these things now. Kids are easily influenced by every fucking thing they come into contact with. Operating under this assumption, here is a very important question for all of you who actually do believe this premise: WHY are kids so easily influenced by everything?

Perhaps instead of concerning yourself with trying to ban everything that will make kids do stupid things, you should sit down and have a long hard look in the mirror while asking yourself just what the fuck YOU did wrong to raise kids who don't seem to be capable of thinking for themselves. Maybe you should be asking your own stupid self just how the hell you managed to fuck up so goddamn badly that your kids do whatever the fuck a fictional character demonstrates to them.

Oh, that thought never occurred to you? I bet it didn't. I just fucking bet that you never once in your life stopped to think that maybe the reason your kids are such weak-minded little piss worms is because YOU made them that way! YOU are the primary influence in their lives; are you not? YOU are the one who has molded and shaped them to be what they are, isn't that correct? YOU and the other adults in their life have expended a great deal of time and effort into training their little minds to accept input totally and unquestioningly. YOU did that, asshole, not Beavis!

Just what the fuck do you think school is for? In order to effeciently cram increasingly more complex information into your childrens' brains, they must be taught to accept what the teacher says as true, not to question it. If the teacher says that Columbus set sail in 1492 to prove that the world was round, there's not time to stop and listen to the contradicting evidence that, in fact, everybody in that time period already fucking knew the world was round. There's no time for that! We have to get through that lesson, get it into their heads, get them to pass their test and move the fuck on to more things!

And you wonder why your kids might accept something fictional as fact without thinking for themselves? I don't know why you wonder that, when it's what you train them to do! And the teachers aren't the only ones. They're passing on the knowledge in the same way it was passed to them. They're doing what they've been taught to do (using the same method). You do the same thing, because it's the method you were taught as well. When your kid asks you what causes gravity, you happily tell them the same stupid thing that somebody once told you, that the spinning of the Earth makes gravity. Nevermind that a spinning mass generates centrifugal force, not gravity, and centrifugal force pretty much has the opposite effect (it throws things AWAY from a spinning mass, it doesn't hold things to it). Perhaps you would know this if you'd ever bothered to question things, but you didn't and your fucking children don't either!

You teach your kids to accept knowledge (both by rote and by example) without thought. They're taught by you and by their school to just blindly accept that any input which sounds plausible is true. So, I ask you, just whose fault is it if your kid comes away from GTA IV thinking that the examples shown are legitimate examples of how one should behave in society? Should we blame the creators of the game? Should we blame the store who sold our "impressionable youth" the game? Or should we blame YOUR STUPID ASS, the one who made them "impressionable" to begin with?

Yes, young children are easily impressed upon as a matter of nature. However, they are also naturally inquisitive by nature as well! They start out life soaking up everything like a sponge, BUT they also start out life craving explanations for everything they soak up. Toddlers ask "why why why" to everything. It is NOT the natural state of the human mind to just blindly accept information without explanation! If you tell a toddler something, they ask WHY! If you explain, they ask WHY again! It gets annoying as hell and that's where the training to be unquestioning begins. Instead of responding to their "WHYs" with "I don't know" or "Let's talk about this later, mommy is getting a headache right now" you respond with "Because that's just the way it is" or, even worse, "Because God made it that way" (which is a fucking stupid non-answer).

There is a worse response though. One that inevitably gets beaten into every child's head. The absolute worst thing you could ever impress upon an impressionable child who soaks up information like a sponge. And that response is "Because I said so!" The influence of those words, repeated so often, is to drill into their heads that the explanation is unimportant as long as the information comes from someone in authority. Knowing WHY something is true eventually ceases to matter. Why should it matter when you're not going to get a fucking answer anyway? And the children learn not only from the words but from the anger in those words. These impressionable young minds learn that questioning the information they're given will illicit a negative response; it will make mommy and daddy and Mrs. Smith angry and annoyed and it may just get them in trouble; even physically assaulted (spanked). The lesson here is that when you don't understand something you're told, you must accept it as true anyway, because to do otherwise is a BAD THING.

That's why your stupid kids just accept that setting things on fire is cool because Beavis says it is. Why the hell would they question Beavis? That TV show is written and produced by adults and questioning what an adult says is wrong. If an adult put it out there, it MUST be accepted as true and questioning it is just asking for trouble.

I've pointed out this concept before. In 2004 I wrote a rant about how we turn our children into the victims of crimes committed against them by adults. When you're not supposed to question adults, why the fuck would your kid EVER even THINK to tell Uncle Bob "no" when he says "Hey, put this in your mouth and you'll get a special treat in a few minutes!"

YOU create the victims that you're afraid of your children becoming and YOU create the "impressionable" youth that you're trying so desperately to "protect" from all the dangerous things that YOU MADE DANGEROUS FOR THEM! YOU are the problem, not any form of media and it's your stupid fucking attitude that needs to be burned, not a collection of books!

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