Stupid Censorship

I think you’ve heard me complain/comment before about how since Google and everyone else is afraid of the government and/or the Church and/or personally has a problem with sexuality, it’s virtually impossible to get non-porn advertising for ModBlog. Now, while I think that it’s important to recognize that this type of financial censorship is still censorship, I’m more concerned about simply being permitted to document the activities that are recorded here and on BME in more detail. These activities are a huge part of modern and historical human behavior and I think it’s as important to understand and record them as the rest of the art and culture we produce as a species.

You may remember that quite a while back BME did an emergency move out of the United States (we were hosting out of California at the time, but are now back in Toronto where I live right now). If you’d like to know why, ask the recently sentenced folks who got three years in prison (down from over five) for shipping a nipple piercing video across state lines. This case also defined nipple piercing as “violence” and not protected under “free speech”. I can’t even begin to say how relieved I am that Canada has protection of “free expression” (including sexual expression), and that obscenity is defined by harm caused, not by moralism. So yeah, this picture goes out to all my friends at the FBI.

That said, with adult sites being “inspected” (if they’re searching your whole house, I think a better word would be “raided”) across the United States, I still am a little nervous that some of that censorship and oppression will flow North across the border. Well, at least now you know the real reason Christina Aguilera got rid of her nipple piercing, ha… Last thing she needs is to pay a $550,000 fine for letting anyone see it in public. Man, here in Toronto you can walk down the street topless with your nipple rings showing (male or female, thanks to equality laws), and there’s not a damn thing the cops can do about it… and CityTV can even broadcast it if they want to up their ratings!

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

31 thoughts on “Stupid Censorship

  1. I totally agree and am equally angered by the ridiculous efforts and work that is put into our society to censor its people and to create a false safe-haven or sense of identity by the governments. We need to take back our freedom of speech and expression (whatever forms that may come in), and force our so-called ‘leaders’ (if you would even remotely consider them that) to realize that this is the people’s world. A government should fear it’s people, not the other way around. They work for us after all.

    I am also glad that Canada’s government isn’t in the same position as others with regards to this issue (for fucks sake, I had piercing process photos, like yours above, developed at a Dominion supermarket, no questions asked), but we can’t be naive enough to think that we’re in the clear. Governments are sneaky and sly groups, and regardless, if there’s one group of people who are being forced down and censored, it effects us all. We need to reclaim and truly realize our own power to change things.

  2. I almost had my Modcon book confiscated at the Canadian border. The border guard said that literally the only reason they decided not to was that all the acts shown in it seemed to be consentual.

    Actually it was rather funny watching from where they had sat us. I watched the guard pull it out of my bag, open it, flip through some, flip back to stare at something more intently, then call the guard who was searching the trunk of the car and they both stared at it, and called over a guard who was searching someone else’s car to come look at it. They looked like a bunch of kids who had just discovered a stack of Playboys or something. I am kind of annoyed that they broke the spine of the book, but much better that than taking it as it would have been had I been searched when going into the U.S.

  3. I must say that i’m happy to live in Canada and have yet to deal with shit like this. No offence to my american friends but I pity the foolish jackasses that run their government. No wonder why they all want to live here!

  4. Steph, per capita a lot more Canadians more south than the other way around. There are a lot of great things about the USA, but it sure has its head up its butt about sexuality sometimes.

  5. As an outside observer, it seems to me that Canada is right now on a bit of a slippery slope with a corporate backed PM that is hacking and slashing the government to bits. That’s risky business but not so far advanced a cancer as has set in south of your border. So to our Canadian friends: Stay vigilant and active.

  6. “Now, while I think that it’s important to recognize that this type of financial censorship is still censorship”

    True, but with something to remember–freedom of association should always be held in as high regard as any other freedom. Google is a corp–they’re doing what they believe is in their best interests. I don’t take any affront at that, that’s what they’re supposed to do.

    And, as an aside, on a porn website that I saw the other day–they had google ads. Was that just a fluke or will google really advertise on porn sites but not on bodymod sites? ‘Cause that’s fucked up. (Don’t ask the site–I followed a spam link [Yeah, I get bored sometimes, don't ask])

    Oh, well, all this just makes me want to have a cool million dollars so I can get econ citizenship in St Kitts and go to an American Embassy and swear that I agree that I’m not an American anymore. Drastic, but about the only option I feel is left.

  7. moddoctor – That’s for sure. I’m definitely not cured of my paranoia, and I hope Canadians don’t play holier than thou and allow changes to go through without noticing.

    C Allen – Yeah, it’s a tough call… But when advertising networks UNIVERSALLY block access to certain sociocultural group (as they do here), it starts getting into grey territory. My feeling is that we made a mistake when we gave corporations “human” rights in the first place.

  8. C Allen – Re: Google Ads on Porn Sites
    Unless they’ve changed their policy in the last couple weeks (which I doubt), that site is in violation of the TOS… and if it was via a spam link, that’s no surprise!

  9. I am starting to view the FBI and the United States of America as being no better than Russia and the KGB are. Using nothing more than scar tactics and rallies “mass hipnosis” to scaring americans into compliance. Is it the United Church of America?. Scarred of what they cannot control and a behavior that generates billions of dollars. You think the tax hungry government would be all over the industry.

  10. what the hell? i thought america was the land of the free… this is ridiculous. piercing is legal but you can’t show it off?? makes no sense.

  11. Oh for fucks sake! I’m not here to argue.. I agree with most of what was said, atleast to some extent. But comparing the US and the FBI to the Soviet Union and the KGB is not only ridiculous, it’s actually quite insulting.

    Whatever “evils” may or may not happen in the US, nothing can compare to what went on in the Soviet Union (especially during Stalin’s reign), and Russia today. Forget about it.

  12. Well, I’ll agree that there’s little to be gained by comparing America to Nazis or the FBI to the KGB, etc., but I think it is fair to point out that the US has more people in prison (both per capita and in terms of raw numbers) than any nation in history.

    That said, I’m pretty sure that the KGB was perfectly happy to keep many of their lockups “off the books”. But the Soviet Government could still never even come close to keeping as many people behind bars as the US government.

  13. “That said, I’m pretty sure that the KGB was perfectly happy to keep many of their lockups “off the booksâ€?. But the Soviet Government could still never even come close to keeping as many people behind bars as the US government.”

    Which is why tens of million were simply exterminated instead. Why bother imprisonment when you can do something far more efficient?…

  14. makes you wonder which land is the actual “land of the free”… also, it really bothers me how anyone, being human themselves, could be offended, insulted, embarrased or shocked by the nude human figure… like seriously, that deserves a big, wtf!!! and what really shocks me is that how someone could get arrested and sentenced to prison for taking a video of a nipple piercing across state line… your tax dollars at work folks… we need this to stop and the only ones that can change it are us… write your local governments, start a human rights group with a focus on body modification, self expression and freedom of speech… just do something to help aid in the change of these irrational and ignorant laws and perceptions of the bod mod culture… and thank you Shannon for continuing to bring us these incredible and inspirational articles as this… keep up the good work and let us all move forward to change… change may be scarey but that’s part of the beauty of it… peace and hair grease

  15. It doesnt matter if u compare it with other countries and how bad any other country was for x-amount of years ago, its still a crime against human rights. and remember that both in Russia and Germany it came crawling and got worse and worse.
    In every country we feel the rights shrinking and the mainstream doesnt care because it is still not concerning them. We are in the periphery still.
    I am happy that I dont live in the states for that matter, I sometimes even get a little bit patriotic about Sweden when I hear this things.

  16. thank you for giving me another good reason to move to canada… I wanna walk around topless too. God likes naked people.

  17. wait,a performer can get fined up to millions of dollars just for a little nipple slip-age 0_o?!

    and this is the land of the ‘free’ we’re talking about:/…i’ve never understood why people get so up in arms about nudity,the way laws are it’s a wonder that anyone has any self-esteem about how they look naked.

  18. in a few words…I think people are going crazy in US …
    Here in spain that things don´t happen.

  19. Could or could not we don’t know, the KGB archives were, are and probably will be for a very long time kept secret.
    What we do know is that tens of millions were sent to different imprisonment camps, and millions others were executed.
    Two of my great grandfathers were executed in or near Moscow, my grandfather spent 16 years of his life in Siberia – all because of their political views.

    Moreso, the US prison system is a sanatorium compared to the Russian, both then and now.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that what goes on in the US is right or just, it’s not. But if we are making a comparison to the USSR then the US *is* without any doubt the home of the brave and the land of the free.

    Changes need to be made, laws should be abolished and different ones need to be passed. The US is far from perfect, very far, but it’s still far better than the Soviet Union was, and many other goverments are today.

  20. yet another reason why i hate the u.s .. i really want to live in Norway :D.. or finland

  21. RustyY – I’m in complete agreement with you. The US has serious, serious problems, but comparing it to quite different extremes clouds the issues and turns it into a farce.

  22. Yet another reason to never ever move to texas…

    I love theUS. I asm a dual citizen (by birth) of the US and UK… I thought I’d leave when W stole the election, but I chose to stay and make some noise.

    But crap like this angers me so much and makes no sense. I know we can’t “blame” all xians, but any xian who doesn’t speak up agaist this theocratic rule is part of the problem.

    Our culture of freedom and expression is being washed down the toilet thanks the rule of the xian class… it’s sick.

  23. t-snake, I understand your apparent disillusionment with Christians, but there is nothing Christian about the twisted politicized version of religion that so many US leaders use to garner votes. Hmm, what would Jesus do to the White House … ?

  24. Jesus would be rockin a 5/8 inch septum and showing off his nipple piercings. All while walking on water.

  25. who’s this jesus feller..? jesus..? sounds like a mexican sneezing… feliz navidad

  26. when i read this, i’m really to live in Belgium, where you can do what you want, when you want!!!!

    i’m sure, in american, i had been arrested many times, not here!!!

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