Sunday, 18 March 2012

Censoring Real Life

Censorship is a topical subject in the life of the indie author at the moment - especially those who write erotica. I don't write in this field so didn't think PayPal's stance affected me - especially as I'm not currently selling via Smashwords - until I looked at some of my work in progress.  A couple of them hint at incest and rape - both implied rather than described - but it did make me wonder.  


PayPal are targeting incest, rape and bestiality - and I'm assuming the graphical depiction of it.  
Could this just be the thin end of the wedge though?
Could this be expanded to cover implied, assumed or reported instances of these newly taboo subjects?  And who is qualified or has the right to make this judgement anyway?


PayPal claim to be merely trying to stay compliant with the rules and regulations of banks and credit card companies.  Surely though this is just an attack on ebook sales?  If the books were available in hard copy from traditional book stores then you could get a copy on your debit or credit card - no questions asked.
Is that fair?


If there's a legal market and someone to write the books then there's no need for the content police to be involved.  


And remember this is all fiction.  I could write the most offensive material I could come up with - but if I select Ctrl A and then Delete it's all gone - it never happened.


It's a shame that the same can't be said about real life.


This week there has been the massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan, 22 children and 6 adults died in a coach crash  in Switzerland and a 23 year old professional footballer collapsed during an FA Cup tie and is fighting for his life.  


All of these are horrific and tragic events that are going to have long reaching effects on the people impacted by them.


Now you can decide for yourselves what this says about me but I'm more upset by the fact that so many young people have been robbed of a promising and potentially happy future than I ever would be by sexually perverse and explicit writing.


We can't censor real life - more's the pity.  Otherwise, the Staff Sergeant wouldn't have left camp, the coach wouldn't have hit the tunnel wall and the player wouldn't have been picked for the team.

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