Censorship Essay

Censorship Essay

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Recently in the news, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) fined Johnny Sauter, one of their drivers, $10,000 as well as charging him 25 points for “inappropriate” comments made after a BUSCH race in Las Vegas. The words said were at the conclusion of a race in which the driver had been putting his life on the line at over 200 mph. Fueled with adrenaline, the words spoken were not words ordinarily used by Sauter, however, NASCAR legislated just the same (McCormick). This case is the most recent of many that censorship has become a major battleground. Since first the shootings of April 1999 in Columbine Colorado, and most recently, the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime show in which singer Justin Timberlake exposed the breast of fellow singer Janet Jackson, the government has made it its priority to influence the entertainment industry to put into place new rules, such as the one in NASCAR, to regulate “inappropriate” material, therefore increasing censorship. On top of this, the industry itself has begun to attempt a type of self-censorship. Although censorship has been around for ages, what is it and why does it exist? Censorship in today’s era is a higher power attempting to prevent disturbing or painful sights, sounds, or any other information form from reaching the public in order to keep a feeling of well moral being. However, the main question in today’s times is whether or not censorship is necessary in today’s world, and if the government should be able to force censorship on the entertainment industry.
     Though the case involving the NASCAR driver is the most recent ridiculous form of censorship, it has taken place throughout the history of entertainment itself. However, in the past ten years, after censorship laws had begun to loosen, the media and the government has once again begun to pull tighter on the censorship blindfold, covering society’s eyes. After the shootings in Colorado, many wrongfully took up arms against the entertainment industry, convincing society that the blame for the teen’s actions should fall on the violence they viewed in movies and on TV. Therefore, following the shootings, the House of Representatives held a hearing to help determine any new bills that should be put into place to restrict the entertainment industry. As written by Virginia Postrel in an article for Reason magazine...


... middle of paper ...


...utting blame else ware, parents, as well as other authority figures, are not solving the problem, rather, they are throwing dry wood on a fire which is already beginning to burn out of control. Censorship is not, nor has it ever been an answer. It is simply another way to cover up this modern reality, and though at times it may be harsh, it is what is real that makes one into who he or she shall become. By allowing censorship, one is hurting both those who create media art and the audience for whom the art is meant. Therefore, as quoted from Postrel’s article “Creative Matrix,” “Curbing new ideas hurts not only individual creators but the audience for which they create and the posterity that inherits their legacy.”
Work Cited:

Lowenthal, David. “Why the Mass Media Must Be Censored.” Furist October 1998.



Eisner, Michael E. “A Little Restraint, Please.” The Wall Street Journal 24 April 1998.



Postrel, Virginia. “Creative Matrix.” Reason August/September 1999.



McCormick, Steve. “Nascar Censorship Reaching New Heights.” 28 Nov 2004



Associated Press. “Poll: Janet's Revelation No Crime.” 21 Feb 2004. 28 Nov 2004      
     

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