Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Private Censorship, Public Outcry

I like living in a place where I can say whatever I want, and fuck any of you cunts who believe different. I don’t have to fight for my right to free speech because it is guaranteed by the first amendment. But this only prevents the government from stopping me.

The truth is, we don’t have many freedoms. My personal blog is run by, and if I say something they don’t like, they can take it down. Their servers, their service, their rules. I don’t particularly have much respect for this system, but I have mountains of respect for the fact that they do not abuse this right as a private entity by silencing me or anyone (that I’m aware of).

Not every company is this forward thinking.

Wal-Mart censors to an alarming degree. They sell special CDs, produced especially for them, which have naughty words muffled. They won’t sell certain books, notably works by anti-religious comic George Carlin. They even fire employees for criticizing their draconian policies. Wal-Mart will never get a cent from me until all of these rampant abuses are reversed.

But Wal-Mart is a retail store, not exactly a media outlet (though they are the largest distributor of music in the US, I would have to check on their status as a book vendor, but I suspect they do brisk business).Wal-Mart is powerful, but not powerful enough to actually silence someone.

The media outlets in America are ridiculously corrupt. They have their own political agendas. Some are obvious, like Fox News. Some are hidden behind the scenes in the form of policies regarding content, or even advertising restrictions.

Common sense economics would tell you that a company that is willing to pay the most for an ad is the one you want advertising in your paper or on your website. Apparently money isn’t everything for Conde Nast, the publisher of the magazines Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Besides their magazine publishing, Conde Nast also owns a little website called Reddit, which is a social news website. The idea behind the site is similar to users share content they find and recommend it as good or vote it down as bad. It’s sort of a “news by committee” situation.

Reddit has a reputation for having pro-cannabis articles rankd very highly. So imagine my shock when the parent company, Conde Nast, refused to allow supporters of California Prop. 19 to advertise. Prop. 19 is the ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in California.

Conde Nast’s official position on the matter: “As a corporation, Conde Nast does not want to benefit financially from this particular issue.”

While this is enough to harsh my buzz, I was heartened by Reddit’s response: they are running the ads anyway, for free. And why not? It’s essentially a public service announcement for the betterment of society, and plenty of media outlets provide free advertising spots for worthy causes.

Reddit: I salute you for following corporate’s orders while simultaneously finding a loophole that furthers a noble cause. When it comes to pot legalization, remember kids: Just Say Now.

Also on my shit list: Facebook, which also censors marijuana legalization ads. [Probably because only grandmas are on Facebook anymore...]


  1. You used the word cunt. I can't tell you how this offends me.

    Wait. Never mind.

    Easily, hands down the dirtiest word in the English language. Years ago I was waiting to cross a street and a girl went ahead without looking and almost got hit by a car. The driver stopped and yelled, "watch where you're going fucking cunt!" The girl turned a colour I don't believe existed then or now.

  2. Pffft, try calling a black person a nigger and see what color your eye turns. At least cunts won't knock you out. Though you gotta be most careful with kykes, cause you'll never find work in Hollywood again.

    I don't get why liberals hate dirty language. It's so fun.

  3. Ah yes, the racial double-standard. Happens in Quebec all the time.

    Does the word "nigger" stem from the country "Niger?"

    Will we get in trouble for typing the word "nigger?"

  4. Naw, we won't get in trouble, we just won't ever be famous.

    Nigger comes from the Romance languages' words for "black," which is also where the country go it's name (as well as Nigeria). "Niger" is Latin for black, and the words for black in Spanish (negro), Portuguese (also negro), and French (noir and negre) are all etymologically linked.

    It's really arbitrary... nigger became taboo, negro ranges from neutral to mildly offensive, while black is the preferred.

    Interestingly, most insults are equally benign. Even kyke just derives from "kikel," yiddish for "circle," which is how Jews signed their name at Ellis Island (they didn't want to sign with the typical "x" of other illiterates because it too closely resembled a cross).

    I love studying hate. I consider myself a misanthropologist.

  5. No word on whether the buying practices of Mexican maids is the reason Spic 'n Span cleaners are impossible to find now...


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