Author: Namir Swiftpaw PM
Ignore the screwed up formatting. An essay I wrote about how much I hate censorship and why it should be eradicated from this green earth. My teacher really liked it, so I thought I would share it with you. ^^Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 1,126 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 11 - Published: 02-19-03 - id: 1239577
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
To quote Sheila Brofslovski from South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut—"Horrendous and detestable violence is okay…as long as you don't use any naughty words!" Censorship on American television has gotten completely out of hand—to the point of being hypocritical. Violence, blood, and gore, earns, at the maximum, a TV 14 rating, but use the "f-word" more than once—even while being bleeped—and the show automatically has a TV MA rating. Censorship doesn't protect American youth as much as one thinks, contrary to what it has preached among the masses. The content that people actually bother censoring—language and sexually suggestive scenes—doesn't mean a thing. Children experience this daily without television. Sexually suggestive poses are rampant on magazine covers and foul language is a part of most home lives, coming from their own parents. Other countries—Canada and England are ones that come to mind rather quickly—have a much lower crime rate than the United States without having to censor nearly to the extent of Americans. Censorship is a violation of the first amendment and should be abolished immediately.
The United States Constitution, drafted by our forefathers centuries ago, states this as the first legal right of the American people:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Others might argue that the United States is just upholding the decency and morality of the country by applying censorship rules to television, but educated people know that if Congress states that they shall make no law regarding free speech, then censorship is a moot point. As stated above, Congress is not supposed to abridge the speech of the American people. In the summer of the year 2000, the Supreme Court backed up the First amendment by striking down a federal law that cable companies have to either scramble or show their sexually explicit at late night hours to protect the children of the country. If it had not, the American government would have tightened its icy grip of death around the throat of free speech even tighter. Also, another government mandated death knell for free speech was the invention of the "V-chip"—a tiny computer chip that is inserted into all new televisions sold in the United States that allow parents to block certain channels and/or television programs. Working in conjunction with the new rating codes, (i.e.: TV PG, TV MA, and others), the V-chip, when sensing that a show contained anything "undesirable" for the viewer, would automatically block it from being watched. While one might think this to be an ingenious idea for parents to control their children, it's really just more control the government has over what one watches. This plan for censorship was completely unnecessary—it's an excuse for parents not to have to do the parenting over their children. The government doesn't have to censor television for children—it's the parent's job. Limiting the right of free speech just because this generation has become too lazy to watch over their kids and pay attention to what they are doing is a sad fact indeed.
Not only is censorship a violation of the rights of American people to speak their mind, it's also completely ridiculous. The "naughty" things that are even bothered to be censored include (but are not limited to) language, sexual innuendo, and nudity— rather normal attributes to American society. American children are exposed to more violence in society than they are on television. This violence can even happen in their own homes. So many children in this day and age have to experience the horrible indecency of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual molestation, but what are more adults concerned over? Whether programs like South Park and The Simpsons are morally corrupting their minds. If parents and the government truly wanted to help out the kids, as they claim they are doing so with their censorship, they would employ a better police force, outlaw Playboy, start another prohibition, and other things that would last for about five seconds before they were protested. If these violent and often crude things can be a part of—and accepted—in American society, then what's wrong with a little more nudity and some naughty words?
Comparatively speaking, the crime rate in the United States just happens to be higher than in either England or Canada—both of which have lesser censorship laws. Now, some people might state that because of censorship, the United States is a cleaner and more moralistic then it could be. People of intelligence, however, know that it's not television that causes people to kill other people. It's guns and other people that kill people. In England, where they were never given the right to bear arms, the crime rate is lower, even with their censorship laws being so lenient. The censorship laws in England are as follows:
Any swearing is allowed after nine in the evening. Full nudity is allowed after nine in the evening as well. There is no television rating system and the V-chip is not used. Sex (not actual sex, but acted sex) is also allowed after nine in the evening.
The censorship laws for Canada are much the same, except that they have a rating system and also use the V-chip. Censorship isn't a cure of the rampant violence that goes on in this country. Per everyone 100,000 people in the United States in the year 2000, there were 506 people who committed a violent crime, and 5.5 people who were murdered. The murder rates in both England and Canada for the same year were much lower (1.8 people per 100,000 in Canada and .5 people per 100,000 in England.)
As one can see, censorship doesn't solve any of the problems going on in the United States. It's a violation of an American's born right to speak their mind and an infraction on their personal pride. Crime, rape, sex, swearing, and violence are rampant in America. It's out there, uncensored, for the world to see. So why cover it up on television?