May 29, 2015 |
THERE ARE a lot of things I don't like. Jell-O molds with miniature marshmallows trapped inside the viscous goo. The smell of sweat on the subway. Subways. Sequels (except for "The Godfather II. ") Mosquitoes, malaria, musk, Massachusetts and pretty much everything else that begins with an "m. " We're not talking hatred here, just low grade aversion. Let's call this "dislike speech. " I reserve actual, visceral hatred for only a few things. I hate the people who persecute my asylum clients.
August 12, 2012 |
Alif the Unseen By G. Willow Wilson Grove Press. 440 pp. $25 In Alif the Unseen , G. Willow Wilson, author of the Islamic self-discovery memoir The Butterfly Mosque , weaves the tale of a young Arab Indian hacker who goes by the handle Alif , the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. It's also a celebration of the place of women in Arab culture, and a highly accessible examination of the issues involved in the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Wilson tells Alif's story from the perspective of a jinn narrator.
May 11, 2012 |
The cheesy sex novel has long been a staple of literature, and it's always a problem when staples are taken away. But public libraries in several states are pulling the racy romance trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey from shelves or deciding not to order the best-seller at all, saying it's too steamy or too poorly written. Like there are no poorly written books in libraries. "When a book is removed from the shelf, folks who can't afford a Nook or a Kindle, the book is no longer available to them," said Deborah Caldwell Stone, of the American Library Association's office for intellectual freedom.
March 4, 2012 |
Chalk up another victory for the greeting-card cartel: Valentine's Day now goes on for weeks, months, even decades - at least when it comes to the American left and the Castro brothers. The latest love letter to Havana comes from Peter Phillips, a sociologist at California's Sonoma State University, where he runs an outfit called Project Censored. It is the conceit of Project Censored that mainstream news media in the United States and other liberal democracies ruthlessly suppress real news in order to protect the world's corporate ruling order.
February 7, 2012 |
NEW DELHI - Google India has removed web pages deemed offensive to Indian political and religious leaders to comply with a court case that has raised censorship fears in the world's largest democracy, media reported Monday. The action follows weeks of intense government pressure for 22 Internet giants to remove photographs, videos or text considered "anti-religious" or "antisocial. " A New Delhi court gave Facebook, Google, YouTube and Blogspot and the other sites two weeks to present further plans for policing their networks, according to the Press Trust of India.
January 29, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Twitter, a tool of choice for dissidents and activists around the world, found itself the target of global outrage Friday after releasing plans to allow country-specific censorship of tweets that might break local laws. It was a stunning role reversal for a youthful company that prides itself in promoting unfettered expression, 140 characters at a time. Twitter insisted its commitment to free speech remains firm, and sought to explain the nuances of its policy, while critics - in a barrage of tweets - proposed a Twitter boycott and demanded that the censorship initiative be scrapped.
January 24, 2012
By Cullen Murphy Inside the gates of the Vatican, just south of St. Peter's Basilica, stands a Renaissance palazzo that was once the headquarters of the Inquisition. It's still the repository of Inquisition archives dating back nearly 500 years. The archives have been open to researchers since 1998, and I visited them on several occasions while working on a book. One day, among the stacks, I came across two polished wooden boxes resembling drawers from an old library card catalog, with hinged tops.
January 18, 2012 |
ORAL ARGUMENT last week in the Supreme Court in FCC v. Fox Television Stations questioned whether "fleeting expletives" on TV are protected speech under the First Amendment. The Federal Communications Commission seeks to punish Fox TV for a live broadcast of an excited award winner uttering the "F" word to express her joy. The Appeals Court held that such censorship violates the First Amendment. Several justices wanted to protect children from "indecency," which has no definition, and on that score alone they would violate the First Amendment.
July 21, 2011
AFTER a distinguished legal career, Michael Seidman may not relish my calling him the man who made Philadelphia safe for pornography, but it's mostly true. The why is simple. "I was not a censor," says the 69-year-old Seidman. "I was not going to shut a movie down. " Same thing for the adult-book stores that littered seamier parts of Center City in the early '70s, when he was chief of D.A. Arlen Specter's obscenity unit. Although Seidman was a prosecutor, he saw himself also as a defender - of the First Amendment.