Thursday, December 10, 2009

So much for lightening up......

Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient.  Mention the word "censorship" and you're likely to encounter an automatic reaction of self-righteous indignation.

There are many types of censorship, with the main categories being moral, military, political, religious and corporate. But many of us automatically associate the word "censorship" with unthinkable control such as by a Communist regime. Here is a photographic example of censorship in Russia in the year 1940::

 Nikolai Yezhov, the young man strolling with Stalin was shot in 1940. He was edited out from a photo by Soviet censors. Such retouching was a common occurrence during Stalin's reign.

I think it's time for us all to update our understanding of censorship.  In reality, censorship is part of everyday life.  It's just that usually it's self-administered.  How many times have you felt like saying something cruel but instead you chose to bite your tongue?  Did you ever become so enraged that you felt like throwing something or hitting a person, barely stopping short?  That's censorship. Those of us who don't exercise censorship usually end up in prison, real or virtual. 

Sometimes censorship is absolutely called for at the workplace.  Sometimes it's in the best interests of the organization as a whole for individuals to exercise self-restraint, which is a euphemism for censorship.

Why does this seem to be such a foreign concept?  A little self-restraint of pen and tongue can make the world a better place.  Whoops- that would be censorship, wouldn't it?  Heaven forbid.


Big Dave T said...

Somebody censored the picture in your next blog. It doesn't show up on my computer. I've seen it before though. It looks like a guy hanging from the eaves when he slipped trying to hang Xmas decorations.

I self-censor when I feel the urge to complain about my job or bosses at work. They dont' know about my blog, but that doesn't mean they can't find out.

Loving Annie said...

Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, blessing-filled New Year 2010 for you and THE BOY, dearest Betty !
Thinking of you.
Hugs and smiles...

Censorship is distressing unless I approve of it :) (LOL)