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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 03, 2004

 
The Merchant Of Porno

First, I'd like to apologise for the dearth of posting this last week. I've been unusually busy, but I'm also pretty burned out. Sometimes my muse (who I think may have voted for Schwarzenegger) just decides to take a vacation at club med and leave me sitting at the terminal unable to write anything but rude defenses of my spelling errors.

Hopefully, I'll be back at it in force before too long.

Meanwhile, there is always the daily atrocity of the morals police:

The Moderate Voice kindly alerted me to this:

US distributors of the film Merchant of Venice, which premiered in London this week, have asked the director to cut out a background fresco by a Venetian old master so it is fit for American television viewers.

US networks have been embroiled in controversy over naked flesh since Janet Jackson exposed a breast during a half-time performance during the Superbowl. A lesser fuss has blown up about a trailer for the hit television series Desperate Housewives on Monday Night football, in which an actress with her back to the camera drops her towel in a locker room.

Distributors regularly ask for cuts in films so that they can be shown on US tele-vision and by airlines. The request to "paint-box the wallpaper" - cover over the fresco - was contained in a letter from the US distrib-utors, Sony, to Michael Radford.

The director had already anticipated one request by shooting extra scenes for television in which bare-breasted prostitutes are fully clothed.

He was also asked to remove scenes of male kissing, a brief female kissing scene - and simulated slaughtering of goats.

The fifth request was to cut out footage showing meat carcasses.

Finally, according to Mr Radford, there was "a very curious request which said 'Could you please paint-box out the wallpaper?'. I said wallpaper, what wallpaper? This is the 16th century, people didn't have wall-paper."

When he examined the scenes, he realised the letter was referring to frescoes by Paolo Veronese, the acclaimed Venetian 16th-century artist, which, when examined closely, showed a naked cupid.

"A billion dollars worth of Veronese great master's frescoes they want paint-boxed out because of this cupid's willy. It is absolutely absurd," he said.



Here is some more filthy trash by this 16th century pornographer:



In Hollywood some nobody gets the word to crack down on sexual images because "people" are up in arms about morality and the children. The nobody who makes the decision about what is morally acceptable is completely clueless about everything. This is the result.

Get ready. We are going to see more and more of this. The only thing worse than putting the cops or the preachers in charge of deciding what is acceptable for people to watch is letting some nameless loser bureaucrat do it.

I'd love to hear the rationale for censoring meat carcasses. Either somebody is very kinky or we are going beyond self-censorship of sexuality and violence to include general ickiness. The good news is that if icky meat carcasses are out of line then we can expect that Jerry Falwell's continuous television appearances will soon be severely curtailed. There's a silver lining to everything.





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