SCREEN-L Archives

June 1994


Options: Use Proportional Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tom Byers <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 13 Jun 1994 21:01:32 EDT
note of 06/13/94 18:24
Converted from PROFS to RFC822 format by PUMP V2.2X
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (39 lines)
Department of English, University of Louisville
Phone: (502)852-6770 or (502)852-6801. Fax: (502)852-4182.
I constantly find John Thomas's technical comments interesting & enlightening,
but I have to comment on the more political side of this thread. It WOULD be
annoying to have someone cut "dyke" if the people did not cut all the f-words.
On the other hand, in a circumstance where one EXPECTS "bad language" to be
looped, it seems to me one would expect "dyke" to be cut, as it too is a word
that offends people. On the larger subject of "political correctness," it
interests me that most calls for censorship on this list have come from the
right, not the left. (It's one thing to take exception to what someone says;
it's another to tell people that they shouldn't talk about it.) Nationwide,
too, most censorship efforts come from the right--as any librarian could
surely tell us. Also, I'm puzzled by the degree to which ANY objection to
language that insults people is, these days, greeted by cries of "censorship"
and "political correctness," whether in fact it involves a call for censorship
or not. At the same time it's always the left that's accused of bad manners. I
was raised to think it was bad manners--and more than that, wrong--to call
people names they don't like. Now, however, if you object to such
name-calling, you're branded "politically correct" and totalitarian. I hasten
to add that in the circumstances John describes in his film, we're not dealing
with the FILM's name-calling, but with a CHARACTER's doing so--and his
name-calling is part and parcel of the film's critique of the character--at
least that's the way I read John's post. In such a case, I can certainly agree
with John that the line is appropriate. On the other hand, in a context where
"offensive language" is being cut, it doesn't surprise me, or seem to me an
exercise in "political correctness," for "dyke" to be cut. Surely it is far
more offensive to many people than "fuck" is to me. Let me end by clarifying
my overall position: sometimes I object to people's language. Sometimes I even
tell them that they shouldn't say (or have said) certain things. My right to
do that is as important as their right to their speech. But even though I have
a lot of "politically correct" attitudes, I don't believe in censorship of
whatI see as "politically incorrect"--or even (except in the "fire in a
crowded theatre type situation) of what I see as ethically wrong.
bitnet tbbyer01@ulkyvm; internet [log in to unmask]
Thomas B. Byers
Department of English/University of Louisville
Louisville KY 40292