Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Censorship Is Wrong

Milos Foreman, director of such classics as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and the People vs. Larry Flynt once said in his country, they came for the pornographers first. Milos is German and he lost his parents to a concenration camp.

Now, I don't see myself as a pornographer, and when a book I wrote simply deals with a the thorny subject of abuse (NOT RAPE FOR TITILATION) and I get my it taken off of vendors sites because of a tag it infuriates me. I live in the United States of America, not some backward nation that paints every unpopular book with a broadstroke  of 'pornagraphic in nature'.

My book is dark romantic suspense. It owes a lot to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and James Bond. The villain gets his comeuppance. What he's done to his daughter isn't white washed. Publishers I implore you to be careful when placing your books for sale. In your earnestness not to offend you may inadvertently cause your writer (and yourself) more heartache than not.

The fact is erotic romance and erotica writers are being unfairly targeted. Yes there is a lot of sick shit out there. Stuff I have no desire to read. Stuff that makes me wonder what is wrong with people. But the question we must stop and ask ourselves is, if we start banning books, where do we stop?

I fear in Paypal's earnestness to do the right thing they are doing a very bad thing. Censorship is wrong. I understand the need to protect people from criminals but when a certain segment of law abiding members of society are unfairly targeted it's wrong no matter how you slice it because it makes it easier to go after the next segment of society.

Right now I'm hoping my book is returned to Omnilit and Smashwords. I am so angry I beyond words. To be censored for a second time makes me want to abandon my writing career. But then what? These intellectual terrorists would win.


Lelani Black said...

So sorry to hear this. I look at other literary fiction that contain certain elements deemed undesirable by censors, and they're being made into movies. It is frustrating. Seems romance and its sub-genres has always been treated shabbily. As a reader there are themes that I won't read, but I understand that there is a market for them. As a writer, there are readers who won't read my work, either. To each his/her own.

As a writer, I don't get my royalties paid through PayPal, and now I'm glad I didn't opt to go that route.

It is a fine line, and I'm always bracing myself for the next wave of who's next up on the chopping block when it comes judgement, backlash, censorship etc... However, I knew this part of the business existed when I went down this road, so what is happening is indeed irritating, but not surprising :(

Unknown said...

Chances are, if you are e-pubbed PayPal is how you're paid your royalties. A LOT of people are paid this way and it isn't irritating it's an outrage. (Just reinforcing you here) Apathy is a dangerous thing in the face of something like this. Call your Congressmen, contact your publishers, contact the media. Make this an issue because if we don't do something now the world could be a cold, cold place for many of us in the future.

A.H. Scott said...

When certain elements try to chip away at artistic freedoms that we all should cherish, everyone should take a stand against it.

I'm a writer also. And, if what I wrote depended upon who would or would not be offended; then that puts a strait-jacket on my imagination.

Those who are putting works out there that are the lowest common denominator, are truly poisoning the well for the rest of us who write.

Part of me just shrugs it off and figures that it will just be THEM that will be taken care of by those who claim the 'moral high ground' over obscenity. (Now, that's only momentarily that I feel that way.)

Then the other half of me realizes that when someone talks about THEM, they truly mean all who place word to paper or across the screen.

So, in the end, we all have to stand up with those who are truly the ones who are the not so innocent in certain avenues of writing. (DAMN, I WISH IT WASN'T SO.) But, in the end, it is.

And, so with that, we've all got to grab our pens and stay in the battle against censorship together.

Today, the writer with rusted quill.
Tomorrow, the angel with fluffy white wings.

We all gotta fight..


Unknown said...

An author -I cannot remember her name at the moment, sorry- said she defends all forms of writing. Even those she doesn't write. For the simple fact she stated, 'what happens when they have gone through and banned all those works?' I know what happens next, they move onto the next genre they dislike or whatever their reasons are for wanting them banned. I agree with her logic. Whether I, myself, writes or reads the rather shader literary works or not I will defend their right to freedom for the fact...it's not my place to tell someone else what they can or cannot read or write and I don't want to be next on their censorship list. Because honestly, once they start, when and where will they stop? That's what scares me.

It's a real sad day when you read the papers and online news to learn your freedom of speech and literary expression is threatened. It breaks my heart. I enjoy my voice and my freedoms. I really wish others loved their freedoms as much as I did. I think that's their problem, they aren't happy and are willing to make others unhappy so they aren't alone. *grin*