Saturday, February 21, 2009

Satire Report Blocked by the BYU Gestapo

Well well well. Turns out the Stasi/Gestapo BYU site blocking censors finally got me. It's probably because all I put up is extremely offensive, full of swears, pornographic and just not aesthetically pleasing. Not enough fluffy bunnies and oatmeal raisin cookie recipes.

I feel honored to be blocked by BYU. I think it means I'm edgy. My content is crazy edgy. I'm sticking it to the man, not because I am trying to, but because the man believes I am. How cool is it to stick it to the man without trying? I would have to say, pretty cool.
This episode of censorship reminds me of a story of two of my friends in high school. I don't think it's fair to say we were good friends, because I for one, was entirely opposed to something they held dear. Censorship. They were two goody-two-shoes girls who loved reading. I asked them on one occasion what they thought of The Catcher in the Rye. The response I got was unexpected. "Oh, that book is terrible. Nothing but swearing and taking the Lord's name in vain. I crossed out all the bad parts though," one said. I figured that she owned the copy, but then the other had a sudden outburst, "Yeah, we check out a lot of books at the library, then we cross out the bad parts with permanent markers and turn them back in." Wow. I was shocked. It was one thing to edit something for yourself, but editing public property? Yikes. And they were dead serious.
So, ever since then I've been even more skeptical of censorship. It probably doesn't help that I also have read Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Animal Farm, and seen Equilibrium. But, at the same time, although BYU might like to think it's got some amazing system for burning books and blocking blogs, it doesn't come close. As it turns out, my blog wasn't targeted like I thought. BYU just blocked any external links on facebook. If you type my blog in your browser on campus, BYU permits it. So what it really comes down to isn't a competent diabolic censor trying to stifle free speech and kill my superhero creative juice, but just an inept system that blocks indiscriminately. I bet it would even block a link to a Helping Hands Service site that was linked to facebook. Oh silly BYU.
I will however, continue to promulgate the fact that I was blocked by BYU. I will wear it like a badge of courage. Maybe I'll even post in the corner somewhere, "This site was blocked by the BYU Gestapo." That would work better for me than a good Zagat's rating. But, on the other hand, people who see that might be disappointed when they see all of my kosher content. So, I'm going to have to post more pictures of cloven hoofed animals. Maybe I can get another little badge that says, "Content on this site not Kosher in any way, see look at all the pork products." 
PS - I'm sorry to my Jewish friends.

Here is an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe:


3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

And a picture of something fluffy:


Garrett said...

The "Catcher in the Rye" example is especially relevant. Didn't Holden conclude, by the end of the novel, that he couldn't possible erase all of the "f*** you" graffiti in the world?

Michael Powers said...

That's exactly why I cited it. Catcher in the Rye was all about protecting innocence and censorship.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that most of us want the line drawn somewhere. I love to read, and the written word isn't what I'm addressing here. However there are certain areas where some form of censorship is needed. In a perfect society, we wouldn't need censorship, or even laws. Everyone would just "do the right thing", right? Ah, there's the rub. Who decides what the right thing is? What do we want to see in the public domain? It seems to be becoming more and more vague... and we need to decide where our line is located.

Anonymous said...

Those chicks were whack.

I think censorship is a slippery slope you've really got to be careful about. There are certain things that the state has a legitimate interest in suppressing: child pornography (participants below age of legal consent), disclosure of military plans for the immediate future (like when Geraldo f'd up on FOX during the opening days of the IRaq War, drawing a map in the sand of where our guys were and what they were going to do; heckuva job, Brownie!), that sort of thing.

But beyond that it seems to me pretty dicey. I think Sex and the City is stupid and decadent and profoundly self-indulgent, but I don't see that I have the right to impose that judgment on people who (inexplicably) like that sort of crap.

squirrelyearl said...

Catcher in the Rye is an awful book, but I don't feel that way because of the language.

Censorship is a frightening thing and obviously very real on BYU campus. Very fine line, that's for sure.