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Rated A
By: Crystal C., Westgate Collegiate, Thunder Bay, NF

It’s everywhere. In newspapers and magazines, in music and movies, and on television. Censorship stops us from getting the truth.

Censorship is a direct violation of our rights. We are guaranteed freedom of speech according to the Charter of Rights and Freedom, yet we are censored by the same government who enforces it. Instead of getting what is truly meant to be said, we get bleeps and stars, or in some more recent cases, silence.

Music, movies, writing – these are art forms. People express themselves through these genres. Case in point, Eminem. Sure, the man is a walking controversy. He talks about beating his wife and suicide. But that’s the appeal of his music. He gets people talking when he raps about violence and homosexuals. That’s his intention. Eminem doesn’t care that he’s making people angry with his words. He feeds off the responses to his music, and writes more. What do you think The Way I Am means? Too bad half of it gets censored because of the amount of swears. If you take the time to listen to the lyrics, he makes a lot of good points.

Movies that are on television receive equally blasphemous treatment. Instead of a bleep, like you’d find on live TV, you get a ridiculous voice over that does not fit the words that the actor or actress is saying. It’s pretty funny seeing a person’s lips swearing, and his words coming out as “gee” or “darn”. I know that there are issues about younger audiences, but they are ruining a director’s, writer’s or producer’s vision by changing the context of the film.

If a writer creates a controversy, his or her book gets banned. Salman Rushdie went into hiding in 1989 after receiving a death sentence for his book The Satanic Verses. The book was condemned for blasphemy against the Islam religion by the leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The sentence was lifted in 1998, but Rushdie continues to hide from religious conservatives who are dedicated to caring out the execution. Rushdie is considered one of the most brilliant writers of our time, and continues to put out great works of literature.

By censoring a person’s words or actions, society is killing freedom of expression. That goes against our rights as human beings. Thanks to censorship, we lose a lot of great works of art, be they songs, poems, stories, movies or actual paintings. How are we supposed to appreciate the beauty of this world when we aren’t allowed to see or hear it?

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