Saturday, October 03, 2009

Censorship and groups

About 20 or so years ago I was living in a little town called Glastonbury, in Somerset. There was a guy there called Bruce and he ran the local hippie newspaper.
I wrote an article for that newspaper in which I spoke about the absurdity of little hippie new age crystal shops (or shoppes, perhaps) which sold pieces of lapis lazuli, amethyst, rose quartz, etc. for use in supposed healing of various kinds when those crystals are the end product of mining operations all over the world.
I wrote about contradiction between on the one hand paying lip service to environmentalism while, on the other hand, buying the product of mining operations which damage the earth's crust in China, Africa, South America, Australia etc. etc.
I went on to remind everyone that, once these gemstones had been dug from the mines, they then needed to be transported by polluting technology to the hippie shoppes around the globe.
I concluded by suggesting that for some people there might be more of a healing effect gained by making the journey to obtain the stones for oneself.

Well, the article was accepted by Bruce the editor but when the newspaper issue came out I found that the article had been cut down to one short paragraph which said practically nothing and was printed as a 'letter to the editor'.

Of course I went straight around to see Bruce and demanded an explanation.

Bruce said the reason why the article had to be made into a pretend 'letter' instead of simply being rejected was because 'some people might have disagreed with it'.

One of the reasons I bring this up after so many years is that I just had another experience which, like the one described above, was both horrible and hilarious at the same time. I did some voice acting for a group which shall be nameless and I wasn't happy with the result so I posted a message to them through the established channel of communication in that particular group saying that I felt the thing had been miscast and also that the sound quality was all over the place. I didn't blame anybody for it but made it perfectly clear that it was just a learning experience and we should all learn from it and move on.

Well, I expected to get something like a message back saying 'Yes, thank you for seeing it that way and we agree we should all put this behind us and move on' but that is not what I got, not by a long chalk.

Instead, for being less than delighted, I was promptly barred from ever posting any message back to the group again. I was sent a long and extremely insulting message, dripping with anger, and prevented from replying. Any view which I may hold on the subject censored. Very immature.

As I say, I won't name the group in question, but if you're involved in any similar projects, amateur dramatics societies and such like, either on the web or out in the real world, please, please, please, try to remember to stay cool, calm, and bear in mind that sometimes work has to be re-done or even abandoned if it just isn't working out. Please, everybody, try not to take such things so personally. Amateur dramatics societies should be a bit of fun for all concerned, not a big angry misery!

End of sermon.

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