QUOTES about CENSORSHIP

Censorship defeats the right to self determination. Billy Forbes 

We are to have no pictures which the puritan and the narrow, animated by an obsolete dogma, cannot approve of. We are to have no theaters  no motion pictures, no books, no public exhibitions of any kind, no speech even which will anyway contravene his limited view of life. Theodore Dreiser

Censorship constitutes a limitation on the expansion of the mind. James Bundy

The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself. Granville Hicks

How can honest debate exist if subject matter has been filtered by censors? Turner M. Dike

All censorship exists to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship. George Bernard Shaw

Censorship always defeats it own purpose, for it creates in the end the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. Henry Steele Commager

Censorship engenders passion for that which has been denied. Bona

No government ought to be without censors, and where the press is free, no one ever will. Thomas Jefferson

Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. Potter Stewart

Jesus never censored the temptations of the devil, yet censorship is endemic to Christianity. Boris Parker

Don't join the book burners. Don't think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Dwight D. Eisenhower

Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. Heinrich Heine

Censorship may be useful for the preservation of morality, but can never be so for its restoration. Rousseau. G.D.H Cole

Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it. Mark Twain

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversion's. It is the one non-American act that could most easily defeat us. William O. Douglas

During the 1950 McCarthy hearings, playwright Lillian Hellman, asked to give names of those with Communistic leanings, stated, “I will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashion.” Quote Source: Lillian Hellman

London’s Windmill Theater grew famous for its nude tableaux. During the 1940 and 1950, this theater overcame the objections of censors by agreeing that none of its naked actors would move any part of his/her body. Quote cited in: Lost and Found by Lynda Bellingham

Censors tend to do what only psychotics do: they confuse reality with illusion. David Rosenberg

We write frankly and freely, but then we modify before we print. Mark Twain

I sometimes find, via reading and other media, words and ideas which, to me, are offensive and /or hurtful. Still, viewed objectively, I prefer this pain to the restrictions of censorship. Subjectively, I might one day write something which, inadvertently, causes some distress to another. Having done so, I would not feel willing to have my work censored due to individual preference. Colleen Swan

Adam and Eve can be said to have been the first to defy censorship. Clayton T. Grassant

Here are some anecdotal examples about Censorship in practice

In his absorbing memoir, American Prince, Tony Curtis recounts that one of his scenes with Sir Laurence Olivier from the film Spartacus “ didn't see the light of day for 30 years after it was filmed, because it was deemed too racy for audiences at the time of the film’s release in 1960. In the scene, Larry plays a Roman general and I’m his slave, and he’s sitting naked in a tub. … Larry says to me, “Do you like oysters and snails?” I say, “I like oysters.” He says, “What about snails?” “No, I don’t like snails.” He says, “Well, I like both oysters and snails.” Source: Quotes by Tony Curtis

Following publication in 1928 of Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, its lesbian theme horrified a great number of readers. One renowned newspaper editor stated, “I would rather give a healthy boy or a healthy girl a phial of prussic acid than this novel. Poison kills the body, but moral poison kills the soul.” Quote from: Our three selves: the life of Radclyffe Hall by Michael Baker.

In his wry book, Frank Muir depicts the Cromwellian period in English history as one of self-righteousness, pomposity, and above-all, censoriousness. Muir recounts Cromwell’s sending his agents about the UK to ensure that no-one had a good time, encompassing subversive activities such as smiling. Quote cited in: An Irreverent Companion to Social History by Frank Muir

For some while, although a significant number of magazines were produced in Braille format, there was some debate as to whether Playboy should be included among them. In time, it was. Although it has been some years since that time, I still feel appalled that it was delayed and debated. Sight impairment imposes its own censorship; was it valid to add to that? Quote from by Barry Gil

Gustave Flaubert, due to his court prosecution for the publication of his novel Madame Bovary, wrote to his lawyer: “Personally, I deplore those sugary confections which readers swallow without realizing they are quietly poisoning themselves. It has always been my belief that the novelist, like the traveler  enjoyed the liberty to describe what he saw. … Readers in search of lascivious material will never progress beyond the third page of what I have written. The serious tone will not be to their taste.”  Source: Gustave Flaubert

For some while, the Hayes Office’s censorship of Hollywood films prohibited: Nudity; ridiculing of religion; scenes of illegal drug use; showing methods of crime such as safe-cracking, arson or smuggling; perversion such as homosexuality; bad language; imitation of real life murder; attacking the sanctity of marriage –adultery; excessive and lustful kissing-scenes of passion; disrespectful treatment of the U.S. flag; vulgarity: low, disgusting, unpleasant scenes, such as capital punishment, cruelty to children or animals, prostitution, surgical operations. Quoted from: Thank heaven by Leslie Caron

DEFINITION and MEANING
Censorship gives one person or source of authority the right to screen and decide what material is appropriate to be seen, heard or otherwise experienced by the public at large. Its restrictions vary in terms of the time during which they are put in place. In Victorian times, even the legs of a piano were covered in fabric in order to avoid the vaguest suggestion of crudity. You can read and discuss more about censorship and news bias on this blog about BBC news bias.


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