Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I understand some of you feel strongly in favor of censorship, but I want to talk about the problem with it when people completely lose sight of what censorship is for...

Recently, the Philippine Alliance Against Pornography (PAAP) has been trying to file criminal cases against the likes of Maui Taylor, the Viva Hot Babes, Patricia Javier, and so forth.

First of all, the basis for filing a criminal case against them, "Destroying the moral fiber of society", is rhetoric at best. They seem to have the idea that these products are readily available to underaged people, and if they are, it's the fault of the actresses and the producers. That's where my gripe comes in.

Before they try to attack the industry for churning out what they deem to be immoral, they have to realize that people who have access to these things should be people of age. If these moralists are trying to shut out these instances of "pornography" because they want to protect people from them, and not the young, then their campaign is for naught. If otherwise, then it's no longer the culpability of those they are charging, but those who make these things available to underaged people, be they tabloids, or sellers of bootlegged DVD's or VCD's.

Moreover, I dispute the standard they have for wanting to file a criminal case against these people. It appears to me some of them haven't even seen the films/shows they claim are pornographic, and are just basing their accusations on hearsay. For instance, one of them cited the NBC tent party as a venue where the Viva Hot Babes stripped their clothes and showed off their bare bodies. I[was there that summer when they had that show, because RX was a sponsor of the FHM party at the time. They did not do any such thing. In fact, it was a lingerie show, and no more than that.

Ergo, if they want to file a case against Maui Taylor and the rest (Note that I'm not a big fan of most of them.), I think they have to know what they're talking about first. For instance, www.xxx.com, Juliana Palermo's debut film, DID have scenes that bordered on pornography, but they were duly taken out from the final cut that was actually shown in the cinemas. It appears that the PAAP has been ranting on empty, as all their accusations against such films are over questionable material that HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN OUT. Moreover, the morality card has been so overplayed that they seem to be sounding less like guardians of decency and more like Victorian hypocrites. They border on outright saying that sexual encounters are bad, REGARDLESS of context, and it's downright disturbing for us to let these people stay in charge of force-feeding us what we should and should not deem as immoral. Their standards of morality are not only self-serving, but even uninformed.

If there's any consolation to the PAAP, I have to agree that they are doing the right thing in filing a criminal case against some sleazy tabloids out there. It appears that the vendors of these tabloids do not mind if a 7-year old child walks up to them to buy one...

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