Frank T Bird
The Censorship Of Literature Is Cultural Genocide
We need to write freely, or we are doomed
So, there I was, writing a chapter in my new book the other day, when I realised that to make the story work, one of the characters had to be a racist prick. I tried to find a way around it, but it wasn’t possible.
I took a giant sip of my Tasmanian Gooseberry frappe and thought, why am I trying to find a way around this? Racist people exist in the world. Are we supposed to ignore that fact as writers?
I asked my friend Gary what he thought about the idea.
You can’t write that dialogue, Mate, he said.
Why the fuck not? I asked.
Cos it’s racist, Frank. They’ll fucking string you up for that.
And Gary was right, but surely that was the point. Maybe authors need to be brave and do it anyway. I mean, surely we need to consider if literature will become crippled by authors being unable to write flawed characters.
Can an author (of fiction) write a paedophile? Or a racist? Or a rapist? Is it possible?
Or will the views of these fundamentally flawed characters automatically be assumed to be the views and actions of the author?
Are we just supposed to write about fucking candy floss and men dressed as women touching each other’s backsides from now on because that’s the kind of literature we want our generation to be known for?
I find it crude that, as a culture, we are deeply obsessed with murder.
We can write a book about a man who murders his wife — like fucks her up — stabs her seventy-five times with a fucking potato masher, and nobody blinks an eye.
But have a drug-addicted police officer make an anti-trans comment, and everyone loses their fucking minds.
Don’t we, at some point, have to agree that literature is literature and that the actions and views of the characters do not necessarily represent those of the author?
Otherwise, some bastard better arrest Stephen King for being a child-fiddling psychopathic clown.
Doesn’t it feel like it’s only okay these days to write so-called ‘bad guys’ as long as they are politically correct bad guys whose evil deeds are confined to non-sexual, non-discriminative acts?
Are we just not intelligent enough to draw a line between a fantasy world and a real-world unless it fits in with our exact specifications of what authors should be able to express?
Censorship isn’t new. People have always been pissed off by books and tried to get them banned or burned.
Look at the nutters who reckoned Harry Potter was satanic or that DH Lawrence’s raunch in The Rainbow would fuck people up and turn them into proper filthmongerers.
Aren’t we supposed to be better than that now? Aren’t we meant to have evolved as a culture?
Surely, generations down the track are gonna look at this period in literature and go — fuck, were they a bunch of damn pussies? What happened to the art at that point? It’s all either written by a fucking robot or by a fat dude sitting in his Y-fronts at the computer, shitting himself because people might think he is a racist if he writes anything close to the cultural importance of American History X.
It starts with the literature and ends up far more sinister.
Winston Churchill is viewed as a hero by the UK people and their allies. But Winston Churchill was an evil, evil man. People forget he was a conservative right-wing motherfucker. I won’t go into the racist turd that spewed from his mouth daily but let’s focus on the fact that over three million people starved to death in Churchill’s Bengal famine that stole food from the Indian people to support the war effort under Churchill’s command.
Churchill’s actions are akin to those of some of the worst dictators in history, and yet, here we are sitting on the other side of the censorship thing, thinking that he somehow saved the world. (Source)
And it doesn’t matter if the people involved in censorship and cancel culture think they are right. We will still end up with future generations looking back and seeing something other than what actually happened and thus being unable to learn from history.
And It all starts with censoring the books.
Does taking naughty stuff out of Road Dahl’s work make the work more educational? Instead of censoring and rebranding it, why don’t we keep the book, take it off curriculums for primary schools and study it as a historical artefact?
Does changing the names of Enid Blyton’s characters, Dick and Fanny, create fewer sex offenders and rapists in the world?
Would the children of my generation be better humans if they had never read about characters called Dick and Fanny? It definitely fucked up my life. It wasn’t the lack of sex education or the conditioned racism or anything like that. It was Dick and Fanny, those randy fuckers.
Do these righteous cockheads think they are making the world better by dulling down the words Dick and Fanny?
By removing the words, they are saying that those words mean cock and pussy when they were actually just popular names at the time.
Removing them renders them offensive.
I wish we could look at problems like the military-industrial complex, corporate greed and homelessness with the same passion as literary censorship. Because then the world might actually improve.
As authors, we have a responsibility to ignore the fear that is being shoved up our arseholes daily about what we can and can’t write.
And yeah, we are responsible for improving the world, whether you want to take it on or not. But that isn’t done by heeding to the character censorship imposed on us by — who? Who are these fuckers?
Why are we so terrified of not selling the books that we don’t sell anyway?
It takes courage to write what you need to write about. And no, that doesn’t mean its a free for all of spreading hatred and shitty views. It’s not as binary as that.
This isn’t about free speech, for fuck’s sake. It’s about being able to create intelligent, thought-provoking work. It’s about being able to look the darkness in the eye instead of hiding it in your mum’s underwear drawer and dancing around the maypole singing about how inclusive we all are.
All we have to do instead is:
Be intelligent. Be courageous. And write shit that will change people’s lives, not shit that some literary agent cock might gobble up because it will sell a million copies.
You’re a writer, yeah?
So go write something, then.