Censorship. Dead air, loud bleeps, horrible pixelation, and my personal favorite: PG overdubs.
“I’m gettin’ a little tired of these monkey-fightin’ snakes, on this Monday thru Friday plane!”
The rights laid out by the first amendment seem strikingly clear, giving us freedom of speech and freedom of press (among other freedoms). Yet somehow the lines have ended up a bit blurred, with “obscenity, indecency, and profanity” being regulated by organizations like the FCC.
The FCC manages to walk that thin line through a little known technicality: they can only act on complaints from citizens. And what’s more, the modes of censorship we see most today leave almost all of the meaning intact. Has anyone actually ever missed the sentiment behind a “f[BLEEP]ing”?
So the censors really only serve to point out that thin line. They serve as glaring reminders to us all – we are the ones who ultimately decide what is “proper”. And we are the ones who get to fill in the blanks. And the beeps. And those fuzzy chunks of pixels.
If you’re still curious, head on over to The Verge and check out the gorgeous article that inspired this post.