Recently I have been troubled about what I am seeing by way of censorship and “boundaries” being laid out on various web-sites around the world. It seems to me that no one is capable of doing the right thing when it comes to what they want to post, even on their own personal web-sites. “It is too sexual, it contains religious content, it dances too close to the Jesus fire, it may be too pro-war, it may not support the troops,” on and on ad nauseum until one has to wonder if there should be any commentaries or writing at all.
I have a very successful web-site and publishing company of my own and am constantly having to ask myself “Will this offend?” Does vulgarity qualify as being an intrinsic part of a well written poem? Should it be removed? If children visit my site, or read my book will they learn too much? Where does a writer and Publisher draw the line? How can we know when we have crossed those boundaries created for us by demigods? Who determines what is pornography and not and by what standards are they judged and then regulated?
My own site has a section for Guest Poets. I have carefully chosen these magnificent writers and they come from every corner of the world. Each one has their own genre and style of writing. One may write a flower metaphor and another about war; one about Christ and the other about Buddha. Unlike most websites that seem to feel the need to follow a certain theme, I pride myself in mine as it is greatly diversified... What they all have in common is that they are passionate about writing and what they believe in.
Interestingly enough, there are two subjects that create the biggest controversies, not only on my own site, but across the internet and world. Everyone knows the answer to this one. Why of course it is Sex and God. What never ceases to amaze me is that I can have a writer rant on about his f---ing x-wife and violently claim how he is going to kill her in her sleep, and no one cares. Most will nod their heads and say “Ya, been there.” And yet, another will write about the loneliness of war and being away from a loved one or sex and eyebrows are immediately raised. After all, war is a population control and is our “duty” for God and country and sex should not be missed. Let that same writer expound on the physical demands of the body insatiate and deprived, or the memories of making love, and grumbling amongst the Puritan mass will begin. God help the writer who dares to go a step further and actually depict the lovemaking or sexual encounter in graphic detail, for he will be tarred and feathered right on the spot. Heaven help the woman who dares to cross the boundaries and step over the edge. She is immediately branded with the proverbial scarlet letter across her breasts.
Not long ago I published a wonderful poem that contained some graphic descriptions of sex. Hundreds of readers came out of the woodwork to criticize. “It is vulgar!” What to do?
Recently, I came across a quote by Ian Adam Bravestone, poet and author of “Taste the Textures” a male perspective on sexuality. Bravestone, in his magnificent and graphic poetry not only crosses over the edge, but also jumps into the abyss in his belief and God given right to publish erotica.
In the following he says
“I say, touch the woman that you love, and make her feel the breath of God when He created her. Life comes to its fullest, when there is love and human tenderness. Apart from knowing God, human lives cannot know a higher spiritual awareness.”
“Ian Adam Bravestone” 2007
Bravestone takes on much criticism for his erotic poetry
Are we once again entering the dark ages? Have we become so accustomed to taking it on the cuff by our world leaders that we now are mere sheep? What is one man or woman’s idea of pornography is another’s mantra. The Bible to some is nothing but a book written by men to others.
Well, the upshot is that I, like everyone wanted me to do, removed the offending piece of art work from my site only to replace it several hours later. The moment I took it off, I knew I had violated and desecrated not only my own web-site but my ingrained beliefs in the constitution and God.
Life and human sexuality is a beautiful thing. I am old enough to know what the true evils in the world are. We all know what those true evils are. Hell, even Christ, Buddha and the Goddess know Why oh why then do we run around like preachers on a pulpit of sainthood, all vying for the next canonization, looking for something to moralize about when we know in our human hearts that burning books or censoring sexual or religious content might not be the right thing to do.
copyright 2007, Janet K BrennanSend us your comments on this article