Tasteless Pornography

Caution, you are entering a censored site. Further reading may endanger your physical or mental well-being.

Browsing through my referrer log yesterday, I happened to follow some odd links to a server where a parent had apparently over-ridden a block on my site. Further research revealed that In a Dark Time has been blocked by Family. NET by Clearsail.

Because there’s no clear indication on why my site has been banned, I’m unsure whether to be honored that someone has actually noticed that this site exists or to get pissed off be upset that it has been censored by the Moral Guardians of Christendom.

Hopefully, it’s been censored because of its pornographic content, because I would hate to think that it’s being censored because it’s merely tasteless (one of Clearsail’s motto is “Protecting the Net from Pornography and Tastelessness). Personally, I prefer to think of much of what I write as merely harmless, empty chatter rather than tasteless or pornographic, though there is a certain blandness to it.

Since I received no explanation of why, or even notification, my site was being blocked, I can’t be certain that I’m not being blocked because of the corrupt writings of my former accomplice Diane McCormick, who has abandoned me to write her novel. I do remember cringing over her review of certain Anne Sexton and Allen Ginsberg poems, envisioning the kind of perverted searches that would surely follow such depravity. It would be truly ironic if the writings of that grandmotherly patriarch of the Episcopal church should have brought down censorship on the head of a mere transcendental heathen such as myself.

Perhaps, though, the censorship has stemmed from my unprincipled defense of that anti-American classic To Kill a Mockingbird on the Banned Book Project. In that case, such censorship would at least be understandable. After all, as Emerson remarked years ago, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Perhaps if I had been pre-warned that I was about to be blocked I would not have included a discussion of the infamous homosexual poet Walt Whitman for I could easily have omitted his works from the canons of American greats in order to avoid appearing “tasteless.”

Checking out Clearsail’s site, though, I quickly got the impression that I did not belong in such noble company. Clearly listed as the most visited sites on their home page were such Christian staples as David Bach’s FinishRich, Epicurious.com, and Biltmore Estate. Surely, I, with my emphasis on voluntary simplicity and environmental concerns, would be inappropriate company for such Christian-oriented company. I wonder if Epicurious offers an alternative menu for the “Last Supper?”

My apologies to Clearsail and their noble efforts to keep the internet free of such polluting ideas. If I had not already been banned from “their internet” I would have gladly purged my links to such revolutionary sites as Visible Darkness, Riley Dog, etc., in order to prove my moral purity.

For, as Milton so poetically argued in his Christian classic, Aeropagitica, “I can ONLY praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.”

9 thoughts on “Tasteless Pornography

  1. Unfortunately, my memory’s a little dim here, but it was very nondescript, perhaps just a simple address.

    When I clicked on it, it took me to an “Apache” directory, which looked, to me, at least, like someone’s home directory. It had a box saying that they had ten minutes to override blocking access to my site.

    There was no sign that it was connected to Clearsail or Family.NET until I clicked through the links on the page.

  2. Ooops, well, I haven’t seen any of his comments here yet, so he’s kind of “in-visible.”

    Thanks for the heads up, steve.

    I wasn’t really going to purge him for any “thought (less) police,” anyway.

  3. Censored eh? Well, I can solemnly assure you Loren that it must be for porn, because your site is very tasty, indeed. (Note to self: more thorough search of Loren’s old archives is in order.)

    Personally, I would take this form of censorship to be a high honor, and would send them a thank you note.

  4. Strangely enough, Pascale at Both 2and beyond binary had the same reaction, but after years of fighting this kind of narrow mindedness and intolerance in the classroom, it enfuriates me.

    I don’t want kids exposed to pornography at the public library, either. But it’s this kind of arbitrary censorship of “ideas” that makes me oppose any kind of “filtering” at high schools or public libraries.

  5. Fortunately, the Internet is a leaky old boat and ideas flow in no matter how much puritanical beliefs try to keep them out.

    No matter how many parental controls or filters, kids will find the info. The only problem is, they have no mentor to show tell them that the information even exists. And that’s the crime.

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