As I uploaded more poems for inclusion in a book I'm creating on Blurb, I thought I'd better take a deeper look at some of the more questionable words and/or phrases I use while writing. This excerpt is what I found:
Yes, a lot to assimilate and for someone like me, very restrictive. Those two yellow highlighted words, obscene and offensive, are certainly subjective. Who is to determine what is offensive or obscene? A bare breast which nurses a child is fine, but a breast of a reclining female is not? A penis in a medical book is totally acceptable, but one that is displayed in a photograph (let alone erect) is deemed as unacceptable? (If you take note and read the red highlighted text, you'll certainly get a chuckle in seeing it's okay to promote sex and violence to anyone over the age of 13).11.1 Prohibited Content. YOU MAY NOT INCLUDE “PUBLISHED BY BLURB,” “BLURB PUBLISHING” OR ANY OTHER REFERENCE THAT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY SUGGESTS OR IMPLIES THAT BLURB IS THE PUBLISHER OF THE BOOKS THAT YOU CREATE USING THE SERVICES. You agree that you will not post, submit for print services, or otherwise provide to the Services, any Prohibited Content. “Prohibited Content” includes Book Content or Other Content that: (i) is offensive or promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual; (ii) bullies, harasses, or advocates stalking, bullying, or harassment, of another person; (iii) involves the transmission of “junk mail,” “chain letters,” unsolicited mass mailing, or “spamming,”; (iv) is false or misleading or promotes, endorses or furthers illegal activities or conduct that is abusive, threatening, obscene, defamatory or libelous; (v) promotes, reproduces, performs or distributes an illegal or unauthorized copy of another person’s work that is protected by copyright or trade secret law, such as providing pirated computer programs or links to them, providing information to circumvent manufacturer-installed copy-protection devices, or providing pirated music or links to pirated music files; (vi) is involved in the exploitation of persons under the age of 13 in a sexual or violent manner, or solicits personal information from anyone under 13; (vii) provides instructional information about illegal activities such as making or buying illegal weapons, violating someone’s privacy, or providing or creating computer viruses and other harmful code; (viii) solicits passwords or personally identifying information for commercial or unlawful purposes from other Users; (ix) contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots, corrupted files, or similar software; (x) violates any applicable law, including, but not limited to laws and regulations governing export control, unfair competition, anti-discrimination and false advertising; (xi) involves commercial activities that are detrimental to the interests of Blurb; or (xii) otherwise violates this Agreement or creates liability for Blurb. BLURB RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PRINT ANY BOOK THAT CONTAINS CONTENT THAT IT DETERMINES IN IT SOLE DISCRETION IS PROHIBITED CONTENT, and you agree to indemnify and hold Blurb and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, employees, suppliers, service providers, and partner companies harmless for any claims, losses, liabilities and expenses arising out of or relating to any breach of this section.
Censorship in the United States has always been a delicate subject. The First Amendment allots for freedom of speech, but only to a certain extent. Profanity and obscenity are not allowed in certain circumstances, which I can understand (i.e., around children under 18, etc.). I think people should have the right to hear (or not), read (or not) anything they desire as long as they have been aforewarned that questionable words/phrases are being used. In my case, I found "Tom Sawyer" particularly offensive back in my formative years as the word "nigger" was used liberally. But, the powers that be found it perfectly acceptable language because this book was a "classic." Still pisses me off 'til this day! Whoever made that decision decided to include this book in the curriculum regardless of how Black Americans felt. Damned right, it was OFFENSIVE!
Just recently Thomas Dolby used one, just one, explicative, and was subjected to a torrent of comments from those who preferred not to hear it in his song "To The Lifeboats." In my opinion, it was perfectly placed within the context of the song, and I wondered why folks were getting so bent out of shape behind this word. It was the only time I can recall him using a swear word in his music. Maybe because they thought it out of character? Or their civility wouldn't allow for its usage?
My blog has an adult lock which warns people that certain subject matter may be objectionable, and they have the choice whether to enter. Why Blurb doesn't have something similar is interesting. Because I wanted Blurb to publish my book, I toned down the language of my writing, which in my mind lessens the impact of certain pieces. Well-placed verbiage of any kind is necessary for relay the emotion the author is trying to convey. Needless to say, I'll be looking for another book creating site that will publish my work in it's entirety (uncensored) like many of the e-zines and free press literature publications out there.
I don't know. Maybe adding an astericks would make it more acceptable, and shit? Oh, wait a minute. That should be "sh*t!" (LOL)