27 September 2008

Viewer advisories and the laugh test

Singapore censorship policies requires broadcasters to issue viewer advisories before they air offensive content. But what constitutes "offensive"? (This essay is not work safe.) Full essay.


Flannery said...

Go read this month's issue of Expat Living magazine, the Singapore edition. There is a full feature of a male gay Caucasian couple and their fabulous apartment at the Colonnade. They talked about how they were married after knowing each other for 7 years 7 months and 7 days (or something like that).

I wonder if the magazine has been fined, warned or threatened with a license revoke.

Or is such a thing allowable for a magazine targetted at the expat community?

yuen said...

>allowable for a magazine

since the publisher is not part of Singapore Inc PR unit, it can follow somewhat different rules

(alex: why bring marx into it? the little confusion in standards which Mediacorp had to follow hardly rises to the level of class conflict and social revolution;
despite the fall of communism, marx's basic critique of capitalism remains valid; we are going through another economic crisis right now; I have previously explained his continued relevance in http://sinazen.com/marx )

Larry said...

I'd be interested to know more about your thoughts on "the acute hypocrisy that lies at the heart of contemporary American culture."

Alan Wong said...

I suppose it boils down to one thing :

Someone's morals are always higher than others and that's why they deemed it fit that they shall dictate how others should behave.

That has always been the moral grounds that our hypocritical leaders have been dictating to us peasants.

tim said...

Wonder what good old Mediacorpse will do when they find out that Janice has another two gay men on her model roster for the next season (which already aired in the US). Oh, and they're boyfriends. Perhaps they'll just do a "Brothers and Sisters" and mangle the damn thing with awkward cuts.

Speaking of B&S, really looking forward to seeing the censors go into overdrive on season 2...

Daniel said...

Honestly i don't see the contradiction, adsurdity nor hypocrisy in the "Adult Themes" warning. I know i'll probably be slammed as an unsophisticated, conservative minion for this, but i must point out that the MDA's stand on skin-baring and homosexuality have consistently been wholly separate issues. The permissibility of sexually provocative material (ie. showing bodies) has increased compared to a decade or 2 ago, due to a change in moral attitudes, but this has been allowed since there is no inherent problem with sex. Homosexuality, on the other hand, cannot be considered to be under the same "liberalisation basket" where somehow, if you start to allow one, you should allow the other. The prevailing moral stand is that sex is natural & right, whereas practising homosexuality is twisted & wrong. I know you are essentially criticising censorship as a whole; but given that it exists, for right or wrong, i see absolutely no problem even if heterosexual explicit material were totally released from censorship control, while maintaining the same level of watchfulness for homosexual material that we have now. if you imagine your children sitting at home watching TV, looking for the latest niche/alternative trend to adopt to beef up their identity, and this gay couple comes on espousing the virtues of the gay life, you might (or might not) understand why.

KiWeTO said...

paraphrasing Daniel:

4 girls good. 2 guys bad.

[see Animal farm for reference.]

tim said...

sadly for daniel, he wholly underestimates the resourcefulness of teenagers, who aren't even going to "benefit" from the protection afforded by TV censors, when presented with the options of youtube or file-sharing.

and even allowing that there are some very un-tech savvy kids, it still doesn't explain how the statistics for acceptance of gay people are a good 30 points higher for their generation, if recent surveys are to be believed. an exercise in futility, in more ways than one.