To me, censorship is not only a dirty word but a dirty philosophy. I’m no expert, but I think it is un-American and undermines the Constitution. Pressure groups may have valid concerns and they have the right to voice those concerns. But I don’t want every Tom, Dick, and Harriet or any two-bit wacko group dictating what I can say, hear, see, read, or write. Fortunately, this publication has a fine, dedicated publisher and editor, and a staff that is committed to its readers. I am proud to be a part of this organization. As I wrote Tim Robertson, the deciding factors for me to come on board as a writer for My Mac was his steadfast support and the free rein he gives his writing staff.

A publisher and editor have many preoccupations. The last thing My Mac Magazine needs is for a tempest in a teacup to blow into its peaceful confines. However, if Pete Miner’s July column can create such a stir it might be wiser for me to write about the changing colours of autumn than to tackle a subject as volatile as censorship. Oh well, such are the vagaries of life in the fast lane on the electronic highway.

Here is my humorous take on censorship and how a seemingly worthwhile proposal can sometimes turn into a vicious and sinister aberration. It has happened in the past and we should all be alert that it doesn’t happen again.


The Internet PoliceWe are a group of concerned citizens who believe that the government should do something to curb abuse on the Internet. We fear for our children. We fear for our nation. We fear that evil will triumph. We are ordinary people who want to protect our youngsters from the scurrilous, the obscene, the degenerate, and the unwholesomeness that is rampant on the electronic highway. To that end, we have formed a group called The Internet Police.

Our goal is to monitor as many websites and pages that we can. We need your help. Please forward any URL that you find offensive. If you prefer not to use your name or email address, you may use our 24-hour snitch line, at 1-800-555-5555. Thank you for our children’s sake. In order not to publicize these sites, we have purposely deleted any reference to website addresses.
Josephine McCarthy and Ray Cohn.

Internet Police Report #1 Fall 1998

My Mac Magazine Issue 40 – Column: “A Few Words”
Program Title – Virtual Viagra

This title is questionable, in poor taste, and jumps on the over-publicized bandwagon of the so-called miracle medical product. My Mac Magazine does not have the best interests of its target audience at heart by adding to the media hype.
Rating: Program Title Objectionable in part

Program – Virtual Viagra – Review
All references to the enlarging of a pointer’s size should be eliminated. Even though size enlargement is the sole function of this program, it should not be advertised as such and references to size, enhancement, and growth should be kept to a minimum. Shame on you, Tim and you too, Russ. This is absolute pandering to the lowest (or largest) common denominator. Does size really matter?
Rating: Program Objectionable in total

Site: Internet Movie Database
Classic Movie: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in The Gay Divorcee – 1934

We have not viewed this production; however, the title says it all. We do not believe that it should be openly available. Although we do not condemn personal lifestyle choices, we do not want our children to be exposed to this kind of film and subject matter. Also of concern is the apparent celebration of the break up of the institution of marriage. Another blatant example of the disintegration of family values.
Rating: Movie Should be Banned

Site: Apple Computer Inc.
Mac OS 8.5 (Code Name: Allegro) – release date Oct 98
We have noticed a trend by many large US companies to use foreign terms to advance their corporate image, in their advertising and in their printed and on-line product information. What’s wrong with good ol’ American names and terminology?

Rating: Code Name Objectionable in part

Note: Thanks to a snitch line disclosure, it was also brought to our attention that Apple headquarters is located in Cupertino, California.
Rating: Location Town Name Objectionable in part

Site: Microsoft Corporation Home Page
This is another example of a mega-corporation utilizing a dual-subliminal sexual nuance in its corporate name. While it centers on the opposite stratagem than that of the Viagra item above, it is no less a blatant in-your-face sexual connotation.
Rating: Corporate Name Objectionable in part

Microsoft Tag line – Where do you want to go today?
Still another sexual nuance. Obviously those people at MS and their advertising agency need a cold shower.

Rating: Tag Line Objectionable in part

Site: Amazon Book Database
This site is rife with objectionable book titles and subject matter that are too long to list fully. A short sampling follows:

Complete Works of William Shakespeare – William Shakespeare – An over-rated playwright who wallows in the tawdry excesses of both upper and lower classes and concentrates on their most base (love and hate) elements. His language style is difficult to understand and master. It should be translated into modern day language to increase its appeal.

The Crucible – Arthur Miller – Left wing overwrought recounting of contrived and pent up charges in 17th century Salem, which show little humor and much angst. The townspeople come off like hysterical maniacs. Miller should have left his politics behind.

Sexus – Henry Miller (relationship to above author not clear) Paranoid focus on the less appetizing aspects of the human condition. Characters are not well drawn and remain uninteresting. Smutty. Lustful. An angry man with no inhibitions and little insight into the psyche of the normal human male.

Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger – A demoralizing look at a 16 year old’s experience of alienation and his views on the gender gap. The unnecessary vulgar language is not typical of youth. Minimal development of character and phony plot situations that do not ring true.

Dante’s Inferno – Dante Alighieri – Improbable scenario of the nether world. Some good sections relating to fire, brimstone, and deserved immorality immolation. The setting would be a proper eternal resting place for the many purveyors of Internet excess.

Brave New World – Aldus Huxley – There is nothing new or nothing brave about this insult to intellect.The feeble storyline about future world was dated in the thirties when it was first published. Huxley is a second-rate writer at best. Ford was right!

The Bible – Unknown – Some characters and situations seem far-fetched and staged. Many passages contain an overzealous depiction of debauchery apparently aimed at keeping this best seller at the top of the list. Certain ethnic groups appear to be favored. Reads like a script for a grade-B movie, where the main superstar overacts.
Rating: Site Should be Banned

Site: Libido Magazine
Prurient to the nth degree. Is anything more uninteresting than someone else’s coitus? This is an affliction of the me generation. Definitely a no go.
Rating: Site Should be Banned

Site: Metal Music – Heavy, Heavier, Heaviest
A more disgusting site would be hard to find. Every possible suggestion of death, inhuman acts, devil worship–and worse–is depicted. All wrapped up in a mantel of raunchy noise featuring such names as, Cannibal Corpse, Tool, AC/DC, Metallica, Megadeath, and Pantera. Nowhere will you find a more clearly exploitative manipulation of our young people for the raw greed of monetary gain. Shame! [Could it be Megadeth?]
Rating: Site Should be Banned

Site: Tank Girl
Skin tight skimpy costumes and Tank Girl memorabilia prove that amateurish art work has no bounds, as long as it is in bad taste.
Rating: Objectionable in Part

Site: Occult
This site so exceeds the limits of decency that it makes it diff-occult to see any goodness or humanity in our sorry race. Trash it! The sooner the better.
Rating: Site Should be Banned

Site: Censorship
A site such as this one, because of the many Internet links, is cause for grave concern. It is clear that this site should be targeted for removal. It should not be available.
Rating: Should be Banned

Site: Chicks, Flicks, Politicks
Woman in films and the political connections between the two. Some extreme feminist undertones relating to equality and the like. A no man’s land of seething unrest and smoldering unease. Absolutely no redeeming value.
Rating: Should be Banned


Site:The Louvre Museum
Questionable art selection with emphasis on foreign artists especially those of French ancestry. The shabby way that the naked human body is exposed in a multitude of erotic and unorthodox poses makes one shudder at man’s ability to debase himself.
Rating: Objectionable in Part

End Internet Police Report #1 Fall 1998

And so it goes, from book burning to Internet scrutiny. The specter of censorship can raise its ugly head at any time. Like many avenues of human communication, abuses do occur, but it is up to us, individually, to address those abuses. If we, as parents, are concerned for our children, it is up to us to determine and set the limits for our family that we consider acceptable and then take action on what is required to achieve that goal. We should not demand total or partial closure to all. There are measures available to restrict access to the net via particular programs or inhibitors (Net Nannie is one) that can be added on personal computers. This function is not unlike a channel lock on your TV. These solutions are up to parents, or individual surfers to decide.

On a personal note, about a year ago I sent a letter to Macworld magazine. It was a rebuttal to a previous published letter re: the pros and cons of purchasing a new Apple computer. (This was during the press/media “Apple is dead” period.) My letter was never published.

Perhaps my missive was not well-written or had improper grammar. Perhaps space was limited (always an easy out). Perhaps in their wisdom Macworld edited out the letter as politically questionable.

I ended my letter like this:
Will my next computer be a Mac? Is the Pope Catholic? Does Clinton have a big nose? Will the sun set in the west? You get the picture, don’t you?

So why did they choose not to print it? Censorship? Maybe. Editorial decision? Could be. Political motivation? Who knows? Did I attack the Catholic Church? After all the Pope is Catholic. Did I contradict the laws of nature? When I checked last night the sun still set in the west. Did I besmirch the highest office in the land? Well, considering the latest news from Washington and the White House, it’s not only Clinton’s nose that is big! If that’s hitting below the belt, I apologize.

Ralph J. Luciani

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