Last night I had a great time. I attended a lecture at the Library in which my GF works. Sounds boring, right? No. The speaker was Joe Raiola, senior editor of MAD Magazine and his topic was censorship.
As a child and teen I was ADDICTED to MAD Magazine. I had every issue and tried to keep them in mint. I could tell at a glance who the artist was for each article. I had my forst letter to the editor published in MAD when I was 9. Yeah, even then I had no life.
Aside from editing and writing for MAD, Raiola also dabbles in stand-up and has a 1-man show in N.Y. He basically did an hour+ observational comedy routine on censorship, including dialogue that contained the C-word, the N-word, and several other words that would make George Carlain proud.
Young ugdork learned to draw by copying the MAD artists. I could recite lines from MAD satires. My humor was being shaped by the political and social commentaries expressed by MAD's writers. I learned words that my concervative mom would never teach me.
Raiolas observational routine focused on the futility and radiculuosity (my word) of censorship. What wasn't funny was that most of his bits were recounting real cases of censorship in modern America. I absolutely enjoyed this free show but was chilled as I thought about just how little freedom we have in this "Land of Liberty." His delivery showed just how absurd the notion of censorship is, such as the time he was forbade from using a photo of himself flipping his ring finger to promote his show, "Almost Obscene." Not his MIDDLE finger, mind you; the one next to it. He was told it looked too much like his middle finger.
MAD opened my developing mind and taught me a healthy mistrust of authority. I learned to question the powers that be. I began to understand that humor was a powerful way to convey contrary ideas without punishment.
I see a disturbing trend in this country. The right-wingers object to, and try to ban "immoral and obscene" expression of ideas. "It's harmful to kids...weakens the social boundaries... goes againts the Bible."
The Liberals often try to ban the truth bacause "it promotes negative stereotypes...is insensitive to (insert minority here)...promotes violence.
I am fucking sick of peoplebeing offended by any idea that goes against their own beliefs. These bloge became one of my new addictions and it has sucked being away. Fuck it. The new sight banned DirtySanchez and I cant even FIND their blog section.
I'm back. I flip my middle AND my ring finger at censorship...What, me worry?