Tag Archives: Censorship

The AFA Blackmails Pepsi

The mob has a lovely little setup they call “protection.” The federal government calls it “racketeering,” and has laws against it.  The American Family Association, headed up by Donald Wildmon learned a lot from La Cosa Nostra; specifically racketeering and strong arm tactics.

Their most recent “project” is an attempt to boycott PepsiCo because Pepsi had the audacity to dare to donate $1M to the Human Rights Campaign and PFLAG. It’s very obvious from the AFA’s Boycott Pepsi website they were truly loath to do this. They “asked Pepsi to remain neutral in the culture war, but the company refused — choosing to support the homosexual activists.” The BASTARDS! Of course, when AFA said neutral, what they really meant was “side with us,” but that’s just semantics.

Even worse, according to AFA: “Pepsi has made no effort to hide their support for the homosexual agenda!” Can you imagine the nerve? Instead of being ashamed of treating those in the LGBT community like people, Pepsi is actually PROUD of their actions! Well. Obviously, AFA took immediate action, setting up a website  to boycott Pepsi products. They’ve even got links to contact Pepsi distributorships and letters to and from Pepsi, which essentially read like a bad gangster movie.

Recently we noticed that PepsiCo gave a $500,000 donation to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  We were indeed surprised by PepsiCo’s support of the homosexual group.  It would appear to us that PepsiCo would not involve itself in a political and culture war, especially supporting an organization seeking to redefine marriage and family.

We ask PepsiCo to remain neutral in this culture war, neither supporting nor opposing the homosexual agenda.

We would like to discuss this matter with PepsiCo.  Would you have a representative of PepsiCo contact us?

In other words: “Gee, Pepsi. This is a nice little place you got here. Be a real shame if someone were to torch it.”

Pepsi’s response was intelligent, honest and, IMO, brilliant:

’m responding to your letter to our Chairman. In 2008, the PepsiCo Foundation awarded a grant to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to support a national program specifically designed for workplace environments.

The initiative seeks to promote further understanding and equality in the places where people spend much of their time at work.

Among the values promoted by the PepsiCo Foundation is ensuring a work environment that is respectful and where associates are valued for their contributions.  I hope this helps  clarify this grant by the PepsiCo Foundation.

Honestly? Aside from Cherry Pepsi (for which I am an absolute fiend), I’m not much for junk food. But today? I’m tempted to go to the store and buy as many Pepsi products as I can fit in my budget.

Oklahoma State Legislature Jumps the Shark, Film at 11

Recently, the University of Oklahoma to speak at their celebration of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday. Dawkins’ talk focused on “seeing purpose all around by looking at the differences between the appearance of purpose, as seen in evolutionary development, and true purpose, being the product of the mind.” All went well, and Dawkins was greeted like a rock star.

Sadly, Rep. Todd Thompson was so threatened by the very thought of the brilliant biologist speaking and discussing evolution at a public university, he went and wrote up two resolutions, one of which stated:

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.

Rep. Thompson, how dare you? How dare you attempt to enforce what can only be called censorship and hide behind the people of Oklahoma? And how dare you use something as transparent as argumentum ad populum to hide your repugnant and ignorant views? Once the “views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma” have a say in what can and cannot be taught at the UO, then that university will quickly top the list of “schools not to attend.”

The University of Oklahoma is not a religious university.  It is a state institution, and as such is subject to the laws not only of the State of Oklahoma but also the United States. Censorship is a crime, and your resolution is censorship, Mr. Thompson. It is to be hoped that the rest of the state legislature will recognize the harm that would be done not only to the university, but to the state should these resolutions pass. The university will slide further behind the national average and lose students, tax dollars and prestige. The state in turn will become that much less competitive and functional and more deeply entrenched in economic stagnation.

This is precisely why religion should never be allowed control of the state. In every instance, ignorance triumphs over learning.

Hamlet 2; now with SEXY JESUS and protests at a theater near you.

I’m sure most of you consider this utterly predictable by now. Hamlet 2 has seen some protests.

This always mystifies me. Why, why, WHY would anyone protest a movie? And why on earth, if you want something to NOT be seen, would you show up and cause a media circus? Don’t you know you’re generating free publicity for the movie? The best way to discourage a film is to simply not go to it. Don’t hold a protest, don’t make a cassus belli on the internet, just IGNORE IT! Like your television and shows you don’t like….if people don’t watch, they don’t get revenue.

While you’re at explaining that, could you also explain why it’s not okay to make fun of religion in ONE STINKING SCENE, but movies that show graphic violence are perfectly okay? Let’s take Passion of the Christ. People, it was nothing short of a snuff film. That’s right. I said it. A snuff film. And “Christians” were taking children, some as young as 6 YEARS OLD! This is the vision they want their children to remember of their savior? Those kids are going to be traumatized for life. I can only imagine the nightmares. 20 freakin’ minutes of beating. These are the same people who wail and bemoan the fate of their children just because Janet Jackson showed a nipple on national tv for a tenth of a second. But watching a dramatization of a man being beaten to death is perfectly okay. So long as it’s in the right context.

One of the posts from the thread I just linked (okay, all of them) made my eyebrow raise some. The posters there are actually trying to liken a for profit movie shown on privately owned property to  first amendment discrimination, saying it’s equal to government employees being told not to lead others in prayer.

I’ve been having this same argument, over and over, for a couple weeks now. Some people simply do not get it. They really see no difference between the two. Moreover, I don’t think they WANT to get it. *sigh*…. is there anything that DOESN’T offend them?

Personally, I can’t wait to see Hamlet 2. Was giggling and snerking at the trailer (you can see them all here) in ways that caused the other theater goers (in Texas, mind you) to turn in their seats and scowl at me. My levity was not appreciated. Will report back, although thus far, I’m reading only lukewarm reviews.

StumbleUpon and the Magically Disappearing Blogs

Let’s discuss censorship.

A friend once told me my usage of the word was incorrect. That true censorship is the forced cessation of circulating ideas via media by a government. I think that, while his definition was likely true at one time, it needs to be refined. Today, it seems we give many corporations a vested say in government. Just look at Rupert Murdoch, fercryinoutloud. 

And now we have eBay, which seems bound and determined to drive SU into the cellar as fast as it can say “sold for $.50.” 

StumbleUpon  has recently added a “flag this user” button. The “flag this user” works in a very interesting way; you can give both positive and negative feedback. Those flags are labeled

In any other universe which did not contain humans, this would probably be a good thing. But as I have stated repeatedly; most people are bastards. Bastard covered bastards with bastard filling. Don’t like a person? Did they say something in the fora that offended you? Did they give you a negative review? Point out that you’re a spammer or have horrible grammar and can’t put two sentences together without a flashlight, map, and Tenzing Norgay (not that that unfavorably reviewed person even knows who Tenzing Norgay is, other than some dude with a funny name)? Did they offend you because of their political/religious beliefs or sexual content on their page? No problem! Just hit “flag this user,” and you have your revenge! The person’s account is suspended, and they are placed under review.

Here’s where the fun censorship bit comes in. Once an account is suspended for review, the suspended member is able to appeal. However; according to at least three Stumblers I have corresponded with via email, you can wait for months before that review actually happens. One has been waiting since March and still has not received a determination. There is no actual timeline given. Should any of those users open a new account under a different name, they are automatically in breach of the ToS, and both accounts will be banned from SU. ‘S brilliant, innit? The user doesn’t actually HAVE to do anything wrong, per se, the devs at SU just have to wait it out til the user gets bored and really wants to come back, then they can justifiably ban them. As I said; bastards.

Now, some say “after all, it’s SU’s site and we just use it; we should be happy it’s here and all obey the rules and be good little sheep and everything will be fine.” To which I naturally reply: “screw you.” We the users provide the content on SU; without those users, there would be no SU. Not to mention, many people pay for the “privilege” of stumbling. When did the concept of “the customer’s always right” disappear? I realize customer service is something of an anomaly these days, but the concept is still there. “Here, pay us, and you’ll get what we decide to give you!” Not the best of clever advertizing slogans, but it certainly seems to be what we’re reduced to of late.

StumbleUpon is much like television. If you don’t like what you’re seeing….CHANGE THE DAMN CHANNEL!! NO, you do not get to have it removed for you because you’re too damn lazy to think. NO, you do not get to dictate what other people consider interesting just so your 16 year old baby won’t see Janet Jackson’s nipple on the screen for 1/10th of a second during churc….er, the Super Bowl. NO, you do not get to take away my right to demand questionable content. Because that’s where the truly interesting information lies.

Obviously, something sparked my post this morning. Last night, one of my friends was put under review. I’ve actually known her for quite some time; we’ve corresponded and exchanged dog photos and laughed back and forth. What was her unspeakable crime? I’ll tell you. She made fun of another stumbler. “Say it ain’t so!” You gasp, in mock horror. “Someone on the internet made fun of someone else?!?!?!”  “Well, yes.” I reply, my brow furrowing some over your extraneous use of punctuation. “Unfortunately, the person she made fun of is a rather well-connected stumbler, one who has sucked up to the devs and befriended them and essentially can get people banned because she’s just that spiteful and can’t bear to be laughed at. As most people can’t.”

See, kids; this is the internet. Not a fifth grade playground. Although there are similarities. Someone saying “tee hee, you write funny poooooeetryyyy!” (and yes, that is what she said that got her suspended) is not harrassment. Or stalking. It’s a single comment that most adults with any amount of intestinal fortitude should be able to look at and say “you don’t like my poetry. Big fat hairy deal.” instead of running off to mommy to make the mean lady go away.

Am I frustrated? Obviously. Am I angry? Bet your ass. Because it isn’t just this one person, it’s happening all over SU, and usually because the person doing the reporting doesn’t have a good reason (okay, list of good reasons: child porn, spam, ACTUAL harrassment) other than they just don’t like that person. And it shouldn’t be that easy. KnowwhutImean,Vern? Unfortunately, unless people complain where it’s likely to be seen (read: somewhere OTHER than SU), it likely won’t get remedied. That’s where you and I come in. Hopefully, if the devs see that this is being discussed on sites other than theirs, they’ll get their act together and clean up their policy. So do me a favor; if you’re on SU and have a blog elsewhere, start talking about it.