Film Folly

July 26, 2013

As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends.
Jeremy Bentham

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I have written elsewhere about the idiotic antics of the South African Film and Publications Board. On that occasion they had seen fit to place an 18 year age restriction on a painting that was neither a film nor a publication; this time they have effectively banned a film as ‘child pornography’ when it depicts no children, and is evidently not pornography by any accepted definition of the term.

The film in question is “Of Good Report.” It is said to be (I haven’t seen it–that would be illegal–so I must take the producer’s word for it) a serious drama focussing on the phenomenon of ‘sugar-daddyism’. The film opens with a high school teacher meeting a young woman in a bar. He is attracted to her, but the next day she walks into his classroom as one of his students, which, needless to say, complicates matters. The actress who plays the part of the young woman is 23 years old, and the character she portrays is 16. the age of consent in South Africa is 16, so any sex between them in the film is sex between consenting adults.
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You Snus You Win

July 19, 2013

Politicians make weird decisions that seem to have little to do with common sense or the good of the citizenry who suffer under their rule. Here’s an example of such a decision taken by the lawmakers of the European Union, Russia, and other misguided jurisdictions.
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Smoking is one of the most serious public health hazards known: cigarettes will kill their users unless they die of something else first. Smokers smoke as a means of acquiring nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug. But it is not the nicotine in smoke that causes the most harm; it is all the other stuff in the smoke that kills people, like tar, and the other 2,500-odd chemical compounds that the hapless smoker inhales along with the nicotine.
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