Thursday, November 9, 2006

Time to free up speech in the Soviet Union ... I mean Russia

From the Moscow Times.Com (via Colby Cosh) The Borat movie is banned in Russia:

Borat Sagdiyev may have taken the United States by storm, but he won't repeat his box-office success in Russia.

Less than three weeks before a feature film about Borat, a character created by English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, was to open in Russian movie theaters, the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency refused to license it out of concern that the film could offend audiences in this country.

The movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," about a misogynistic, wife-beating Kazakh journalist with a penchant for mustaches, thus becomes one of the first non-pornographic films to be banned since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

When there are laws to stop offence, expression is a privilege and not a right. In The USSR... I mean Russia... the concept of individual rights and freedom of expression is virtually unknown. There is no political culture or term of the social contract that contemplates the same. The Russian press has been all but taken over by the state and this is the sort of behaviour that is expected.

What then is Gerard Kennedy's excuse? Regulating the content that Canadians can obtain on the internet to ensure Canadian content? The desire to regulate the content of expression is the equivalent of surpressing expression and only serves to lower the quality and quantity of debate. The CBC types like to say that Canadians have stories that need to be told. I say that if those stories are worth a listen, people will.

(cross posted Little Tobacco)


Honey Pot said...

I hope to see you all down at Victoria Park for Remembrance Day tomorrow.

Gestapo Gil, I suggest you stay home. It will just drive you nuts when all those CSIS agents show up wearing red poppies. I can see you now running around interrogating everyone. Word of caution, watch those old codgers, they can get real irate, they will be snapping you upside the head with their canes.

rhebner said...

After watching the movie my wife said, "He can't say those things about Jews can he?"
My response was, "At least the Jews have a sense of humour, no one's head will be lopped off because of this movie". Pity that can't be said about a certain other religion.

Little Tobacco said...

The analogy of a friend in trying to figure out how the Russians would be offended:
" would be like taking a Grade 11 shop class to see Spinal Tap where the guys who like the older music would be wondering why they never heard of Spinal Tap before."