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Offline Roundy

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Absurd censorship
« on: February 20, 2023, 11:55:53 PM »
https://www.cnn.com/style/article/roald-dahl-censored-gbr-scli-intl/index.html

I agree with Rushdie, and everyone else that has spoken out against this. If the books offend, don't publish them. According to the article words that have been removed include "fat" and "ugly". That is, indeed, absurd.

Beyond that it's just not right to monkey around with the language used by the original author. Honestly, sometimes this trend towards wokeness really does go too far.
Dr. Frank is a physicist. He says it's impossible. So it's impossible.
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Offline stack

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2023, 04:15:55 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/style/article/roald-dahl-censored-gbr-scli-intl/index.html

I agree with Rushdie, and everyone else that has spoken out against this. If the books offend, don't publish them. According to the article words that have been removed include "fat" and "ugly". That is, indeed, absurd.

Beyond that it's just not right to monkey around with the language used by the original author. Honestly, sometimes this trend towards wokeness really does go too far.

Wokeness definitely goes too far. However, this is not the first time the books have been revised. This all started back in the early seventies. For example, Dahl himself changed the origin of oompa-loopas as originally published back in the early 70's from African pygmies Wonka "smuggled in crates" back to his factory to small white people who happily joined him. Revisions have been ongoing ever since.

As well, in an interview, he said he was a self-proclaimed "anti-zionist and anti-semite". In the same he added, "Even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”  I had no idea how controversial he was until this story popped up a few days ago.

The Dahl Company/Family has been apologizing for some of his views for decades. Point being, this is not just 2023 wokeness, these types of revisions have been going on for ages.

Probably doesn't help matters that Netflix bought the rights to Dahl's entire catalog for $500 million a few years back.

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2023, 05:34:36 AM »
Quote from: stack
Wokeness definitely goes too far. However, this is not the first time the books have been revised. This all started back in the early seventies. For example, Dahl himself changed the origin of oompa-loopas as originally published back in the early 70's from African pygmies Wonka "smuggled in crates" back to his factory to small white people who happily joined him. Revisions have been ongoing ever since.

How exactly is an author censoring himself comparable to someone else decades later removing references to "fat" and "ugly" and "mother" and "father" in literature? Revisions to Willy Wonka have not "been going on ever since", making corrections to the original work. It's not a living document.

If Dahl wanted to sanitize his own work, fine. But correcting the works of another author to promote your ideology is over the line.

https://nypost.com/2023/02/20/what-are-the-words-removed-from-roald-dahls-books/

    “Fat,” “ugly,” “crazy” and even “female” — these are some of the words that have been controversially scrubbed from Roald Dahl’s famed children’s books by so-called sensitivity experts.

    The move to remove or alter references to gender, race and physical appearance in newer editions of the beloved books quickly sparked outrage, with many accusing the publisher, Puffin Books, of censorship.

    ...

    Mothers and fathers

    Where possible, gender neutral terms are also now being used throughout Dahl’s books.

    For example, “mothers and fathers” has become just “parents” in newer versions of “Matilda” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

    Also, the Cloud Men characters in “James and the Giant Peach” are now Cloud People.

    In “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” references to male and females have been scrubbed. The descriptions of “tiny men” and “a hundred women” now just say “people” instead.

Absurd. This is just another bullet point in a long line of liberal governments and organizations trying to redefine concepts and language for the benefit of the LGBT.

Feb 2019 - The Sun - French schools ban words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ and replace them with ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ to stop discrimination of same-sex couples

Jan 2021 - Western Journal - Pelosi, House Dems Move To Ban 'Father, Mother, Son, Daughter' and Other 'Gendered' Words

Aug 5, 2021 - American Medical Association Recommends Removing Sex From Birth Certificates

Feb 14, 2023 - Telegraph - Use 'egg-producing' not 'female', say scientists in call to phase out binary language - Experts say other terms that could be problematic include man, woman, mother and father as well as 'survival of the fittest'

Can you actually support the removal of gendered words like mother and father from society, or were you just pretending that there is a legitimate controversy here?

Will you actually attempt an argument in favor of removing mother and father in all society and literature? I doubt it.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 06:20:26 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Roundy

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2023, 06:03:13 AM »
Sometimes Tom just happens to be right.
Dr. Frank is a physicist. He says it's impossible. So it's impossible.
My friends, please remember Tom said this the next time you fall into the trap of engaging him, and thank you. :)

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Offline stack

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2023, 08:22:29 AM »
Quote from: stack
Wokeness definitely goes too far. However, this is not the first time the books have been revised. This all started back in the early seventies. For example, Dahl himself changed the origin of oompa-loopas as originally published back in the early 70's from African pygmies Wonka "smuggled in crates" back to his factory to small white people who happily joined him. Revisions have been ongoing ever since.

How exactly is an author censoring himself comparable to someone else decades later removing references to "fat" and "ugly" and "mother" and "father" in literature? Revisions to Willy Wonka have not "been going on ever since", making corrections to the original work. It's not a living document.

If Dahl wanted to sanitize his own work, fine. But correcting the works of another author to promote your ideology is over the line.

Wow, I didn't mean to strike a nerve. I mean I opened up with "Wokeness definitely goes too far." I guess I need to be clearer. I think it's just kind of dumb for the estate and publisher to sanitize the work. It seems pretty obvious in this case, their idea was to make the works more "accessible" (read: $) for the times. Especially considering the Netflix deal. The skeptic in me is sure that the intent to do so was by no means noble but more about dollar signs.

As far as a "living documents", I agree, they are not in principle. But I guess how these things work is that the copyright owners can do whatever they want. It's kinda like how every few years some group wants the n-word removed from Huck Finn.

I wonder too if Rushdie has an axe to grind. From a 2016 New Yorker article, And, in 1989, Dahl, who had no trouble waxing indignant about attempts to ban his own work, denounced Salman Rushdie as “a dangerous opportunist” after the fatwa was issued against him.

I kinda think this sort of thing happens all the time in media. Movies have words bleeped out or overdubbed, deleted scenes, alternate endings. Music too. Whether the original writer, director, songwriter or whatever, approved or not. But again, in principle, should that ever happen in the arts, I say no. I even thought the whole Tipper Gore demanding parental advisory labels on "offensive" records/CD's was way over the line. So yeah, I'm in your camp on this one.

In short, I agree, changes to the original text should not have happened. But so be it. I guess authors should put in their wills or whatever that the future copyright owners of their works are not allowed to alter anything. Perhaps a lessen to be learned.

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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2023, 09:17:25 AM »
I can understand altering words to make it make sense to current child audiences.
Like changing "he was acting gay" to "he was acting happy" for books written when gay meant happy and not homosexual.

But beyond reading comprehension for children, I don't see the need to edit.
They're products of their time and its important for people to read and see how others were thought of in the past.
They need to critically think about race, for example, and these books help with that.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

Offline Action80

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2023, 09:22:25 AM »
I can understand altering words to make it make sense to current child audiences.
Like changing "he was acting gay" to "he was acting happy" for books written when gay meant happy and not homosexual.

But beyond reading comprehension for children, I don't see the need to edit.
They're products of their time and its important for people to read and see how others were thought of in the past.
They need to critically think about race, for example, and these books help with that.
Gay doesn't mean happy? It has been synonomous with happy for as long as I remember.
To be honest I am getting pretty bored of this place.

Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2023, 10:12:25 AM »
As usual, I agree with Tom and Action80.  The whole point of literature, at every level, is to be challenging, to broaden the mind, and promote further learning. 

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Offline Tom Bishop

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2023, 10:19:16 AM »
I kinda think this sort of thing happens all the time in media. Movies have words bleeped out or overdubbed, deleted scenes, alternate endings. Music too. Whether the original writer, director, songwriter or whatever, approved or not.

Censoring common words like mother and father is not something that "happens all the time" in media. You are equating mother and father to profanity. Since when was there a widespread concern that those words should be censored?

There is no widespread social debate on whether gendered words like mother and father should exist in literature. This is a radical LGBT ideology that only few hold. It is entirely unjustifiable, and you are having to make ridiculous comparisons to the censorship of profanity to defend the indefensible.

Quote from: stack
In short, I agree, changes to the original text should not have happened. But so be it. I guess authors should put in their wills or whatever that the future copyright owners of their works are not allowed to alter anything. Perhaps a lessen to be learned.

"But so be it." "A lesson to be learned?" Yeah, this is clearly mostly the author's fault and not the fault of the radicalists trying to make changes to children's literature to suit the ideology they are trying to push onto children.  ::)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2023, 10:47:35 AM by Tom Bishop »

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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2023, 10:51:02 AM »
I can understand altering words to make it make sense to current child audiences.
Like changing "he was acting gay" to "he was acting happy" for books written when gay meant happy and not homosexual.

But beyond reading comprehension for children, I don't see the need to edit.
They're products of their time and its important for people to read and see how others were thought of in the past.
They need to critically think about race, for example, and these books help with that.
Gay doesn't mean happy? It has been synonomous with happy for as long as I remember.
It is but its hasn't been primarily used that way for several decades now.  So a 10 year old may be confused and use the current meaning instead of the one we know.  Which will give the wrong idea.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

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Offline AATW

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2023, 10:55:01 AM »
Gay doesn't mean happy? It has been synonomous with happy for as long as I remember.
Sure, in the same way that "queer" has been used as a synonym for "strange".
But that's very antiquated now, no-one uses those words that way any more.
TL;TR - the meaning of words changes over time. And I don't think it's unreasonable to change text to reflect that - especially in kids' books where the language should be easy to understand. But changing words whose meanings haven't changed for fear of offending the perpetually offended is ridiculous.
Unusually, Tom is right on this one.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2023, 12:01:54 PM »
Is this the first, non-thork is terrible thread where everyone agrees?
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

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Offline AATW

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2023, 12:18:29 PM »
Is this the first, non-thork is terrible thread where everyone agrees?
It is.
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

Rama Set

Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2023, 01:12:39 PM »
Sometimes Tom just happens to be right.

This isn’t that time. It’s really easy to justify not using the words Mother and Father in some contexts. When it is irrelevant which gender the parent is, including same sex couples is a better choice. Nothing is lost and something is gained.

In regards to the editing of Dahl’s books I’m not the biggest fan. It appears this wasn’t a unilateral move by the publisher, it was a 4 year project by the rights holder of the works, the publisher and a company that specializes in this sort of thing. There might be more at work than the top line story and I’m open to learning about that but if there isn’t more context then this is an example of progressive values gone too far.


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Offline stack

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2023, 02:00:31 PM »
I kinda think this sort of thing happens all the time in media. Movies have words bleeped out or overdubbed, deleted scenes, alternate endings. Music too. Whether the original writer, director, songwriter or whatever, approved or not.

Censoring common words like mother and father is not something that "happens all the time" in media. You are equating mother and father to profanity. Since when was there a widespread concern that those words should be censored?

There is no widespread social debate on whether gendered words like mother and father should exist in literature. This is a radical LGBT ideology that only few hold. It is entirely unjustifiable, and you are having to make ridiculous comparisons to the censorship of profanity to defend the indefensible.

Quote from: stack
In short, I agree, changes to the original text should not have happened. But so be it. I guess authors should put in their wills or whatever that the future copyright owners of their works are not allowed to alter anything. Perhaps a lessen to be learned.

"But so be it." "A lesson to be learned?" Yeah, this is clearly mostly the author's fault and not the fault of the radicalists trying to make changes to children's literature to suit the ideology they are trying to push onto children.  ::)

Wow, you'd think that the Dahl estate was murdering children or something. I don't see anywhere where mothers and fathers are being forced to buy Willie Wonka or James and the Giant Peach. If enormously fat mothers and fathers are that concerned by these radicalist's influence, there are probably 1 billion versions on the market they can get instead that don't include such modern revisions.

Dr. Seuss Enterprise went through the same process a few years ago, altering some illustrations (ex., removing the yellow skin tone from from a chinese character) and instead of revising text they chose to just stop publishing 6 books they deemed questionable. Suess died in '91.
A slightly different example as the actual artist made the revisions, not someone else, "Mister Rogers, in the later seasons of his show, would sometimes go back and re-record segments of earlier shows. He’d put on the episode-appropriate sweater and erase the mistake of assuming that an unknown person was a he, or that a woman was a housewife."

Like I said, I don't think they should revise anything. I don't think Dahl should have succumbed to pressure and change the oompa-loopas back in 73' or whenever it was either. I'm all for 'it is what is is and leave it be.' But I'm also not going to get my panties all bunched up in a knot because some copyright owners decided to change something. People can do what they want and buy what they want and whether a social debate is widespread or not is neither here nor there. And it may be unjustifiable to you, but you're not the arbitor as to what is and isn't for others, especially those who have ownership over something.

Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2023, 03:19:24 PM »
https://www.npr.org/2023/02/21/1158347261/roald-dahl-books-changed-offensive-words

Quote
The character Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no longer called "fat." Instead he is described as "enormous," The Telegraph reports.

Instead of being called "small men," Oompa-Loompas are now "small people," the article says.

Further, the changes to these books include adding language not originally written by Dahl. In his 1983 book The Witches, he writes that witches are bald beneath their wigs. According to The Telegraph, an added line in new editions says, "There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs and there is certainly nothing wrong with that."

i too am super mad about this censorship. and that's definitely what it is. anytime anything changes, that's censorship. i hate censorship!

it's just super important to me (and to the story!) that gloop is called fat instead of enormous. the story doesn't even make sense now. how am i supposed to explain this to my children?
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Offline Rushy

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2023, 03:26:37 PM »
https://www.npr.org/2023/02/21/1158347261/roald-dahl-books-changed-offensive-words

Quote
The character Augustus Gloop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is no longer called "fat." Instead he is described as "enormous," The Telegraph reports.

Instead of being called "small men," Oompa-Loompas are now "small people," the article says.

Further, the changes to these books include adding language not originally written by Dahl. In his 1983 book The Witches, he writes that witches are bald beneath their wigs. According to The Telegraph, an added line in new editions says, "There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs and there is certainly nothing wrong with that."

i too am super mad about this censorship. and that's definitely what it is. anytime anything changes, that's censorship. i hate censorship!

it's just super important to me (and to the story!) that gloop is called fat instead of enormous. the story doesn't even make sense now. how am i supposed to explain this to my children?

If it is not a big deal, then why the bother of changing it in the first place?

If trying to convey a message different from the original work isn't censorship, then what is censorship? Should we just call it spindoctoring instead? Would that appease your child-like attempt to mock the thread?

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Offline Roundy

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2023, 04:36:21 PM »
I mean, it was a weird place for sarcasm, because this is obvious censorship by the literal definition of the word.
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Offline stack

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Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2023, 04:45:29 PM »
Probably because this isn't good olde fashioned censorship, it's radicalized LGBTQ liberal hyper-woke censorship. Think of the children.

Re: Absurd censorship
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2023, 04:51:27 PM »
If it is not a big deal, then why the bother of changing it in the first place?

i said it's not important to the story.

If trying to convey a message different from the original work isn't censorship, then what is censorship? Should we just call it spindoctoring instead? Would that appease your child-like attempt to mock the thread?

which new message deviates from the original work? can you be more specific?

i think censorship is about suppression/repression of ideas, coercion, force, that sort of thing. let's look at the actual chain of events. so basically no one was saying anything about the roald dahl books or asking them to change anything. then the people who own and publish the books voluntarily chose to work with a non-profit organization to change a small amount of the books' language to "ensure Dahl's wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today."

where exactly is censorship taking place? if that is censorship, then i would submit that the word no longer has any meaning. at least no meaning beyond "anytime anyone does something i personally would not have done."

also as an aside to the whole thread, this is not a fucking sacred text, written by god, where no word can be changed lest we incur The Wrath of the Dahl. lmao my brothers and sisters in christ, they're children's books. i love them too, but they're children's books. and the idea that making them slightly more inclusive by changing words like "fat" to "enormous" is some egregious violation of our collective childhoods is...i'm sorry, but it's fucking stupid lol. relax.

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