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Sometimes I’m Not Proud to be Irish…

Today is Arthur’s Day. I find myself almost subconsciously putting “St.” in front of that, because only saints have days, right? Anyway, only in Ireland could we sell a day around a guy who invented “the black stuff”. I think Guinness should be proud of marketing the whole thing so well. Anyway, this being perhaps the second most Irish day of the year, I thought I’d reflect very briefly on being Irish. I recently praised the forward-thinking work of former Irish Film Censor John Kelleher in attempting to remove our nation’s reputation for frankly backwards censorship – not an easy task when you consider we’ve got our own blasphemy law. Anyway, Kelleher rebranded his office the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO), because he saw his role as classifying movies (rating them) as opposed to cutting or censoring them (“I don’t believe in censorship for adults”). It appears that it hasn’t taken too long for the office to return to its roots since his departure, the video nasty I Spit on Your Grave has been banned in Ireland by the office of the film censor.

I spit on your freedom of expression...

I have no interest in ever watching the film, but I’m of the opinion that – however disgusting and disturbing the content – a horror movie like that should be available to adults who are old enough to make mature decisions about what they want to watch. This isn’t a long post and I don’t want to get drawn into it, but I find it ironic that this film is effectively banned while films like Irreversible and Antichrist are shown uncut. Not that I’m advocating cutting either. What was it Voltaire said? “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Okay, so that was actually Evelyn Beatrice Hall, but it’s still catchy.

So much for the metropolitan and sophisticated Ireland we’re trying to sell abroad this weather. It appears that the recession has brought back our inner backwards gombeens.

8 Responses

  1. I thought Ireland was the best of the American and English governments? Like, total power for the people, none of this complicated Republican/Democrat/House favor. My head hurts.

    Compared to Irreversible and Antichrist, ISOYG is downright softcore. How’d they even pick a movie that’s forty-something years old, with nobody around to defend it?

    • How this occurred, as I understand it, is that the studio planned to release the original movie to cash-in on the upcoming remake. Since it had been banned on original release, they submitted to IFCO to receive what they expected to be an “18” rating. However, IFCO said they weren’t going to approve the DVD – effectively renewing the ban. And now IFCO are claiming that the studio is turning this into a storm in a teacup and won’t be drawn on it. However, if you don’t want them to create a storm in a teacup, then just rate the damn movie!

      As for our government, it’s a lot more “fluid” than the American two-party system, with all these minor parties and independents potentially finding themselves in positions of power. We also lack a traditional right and left wing system, with various parties occupying various positions on the spectrum on various issues. Most of the time, it’s the politics of pragmatism – don’t do anything controversial on anything anyone cares about. And, for the love of god, don’t mess with the pensioners or the unions.

  2. Irreversible I would almost be okay with banning (almost), but we should be at a point in civilization where censorship no longer occurs.

    • I don’t know. i think there is a discussion to be had at where to draw the line or if we need a line, but – as distasteful as it is – there’s no way the original I Spit on Your Grave crosses that line.

  3. I read this in the news the other day. Your final two words pretty much sum up the use of censorship in Ireland.
    I recently wrote a comment on another censorship post, where I recalled about a year ago, going into the DVD shop and seeing the title of every DVD, of a particular film, with the first word covered over with a black square. It is not only completely unreasonable to cover over that part of the title, but the third word of the film title was ACTUALLY offensive (if one were a little sensitive to these things…). It astounds me how often the prejudices and immature views of one part of society continues to impose on the rights of another part. Ridiculous is the only word that can describe it. This generation should know better and therefore have no excuse.

  4. ^ Apparently rants lead to the abandonment of grammar 🙂

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