The twenty-first century is a time for rethinking morality and reorganizing human thought. A small example of this is the growing negative comments on social networks, blaming and downright denying literary and film classics. Suddenly, elements of racism, sexism and homophobia began to be discovered in works known and loved around the world. Some of them were created almost a hundred years ago and are branded as politically incorrect and dangerous to the morals of society.
The ban on one or other literary, film (and not only) work is a "classic in the genre" in the past. A little background: Dr. Zhivago is banned in the Soviet Union because of his criticism of power, and as we know, no power (especially communist) is tolerated. Lolita was initially banned in France and the UK because of the notorious act of pedophilia by the protagonist who commits a fornication with a 12-year-old girl. "Nothing new on the Western Front" is banned because of its overly naturalistic description of war. Lady Chatterley's lover has been denied in the UK because it is not moral for a married woman to have an extramarital affair with a family guard. The Last Tango Movie in Paris is banned in Italy, Austria, the United Kingdom, Canada and other countries because of his daring erotica and scenes of sexual aggression. But while the listed reasons that led to the ban are understandable, those of today's "guardians of morality" are troubling.
Why, after Russia accepted Pasternak's criticism of power and began publishing the novel freely, even allowed him to win the Nobel Prize after the world accepted Nabokov's pedophilia, Lady Chater's Charlie's immoral connection and Remark's naturalism, society today denies works like The Whirlwind, Little Mermaid, Westside Story, Pretty Woman, Sex and the City, and more?
All these works are accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, or all three at the same time, and have been aggressively attacked on social networks by the modern young man. I emphasize the word "young" because the young man has always been most free from all prejudices and reservations, but today he is much more conservative.
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30-40 years ago, humanity committed brutal killings, pornography in literature and cinema, and did not even notice in our works the slightest hints of racism or homophobia that would upset the psyche. Today, however, they deliberately seek and turn over the whole understanding of art and morality. It is known that the problem of racism in the United States was solved even when the color-coded people were given equal rights, and the country's assumed color-coded government immediately eliminated any doubts that whites were considered more. Sexism is rather an abstract concept in the 21st century. This is reinforced by the assumption by women of various management positions and career development in all fields of art, science and sports. But this does not seem to prevent some people from claiming that sexism is almost everywhere.
Until recently, homophobia was not discussed at all, as no one found it necessary to emphasize their gender identity - it is something personal and does not need to be poked in the face of the world. However, a person is not only gender, and the purpose of his existence should not be to prove gender identity - I am a man, a woman or as identified there. In ancient times, sex between two or more men or women was a daily occurrence and no one seemed to mind. But today, someone is making this the number one topic, trying to set people against each other. Have we not become more conservative today than before? Aren't we extremely sensitive about gender and race?
The twenty-first century is definitely the "age of the absurd." Mankind has never been so petty and has never fought for such insane causes. The two world wars were fought for territory and for world power, and "power is the best aphrodisiac," as the Nixon movie says. But a war based on race, religion, or gender identity speaks of bigotry and very low intelligence. Because the intelligent man respects the faith of others and does not feel the need to impose his own. Had we not outgrown the sense of superiority of some races over others since the end of colonialism? Unexpectedly or not, human intolerance of one another has never been so acute. And unfortunately, this is deliberately provoked.
At the same time, however, there is constant talk of freedom of speech. The media is censored, a journalist cannot write against the government, does it feed him ?!… But no one talks about another censorship that is imposed worldwide - censorship through tolerance. Tolerance in the United States requires that when making a film or news program, you must include at least one colored person. The appointment of presenters of Turkish origin is encouraged on Bulgarian television so that minorities are not neglected.
However, this integration and tolerance sooner or later leads to dangerous results that are already visible in the United States. One filmmaker is already required to include a colored man in his film, otherwise he will be declared a racist and his career will end immediately. It may even be subject to legal proceedings. A woman can easily condemn a man for smiling at her. A writer should not write a novel about a prostitute because he or she will be accused of sexism. It is pure censorship of literature and all forms of art. Obviously, someone wants to put the reins on thinking and writing. The author is so named precisely because he has the freedom to create, according to his views. It is unacceptable to artificially impose on the author the inclusion of certain characters who have no connection with his plot.
According to comments on social media, a writer cannot afford to write a novel about a prostitute and people like him are stigmatized as sexists. Again, according to them, every film director is obliged to include a colored man in his film, otherwise he will be accused of racism. And to save all this, he must please the audience and ignore the creative idea. The next step (and perhaps that is what it is aimed at) is to change the law to bring to justice the directors, writers and artists in question for failing to comply with these new moral laws. You see how many women go to court, often accusing even unknown men of sexual harassment. Maybe they will soon start judging them for a smile…
Where will someone impose on how they look or behave in the characters of a novel? Where does the copyright go in this case?
This is reminiscent of the time before 1989, when authors of the socialist bloc had to comply with the censorship imposed and to publish their novel, to include some laudatory speech about the Party Central Committee or to express their belief was the socialist ideal. Today, we see again such a restriction on the freedom of the author, who is suffering not so much the art itself.
Putting art in a frame, writing under dictation (what a work should or should not contain) is a robotization of thought and creates an artificial writing, a "push" to requirements that has nothing to do with art. Let's not forget one of the main attributes of art - it reflects reality.
Forbidding to write about sexism, for example, is a denial of our surroundings. Because there are prostitutes like the one in The Pretty Woman today, and there will be tomorrow. And this is not necessarily sexism. There is racism, but the presence of the subject in films and books does not deepen it, much less now that the works in question are almost forgotten. Oddly enough, when the Friends series aired on television, no one found sexism, racism or homophobia in it. But today, he has been ripped out of the archives to brand himself. It seems to me that the presence of such topics in art is rather healthy, since it acquaints the public with the feelings of the "different", rather than setting them against them.
Let us not forget that tales such as "The Little Mermaid" are a kind of continuation of myths and legends that have made a huge contribution to the understanding of the human psyche, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Carl Gustav Jung was grateful for their existence because they helped him understand the origins of mental disabilities.
When someone forces us to avoid "uncomfortable" facts from reality and to censor our creativity, he puts us in a space suit where we can be protected and everything is pink, but it certainly moves us away from the truth and real problems. When one imposes restrictions on the author, he castrates not only literature, cinema, but also human thought. Literature has always been in touch with the past, showing us, even lightly decorated, how people lived in certain places at certain times. "On the Western Front is nothing new" introduced us to a real picture. So war is allowed, but not to write about it?
It is time to stop this pettiness and look for a cause of conflict where it is gone! Let's stop dictating to artists how to create and exclude everyday topics from art! It's time to stop someone from changing our value system by imposing new stereotypes on our thinking!
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