Once I heard, "the greatest predictor of future behavior is our past behavior", and, more often than not, I wonder whether the wisdom in history can teach us to prevent future problems. So far, I continue to debate this dilemma and find no easy answers for it. As I explored my take on the poster for the documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side', I discovered that neither history nor wisdom may play a significant role after all.
Almost all of us would agree that popular opinion is not sufficient for a society to function. Moreover, we would probably acknowledge that this is the genesis of our laws. And, as much as I do not like to be told what to do or what to see, I am cognizant of the need for a moral balance between common decency and civilized behavior. Whether these laws instruct us how to behave, how fast to drive, which direction to go, or simply, to filter what books we read or what movies we watch, these laws have one purpose: Censorship.
Much has been said and written about the Motion Picture Association of America and its censorship policies. In fact, public debates arise in social contexts with politicians, corporations, and consumers weighing in on the argument. Whether debating the issue in social or intellectual contexts, relevant arguments can be made for each and every position between groups with competing values and interests.
For all that can be said about the MPAA and its censorship laws, I support the role of the MPAA and its attempts to warn parents, ahead of time, of the contents of a particular film. Having said that, I do not agree entirely with the system, for the set of values use to determine the censorship of movies in general, do not reconcile with my values entirely. For example, it is acceptable for young kids to see all the violence and fierce battles where heads are cut-off and infinite amounts of blood spilled in a movie like, The Lord of the Rings. Yet, it is inappropriate and...