Monday, February 27, 2006

Why is there a weiner on your website?

Perhaps it's because I'm the son of a librarian. My mother is a law librarian, not the true "Shhhhh!" type you would find in the public library. And if there's any group that stands up against the man for First Amendment rights, it's librarians. Just google "librarian & censorship" and you'll get "about 645,000 for librarian & censorship." These folks are activists who whisper. Trust me.

I've always been opposed to censorship. If we can't see something, discuss it and attempt to understand it, we create an environment of fear, hostility and repression. I feel this most strongly about books and other printed materiels. A case could be made about the internet being different. The sheer quantity of porn available is amazing. And yet, so is the amount of good, helpful and free information. It gets kind of grey as to where those lines cross. And honestly, I'm not sure there is a line. It's just a matter of what is appropriate for whom. And that, in a nutshell, is why I don't like companies like Secure Computing. The folks at boingboing have done a much more eloquent job of explaining why filtering software doesn't work so I won't go into depth here. Suffice it to say, it don't work. We have this stuff at work, and yet if I wanted to I could dial up pictures of naked chicks all day long. I don't, because I prefer to remain gainfully employed. And I'm sure any 13 year old kid could do the same.

So, back to the weiner. Boingboing reader Kurt von Finck "created the attached button (standard 120x90 size) that BB readers can put on their sites. It features the pubic region of Michelangelo's David sculpture, uses fairly neutral colors, and is taken from public domain stock photography. I release this work into the public domain, relinquish any claims over its use, and encourage BB readers to put it on their sites.

Maybe if enough of us do so, SmartFilter will just collapse under the weight of its own odious censoring."

It's over there, in the sidebar. It will remain there. It's my way of figuratively misquoting Dr. Johnny Fever. "Oh, I almost forgot, fellow babies... WEINER!!" Sorry if you're offended. We now return you to your regularly scheduled bike blog.



Sascha said...

hmmm...kinda looks like a guy with a mustache sticking out his tongue...


Tim said...

Man, I hate to nitpick, because I completely agree with you. I'm a writer and editor, so I have a vested interest in opposing censorship.

But didn't Dr. Johnny Fever actually say, "Oh, I almost forgot ... BOOGER!"?

I'll have to Google that. Anyway, I loved that show when I was in high school.

Bailey Quarters. SCHWING!

Tim said...

DOH! You actually said you were misquoting him. Sorry.

At least I can take comfort in the knowledge that part of my brain still holds trivia from "WKRP In Cincinnati."

Pete said...

There seems to be a large portion of my brain devoted to WKRP trivia. I would like to repartion some of that space so I can remember what I was looking for when I went to the basement.