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25 April, 2009

Amazon and the Creeps to Whom it Panders

Amazon's recent 'glitch', which de-ranked a whole load of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgener books, along with others of an explicitly sexual nature (including Lady Chatterley's Lover!) was another dismal consequence of the way certain people think - or would prefer not to have to think. Religious and right-wing types don't like sex. Some think their magic god creatures have told them not to like sex (unless sanctioned by a man in a dress who likes abusing small children). Others just have weird hang-ups about it. Some spend their days trying to stop anybody doing sex, seeing sex, or reading about sex. It is for these sad souls that Amazon has an 'adult' field in its book description database - so that it can, if it chooses, hide these books from our view. It is for these same sad souls that the Australian govenment is about to instigate a Web censorship scheme that will give it the power to hide anything it deems 'adult' (or, in fact, just anything it doesn't like) from the entire Australian population.

These weird sex-haters, these creepy people who shudder with distaste at any expression of human sexuality, put a huge amount of effort into pressuring governments and commercial organisations into censoring what we can read. They justify much of their perverted sex-hatred by saying it is to protect children. But they cannot explain why it is necessary to keep children in ignorance of sex. How does ignorance protect anybody from anything? Their intention, they say, is to prevent the 'corruption' of young minds. But what does 'corruption' mean here? Reading a book about gays is not literally going to rot your brain. But it might strike a chord for people who are gay and let them know that other people feel the same way, that not everyone thinks it is disgusting and depraved. This is the 'corruption' the sex-haters are afraid of, that through learning about the experiences of others, people may better understand their own nature. The sex-haters are not trying to protect people - least of all children - they are trying to protect themselves from a world that disgusts and frightens them.

Well, sorry guys, but that's the real world, and it's pretty harmless and mostly benign. You are the creepy, scary misfits, and it is you we all need protection from.

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