An interesting conundrum settled over Facebook these past few days, a question of morality, of ethics and of censorship.
If writing is the unburdening of the mind, the purging of creativity onto the written page, who is the gatekeeper? Who is the moral guardian of the ‘nice’ society in which we live? Should there be a gatekeeper, a guardian or should creativity be outside all societal constraints?
I won’t elaborate on the nature of the book which had readers and writers flapping their hands on social media. Suffice to say, it was a fiction book about a topic that is abhorrent to many. Shocking enough to warrant The Great Amazon Gatekeeper to rip it from its listings, to banish it to the dank basement with other Books Thou Shalt Not Read. The topic itself–according to some–was glorifying the ghastly in the way it was delivered. How can fiction be delivered in a solely factual way before it becomes non-fiction, you might ask.
Is the glorification of a taboo subject wrong?
How far can a writer go before creativity becomes harmful, before it crosses lines, tarnishes reputations, and sends readers into coronary care wards around the land? I have no answer for this because what I deem outrageous (very little, I’m sick in the head) might be perfectly acceptable to another (more sick in the head even than me). People have triggers and people have different moral compasses than their neighbours, friends, grannies, psychiatrists.
And is it even glorification?
Isn’t this too based on perception and your own code of right and wrong by which you live your life? Or, does our ingrained and inherent freedom of choice scratch away at our morality until we can justify almost anything, including enjoyment in the taboo in the name of ‘entertainment?’
There are reasoned arguments on both sides: When we begin to censor books, films, plays, are we planting a Japanese Knotweed in the entertainment industry that will eventually choke the life from it? Or, without abiding by a set of ethics and morality, are we accepting that anything goes? That, because it’s for entertainment, we are happy to abandon our own beliefs? You could argue that it’s up to the individual to read or not read, to watch a film or a play, or to not do so–choice. Let us all be our own censors.
An interesting conundrum. A moral dilemma. What are your thoughts?
As always, I’d love to hear your views, please be respectful 🙂