Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cleaning up the arts

Now, I don't bandy the word 'artist' around much about myself. I just write books but I guess in this case I'll use it because I don't think anyone has the right to scrub or sanitize anyone else's art. So I was pretty pleased to see a U.S. judge rule that companies are no longer allowed to remove "offensive material" from films and release them as their own, cleaned up versions. I'm sure directors, producers and writers make decisions about what they put in their films based on artistic interpretation (and what sells, no doubt). I have a book out that someone could think needs sanitizing but each and every word and phrase in there was considered. I wanted the book to feel real to people so I used words I thought people would really use if placed in a similar situation. Sometimes the words "darn" or "frig" just don't cut it. If I had changed things around, I am sure it would be a lot more comfortable having my relatives read it but I didn't and I sure wouldn't want someone else to do it, unless it was my editor and publisher, in consultation with me. The idea of someone taking my work and making it into something it is not, is an awful one. So good on the judge who made this decision.


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