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Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. If you don't live in Canada or are not a serial killer junkie, you probably don't know who these two nutcases are.

They raped and killed at least two teenage girls (although several more were alleged, or maybe even proven...i don't know, i didn't follow the case all that closely). They were sexual sadists who took depravity to Caligulan extremes. They even sacrificed Karla's sister for their cruel and unusual sex games. What they did horrified and sickened the entire nation. And now some nit-wit is making a movie about it. The timing of this couldn't be worse. Due to her cooperation with authorities in convicting her husband, in the so-called "Deal with the Devil", Homolka will be released from prison, i believe, this summer. Here's hoping someone drives a metal stake through her chest, and then feeds a boat load of red ants into her open wound while she's still alive so she can watch them eat her from the inside out.

The reason why i'm writing this though, has to do with this movie. I've gotten about 3 emails from people asking me to sign a petition to stop the movie's production. Now, as disgusting as i think it is that some shameless charlatan wants to make a film about these people while their families still mourn and one of the killers roams free, i still think it's wrong to try to censor this rather dubious piece of "art" (And I emphasize the quotes).

Where do y'all stand on this kind of thing? Not only the exploitation of noisome tragedies, by filmmakers who aren't creative enough to think up their own stories, but also the whole issue of censorship in art. I believe it was in NY where someone had a fecal-smeared Jesus that he was displaying, obviously to elicit as much controversial publicity as he could. Should such things be banned, or should it all be allowed...or should there be some kind of in-between that we should all determine through trial and error.

Discuss.

s.
 

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I'm totally with you on the fact that, while gruesome and unsavoury, there shouldn't be any censorship or petition here. Of course, making money out of other peoples misery and grief probably keeps Hollywood running. I mean, similar films have been made about the Boston Strangler, The Son of Sam, Jack The Ripper, not to mention Nazi Death camps - practially casting them as they staggered out of Belson.. etc. They were, if I remember, floating the idea around of making a film about Myhra Hindley and Ian Bradey, and possible the Jorkshire Ripper (both terrible crimes, including children). If they did, I know the nation would be in uproar. The problem is dramatising true crime...it's a sticky one.

The reason - time. Time as to no offend the victims or their families. But how much time ? That's the difficult question. The Yorkshire Ripper was jailed 25 years ago, and the victims of their parents are still alive...so, obviously a no go there...

Why do people protest about this kind of thing anyway. Just don't go and see it if it 'offends you'. Nobody should be able to tell anyone what they can or can't watch, eat, drink, unless it has a detremental effect on others. I think there is a line, however, at which point it's stepping over the mark. Like - Live Executions, Live Rape, Burning Animals....etc. Still, you saw that kind of thing during the 24/7 coverage of the Iraq war....so..
 

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Uh, Martin, I hate to sound condescending, although its never stopped me before - but that "line" is called censorship. I know, its tough being absolutely relativistic about things. Its tiresome how eventually some sort of nasty line which shouldnt be crossed comes up. Ah, yes, I almost feel for atheists....almost.... Since I think its inevitable that society will have standards it sets for most public things, and rightly so, I think moderate censorship is fine. Like legislation, it changes with the national consensus. I dont like 1950's American censorship, but then again, neither did the people of the 1960s. It changes with the times, and thats not always bad. I dont like the fact however, that sex can easily rate any motion picture R in the United States, but that violence can occur in PG movies. Likewise, there is much more killing on television in the US than lovemaking. And I know that the more you watch anything, or hear it, the more it becomes ingrained into your psyche. Americans really need to stop desensitizing themselves to violence. I mean, I wouldnt relish raising kids with some of the commercials they show in Europe on, either, but a happy medium would be cool.

Peace
Homeskooled 8)
 

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I agree with the Freedom of Speech argument. I AM a forensics junkie (great fan of profiler John Douglas), etc. Some of my favorite films are horrific, but BASED on certain serial killers, like "Silence of the Lambs" (the first film, the rest were pretty awful), and "Se7en" etc.

But there have always been BOOKS and films about real life outlaws of one form or another. The Manson family ... there have been a million things done on that, "Helter Skelter" etc. Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy ... really gruesome stuff on TELEVISION. I love it, LOL.

Also, just recently this film with Charlize Theron, "Moster" about Aileen sp? Warmus. It was actually an interesting character study. But it was also balanced out by real documentary footage of Warmus. I rented two documentaries after seeing the film.

Also, there is a film coming out (I'm waiting for it) starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman (a fave character actor of mine) who will be playing author Truman Capote who befriends one of the killers he's writing about in the book "In Cold Blood". I can't think of those two dudes, but that was made into a film.... waaaaaaaaaay back... I forgot.

As long as any of this stuff is given the proper movie or TV rating, and parents are responsible enough to protect their kids, or talk with their kids about these things, or keep them from seeing them, etc., I believe anyone is entitled to see such a thing.

And like "Monster" it can be good actually. THough that was skewed a tad. Warmus was truly, I don't know, she was paranoid, mentally ill, and she was portrayed more as a tragic figure. S'OK, it's drama.

Also, as I understand it, any criminal who writes about his/her experience, or has a film made about it, is NOT to receive any of the revenue the thing takes in. So the guilty party cannot profit from the crime, etc.

There are plenty of films also that freak me out that aren't even based in reality. If such films are done well, they can be rather insightful.

Serial killers exist, seems they always have, and I'd gather always will. And people are fascinated by them. I am!

Also, I don't believe this incites the average person to "follow in the footsteps" of the criminal they see on the screen or read about. If someone turns "copycat", they had problems to begin with.

I always recommend a great book..... "A Father's Story" by Lionel Dahmer, the father of Jeffrey Dahmer. It's really fascinating. He isn't apologetic, but he illustrates how blind and passive he was by how "sick" his son was. And interesting, how he saw parts of himself in his son, but "for the Grace of God" -- forgive me Martin 8) he turned out differently.

I highly recommend it. Also the book "As If" -- I love these two books about the two young British boys, 9 years old approx. who murdered a little 4 year old boy. It's a journalists POV and analysis of the trial and asking "When is it, when we understand right from wrong?"

Blake Morrison is the author.

Also, read any of John Douglas or Ann Rule is it? "Mindhunter" etc. I love profiling. I would not mind being a profiler at Quantico for the FBI 8)

Freedom of Speech. You don't have to go to see it, you don't have to read it, if you don't want to. And it's a parents' responsibility to explain these things to their children, and monitor their viewing of TV/film, etc.

Best,
D
 

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Let me add, lest you think I'm holding onto an axe at the mo 8) -- my interest in this is not the violence, but in the psychology of WHY?

That film "Natural Born Killers" -- it wasn't about anyone and was as I see purposefully violent and had no redeeming content. Was that Oliver Stone? Hate that guy... at any rate, I may have all of this wrong, but a real life story.... Hell, they don't "wait" an "appropriate amount of time." ... they've done films on JonBenet Ramsey, essentially destroyed the family and have never indicted anyone for the crime.

I'm with John Douglas on that one. I don't think the parent's killed their own daughter. I believe there was an intruder in the house. This has happend a lot in the news. Not uncommon at all.

I'm interested in the psychology of the criminal. It gives me insight into all of humanity. Sometimes I see these people were born with absolutely no conscience whatsoever.

I like solving puzzles.

And for instance why is Sherlock Holmes so popular. Fact of fiction, people are fascinated by this stuff, and if someone isn't, they have to the right to NOT read it, NOT watch it., etc.

Best,
D
 

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Who decides, and on what authority, what is the happy medium Homeskooled ? If we censored everything and all we had on TV and in the Cinema was a picture of a pretty flower gently swaying in the wind, someone would still complain.

If you don't want to watch it, just don't watch it. If you want to protect your children or the vunerable, then protect them. Censoring denies the vast majority of decent folk the choice.
 

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Dear Dreamer,
I agree with you to an extent. For instance, the public airwaves need some policing. Not the policing they're getting - the FCC is being purely political of late, I think, and is playing fast-and-loose with its own rules. But I agree with the current arrangement that primetime television is held to different standards than 1 AM, after which anything goes. As for film, since it wont be publicly tuned into, anyone willing to shell out the dollars should be able to see what they want. The capitalism of it makes it hard for people without money (kids) to see movies like Sin City, and enforces a mob mentality censorship - if the masses dont want it, it wont make any money. But over and above all of that, are rules which supervise the making of films and the taboos of television. There have been one or two movies in the past where people- not just animals- were physically mutilated to make a film. These films are illegal and on the blackmarket. There are laws which prohibit the harming of animals while filming - movies which try to circumvent this in the US are illegal. Televising the execution of a human being would, in my mind, be the final proof that we have become like the old Romans in the Coliseum, if the NFL wasnt enough to convince you of that already 8) . No, there will always be a line which must be drawn. Even the Romans had censorship - blaspheme the Gods in public print or speech, and you'll be given your own public, nationally televised death in the Roman Coliseum. Even the FCC wouldnt do that to a rule-breaker.

Peace
Homeskooled
 
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ok, everybody go over to their bookshelf and blow the dust off of their treasured copy of John Milton's "Areopagitica." His premise in that essay is similar to Martin's, that it is more important to create a world where human decency is acted upon (where the "bad stuff" would be voluntarily ignored) than one where censorship polices our seeming inability to endorse only savory material. Censorship places a lopsided emphasis on the issue of decency and is more of a quick fix than a cure. Sort of liked a forced "I'm sorry" that is no truly hearfelt. Milton had more faith in humanity than most of us, because he believed people could be brought to the point of voluntarily selecting the good from the bad, whereas censorship, in a way, is a pessimistic approach to the problem.

So go on... read it!
 

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if the masses dont want it, it wont make any money. But over and above all of that, are rules which supervise the making of films and the taboos of television. There have been one or two movies in the past where people- not just animals- were physically mutilated to make a film.
Dear Home,
You hit the nail on the head with that first sentence. Hollywood makes what sells. In "the old days" war movies and Westerns with shoot outs, blood and guts, etc. My husband grew up with that, played cowboys and indians with the same ferver kids play out Nintendo games.

People DO like "bread and circus'" -- again none of this is new. And here we get into the discussion of who decides what is proper and what isn't. I don't believe -- at least fully -- that violence in media causes violence, I just think Art is imitating Life.

Re: these underground films, etc. Of course, these exists -- like these sexual "Snuff" films -- some of which were hoaxes too. But they sold. People wanted to see that stuff.

If a person or an animal IS injured in the making of any such film, well that's against the law. But regulating the black market is very difficult.

Again, I see the family unit as the place where these things are discussed openly. Children should ask questions, and learn from their parents what is "right and wrong". My biggest problem is in parents not giving a hoot about what their kids do. And the end result is disaster.

There is all sorts of horror in the world that can influence a child, but a child cannot be fully protected from it. It is up to the parent to do the parenting, not the government.

Yeah, and TV standards and practices are all over the place, LOL. At least they try.

But there wouldn't be unsavory movies/video games/music lyrics, etc. if they didn't sell And this stuff has been "selling" since time immemorial. Yup, "bread and circus'", etc.,etc., etc.

OK, I have got to get away from this board and get things done. This is addicting! 8)
 

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If we censored everything and all we had on TV and in the Cinema was a picture of a pretty flower gently swaying in the wind, someone would still complain.
LOL, ain't it the Truth. It is amazing society works as well as it does.

Bottom line, I believe in freedom of speech, and a strong family to help children deal with the inevitable horrors of life.
 
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From Milton's Areopagitica:

...But if it be agreed we shall be tried by visions, there is a vision recorded by Eusebius, far ancienter than this tale of Jerome, to the nun Eustochium, and, besides, has nothing of a fever in it. Dionysius Alexandrinus was about the year 240 a person of great name in the Church for piety and learning, who had wont to avail himself much against heretics by being conversant in their books; until a certain presbyter laid it scrupulously to his conscience, how he durst venture himself among those defiling volumes. The worthy man, loath to give offence, fell into a new debate with himself what was to be thought; when suddenly a vision sent from God (it is his own epistle that so avers it) confirmed him in these words: Read any books whatever come to thy hands, for thou art sufficient both to judge aright and to examine each matter. To this revelation he assented the sooner, as he confesses, because it was answerable to that of the Apostle to the Thessalonians, Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. And he might have added another remarkable saying of the same author: To the pure, all things are pure; not only meats and drinks, but all kind of knowledge whether of good or evil; the knowledge cannot defile, nor consequently the books, if the will and conscience be not defiled...

...Seeing, therefore, that those books, and those in great abundance, which are likeliest to taint both life and doctrine, cannot be suppressed without the fall of learning and of all ability in disputation, and that these books of either sort are most and soonest catching to the learned, from whom to the common people whatever is heretical or dissolute may quickly be conveyed, and that evil manners are as perfectly learnt without books a thousand other ways which cannot be stopped, and evil doctrine not with books can propagate, except a teacher guide, which he might also do without writing, and so beyond prohibiting, I am not able to unfold, how this cautelous enterprise of licensing can be exempted from the number of vain and impossible attempts. And he who were pleasantly disposed could not well avoid to liken it to the exploit of that gallant man who thought to pound up the crows by shutting his park gate...

...They are not skilful considerers of human things, who imagine to remove sin by removing the matter of sin; for, besides that it is a huge heap increasing under the very act of diminishing, though some part of it may for a time be withdrawn from some persons, it cannot from all, in such a universal thing as books are; and when this is done, yet the sin remains entire...

...And were I the chooser, a dream of well-doing should be preferred before many times as much the forcible hindrance of evil- doing. For God sure esteems the growth and completing of one virtuous person more than the restraint of ten vicious...
 

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Homeskooled said:
I dont like the fact however, that sex can easily rate any motion picture R in the United States, but that violence can occur in PG movies. Likewise, there is much more killing on television in the US than lovemaking. And I know that the more you watch anything, or hear it, the more it becomes ingrained into your psyche. Americans really need to stop desensitizing themselves to violence. I mean, I wouldnt relish raising kids with some of the commercials they show in Europe on, either, but a happy medium would be cool.

Peace
Homeskooled 8)
WOW :shock: for once, i agree with homeskooled!!! :D i think this is a definite first. i definately think that all of the violence on t.v. and in movies has contributed to the fact that the u.s. is the most violent first world country in the world.

that being said, i don't think that movies (or any art form) should be censored. they should just be rated more strictly. i don't think that anyone, regardless of age, should be able to see any movie, or art exibit, etc...
 
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