My post about the local writers’ event at which I will read tomorrow got me thinking, which is not always a good thing.
I will admit to a bit of indignation at something that probably doesn’t deserve a moment of my time. But, dammit, I believe in freedom of expression. So, curtailment of that freedom annoys me. Even when the restriction probably has no impact other than to piss me off, it is an unacceptable constraint. Let me explain.
A club to which I belong, a writers’ group, has twice (at least) conducted writing contests that included prohibitions against erotica. It’s unlikely I would write erotica to submit to this or any other organization, but being told that is impermissible rubs me the wrong way. Writers should (in my admittedly biased estimation) be free to write whatever they wish. Legitimate contest rules might include type face restrictions, parameters of length, style of submission, etc.; but prohibitions against erotica? For the love of God, we are—ostensibly—adults. Do we have to be told submission of erotica will be grounds for disqualification from a contest? Judges should simply decide whether the writing in any erotica submitted is sufficiently good to warrant acclaim; if not, no harm, except to the sensitivities of judges who, if such stuff offends them, probably should not be judges. And, in the unlikely event of a winning erotic entry, listeners could be forewarned of its nature before any reading thereof, thus enabling them to avoid damage to their sensitive ears.
Such rules are the sort of things that tend to push me toward bad behavior. Instead of avoiding erotica in my submissions to such contests, I imagine myself including lengthy expositions of the development and demonstration of primal lust; if I could, I’d include pictures. Better yet, videos! In this (local) environment, uncensored, hard-core videos of elderly couples engaging in steamy illicit sex in nursing home hallways should do the trick.
Okay. I won’t do any such thing. But I’ll occasionally rant about what I view as the absurdity of the disqualification of erotica in writing contests sponsored by groups of writers.
My arguments against (and my distaste for) such restrictions must be (I assume) in sharp contrast to the arguments for them, which I only suppose are supported by religious and/or moral sensitivities. My minor issue is simply smoldering wet embers in comparison to the conflagration of other matters involving freedom of expression, such as the arguments for and against visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. On the one hand is freedom of expression and on the other is perceived insult.
And so there you are; my rant for the day is done.