Work as a censor

by on May 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

Working as a censor is interesting. “I like this work. It gives us experience, information and we always learn something new. It takes about a year or a year and a half to become a censor, as the person is first employed as a censor assistant. The employee first starts slow in reading and it takes him a week or days to finish a book. Also, beginners are not given political or religious books in the beginning as these are difficult. Instead we give them children’s books or some scientific books, which are easy,” said Dalal.

In some religious books, the censorship department cooperates with the Ministry of Endowments. “Religious opinions may differ and that’s why we demand a professional explanation, although we have some censors who are graduates of the Faculty of Islamic Law. Some religious issues are transferred to the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs. The banned books include publications printed in Israel, Christian missionary and Jewish books and other similar books,” she noted.

From Kuwait, here is more.  By the way, “a philosophical book needs about four days to read,” Dalal added.”

Hat tips go to Bookslut and @StanCarey.

1 James Davies May 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I do like that, from a censor’s standpoint, scientific books are “easy”. Though perhaps a book by an evolutionary biologist might pose problems in Kuwait.

2 Miley Cyrax May 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

They pose problems in America too for liberals and social conservatives.

3 dearieme May 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

To a remarkable extent, Islam is just trailing along a few centuries behind Roman Catholicism.

4 Cyrus May 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

But to be fair, Rome had those few centuries as a head start.

5 So Much For Subtlety May 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Only in the sense that Protestants had even less of a head start.

And yet the Dutch were never big on censorship. The British stopped most censorship back in Shakespeare’s time and the rest of it gradually, but admittedly fairly recently. And the Germans haven’t been doing it for a while.

However this month a British boy was jailed for racism on Twitter. So maybe you’re right.

6 david May 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Remember this thing called the Puritans? Oliver Cromwell ring any bells? The northern European Protestants (and Catholics, Lutherans, etc. alike) only stopped being oppressive when the wars of religion proved too exhausting to sustain.

7 So Much For Subtlety May 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Cromwell was born when? 1599? Shakespeare died when? 1616 or so? I really can’t be bothered to look up the exact dates but who the hell did you think I was referring to?

Your last point is equally irrelevant. Both Islam and Protestantism came into a world with a larger and longer monotheistic tradition. If you ignore that for Islam, you need to ignore that for Protestantism too. Which makes the Lutherans younger than the Muslims. Or if you ignore it for the Protestants, you need to ignore that for the Muslims as well. Either way, Islam does not lack a head start on parts of the West. They may continue to censor but it has nothing to do with the length of time they have been censoring.

Besides, I wonder if traditionally Muslims have censored much. The 1001 Nights is soft porn after all and yet was common across the Muslim world.

8 david May 10, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Song of Songs is pretty darned explicit.

dearieme’s point is basically off. Religious toleration is not a function of the religion’s age – retrogression and revival can happen any time. It’s more whether religious conflict is too costly to be borne, which varies by time and available technology.

9 TallDave May 12, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Apparently Islam really only became intolerantly dogmatic after the Sack of Baghdad, which ended the Islamic Golden Age. That event really gutted their intellectual core — the Tigris infamously ran black with the ink from the Grand Library, and their intellectual class was slaughtered.

Until that point, Islam seems to have been relatively liberal and openminded.

10 Ignacio May 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I assume the reasoning to justifuy the censoring of books is that they will corrupt the mings and spirit of their population. If so, does this mean that, to their eyes, censors are al degenerates? how long do they allow them to work before taking them for treatment for their corrputed minds and spirits?

11 chuck martel May 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm

That must explain why in the 22 countries of the Muslim world just about as many books are published annually as in Spain, or so I’ve heard.

12 The Other Jim May 10, 2012 at 2:54 pm

So, effectively, Government censorship is a job-creation program?

Nobody tell Krugman. (Shudder.)

13 Andrew' May 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

A literary version of prima nocta.

14 chuck martel May 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm

According to always reliable Wikipedia, in 1992 there were 196 books published in Kuwait itself.

15 Miley Cyrax May 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

The government should just start hiring jobless 20-somethings to censor, investigate, and prosecute people like Roissy and Sailer. Its government duty to supply jobs, and free speech should be only for PC ideas anyway.

16 dead serious May 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I’m not big into PC but Roissy, if one is to assume that his writing reflects his attitude in real life, is a nasty cretin.

Also, he has nothing interesting to say. Tall, good-looking, assertive men draw tail. Wow, watch 3 random episodes of Mad Men and save yourself some time.

17 msgkings May 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm


I love how the Roissy types think they’re on to something.

18 So Much For Subtlety May 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I have no brief for Roissy but that is not what he says. He seems to me to be saying that if you behave like you are tall, good looking and assertive, women will fall for you. Even if you’re none of those things.

Mad Men is, to me, surprising. I assume it is written by Gay men. It presents a world that I would have thought no sane woman would want to be any part of. And yet all I have been hearing for years is how sexy Don is. Before that, I heard otherwise sensible women express very unusual views over Tony Soprano. I think Mad Men proves that if Roissy is not actually right, he is certainly on to something. What other TV programme would dare present a clear rape in a mildly non-judgmental way – and yet have feminist blogs defending the rapist?

19 GiT May 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm

I don’t know what the dense perceive, but I thought it was relatively clear that Mad Men is about feminism. The whole point is to portray a world no woman would want to be a part of, because the 60s and 70s were thoroughly sexist and oppressive.

20 So Much For Subtlety May 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm

And yet it is clearly appealing to a great many women. To the point that it is trivial to find on-line feminist forums which defend even the rapes.

21 Miley Cyrax May 11, 2012 at 12:39 am

Sometimes it is the most obvious things that “polite” society is inclined to overlook or deny.

22 Andrew' May 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

Do we really want status whores and douchebags propagating? Isn’t it just a good example of individual and society interests being unaligned?

23 msgkings May 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

Whether we want that or not, it’s been going on since Adam and Eve. Biology vs society.

Somehow the human race has muddled along anyway.

24 MD May 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

All this political correctness sure is mean. Why can’t we go back to the good old days when nobody got on your case for telling coon, kike, slope and faggot jokes?

25 msgkings May 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Not just the jokes. The good old days were when women and blacks knew their place. Now the PC mafia wants us all to think they are human beings!

26 So Much For Subtlety May 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm

That would be funny if someone didn’t get fired this week from the Chronicle of Higher Education for pointing out that African American studies theses are mostly rubbish.

Political correctness has serious consequences. In some circumstances people ought to be able to tell such jokes. Certainly when Nobel Prize winning scientists have their talks cancelled and they are all but deported from places like the UK, we are in no position to lecture Kuwait on censorship.

27 GiT May 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

The notion that Naomi Schaefer Riley pointed out anything is rubbish.

28 GiT May 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm

What has “serious consequences” are inveterate ignorance and stupidity, of the kind ably practiced by Schaefer Riley.

29 So Much For Subtlety May 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm

There is no evidence that saying what everyone knows, which is pretty much all she did, has any consequences at all. But that is not the point. Academia ought to discuss consequences and opinions, not close down the debate through intimidation and bullying. I doubt that Schaefer-Riley will suffer any serious consequences given the job was a thankless one, but academia as a whole has suffered. Now everyone knows the consequences for speaking your mind is for huge numbers of academics to bay for you to be fired.

30 chuck martel May 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

The academics accomplished what they wanted, muzzling one critic and discouraging others from within their milieu. Occupying the elite position that they feel they do, they don’t worry about the criticism and ridicule they receive from the unwashed masses, who exist only to supply them with tuition assistance, stipends and subsidized housing. Denigration from within the tribe can’t be excused, however, an apostate is much worse than an infidel.

31 GiT May 11, 2012 at 12:40 am

If you think insulting a few dissertation titles counts as criticism you’re an idiot.

Riley isn’t an apostate, She has no academic credentials to speak of, just an AB in freaking English. She’s a professional idiot. Luckily, that pays pretty well in the social conservative circuit, which has always been her gambit. The CHE’s decision to hire an utter incompetent as troll bait for hits was bound to blow up in their face at some point.

But it’s win win, the CHE became the subject of a minor media frenzy, and now Naomi can trot out her manufactured story of persecution and victimization on the right wing circuit, where the usual gang of idiots can commiserate about how woefully oppressed white Christians are in the United States.

32 Miley Cyrax May 11, 2012 at 12:53 am


“But it’s win win, the CHE became the subject of a minor media frenzy, and now Naomi can trot out her manufactured story of persecution and victimization on the right wing circuit, where the usual gang of idiots can commiserate about how woefully oppressed white Christians are in the United States.”

As opposed to the usual gang of idiots who whine about how oppressed blacks and latinos are, when they get affirmative action benefits such as an automatic 280 and 235 point advantage right off the bat on the SATs vis a vis Asians when it comes to college admissions?

On a side note, I remember back in college one of my cultural studies courses promulgated the notion that Asians are only high achieving because it was a white conspiracy to keep black people down, and to stir up jealousy against Asians. Funny stuff.

33 GiT May 11, 2012 at 2:36 am

Awww, is poor little Miley being victimized by all the AA? Wanna have a little cry about it? Were you too incompetent to get into a top 10 school? Please, tell us all how much the evil affirmative action hurts you.

As to your painful memories of evil cultural studies classes, spare me. I’m sure what was said and what you heard are rather distant from each other. The distorted fantasies that populate your mind are not of interest. Why don’t you produce evidence of an argument advanced stating what your fever dreams tell you must have happened?

But please, really, tell us about how horrible it is that you didn’t get in to your college of choice. Tell me how having to go to a 2nd tier university is the worst thing imaginable. Tell me how it’s worse than being enslaved until the 1860s, living in “separate but equal” into the 1970s, and then being the chief object of attention of a carceral system that has grown at a rapid rate to be the largest in the world by far (better than Russia and China combined!) from the 1980s onward. It must be really tough out there for you.

34 So Much For Subtlety May 11, 2012 at 3:55 am

Git, well of course insulting a few dissertations counts as criticism.

She wrote in the main academic paper. Odd that they would want a professional idiot. But nice to see you maintaining academic standards. Nothing like concentrating on the argument and ignoring the personality. Your teachers must be proud. An African American Studies major per chance?

35 GiT May 11, 2012 at 5:06 am

“Git, well of course insulting a few dissertations counts as criticism.”

Silly me for thinking you know what the word “criticism” or “critique” means. It’s a term of art, dear.

” Odd that they would want a professional idiot. ”

Not so odd; idiocy drives traffic. Even an idiot should know this.

” But nice to see you maintaining academic standards”

I’ll maintain academic standards when one of you blowhards proves capable of seriously appraising NSR’s effluvium.

Shall we start?

Title: In order to judge a field, read the dissertations.
2nd sentence: in order to judge a field, read 3 sentence abstracts of unfinished dissertations in a sidebar to an article about the evolution of black studies departments.

Need one continue? Not really, but let’s try.

Topic one: Natural birth literature: Please google ‘black white childbirth outcomes.’ Given what you find, mightn’t it be the case that natural birth will have a differential impact on black mothers? Might that be worthy of some attention? Might birthing strategies be exceptionally important for a population which suffers from higher infant mortality than other groups? Assuming, you know, avoiding the death of black infants is an ok policy goal?

Topic two: Conservative blacks. Aren’t conservative blacks attacking the legacy of affirmative action? Don’t you support this? Aren’t they being supported in this by various conservative and libertarian think tanks? Might not this political movement be worthy of study? Won’t research into the philosophical and historical underpinnings of such thought stand independent of any evaluation of the overall effect of this movement for Black Americans?

Topic three: Don’t you blame the housing crisis on government policy to encourage home ownership, specifically among minorities? Isn’t this dissertation focused on government intervention in the housing market and its deleterious effects upon black people? Isn’t the investigation of state intervention in the housing market, and state policy encouraging home-ownership, specifically among minorities, something of which you yourself are also critical? In other words, would you not applaud this book if it was written by a libertarian, and it was about how racially targetted state intervention in the housing market made the world worse? To put it simply, if you weren’t a racist, wouldn’t you be all about this research project?

Or, do you, like Naomi Schaefer Riley, think that the *real* problems are “high incarceration, low college graduation, and high out of wedlock birth rates,” with high infant mortality, black conservatism, and racially targeted state interventions in the market simply cases of “victimization clap trap”?

Oh wait, silly me, you don’t think at all.

36 Ricardo May 11, 2012 at 5:08 am

“She wrote in the main academic paper.”

What “main academic paper”? She was a blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Brainstorm” blog.

As for her article, I’m not inclined to worry too much about what someone writes when that person is criticizing academic work they have not read. CHE is entirely free to insist that their writers actually know something about the subjects they write on. That sort of editorial decision correlated very highly with the quality of content.

37 Andrew' May 11, 2012 at 7:43 am

Most of all dissertations, and for gd sure theses are rubbish.

What are you people talking about?

38 Miley Cyrax May 11, 2012 at 9:22 am

Hahaha predictable last resort ad hominems from Git. Continue worshipping at the altar of black and latino victimhood, buddy. Classic projection. Not everyone’s principles are driven by perceived personal slights.

By the way, given your fervor, you share more with the Christians you despise than you think.

39 Andrew' May 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

If I were to write the ideal dissertation, my best guess would be “The Cure for Aging” If you live long enough it effects you. Who do AA studies affect? 0.1% of the world? This is the problem with academia in general. And if you charted all fields from useful to un-useful, assuming you don’t thing things are all equally useful, then AA studies has to be towards the lower end. It’s just math.

40 Andrew' May 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

“Affects” of course. I’m not an English major.

41 GiT May 11, 2012 at 11:49 am

As suspected, Miley is incapable of actually offering a defense of Riley’s argument.

42 Miley Cyrax May 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

1. Ctrl F to see if I mention Riley.
2. Funny that you demand anything resembling thought while you yourself default to spittle-laced attempts at ad hominem attacks.

43 TallDave May 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm

I’m just trying to imagine the furor if someone were fired for claiming whites are inherently racist, or that people who oppose gay marriage are bigots.

Then we’d all be hearing about The Importance of Free Speech and The Horror of Censorship and Modern-Day McCarthyism.

Oh who am I kidding, heck Bill Ayers blew people up and he’s still employable in academia.

44 Careless May 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I was always amused by television censorship in Indonesia, which removes all kissing (among other things). They don’t just cut the film out, though, they use footage from elsewhere in the program (usually a landscape) to fill the space

45 Rahul May 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm

To avoid screwing up a subtitles feed maybe?

46 Anthony May 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Import some Straussians to act as censor, as they can pinpoint the passages in a book containing the author’s hidden thesis. Their pay can be hidden in the budget item “close readers.”

47 andy May 11, 2012 at 2:48 am

Actually, while reading a ‘omudsman office’ explanation, why ‘fitness for women’ is ‘acceptable discrimination’, I got exactly the same impression as this ‘censorship’ excerpt. These people just find some arbitrary arguments to support their conclusion and try to make it look objective. Anti-trust is another member in the club.

48 Andreas Moser May 11, 2012 at 5:46 am

I wonder if my blog is censored in Kuwait as well.
It is censored in Iran, among other countries, and the Iranian censors even suggest alternative sites for browsing:

49 Andrew' May 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

The best insult, self-complement of a blogger?

“I’ve been censored worse by a better class of people”

50 TallDave May 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

If I worked there, I would be overcome by the temptation to put we have always been at war with Eastaia” in random places.

51 msgkings May 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

If you worked there, you probably never would have read Orwell

52 TallDave May 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

How else would they know to ban it?

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