Censorship in Rural America

It’s hard to know where to start on this one, what seems like a simple issue of censorship has much deeper consequences. Recently, in the small town I live near there was controversy about whether or not to show a movie in our small, 1 screen community theatre. After some debate, the board with control over what got shown decided not to play it. And with their decision, a little more freedom died in rural America. Now some might say I’m being a bit overdramatic with that last sentence. But if you make it to the end of this article, I think you’ll see it a little bit different.

 First, lets go over just a tiny bit of background on this. The movie that was going to be played was a documentary about a political subject and it is fair to say it was controversial. I’m not sure why the board decided against playing the movie. Was it because the movie might offend someone? Was it a business decision based on what they felt would draw a crowd? Was it personal bias? The world may never know.

Let’s consider it from the standpoint of the board thinking the movie might offend someone. So what? Are people being forced to come to the showing? Images of the movie A Clockwork Orange comes to mind. Clearly the answer is no. And if the standard is to only show movies that do not offend anyone, then there’s almost no movies that can be shown. This same theatre has played movies before that have been produced by companies that are extremely “woke.” These same companies have had many employees who have been arrested for human trafficking and other crimes related to pedophilia. These same movie companies have even produced movies with materials that many say contribute to or cause the sexualization of children! Now, I can tell you I’m much more offended about people sexualizing children than I am people talking about politics. So, I don’t watch movies from companies like that. No “saving” from objectionable content needed.

So, maybe it was a business decision? Did they think this movie would not draw enough people as to be financially viable? The theatre is run by a non-profit. You do have to keep the lights on, but the profitability of a movie is probably not the top priority. In a business sense here’s how things should go.  Let’s say the board decided to allow the movie to be played and 5 people showed up. In that sense, the people of the community would have had their say so-to-speak by not giving their patronage to the theatre. So, then the board selects another movie that bombs. At some point it should be apparent that the board does not reflect the people of the community they represent (as a side thought, it makes you wonder just who the board is representing). The people of that community then have a choice to make. Either get these people who don’t represent them off the board or allow their liberal agenda to kill your community [theatre]. I’ve written other articles about things that “kill” rural America, this is a great example happening in this small community. In this case, the people really never got a vote, they were dictated to by a board that was “protecting” them from a movie. Are you stupider for watching something controversial or stupider for not watching? Are you more virtuous for not allowing someone to watch something or more virtuous believing someone can make their own decision on what to watch?

Now, I’m going to lay it out, so y’all can play it out (I’ll buy a can of coke for the first person to name the movie that I stole that line from). The board caved to a loud minority of liberal minded people who were more vocal than the conservative majority of the town. And that’s what scares me. I’ve seen where this goes. In much of rural America you have people who don’t want their daily lives inundated with politics. They elect representatives to run facets of government and have minimal day to day involvement with how that government is run. This is true from school boards to congress.  But then you get what I will (probably offensively) refer to as blue-cancer that creeps in. Liberals. These liberals typically are very vocal and to their credit are very active in politics. They have for decades been more aggressive and frankly more effective at getting their agenda pushed through than conservatives have been.

But this is what liberals do. They’re very effective at taking over boards and councils all over the US and arguably the world and pushing their beliefs on others. What’s the result of liberals being more effective in politics? What does it look like when the blue-cancer has infected its host over a period of years? Look no further than California, New York, or other predominantly liberal states to answer that question. Look at cities like Los Angeles and Chicago as a glimpse into your future rural America.

I can speak personally to California’s descent into one party (liberal) control. For decades California’s conservative majority sat back and let liberals have their way. Usually, this was because when the debates and controversies arose, liberals loudly spoke out saying they were offended. And conservatives opted to “not offend” the very vocal liberals. And bit by bit liberals chipped away at freedom with decisions just like the one to censor a movie. Until what you end up with is a state with a bunch of loud whiny, “holier than thou” people telling you what you can and can’t say, watch or believe. A state telling you what you can and can’t do with regard to your morality. Worse, a state where government tells you how to live. Again, the conservatives just wanted to live and let live. But they ceded political ground year after year until it was too late.  

Let’s discuss a little bit about community standards. I think its fair to say that community standards vary greatly throughout the United States. But ultimately when one side takes control, they get to decide the standards. Let me give you an example of how this works. There are things that happen on the public streets of San Francisco (I worked in San Francisco; so, I’m speaking from experience) that don’t even get a second look from people there. Those same things done in public would get you arrested in most rural communities in America. The lesson here is, be careful who you allow to take over your political offices because they set the standards. Do they share your values? Your beliefs? Do they think you’re too stupid to decide what you can watch?

Most people in small rural communities would describe themselves as moderates politically. Trust me rural America when I say, your being moderate, your very desire to not offend (which is a credit to your upbringing and character) is the very thing that will bring about your demise. People might again say, I’m exaggerating the dangers here. They might say this only happens in other countries; third world dictatorships. Then it happens in our country. Then they say, things like this only happen in other states. Then it happens in our state. Then they say, things like that only happen in other cities…do you see where this goes? Although its not so much what’s going so much as what’s coming, unless you mean your freedom and way of life, because that’s what’s going.

For you liberals out there, let me remind you, you don’t have a right to stop others from seeing movies. But you have a right to be protected from having to see it. For you quiet conservatives out there. Quit worrying about offending someone by speaking your mind. Or eventually that wonderful right you have to free speech will be gone. But hey, you can always say at least you didn’t offend anyone.

3 thoughts on “Censorship in Rural America

  1. Quiet 🤫 conservative’s don’t even drive pick ups where I live. Fortunately for me I can start a a JD 410 in the dead of winter. So spreading equality and representing common knowledge around here, is kinda tough. Especially when most folks around these parts, have handheld iGoogle,FB powered machines stuffed in their face’s. And still can’t remove the cranium from the anus. The picture is clear if you’re willing to clean the window. Attention spans are about two / three sentences if your lucky . This was a long one black bird. I can totally relate. Speak your mind with etiquette and brains. The ones who understand will follow, the ones who don’t. Will fall with the TV remote in their hands.

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    1. Blackbird – everything is fear-based right now. Movies are for entertainment not for agendas.
      FEAR false evidence appearing real.
      That Coke would get awfully warm by the time it would reach my house. Hutch..

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  2. Well said. As a resident of California, I agree with your assessment of the situation. California has changed from when I was growing up. The quality of education has gone down hill in my area. The school boards do not listen to those who complain about it. Some parents are afraid to complain. Others think it is futile to complain. Parents who can afford it are taking their children out of public schools and putting them in private schools. Many people such as yourself have left California because the cost of living is too high and the quality of life has declined. North Dakotans, I urge you not to let your state go the way of California. Janine

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