Live from the Roundhouse Community Centre and the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, Toren, Joe, and Kevin are joined by Cinema Sewer’s Robin Bougie to talk about censorship. Book burnings, the Seven Dirty Words, the Danish Mohammed cartoons, Elvis’ pelvis, and more!

Music: “Shaving Cream” by Benny Bell



Charities of the Week:



  • MPAA Film Board members are supposed to have children between the ages of 5 and 17.
  • We had a segment about an Oxford Library burning, but on further research we believe that to have been an error so it was edited out. We’ll try to find more information if we can.

16 Responses

  1. Awesome f*cking episode! Here in Australia, there is massive censorship of videogames. We don’t have an R18+ rating for videogames, so therefore any game that falls above an MA15+ gets an automatic ban- RESERVOIR DOGS (game), SILENT HILL HOMECOMING and the 2011 MORTAL KOMBAT are amongst the games banned here. Also, any film that features both sex and violence in the same scene is usually banned outright (SALO, BAISE MOI, KEN PARK)…

  2. My grade 7 English teacher tracked down a copy of Satanic Verses after the controversy. Her opinion was that it rather badly written and boring. Upon finding a copy in my University library, I tried to read it, but found it really terrible and gave up after the first chapter. The real crime is all the attention this book received from over-reacting.

  3. The interval song you played reminded me of this song by The Arrogant Worms. It’s called The Assumption Song, and has a similar gag to Shaving Cream.

  4. There seems to be an interesting censorship phenomenon where red blood is unacceptable. Hollywood seems to have found a gaping loophole. Tarantino made the action sequences in Kill Bill black and white to lower the motion picture rating system from R to PG-13. Many other movies use this tactic to show gore without increasing their rating. Recent examples are Disney’s John Carter of Mars, Avatar, and pretty much any movie that has aliens that get killed.

    How does colour change the fact that creatures are losing vital fluids? Are we dumb enough not to tell that they’re still dying? Or is it OK because they’re not human?

  5. Canada Customs is kind of hilarious in their total lack of accountability for what they allow or disallow. Several years back, I ordered a stack of movies from Cult Epics or some such imprint and had them delivered to my parents’ place — I was living overseas at the time — and, while beheadings and schlocky monsters ravishing maidens in the forest were apparently just fine, a movie that involved women dripping hot wax on one another raised some eyebrows and generated a form letter to suggest that I might be importing obscene materials. (The resulting phone conversation with the parents — “Yes, merry Christmas! We’re good, thanks. How are things there? Oh, by the way, what’s `The Black Glove’?” — isn’t one that I’m in a big hurry to have again.) About two months later, they released the DVD in question, but not without covering it in greasy fingerprints first, presumably when it got passed around at some office Christmas party. Border inspections around Toronto have a long history of giving people a hard time where gay- or lesbian-themed materials are involved, and I still have no idea what it was about this particular disc that someone eventually decided was safe for my fragile little mind.

    That said, things are a lot worse with our friends to the south. A friend of mine runs a small record label that mostly puts out recordings by Muslimgauze, and he’s regularly stopped at the border when he tries to take those CDs and records across. Granted, albums titles like “Fuck Israel” aren’t all sunshine and fuzzy puppies, but he’s even encountered border guards who respond to his questions of “What about freedom of speech?” by saying “It’s fine as long as it doesn’t question the government.”

  6. Wow, great ep. Kept making me think of things to add, but haven’t had a chance till now.
    Great timing for one, the day after your episode the Australian Parliament passed the R rating for games here so we can now get them. This is after years of senate committees and reviews and such, including one with received 58000 public submissions, 98% of which called for an R rating on games. It’s been a long time coming.
    I agree with Skroonk about John Carter – I wouldn’t take kids to it, as the body count (lots of sluicing with blue Martian blood) must be in the tens of thousands.
    The Goodies did an episode satirising that Mary Whitehouse person called “Sex and Violence” where they wer commissioned to produce a sex ed video for her to give to the BBC but it couldn’t show any flesh, so they just had people staggering around in long white sheets like ghosts. Couldn’t find a YouTube clip, I’m afraid. IMDB: http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0591027/
    Finally I noticed you didn’t really cover the modern Internet filtering attempts going on. The Australian one seems to have gone quiet but the Kiwis got one (3 accusations of torrenting and you lose your Internet access) and the Brits have one now (won’t somebody think of the children!). Perhaps they might be useful for a “stealing” episode.
    Finally, finally, those ideas censored by the Church back in the 12th Century made me a bit sad: 800 years on and those same arguments are still valid and being used and yet the Church is still with us. Perhaps censoring ideas like that is finally impossible, and least for a lot of us.
    Just one that, is anyone one familiar with Tim Minchin’s Pope Song? NSFW, but right on the idea of censoring ideas and words and how inconsistent it is:

  7. Dont even get me started about censorship based on the rights of advertisers. I had been legally watching a cartoon, a frinking cartoon, on the host website (because for some reason it was not available in canada). Yes they had their own commericals, and yes I could have blocked them, but I love the show so I sat through them thinking that by doing it through the site that I was legally showing support for a show I plan to buy.

    NOW all of sudden it has the nice canadian “not available in your reagion message”
    And why you ask. Well it does not fulfill canadian content…for advertising. Because it did have any canadian advertisers on it, and could some compete with the TV advertisers (which again the show is not planned to be release here anytime soon from what ive seen) its been blocked.

    I lub canada, BUT this is why people torrent and subvert copyright, region lockdowns and the like. I actually dont mind spending money on things I like, or supporting it legalling by maybe watching your commericals that go with it, its how the market works. But if you block my consumption, guess what, Im forced to find other means to consume a legal and freely distributed product in technically illegal way.
    It kind of makes make me feel dirty for supporting any canadian made products at all when they do come out….hmm buy USA only in canada now there a a protest I could get behind.

  8. What did the guy in the beginning say that was bleeped out? I figured anything was fair game after Joe’s intro 🙂

    1. I think it’s what the kids like to call irony. That we would bleep out an intro in a podcast that might be a little critical of Censorship…. Supposed to be funny, supposed to be….

  9. A good example of corporation censorship is this video of TotalBiscuit in which he speaks about youtube censorship:

  10. Face palm of the day: 10yo’s speech on the importance of self-censorship (eg not calling each other “gay” and “retard” in the schoolyard) gets censored by the Education department, completely obliterating its message.

    Analysis & Opinion: A lesson in the power of words (and censorship)

  11. Toren was right about Blockbuster. When the brick and mortar stores were going downhill because of Netflix and Blockbuster started doing a similar disc mailing service in an effort to compete, I recall being unable to get the NC-17 version of Lust, Caution from Blockbuster and was so annoyed with the censorship that I checked Netflix to see what version they’d send, discovered they’d send the NC-17 version, and cancelled my Blockbuster membership right then and there. In my comments on the cancellation form I even told Blockbuster that I thought their censorship of what I can watch was ridiculous and that’s why I was cancelling (I was in my first year of law school at the time, so I may have been a bit overzealous).

    Also, not sure if you guys have seen “The Count Censored” but because it’s hilarious, I have to share just in case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM