Monday 5 December 2016

When looney film censors ran our moral madhouse

Published 11/01/2008 | 09:53

There was an elegant symmetry to the announcement by my friend, the film censor John Kelleher, that he was no longer a censor at all, but a film classifier; he has thus brought to its historic conclusion a cultural process which was book-ended by two Brian Lenihans: for it was the present minister’s father who began the process of film-censorship liberalisation in the 1960s.

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And as significant as the formal withdrawal of the State from the personal morality of its citizens has been the absence of any outcry about the tides of filth about to sweep over us. We have, it seems, finally grown up.

To be sure, this state didn’t invent censorship, but we were perhaps the only democratic society to turn it into a psychopathological art form.

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