Dissents Of The Day

International Toy Fair Nuernberg

One of countless complaints from the in-tray:

I am surprised and disappointed by your dismissiveness of the apparently widespread concern among the Dish community about the scrotum-shot as it relates to workplace propriety.  The nannyism of corporate America is clearly not the issue and your mention of it effectively neutralized the “I’m sorry” that preceded it. The potential employment termination of your subscribers, of which I am one, is a very significant concern that I believe you should properly acknowledge.  Otherwise, your characterization of the Dish as a “community” would appear to be fraudulent.

But my point was that it was the nannyism that creates the risk of being fired. I was sympathizing with the victims of this new corporate Puritanism, not dismissing it. Not acquiescing to that kind of censorship is one reason the blogosphere came into existence. But clearly, since this blog is primarily read by people at work, and people’s jobs may be at stake, censorship wins. Another quotes me:

“If bloody corpses are kosher, why not a simple and abstracted view of the human anatomy?” That’s a terrific question that my boss and coworkers are completely uninterested in considering.

Another:

Yes, this is different than pictures of bloody corpses.

Pictures of bloody corpses are a conversation that needs to be elevated. It needs to be discussed, the pictures printed to bring the event to the public’s attention, whether it happens in a remote corner of a far off land or at the finish line of a Boston marathon. It’s uncomfortable, but it needs addressing. We need to know about it to be able to do something about it.

The evolution of the scrotum just doesn’t have the same heft. It’s interesting, but not at all critical. And it doesn’t need the attached photo.

I went into blogging because of the freedom to write and post anything I wanted. But I didn’t go into blogging to get my readers fired. I’m somewhat unsure about the limits of this censorship. Are we allowed to post any pictures of humans in a state of undress? Lots could be erotic or sexual to some. Could this still from a YouTube, for example, get someone fired? Or this photo? Or this one? A lot is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m not sure the office police will make distinctions between photos that “add heft” and those that merely illustrate or, God save us, amuse. But in deference to the readers, this blog will henceforth censor itself in one area: no more non-pornographic, non-sexual depictions of any faintly naughty bits of the actual human body.

We are all Barbie and Ken now.

(Photo: Models dressed the same way as different Ken dolls pose during the press preview day of the International Toy Fair Nuernberg on February 2, 2011 in Nuremberg, Germany. Mattel celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Ken doll. 2,683 exhibitors will present their new toy products until February 8, 2011. By Miguel Villagran/Getty Images.)