The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
GOOD GRIEF, MORE SELF-PROMOTION!: My new column at Reason: a
quick history of film censorship. Here's a short extract:
From the beginning, the movies have faced not just direct government censorship but unofficial, semi-voluntary restrictions by private bodies within the industry, formed to forestall more intrusive regulations imposed from without. Three such efforts stand out, each emerging during a period associated with liberal reform. The National Board of Censorship, born in 1909, was a product of the Progressive Era. The Production Code Administration got its teeth in 1934, not coincidentally the second year of the New Deal. And the modern MPAA ratings were created by a former aide to Lyndon Johnson in 1968, at the tail end of the Great Society. Each system was different from the others, but all embodied the same paradox: They were formed to fend off public censorship, but it was the threat of public censorship that gave them their power.
The newspeg is the death of Jack Valenti.


posted by Jesse 2:06 PM
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