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(article) The misreading of fiction as fact makes suspects of us all

edited September 2009 in - Reading
An interesting item...



  • edited September 2009
    Ahh paranoia 101.

    It's like the article in an american magazine ( I don't know which one as I read it on another forum) about the Walmart employee who on developing some family snaps reported one family as there were photographs of their children in the bath, the kids were taken away, eventually the kids were returned and the family never prosecuted.

    I think if you take the paranoia and mix in a little bit of sheep mentality this is what you get. Everyone is so scared that it will turn into something that they are prosecuting everything. Instead of actually taking a deep breath and looking at it sensibly.

    Hell if anyone looked at my books, browsing history and my writing I'd be in trouble, I tell you anything happens to hubby and they won't look any further.
  • Interesting article, there is a lot of crazy paranoia about these days.

    Thought Police: Ve haf been watching you Nephilims_child, nothing escapes our attention. :)
  • I've always had a problem with this ridiculous subject. No person who commits a violent crime is ever fully responsible for their own actions because that bad film/song/book made them do it. I think if someone is mad enough, or intent enough, to go on a murder rampage, molest a child or blow up a building, they probably would do it regardless of what Eminem says in his most recent number #1.
    Or am I wrong? Should we start censoring all works of art, and prosecuting those involved in creating that art of being complicit in whatever crimes thought up by the pychopaths and sociopaths of the world?
    We need to get out of the dark ages, get past the neandethal mob mentality, and start thinking for ourselves. Maybe then we'll get that the unhinged, the fanatical and the inherently evil will inevitably go about their business without any prompting at all from the art world.

  • I agree with what you say, Sianies! Before film was invented there were plenty of horrendous murders and crimes committed. Look at the UK, we ban this and that, but it doesn't stop the criminals. I also believe that most of them don't sit down and read books or watch movies, they're too busy being criminals!
  • This isn't so much about other people's films/books supposedly causing a violent crime SA and Caro; this is about stuff that the people who have been prosecuted have written themselves- it is being viewed by some as intent to commit serious violent acts or supporting terrorism, and has led to their arrest and prosecution.
  • Isn't that pretty much the same thing, though? If they were writing out-and-out propaganda leaflets- "Your local terrorist group needs YOU", a how-to guide to making a car bomb with pull-out blueprints of Buckingham Palace, or a journal detailing the daily movements of Gordon Brown (though why anyone would bother with that, I couldn't tell you), then fair enough, do them for intent or inciting. But the Girls Aloud thing, for example, whilst distasteful, is hardly intent to commit a violent crime, and it's ludicrous to consider it as such. To try to prosecute someone for writing a story (even if it does have some elements of reality in it) is tantamount to saying we should all stop what we're doing, move away from the keyboard with our hands in the air, and prepare for the insertion of brain modification implants to change our wicked ways. No one can put reins on the imagination and still expect it to fly.
    As writers we get our ideas from everything we see around us, so it's inevitable that some stuff might hit a bit too close to home, or make some feel uncomfortable. And I'm okay with that, because while that sort of stuff is kicking around I know we still have free speech in our society.

  • While I don't think it is the same thing myself- we'll have to agree to disagree on that, but I do agree we need the right to free speech without fear of prosecution (which does happen in some countries sadly).
  • I think the prosecutors should look up the definition of fiction.
  • I would agree that we must be careful not to stifle creativity, but I also believe that writers need to use their freedom of speech responsibly.
  • Well said, Paul.
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