Archive for the ‘Quote’ Category

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Below is an audio excerpt from President John F. Kennedy’s address to the American Newspaper Publishers on April 27, 1961.

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Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed – and no republic can survive.

And so it is to the printing press – to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news — that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

-John F. Kennedy, 1961

Full text and audio can be found here.

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Censorship: The reaction of the ignorant to freedom.

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors.

-John F. Kennedy

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.

-Tommy Smothers

Photoshop and Auto-Tune

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Welcome censorship to the 21st Century.

For decades, we have all seen manipulated and doctored photos whether we know it or not. And recently, software like Photoshop has made the revision of photographs and images easier and more difficult to detect. Harmless or malicious, they can alter our perception.

See many examples of historical photo revisions at this site.

Now Auto-Tune, the computer correction of musical notes and melodies. For further description, here is an excerpt from an article in The New Yorker:

Auto-Tune locates the pitch of a recorded vocal, and moves that recorded information to the nearest “correct” note in a scale.  Unnaturally rapid corrections eliminate portamento, the musical term for the slide between two pitches.  Portamento is a natural aspect of speaking and singing, central to making people sound like people.  Auto-Tune can turn the lolling curves of the human voice into a zigzag of right-angled steps.

So, censored are the flaws in talent found in some modern music.  Is exceptional musicianship now less valuable?  Are computer wizards the new musical virtuosos?  Though true ability will not be taken from those who have it, the illusion of its possession is more available.  This censorship of musical deficiency muddies the water between art and technology.

In 1941, FDR gave a State of the Union address commonly referred to as the Four Freedoms Speech.  In it, he discussed his desire for a worldwide freedom of expression.  Offered here is the ending clip of the original speech, Auto-Tuned.  Enjoy.

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If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free.

-Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people.

-John F. Kennedy

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.

-George Bernard Shaw

The press is easier to strangle than to look in the eyes.

-Winston Churchill

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

To reject the word is to reject the human search.

-Max Lerner, 1953

Friday, February 12th, 2010

So listen up ’cause you can’t say nothin’. You shut me down with a push of your button.

‘Cause what you see you might not get.

-Beastie Boys, Sabotage, 1994

Silentium Victoriam Accelerat

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

The United States Office of Censorship operated from December 19, 1941 through August 15, 1945 to censor international wartime communications.

When President Roosevelt created the office, he wrote:

All Americans abhor censorship, just as they abhor war. But the experience of this and of all other Nations has demonstrated that some degree of censorship is essential in wartime, and we are at war.

Read Roosevelt’s entire executive order here.

Byron Price, the executive editor of the Associated Press was appointed the first and only Director of Censorship. Price’s biggest task during the war was to keep secret information about development of the atomic bomb.  Price’s office developed the “Code of Wartime Practices” which, although voluntary for American radio and press outlets, made clear that certain pieces of information were not to be published.

The office operated under the motto Silentium Victoriam Accelerat, which from Latin translates Silence Speeds Victory.

Interesting further reading:
Secrets to Victory


Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

-Voltaire (Evelyn Beatrice Hall, 1906)

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Two quotes from an article The Press: Censorship, Pros & Cons published in TIME magazine December 31, 1945, 64 years ago today:

No one who does not dislike censorship should ever be permitted to exercise censorship.

-Director of U.S. Office of Censorship, Byron Price

Censorship is a necessary shield, “in democratic countries, including Russia,” against “all kinds of poisonous slander harmful to the cause of peace,” and is justified “as long as influential newspapers or private owners” commit slander.

-Quoting Russian writer N. Baltisky

Full article here.

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

We’re talking about words. And I don’t believe there is any word that needs to be suppressed.

-Frank Zappa, 1986

Thursday, December 17th, 2009


Monday, December 14th, 2009

Imagine books and music and movies being filtered and homogenized. Certified. Approved for consumption. People will be happy to give up most of their culture for the assurance that the tiny bit that comes through is safe and clean. White noise.

Imagine a world of silence where any sound loud enough or long enough to harbor a deadly poem would be banned. A world where people are afraid to listen, afraid they’ll hear something behind the din of traffic. Some toxic words buried in the loud music playing next door. Imagine a higher and higher resistance to language. No one talks because no one dares to listen. The deaf shall inherit the earth.

And the illiterate.

-Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby, 2003

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.

-Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 1959

Monday, November 16th, 2009

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard.

-Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Truth is trouble.

-Toni Morrison, Peril, 2009

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

-Aldous Huxley, Proper Studies, 1927