Censorship in India and Smashwords
Woody Allen is now refusing to release his latest film in India because censors want him to allow an anti-smoking text to run across the screen about the dangers of smoking during a scene in the film where characters are smoking.
Allen, who has "creative control" over the film's distribution in India, wasn't comfortable with modifying the film. The film's India distributor, PVR Pictures, noted that, "He feels like when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene." This is probably true -- why would you watch a quiet scene of two people talking when you can read giant block letters about the dangers of smoking?
This form of censorship has happened before in India with other film makers. You can read more here.
We get it, censors. Smoking is bad for you. Let us watch the movie in peace.
As for Smashwords, we've been releasing back listed books of mine there all month and it's always an absolute nightmare. First, Smashwords is the most difficult place for indie authors to deal with on any level. Second, now I'm getting e-mail notifications from Smashwords about putting up adults only disclaimers on certain books (there's no rhythm or reason as to why it's only certain books), stating that all characters are over eighteen. I have more books on Smashwords than I can count with publishers and this has never happened before. I have never written a book with a character that is under the age of eighteen years old, and I've even gone through this hot mess of hell a few years ago with a book that was once published with Loveyoudivine.com. From that post.
But, I assure you, there are no underage characters in this short book. I don't judge those authors who decide to do things like this, but I've never done it and never will do it. In fact, the main character, Jared, the guy referred to as a the Skater Boy, is only a quasi skater boy. He's in his twenties and is clearly a consenting adult. This is one of the tamer stories I've written.
As a matter of fact, I even discussed an incident with one of my contributing authors in The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance on social media because one of her characters was under the age of eighteen and I didn't feel comfortable with that. And in her story the character in question didn't even have any sex scenes. I admittedly and reluctantly censored her to avoid future issues with the book from places like Smashwords or Allromanceebooks.com. The author was nice enough to change the character's age from seventeen to eighteen, even though I'm sure she didn't want to do it. If she had refused I'm not sure what I would have done. I'd like to think I would have published the story anyway, because there was no reason why it couldn't have been published in the first place.
In any event, censorship is alive and well in the world, and I have a feeling it's only going to get worse. Authors who write erotic romance should seriously be considering selling their indie books on their own web sites in the future to avoid this.
Philly News Anchor Slammed for Tweet
This falls under the category of watch everything you say or do on social media these days. Even if you have the best of intentions, it can get twisted, as Joyce Evans recently learned.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1af41Ut ) reports WTXF-TV news anchor Joyce Evans tweeted "Thought 'Breaking Bad' was hot last Sunday? See who's breaking bad in SW Phllly, leavin' 6 people SHOT -- Tonite at Ten!"
Viewers immediately criticized Evans, with one person writing it sounded "like it was written by a sociopath."
You can read more here.
What the rest of the article fails to mention is the serious crime problem within the city of Philadelphia. I watch Philadelphia local news and I witness the reporting first hand. I often wonder how the news anchors can continue to report this heart-breaking news on a daily basis. The actual real life events in Philadelphia, and the daily crimes that include anything from beating senior citizens for money to innocent people getting shot in their bedrooms by drive-by shootings makes Breaking Bad actually look tame in comparison. And yet those issues go unaddressed and they only continue to escalate.