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Comics Code Dead

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the may-make-a-shocking-return-in-later-issue dept.

Censorship 316

tverbeek writes "After more than half a century of stifling the comic book industry, the Comics Code Authority is effectively dead. Created in response to Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, one of the early think-of-the-children censorship campaigns, and Congressional hearings, the Code laid out a checklist of requirements and restrictions for comics to be distributed to newsstand vendors, effectively ensuring that in North America, only simplistic stories for children would be told using the medium of sequential art. It gradually lost many of its teeth, and an increasing number of publishers gave up on newsstand distribution and ignored the Code, but at the turn of the century the US's largest comics publishers still participated. Marvel quit it in 2001, in favor of self-applied ratings styled after the MPAA's and ESRB's. Last year Bongo (publishers of the Simpsons comics) quietly dropped out. Now DC and Archie, the last publishers willingly subjecting their books to approval, have announced that they're discontinuing their use of the CCA, with DC following Marvel's example, and Archie (which recently introduced an openly gay supporting character, something flatly forbidden by the original Code) carrying on under their own standards. The Code's cousins — the MPAA and ESRB ratings, the RIAA parental advisory, and the mishmash of warnings on TV shows — still live on, but at least North American comic publishers are no longer subject to external censorship."

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316 comments

Er, what? (5, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965498)

I don't know about the MPAA or the others, but i know the whole point of the ESRB was that it was a voluntary measure the video game industry took on itself in order to avoid something like the Comic Book Code getting created by an outside group. So it's not external censorship and it's really kind of weird to put it up as an example of the Comic Book Code's "cousin" living on. It's really a good example of the _right_ way to inform consumer about what's in the content they're consuming without being subject to censorship.

True in theory (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965564)

While schemes like the MPAA and ESRB systems are good in theory (rate the content, allow people to make their own decisions), the market realities of them basically end up resulting in "no adult content allowed". No one will stock or publish an ESRB AO game, just like no theatres ever show NC-17 films. As such there is no money in them, and the end up never being made.

Re:True in theory (4, Interesting)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965642)

By teh same token, a G or PG rating is the kiss of death. They laced "Back to the Future" movies with profanity just so they could get a PG-13 movie.

So the ratings really serve to compress all the movies into PG-13 and R, the difference being the amount of tits and blood.

There are no really good kids movies or really good adult movies made anymore. I don't see anything like Fellini movies made these days. Or movies like Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

In a lot of ways, the ratings have really killed truly creative movies; they have to fit the mold of PG-13 or R to get screened.

Re:True in theory (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965746)

Blood = G or PG
Tits = OMG! XXX! ding ding ding call the FCC! Call the national guard! The army, navy, marines! Call Reverend Phelps!

Re:True in theory (5, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965832)

Blood = G or PG

Very small amounts of it, and absolutely no gore.

The MPAA ratings board is a group of old "married" white women (supposedly parents with children living under roof, though most of them have no children in the house, and why is that the standard anyway?), so of of course tits are going to rate far higher than blood. I'm not being hyperbolic there either. It really is a bunch of old white women.

The ratings really are absolutely ridiculous. Besides being pretty inconsistent from one movie to the next, you can kill a million people rather graphically and still get a PG-13 rating, but show tits for more than about 3 seconds (or more than once) and it's a guaranteed R rating. You can even manage that R rating if you insinuate too much nudity, whether you actually show any tits or not.

Also, Seduction of the Innocent is a great way to find old smutty comics. Some really great ones in there.

Re:True in theory (1, Troll)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966006)

The MPAA ratings board is a group of old "married" white women

Apparently it was the women's temperance movement that gave us prohibition. It's times like these when it becomes necessary to rethink universal suffrage. Or actually the entire democratic process. We can't let people go around voting our rights away. Of course that would put an end to social conservatism, but I don't see that as a bad thing.

Re:True in theory (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966326)

What exactly does 'democracy' or 'universal suffrage' have to do with the decisions of a private organization?

Re:True in theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966360)

So basically, in your mind, if someone votes for something you don't agree with, we should take away their right to vote?

Re:True in theory (1)

zegota (1105649) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966458)

Your username is apt (other than that "counter" part, I don't know what's up with that).

Re:True in theory (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966420)

The MPAA ratings board is a group of old "married" white women (supposedly parents with children living under roof, though most of them have no children in the house, and why is that the standard anyway?), so of of course tits are going to rate far higher than blood. I'm not being hyperbolic there either. It really is a bunch of old white women.

The MPAA rating isn't designed to protect children from content, it's designed to protect studios and theater owners from lawsuits and boycotts, and secondarily from state and federal regulation (btw, the first one has more historical precedent than the second and would be much more serious from a commercial standpoint -- it used to be in the 30s that studios might have to produce at least two cuts of a film for the United States, the one that the studio releases everywhere, and the one that releases in Jim Crow south.)

Children do not file lawsuits, lead boycotts or write letters to congress. Old busybody white women do (arguendo I accept your stereotype), thus they set the standard. Kids sneak into whatever film they want, studios game the edge, etc.

Recently this brushed up against Tom Hooper and his The King's Speech, which he was shocked got an R rating, when in every other film market on Earth (even and remarkably the government-rated ones) it was a family film with a G or PG equivalent. All for one seen where people swear, in a completely non-sexual context and for humorous effect.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks. (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965750)

Wow that brings back some memories!!!

Now THAT is a movie I would like to get a BD remaster of, all cleaned up, so that when I have kids I know they can watch it...

Time for some googling...

Re:True in theory (3, Interesting)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965780)

By teh same token, a G or PG rating is the kiss of death

Some of the highest-grossing movies were rated G. Like the annual Disney/Pixar animations. PG movies also grossed high.

So basically you're flat wrong.

Box office data shows PG R for profit (2)

TimTucker (982832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965966)

Looking at some data for box office revenues, it looks like PG movies are actually the most profitable segment of the market.

Most years in recent history show a ratio of 1 PG-rated movie being released to every R-rated movie, yet the percentages of total gross have remained close to one another in recent history:

http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/?view2=mpaa&chart=byyear&yr=2010&view=releasedate&p=.htm [boxofficemojo.com]

Re:True in theory (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965990)

Some of the highest-grossing movies were rated G. Like the annual Disney/Pixar animations.

The difference is that Pixar actually make _good_ movies, so the rating is irrelevant. When all your movie has to offer is explosions, car chases and tits, you don't want a G rating on the cover.

Re:True in theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966028)

I though Tangle (rated G) was a rather good movie.

Re:True in theory (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966126)

a G or PG rating is the kiss of death.

This premise, like your "Back to the Future" reference, is over twenty years out of date.

During that time, Hollywood (re?)discovered kids and families; some of the biggest blockbusters distributed recently have been rated G and PG, while the number of R-Rated movies being produced is a fraction of what it was back in the "Back to the Future" days.

Re:True in theory (2)

u38cg (607297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966324)

It's more a change in market demographics - nowadays, the R-rated audience buys (or downloads) DVDs; they tend not to go to the cinema. Families on the other hand, love cinemas, as the kids get popcorn and the parents get to sit down and relax for an hour or two.

Re:True in theory (5, Insightful)

arun84h (1454607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966386)

All three of the "Back to the Future" movies are rated PG, not PG-13 as you stated.

If anyone wants to see the clandestine and ridiculous nature of the MPAA ratings board, check out the movie "This Film Is Not Yet Rated". It shows just how messed up the rating process is, and how forcibly they /try/ to control the creativity of film makers. They're often successful, which is very sad. Ratings are largely arbitrary and shouldn't be taken seriously by anyone. These scum bags need to be disposed of.

Re:True in theory (2, Interesting)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965690)

Exactly. Adult-rated movies/games/books are considered unsellable in Walmart, Kmart, et cetera, so artists can't find any publishers to buy their work.

Also I've found the ESRB to pretty much worthless. When shopping for kids this past Christmas (aged 10 and under) I didn't have a problem finding "Everyone" or Kid games for the girl with the Nintendo, but the boys with the Xbox was a real challenge. Almost all the games are rated Teen or Mature.

Of course the boys wanted the Mature "kill as many people as possible" games like Medal of Honor, but I refused. I tried to find games lower then "T"-rated since I thought 8/10 years old were too young for teen content, and discovered it was nigh-impossible for the X360. I'd sooner let them see a copy of Playboy, then the gratuitous violence in many of these games.

It took some effort but I did eventually find games without blood. So the ESRB is great in theory..... assuming the consumer actually has a choice. Sometimes they don't. (Another random example: I refuse to let any of them see the movie musical Annie because it's rated PG and has random swearing in it.)

Re:True in theory (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965852)

That's because you're buying games for the 360, which is loaded to the brim with mature shooter games and the few developers that put out family-friendly games on the system don't put out anything very good. You might find better luck on XBLA, although really most of the good all-ages games are on Nintendo systems.

Re:True in theory (4, Insightful)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965802)

No one will stock or publish an ESRB AO game, just like no theatres ever show NC-17 films.

I was about to make a snide comment about digital distribution eventually making this argument moot. However, I then realized that digital distribution is rapidly coalescing into a handful of retailers like Steam and iTunes app store, and they're just as unlikely to carry boobs than their brick and mortar counterparts.

Re:True in theory (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966030)

However, I then realized that digital distribution is rapidly coalescing into a handful of retailers like Steam and iTunes app store, and they're just as unlikely to carry boobs than their brick and mortar counterparts.

Age of Conan and Saints Row 2 are both on Steam and both have boobs (OK, SR2 requires a trivial hack to unpixelate them). I think Witcher does too.

So that's at least two and probably three Steam games with boobs, and I'm sure there are others.

Re:The market works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965976)

So...what you're saying is that consumer demand for NC-17 and AO products is pretty low, therefore content providers don't produce much of it?

If you want to complain about something I think a bigger complaint is both games and movies that just throw a few extra F*bombs to get a R or M rating when it adds nothing to the game/movie.

Re:The market works? (3, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966264)

So...what you're saying is that consumer demand for NC-17 and AO products is pretty low, therefore content providers don't produce much of it?

No, AO games sell fine when they aren't AO. Look at GTA: San Andreas. It sold fine, then it became rated AO and was removed from store shelves at the time, despite the fact that the content couldn't be normally accessed. It wasn't any merits of the game itself that caused it to be removed from store shelves, but rather a pointless rating system by the ESRB.

Re:True in theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966092)

No one will stock or publish an ESRB AO game, just like no theatres ever show NC-17 films.

And they would play/stock those same movies/games without the AO/NC-17 ratings? Sure.

The only time this becomes a bad thing is if, like the MPAA ratings, the standards and decisions are secret and arbitrary, or trying to force some agenda (anti-sex, for example). The effing MEMBERS of the MPAA ratings board aren't publicly posted.

Re:True in theory (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966184)

And with adult content, people talk about sex or the human body, not murder or killing. Weird.

Re:True in theory (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966260)

No, not weird -- just very American.

Re:Er, what? (3, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965582)

I don't know about the MPAA or the others, but i know the whole point of the ESRB was that it was a voluntary measure the video game industry took on itself in order to avoid something like the Comic Book Code getting created by an outside group.

The comic book code was exactly the same. Only it ended up being harsher than any sort of external censorship (in the US). You'd think people would learn not to fashion the ropes by which they are bound, but the idea of "let's censor ourselves so outsiders don't censor us" still has a lot of currency.

Re:Er, what? (3, Informative)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965606)

The CCA wasn't created by an outside group it was created by comic book publishers it self censor, just like the organizations mentioned in the TFS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics_Code_Authority [wikipedia.org]

Re:Er, what? (3, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965896)

It's funded by the publishers, but it is an external, independent entity, and the publishers have for years been slaves to it.

Just like the MPAA and RIAA ratings boards.

They subjected themselves to this form of censorship (one they had at least a modicum of influence over) to avoid government censorship. They were coerced by senators and congressmen and various executive agencies (like the FCC). It was the lesser of two evils. That does not mean it was not and is not still evil.

To make an analogy, my putting on a pair of handcuffs while you hold a gun to my head does not make me a willing participant of captivity.

The irony is if they had allowed government censorship they probably could have taken a page from Larry Flint's book and fought (and won) on constitutional grounds. American entertainment would be very different today if publishers had the balls to stand up for their constitutional rights.

Re:Er, what? (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966020)

My point was not that it is not censorship because it obviously is; I was just responding to the above commenter that said the ESRB is different.

Its been a long time cumming... (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965516)

and in the meantime for the past quarter century I have wanted the porn industry to establish the same kind of warnings. I'm still waiting.

Re:Its been a long time cumming... (2)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965776)

I have wanted the porn industry to establish the same kind of warnings.

What? "All stunts were performed by professional actors. Don't try this at home."?

what? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965526)

Gay characters are harmful to children? Children who might be gay themselves, and feel like monsters since they aren't aware that being gay is fine since they are never exposed to positive examples of it, in say, comics?

How does this kind of idiocy exist?

Re:what? (3, Funny)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965574)

But they ARE monsters!

Why, they are just as bad as left-handed people.

Re:what? (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965636)

Don't forget the gingers.

Re:what? (2)

Opie812 (582663) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965804)

NOOOOoooooooo....I'm a left handed ginger!

(Really, I am)

Re:what? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965828)

NOOOOoooooooo....I'm a left handed ginger!

(Really, I am)

At least you're not gay.

or ARE you?

*dun dun DUN*

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966186)

And don't forget about others like transsexuals, transvestites, effeminates or other variations there of. People seem to be coming more accepting of the existence of gay/lesbians but still don't quite understand anything that doesn't fit in those distinct groups. Off hand I can't even think of any US publication or TV show that has portrayed these kinds of characters in a positive lite recently.

The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965542)

And it was always voluntary. The publishers were not subject to external censorship. They chose to follow that "code" (and of course not all did. You just never heard of those who didn't.)

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (3, Insightful)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965588)

Just the fact people doesn't know other publishers outside the voluntary control means the control has some efficacy, probably by making commercially nonviable to be outside of it. This is, in practice, censorship, isn't it?

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (0)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966174)

what the fuck did you just say?

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (1)

lexidation (1825996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966344)

He means: "The fact that publishers electing not to take part in the voluntary controls remained unknown to the comic-buying public probably indicates the controls had some effect, i.e., that publishers not taking part weren't able to achieve commercial viability."

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965590)

We never heard of the publishers that chose not to follow the code, so by your own argument, any publisher who wanted to actually be successful was de facto required to follow the code. So what was your point again?

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965614)

But those that didn't follow the code wouldn't get any newsstand space, which meant zero sales back in the days before comic specialty shops.

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (2)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965862)

And it was always voluntary. The publishers were not subject to external censorship. They chose to follow that "code" (and of course not all did. You just never heard of those who didn't.)

The comic book - like the pulp fiction magazine (Think Astounding, Black Mask, Wierd Tales,etc.) - was driven close to extinction by television and the 25 cent paperback book. Mickey Spillane and Mike Hammer.

The crime and horror comics were an attempt to re-capture a teen age and adult readership. The problem was that in newstand and cigar store distribution the horror comic would appear on the same racks as Archie, Casper and Scrooge McDuck.

The problem was that the cigar store would be periodically raided by the vice squad for gambling and pornography.

Every commercial artist begins in the sub-basements of his profession - and that is a fair description of the crime and horror comic. Particularly when you look at what Al Capp, Chester Gould, Milton Caniff, Walt Kelly and others had made of the newspaper comic strip.

In defending free speech, it helps if you have a quality product to defend.
     

Re:The "Comic Code" never had any "teeth". (1, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966118)

The comics code wasn't just avout being respectable, it was also about enforcing 50's era ideas on racism. Saying it was only about 'quality' is just demostrates total cluelessness on the part of the commenters.

In fact it is quality that was killed by the code.

Didn't know there was a Comic Code (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965592)

I knew about the Movie Code from the 1930s-50s. It stifled movie creativity, and required that women be subservient to men, or that an evil person ALWAYS wound-up dead or jailed. I thought such nonsense had long ago been abolished and didn't realize "the code" had been revived to stifle comic book creativity.

I consider this a perfect example of what happens when you ignore the Supreme law of the land: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press....." "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution... are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The US Government has zero authority to censor movies or books.

Re:Didn't know there was a Comic Code (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965628)

I'm not American therefore I might be misunderstanding something but as far as I know those censorship mechanisms in America were always created by industry associations (like MPAA and the Movie Picture Production Code). This way, I can't see how people are ignoring the US Constitution.

Re:Didn't know there was a Comic Code (3, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966204)

You are missing the part where the self-censorship was coerced under threat of government censorship.

There were several large movements in the government to censor all media via government agencies similar to the FCC. In fact, one of the reasons the FCC has such broad powers over television and radio content is because the broadcast industry couldn't come up with a workable system similar to the MPAA or RIAA.

The MPAA, RIAA, and CCA were the various industries' attempts to avoid complete disaster in the form of government censorship. It is not like the industry leaders for these groups got together one day and said "Hey, you know what would be really great? If we set up an independent board to rate our movies for us so parents would know whether they want their kid to see our movie or not! Yeah! Wonderful idea! Lets all pitch in and help out!"

Rather, they got together and said "SHIT! We're gonna get fucked in the ass by the government if we don't do something! What if we set up an independent board of reviewers to rate the movies for us? Would that work? Maybe, lets try it."

They were coerced deals worked out between Congress and the various industries in order to avoid censorship laws that would completely destroy those insustries. They are about as voluntary as forcing a slave to put on his own shackles at gun point.

The death of the CCA does prove, however, that the industries have within their own power the means for escape. The gun is still pointed at movies and music though; comics were never targeted as hard as movies and music because they simply are not as popular. Books are rarely censored because it is a lot harder for a book to qualify as obscenity (one of the criteria is that it cannot have any redeeming social value - a hard thing to say about any literary work). Too people are simply not as interested in written smut as they are illustrated smut. Prior to the 60's, though, many important literary works were banned in the US due to isolated passages that could be considered obscene. Since the Supreme Court rulings required both a prurient theme throughout the work and no redeeming literary value, almost all books are back in.

Re:Didn't know there was a Comic Code (3, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966498)

And this seems to reveal why US comics are so dull and boring compared to comics from the rest of the world. It's made so blunt by various code and censorship that it it's completely nonsense.

Go look at stuff like Bernhard Prince [wikipedia.org] , Largo Winch [wikipedia.org] , Modesty Blaise [wikipedia.org] , XIII [wikipedia.org] , Garth [wikipedia.org] (Not to be confused with the DC Comics character with the same name), Thorgal [wikipedia.org] , Asterix [wikipedia.org] , Axa [wikipedia.org] ...

Very similar to smoking bans (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965634)

It's about fucking time! The Comics Code never had a place in a democratic society anyway; it was simply Tyranny Of The Majority.

People didn't like what other people did WITH THEIR OWN COMIC BUSINESS THAT THEY OWNED, so they petitioned the government to control their behavior and fit their idea of what is healthy for society.

Really, I don't see much of a difference between this and smoking bans.

1) Someone does something you don't have to participate in. 2) Someone else participates in it anyway. You/they perceive harm, real or imagined, it doesn't matter. 3) You petition the govenrment to control their behavior.

Sorry, that's a dick move. Glad to see Bongo (Simpsons Comics) and even Archie finally dropping this bullshit censorship code from our parents' days.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965778)

Smoking bans are in place because you are igniting a caustic material in a public area. Your smoking affects others around you and that's where your rights start to seriously fade fast. Think about this logically, why would it ever be ok to light things on fire in public and subject others to the results of said fire? In no way do you have an inalienable right to ignite chemicals in public places whenever you feel like it.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (2, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965820)

Smoking bans aren't typically in public areas, they are typically in private areas open to the public. Trying to call privately owned bars "public" is misleading rhetoric. Bans are typically are not in place in actual public areas like streets and park;, they are in bars that are privately owned.

Nobody is forcing you to go into that bar, anymore than anyone is forcing you to read a comic book with a gay character. But thanks for pointing out the douchey tyranny of the majority - You are against freedom. The freedom for a property owner to own property and say "this is what I want to happen on my own property". Your mentality is also the exact same mentality that stomps out adult stops, strip clubs, and sex clubs. "Something is going on that I don't like, so I'm going to whine to the government to control the behavior of consenting adults." Whether you realize it or acknowledge it, you are anti-freedom. People like you are why I would never open a business.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965902)

Right on brother. When I go into a place of business or in a park, I should have the right to pull down my pants and take a dump on the table or the lawn. People are such whiny bitches. Sheesh!

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965956)

Huh? How did that rebuttal make any sense whatsoever?

First off, we are not talking about public parts. We are talking about private businesses. So already, you're using a strawman fallacy to attack a completely different situations than the one I'm talking about.

Second off, IF I OWNED MY OWN ESTABLISHMENT that consenting could enter into, and take a dump on the table - AND THIS IS WHAT MY CLIENTELE WANTED TO DO - Who the fuck are you to tell me I can't? If I open MY doors to the public, all of a sudden the public gets to tell me what to do?

But yea, anonymous coward, way to talk about something completely different and irrelevant. You win the internet.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965914)

As long as the owner is the only one working in the bar (ie no employees) he is free to let people smoke all they want.
No one is forcing you to go into a bar so just smoke outside.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966500)

Exactly, people shouldn't be allowed to do anything whatsoever if another person is offended. They should also ban cell phones in public, chewing gum in public, and loud music.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965842)

Yes, just like smoking bans. Because when I read comics in public, I force everyone around me to participate in breathing in dangerous chemicals.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965864)

Nobody is forced to breathe in a chemical at a bar they voluntarily go to, just as no one is forced to look at breasts because there's a strip club up the street from you.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966080)

we are however forced to inhale those toxic fumes when you assholes stand litterally outside the door of pretty much any establishment huffing on your poison sticks. Payback's a bitch aint it?

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966366)

Smoking bans don't stop that from happening, so you're arguing against something completely different from my original statement. Meanwhile, cars and industrialization put far more chemicals into your lungs than cigarettes, but you don't complain about that, because you emotionally love cars and industry, and emotionally hate cigarettes. Try to hold some consistent logic here. I know it's hard, but try.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34966144)

You think it should be legal to hire employees and expose them to toxic substances every day which will lower their life expectancy by half? IOW the burden is on the employee when he signs on?

That doesn't mesh well with capitalism... where so many people would ignorantly do the above because they can't find another job like that which offers $15/hr, and they can't conceive of living on anything less.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966350)

There is no one forcing someone to work at a bar or restaurant that allows smoking. Rather, it is a choice where you work. It is similarly a choice where you eat or drink, no one forces you to go to a bar where smoking is allowed, no one even says you have to go to a bar. Rather, it should be left up to the owners of the business if they will allow or deny smoking on their property and it should be only the owner's choice. It is impossible to live a risk-free life, life is about matching risks and rewards. If you prefer to take a job where you are exposed to smoke rather than taking a more challenging or lower-paying job that doesn't have you exposed to smoke, that is your choice. If you choose to take a job where you are exposed to smoke, that is your choice.

It is up to the employee to choose where he or she wishes to work and know about the potential risks that they have working there. It is up to the owner of that establishment to choose whether he or she wishes to allow certain things on the property such as smoking. It is up to the customer to choose whether or not to visit that establishment. If someone feels so strongly against smoking, and doesn't visit bars that allow smoking, non-smoking bars will become a bit more profitable. If someone enjoys smoking and only visits bars that allow smoking, that smoking bar will be a little bit more profitable. But there is no reason why they can't coexist just like everything else. If you don't like smoking, don't work for or go to places that allow smoking. If you like smoking, don't go to or work for places that deny smoking.

Re:Very similar to smoking bans (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966380)

People are hired to do dangerous jobs each and every day. People who are die doing their job and know that it can happen the moment they sign their contract with e.g. the military.

So do I think it should be legal to hire employees knowingly send them into a dangerous zone. Yes, I do.

Now what you must do is to make sure that you take reasonable precautions, like ventilation and a good health plan. That way if people loose e.g. a leg (by smoking or by shot at) people will be getting a good pension and will not have to worry about their future.

Also if there are so many people are against smoking, why are there no (or very little) voluntary non-smoking places? If 75% of the people dislike smoking and there are no non-smoking pubs, I would open one and I should be making a fortune as I just have cornered 75% of the market.

With the health plan, it would also most likely mean that prices in smoking places will become much higher and non-smoking places will become more attractive to go to. No bans needed and people will still have a choice.

Good riddance (5, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965638)

*Ding dong the witch is dead*. And good riddance. Censorship has no place in a freedom loving society and its really appalling that Republicans who blather on about freedom are the first to support authoritarian censorship. Censorship and other social conservative ideas generally makes a society by condoning violent behaviour and sanctioning supression and violence against others who have views, expression or opinions some do not like.

Skin never hurt anyone, the idea that nudity or sex is bad (or psychedelics for that matter) is completely concocted by society, these things are victimless, as a society we should let individuals make up their own minds and decisions, rather than have a authoritarian government and the right wing religious organisations, the private quasi or defacto governmental form of that, watching over our every move.

I prefer more of a western European model, with a socially liberal atmosphere and little or no censorship, nude beaches etc, and governments that concern themselves with making sure people have food, housing, good jobs, and health care, and education, rather than obsesssing over imposing arbitrary ideologies on people. As a social libertatian, that is what we believe in and leads to a truly safe society.

The idea that nudity is wrong is, in fact, a lie. It is a lie promulgated by oppressive religious ideologies that are designed to control, enslave and indoctrinate peoples minds. It is opposed to individual liberty and rationality, that people should have individual self determination rights and things which do not deprive others of their own freedom should not be enacted. Nudity is victimless, it takes away no ones right to not or to wear clothes as they prefer. In fact, laws against nudity take away our right to make these choices for themselves. Nudity is truly harmless, and there is much more of it in Europe. Yet Europe is far safer than the US and has much less violent crime, an overall safer society.

The most socially conservative places in the world, such as Iraq, or Afghanistan are also the most dangerous and violent.

Ironically the country that Republicans seem to want is one where public school has been replaced by bible school, harmless. natural and innocent things like nude swimming have been banned, and with children dying on the street from starvation and treatable medical conditions, massive military and industrial prison complexs and so on.

We will all be better off when we evolve past medieval religious ideologies and systems of oppressive social control designed to take away individuals freedom, not preserve them.

Political Parties (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965726)

We will all be better off when we evolve past medieval religious ideologies and systems of oppressive social control designed to take away individuals freedom, not preserve them.

Like the two-party system that convinces people that there's a "good guys" camp and a "bad guys" camp and causes them to act irrationally in support of "their tribe" and spit vitriol against the "other tribe"?

Re:Political Parties (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34965858)

Like the two-party system that convinces people that there's a "good guys" camp and a "bad guys" camp and causes them to act irrationally in support of "their tribe" and spit vitriol against the "other tribe"?

That's just the kind of smiley-glad-handing platitudes I'd expect from someone who's secretly anti-skub!

Re:Political Parties (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966430)

It is a good point. Perhaps a multiparty proportional system would be better, would end the dual party system and lead to less us vs. them, such as the party lists in europe, which by its nature. leads to a much greater diversity of parties. All a party needs is 5% of the popular vote. Secondly, it assures that everyones vote counts. A party list can be combined with a transferable prefeerance list vote for people whose party fell below the 5% threshold.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965872)

I prefer more of a western European model, with a socially liberal atmosphere and little or no censorship, nude beaches etc, and governments that concern themselves with making sure people have food, housing, good jobs, and health care, and education, rather than obsesssing over imposing arbitrary ideologies on people. As a social libertatian, that is what we believe in and leads to a truly safe society.

While there is much that I like about Europe, the idea that there is little or no censorship is not correct. They have their own types of censorship that center on what *they* believe is bad; just as the US does. Neither is necessarily better; just different.

Re:Good riddance (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965920)

The most socially conservative places in the world, such as Iraq, or Afghanistan are also the most dangerous and violent.

On the other hand, there is Japan and Saudi Arabia.

The idea that nudity is wrong is, in fact, a lie. It is a lie promulgated by oppressive religious ideologies that are designed to control, enslave and indoctrinate peoples minds.

And? How else is the authoritarian supposed to suppress resistance? Sex deprivation is just like sleep deprivation. It'll make you crazy and easy to manipulate, to the point of acting against your own best interests. Age old technique, and very effective, as you can see. It is our job to convince people that without enough sex, they will turn into a toad, and baby jesus will spontaneously combust. Fight fire with fire.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966258)

A deprivation of sex can be harmful to the mind, there is little doubt about that. The toad stuff is obviously not true and wont help matters to promulgate something that is not true.

As far as Suadi Arabia, the state itself commits massive amounts of violence onto its people. As well, the society has little crime due to fear of the oppressive regime, not because its people are necessarily peaceful or rational, most likely many of them are not.

one of the reasons laws against victimless and harmless things damages a society is it sets up a paradox, that the state can illegalise anything it wishes for arbitrary reasons and that people who have done nothing to truly take away anyones rights can be attacked, and that is acceptable. So it creates a sort of mental paradigm which leads to an acceptance of the idea that as long as one is powerful and has control over others one can make any rules one wishes, it sort of leads to authoritarian thinking and societies.

I am suggesting that nudity should be made legal in parks and beaches, and in general, even in most outdoor locations. Private property locations could implement their own rules, that would not change.

Re:Good riddance (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965972)

I prefer more of a western European model, with a socially liberal atmosphere and little or no censorship, nude beaches etc, and governments that concern themselves with making sure people have food, housing, good jobs, and health care, and education, rather than obsesssing over imposing arbitrary ideologies on people. As a social libertatian, that is what we believe in and leads to a truly safe society.

But your model of taking most of what people earn in order to pay for this utopia is somehow not ideological? I mean if you want to say your way is better then that's your prerogative, but don't claim you're objective while you're doing it.

Re:Good riddance (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966356)

Good question. Its not that ideological since I beleive that people should have a right to do what they wish as long as it does not take away others rights to do the same. So in the case of nudism people should have a right to not wear clothes in an outdoor location such a beach or park, or not to, its their own choice, but they should not have a right to force on others at such places to not where clothes, or to wear them. So, this is letting people make up their own minds about their own preference rather than forcing our preferences on others. I advocate that nudity be made illegal in beaches and parks, this does not mean that private properties could not make their own rules on private property.

Secondly, the only ideology here to speak of is one based on individual rights and self determination, which by its nature abstains from forcing some rule on other people that takes away their own right to make their own self determination choices. This works on the concept people should have a right to live as they wish as long as they are not taking way others rights to do the same. It also connects to nonviolence since violence is a deprivation of a persons right to self determination.

The rules against harmless things such as nude beaches are in fact, based on violence and threats, on something that itself that is harmless. it is the ones who make and enforce such rules that are forcing themselves, often violently, on others.

Nudists are non violent, and live and let live, not ready to force their ways on and control everyone else, like people who who enforce rules against nudism do.

Nudism is about peace, nature, and freedom. It isa peaceful, non violent act that is beneficial spiritually, psychologically and physically. It is healthy on all levels.

I use that as an example. There are many other cases where religious and authoritarian idealogues go wrong, again, forcing their preferences on others, unlike self determination idealogy by which its intrinsic nature seeks to avoid forcing ones preferences on another (this includes, avoidance of violence, that is, non violence, is a self determination based idea).

Re:Good riddance (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966512)

and its really appalling that Republicans who blather on about freedom are the first to support authoritarian censorship

Right, and I'm sure that no democrats would ever want to censor something... Oh wait... In 2010 out of the 19 senators to support the censorship of the internet (AKA COICA) the majority of them were... democrats. Now, I'm not saying that both parties aren't to blame for the censorship in our society but it is laughable to claim that one of the two very similar parties in power is more guilty than another.

I prefer more of a western European model, with a socially liberal atmosphere and little or no censorship, nude beaches etc, and governments that concern themselves with making sure people have food, housing, good jobs, and health care, and education, rather than obsesssing over imposing arbitrary ideologies on people. As a social libertatian, that is what we believe in and leads to a truly safe society.

The idea that western Europe is truly socially liberal is a lie. Heck, in some places you can't even portray Nazi symbols, even in a video game like Wolfenstein when the entire idea is... to get out of a Nazi prison camp. Sure, in some aspects western Europe is more socially liberal than the US, but in many other aspects it isn't. Whereas in the US any censorship is really restricted to corporate policy which can be avoided by not patronizing the businesses with restrictive policies, in much of western Europe they have the force of law.

and systems of oppressive social control designed to take away individuals freedom, not preserve them.

And yet much of Europe -is- under oppressive social control designed to take away individual freedom. Take for instance the laws against holocaust denial which makes it a crime to even question issues about the holocaust in much of Europe. For example in France the law reads:

Art 9. - As an amendment to Article 24 of the law of July 29, 1881 on the freedom of the press, article 24 (a) is as follows written:

Yes, essentially in France they do have laws against the freedom of thought and free expression of that thought. Even though I don't agree with what holocaust deniers say, I believe it is in direct opposition to the overwhelming evidence that shows the brutality of the Nazi regime, I don't believe that they should be censored. France isn't the only country, the entire EU has laws made to destroy freedom of thought:

European Union Framework Decision for Combating Racism and Xenophobia (2007) The text establishes that the following intentional conduct will be punishable in all EU Member States: - Publicly inciting to violence or hatred , even by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. - Publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising - crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin, and - crimes defined by the Tribunal of Nuremberg (Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, London Agreement of 1945) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. Member States may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting. The reference to religion is intended to cover, at least, conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin. Member States will ensure that these conducts are punishable by criminal penalties of a maximum of at least between 1 and 3 years of imprisonment

Yes, 1-3 years of imprisonment for simply speaking your mind. And you call this socially liberal?

The industry is just hurting itself (4, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965688)

I haven't collected since I was a kid...actually I've never collected. I just got them and read them until the covers literally fell off. But, those young readers were the pool from which adult readers sprang. Creating titles that everyone could read is what made the industry so ubiquitous. Now, it's a boutique niche with drastically reduced readership. Maybe that's made it more satisfying to the adult readers, I don't know.

I had a friend in college who collected and bragged about the value of his collection with the confidence of a basement full of gold bullion. That was before everyone figured out the only readers left were just the collectors, and the valuation formulas were all wrong. Kind of like their own economic bubble.

Re:The industry is just hurting itself (1)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965942)

well, thats not exactly true. If you bought rare comics, then you were good and you're doing better today than if you invested in Gold. If you bought 500 copies of Spawn #1 , or Youngblood #1, you're an idiot.

Re:The industry is just hurting itself (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966328)

You mean it wasn't a good idea to use those few hundred copies of Action Comic #1 I found in a box in my basement as tinder?

Troll summary (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965736)

"only simplistic stories for children would be told using the medium of sequential art"

Yeah, That's exactly how comics have been since the CCA.

Eyeroll

Re:Troll summary (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966304)

Yes they have. And that in turn opened a huge, dangerous venue. Because the immediate assumption of pretty much everyone past the age of 25 was that "if it's comic style, it's suitable for children".

In came Anime. I will never forget the afternoon I spent watching Princess Mononoke in a movie theater. Hint for movie theaters: WATCH your damn movies before you simply roll them so you KNOW which movies are not for kids. And hint for parents: Just because it's a "comic movie" doesn't mean it's a good idea to take your 6 year old with you to watch it!

When I look through afternoon TV (there are some perks working at home gives you), I am somewhat disturbed what's considered "kids TV" these days. Only because it's "comic style" and we grew up with the idea that everything drawn is suitable for children. Bleach is not necessarily something I'd consider a perfect filler between Dragonball and Naruto.

I thought it was effectively dead ages ago (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965806)

I guess now it's really effectively dead.

Kind of reminds me of a certain dead parrot.

Good riddance (1)

Beer Drunk (1059846) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965906)

As one of the pre-teens reading comics during the late forties and early fifties (Including the horror stuff that was one of the things the busy-bodies complained about.) I think that foolishness alone proves congress has always been a pack of idiots unqualified to do anything but waste the peoples money on stupidity. The difference between the stuff published pre-code and afterward was obvious even to those of us with single digit ages. Even the mainstream things like Superman and Batman went to total dumb and boring while anything that might make you think was verboten. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were more intellectually challenging than the trash DC was putting out and the predecessor of Marvel mostly did terrible sci-fi hackery.

Re:Good riddance (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966124)

congress has always been a pack of idiots

Correction. Congress has always been a pack of politicians who worry about getting re-elected. And thanks to our two party system, they have to respond to the whims of a small group of fundie nut cases. Since the split between the two parties is very nearly 50-50, the fear of a small group defecting gives that group a disproportionate amount of clout.

Get rid of the two party system by changing election and campaign contribution laws that protect it and the fringe elements will get shoved into their own crackpot parties and marginalized.

Women in Refrigerators (5, Informative)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965936)

Archie Comics spokesman mentioned the whole "we're not going to have any women in refrigerators" just because we're dropping the comics code, which is somewhat ironic, as the woman in that particular refrigerator came to be as a direct result of the comics code authority interference. Originally in the Green Lantern story the incident occurred in, the woman in question was supposed to be brutally murdered, but the comics code didn't want people to see a murdered woman, so instead, they had her put in the refrigerator and alluded to it instead. Nice work, comics code.

Bongo (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34965968)

Last year Bongo (publishers of the Simpsons comics) quietly dropped out.

I was on the internet in minutes, registering my approval.

OMG!!!! (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966110)

ARCHIE has a gay character? After decades of frustration with the girls did Archie come out?

Re:OMG!!!! (2)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966210)

No! Jughead was always the gay one. Remember how he always had that girl that looked like him run after him and he was always running away from her? Now he can declare his undying love for Moose and Moose can stop hanging around with that annoying Midge just to cover...

Such "codes" fail in a world of easy distribution (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966230)

And until "real" censorship, i.e. government mandated censorship, happens, this will stay dead. Let's hope for a long resting in peace.

The only reason such "codes" could fly is that the makers of art had to rely on a distribution system that could force such arbitrary restrictions on them. Write to our code or we don't publish, and if we don't, nobody worth mentioning will. You will not sell your comic, you will not show your movie, your game will never be sold.

Now, the internet makes the whole scheme crumble. You don't sell my game, my comic book, my movie and nobody in the US does? So I sell it through a publisher in another country, and unless the US forbids import of the game (and unless they plan to swing that censorship hammer, they won't), I couldn't care less for your "code of conduct". People who are fed up with your "coded" content will gladly look abroad and with global shipping, yes, it might cost them a bit more, but they get what they want. Whether I pay 5 bucks for a comic I don't want or 8 for one I do is not going to break my neck financially.

But it sure will break yours, since I'm not the only one who can't care less for your "coded" crap.

Comics Code is NOT dead (4, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34966530)

Just wait until the next issue when they realize that Comics Code was *NOT* dead, but instead placed in suspended animation when his arch nemesis switched the translator module causing a brain cascade failure... And in all that time, Comics Code was in an alternate reality, getting stronger, leveling up....

Next issue.. Comics Code returns!

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