Monday, 15 August 2011

Prejudice and Parochialism

One of the students I teach in Aberdeen has some work in a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride exhibition at Aberdeen Art Centre. The venue want her to remove several of her pieces since they fear these might cause offence, presumably to more “sensitive” minds. You can read about it on her blog here.

If art really had the enormous power to corrupt impressionable minds that some people attribute to it then there would need to be one heck of a lot more censorship than there is, not just that of removing the saucy bits from brief exhibitions in near forgotten public spaces. What she is having to deal with is ignorant, conservative puritanism pure and simple. “Prejudice” would be the more familiar name for it. I've written about this form of social exclusion elsewhere.

When people do not fear the corruption of their own minds but those of the more 'sensitive' they are simply responding to their own ignorance and confusion in the most cautious way they know how. If it weren’t so contemptible - because they wield power and believe they’re doing the right thing - it would be pitiable. They are the ones whose minds are corrupted.


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