Censorship; or, Celebrity ____ likes to smoke ____!
Anthony Bourdain was in Tangier. That’s an interesting city, and from what I’ve seen of him, an interesting man, so I put my book away to listen. But in this boarding area in San Francisco International Airport, the speakers were well behind the TV, giving you the choice of either audio or video, you can’t eat your cake too.
Bourdain was eating couscous, not cake, but you get the idea.
I opted for visual, since Tangier’s…uglyprettyinteresting. He talked to young people, he talked to old people, he talked about Paul Bowles. Then he talked about hashish. Or at least, that’s what the dimly heard audio whispered about, in sibilant syllables of illicit cannabis (the video avoided anything too overt). But it was the subtitles that caught my attention.
Subtitles always run a little behind, but they were doing a pretty good job. Until the hash. Then they paused. Froze. Stopped. AndAllOfASudden blasted through, the words regarding hash flying past, nearly too fast to read.
At another point in the episode, again mentioning drugs, the same thing happened. A subtitle pause followed by a gushing. (I think) the same thing happened when he mentioned sexuality.
Was this CNN’s semi-censorship? They couldn’t block the topic completely, but they could muffle it, smother it, push it to the side. Or was it just coincidence?
I was on my way to Venezuela. What censorship would I (not) see there?
In my 4th of July post, I briefly mentioned USAID and its connection with the CIA, but thought it prudent not to expound at length on the issue, given that I was bound for a nation that many claim is the current site of a CIA-sponsored opposition movement intent on toppling the democratically elected government. So I self-censored, a little, the product of an environment and notoriety whose veracity I could not verify.
What would I be able to verify once I got there? Is the opposition movement authentically (there’s that word again) Venezuelan, or fostered from abroad? Would it be a propaganda download? Toe the party line? Toe the opposition party line? Any agenda forced on me?
And, more disturbingly, would I even be able to tell?