The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, October 02, 2006

“We're afraid of getting blown up.”

“That's where we kind of agree with some of the people who've criticized our show,” Stone says. “Because it really is open season on Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We've had him say bad words. We've had him shoot a gun. We've had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn't just show a simple image.”

During the part of the show where Mohammed was to be depicted—benignly, Stone and Parker say—the show ran a black screen that read: “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.”

Other networks took a similar course, refusing to air images of Mohammed even when reporting on the Denmark cartoon riots—claiming they were refraining because they're religiously tolerant, the South Park creators say.

“No you're not,” Stone retorts. “You're afraid of getting blown up. That's what you're afraid of. Comedy Central copped to that, you know: ‘We're afraid of getting blown up.’”

Via Instapundit, ABC News: Secrets of ‘South Park’

Another problem with writing entries after the fact, even with notes, is forgetting about the notes. I had ment to blog this last week.


Anyway, I have respect for the creators of South Park—they go after everybody eventually, even if it means loosing a cast member (and they were aware that it was a possible outcome).

It also doesn't hurt that the show is uproariously funny.

And yes, they do have a point—criticise Islam and deal with death threats (even The Last Temptation of Christ never garnered its author or filmmakers a governmental and religiously sanctioned death threat).

Damage. Censorship. What's the difference?

The Net sees censorship as damage and routes around it.

John Gilmore

One of the services we offer is a manged firewall, and of course we have a few customers that have taken us up on this offer. Smirk called (Friday? Saturday? I forgot to take notes) saying that one of our customers wanted us to block access to MySpace. At the time I told Smirk I'd have to think about how to go about doing that, and when he called today asking for an update, I had to go ahead and do it.

The problem is though, that this is a stopgag measure. As it was, I just blocked access to MySpace IP addresses (found courtesy of host and whois) but what of the future, if (or when) they change IP addresses? Okay, we can fix that, but that's a reactionary response, not proactive.

Well, I could extend the fix through DNS—they use our DNS servers and I'm sure it's possible to put in a zone file such that anything at MySpace resolves to nothing (or say, to such that if MySpace does change IP addresses it's still inaccessible unless you happen to know the new IP address.

So I could check the IP address periodically (say, every hour or so) which would probably work well.

But that still leaves the Google cache—I certainly can't block Google now, can I?

Okay, just blocking the IP address will probably suffice for this customer, and it takes someone with enough technical savvy to avoid these tactics, but you get an idea of just how hard it is to block a site.

Then there's the whole issue of companies treating employees like children but I won't get into that right now.

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