Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Independent: J’accuse: Make no mistake

14.12.8 by Jacuqes René Zammit

Bank error (not) in your favour

[Excerpt from the article]

Pressing the wrong buttons

Ho Ho Ho! No. It’s not the misappropriated e-mail that I want to talk about first. It’s Rai Due. I was scrolling through the channels earlier this week and I did chance upon the screening of Brokeback Mountain on the channel some Maltese still affectionately call “is-sekondo”. I hesitated for a moment whether or not to watch the film again but I have developed an utter dislike of films dubbed in Italian (this might have something to do with French gradually replacing Italian as my third language but it’s beside the point). So yes, I did not tarry to watch Ang Lee’s gay cowboy Oscar-winner and this only for linguistic reasons and nothing to do with any homophobic disquisitions.

It transpires that even had I had any homophobic thoughts, I needn’t have worried as the version that appeared on Rai this week was a watered down version. It seems that the version screened did not include the two love scenes between the male protagonists. Needless to say the gay community was up in arms. They (the gay rights people) are particularly irritated in Italy at the moment since the Vatican (a symbiotic neighbour on the stivale) has just criticised an EU proposal for the UN to formally condemn discrimination against gay people.

So Rai’s directors had to explain why a film that was aired after the watershed (the deadline where more adult movies can be shown) was still subjected to censorship. They replied that it was all a big mistake. When they had asked the distributor for a copy of the film they had done so with the intention to screen it before the watershed. There had been no intention of screening a toned down version, no homophobic censorship – just a genuine error. Someone had pushed the wrong button at the wrong time.

Funny how this business about mistakes seems to be perpetuating itself. You have to be careful not to criticise too much for you never know when it will be your turn to mistakenly hit that “send” button and before you know it your very dark secrets are in the public domain. Unfortunately, we seem to be heading to a situation where the silliness of the “mistake” eclipses the gravity of the content of the information mistakenly sent. While you may be forgiven with a slap on the back of the hand for sending an e-mail to a political opponent, dealing with information in breach of Data Protection rules is another matter altogether.


Jacques is going all Christmassy on http://jaccuse.wordpress.com. Why don’t you pop around and join the carol singing?

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