[Fwd: censorship]

Michael Betancourt (mwb2@bellsouth.net)
Sun, 12 Jul 1998 23:08:41 -0400

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I feel a need to share this response sent just to me in an
offensively patronizing fashion. Note the number of times I'm
called "mike"....

Not only that, apparently I'm also a "street punk" for daring to
suggest that his posting was an assault which accused everyone
involved of pornography.
It is not a surprise that I received this response exclusively in
my box. I feel it belongs in a public forum. If I am going to be
attacked in such a fashion, let it be public so all may judge for

And as for the following:
"I don't believe in censorship of any kind Mike and actually I am
very sorry that I said anything at all I just wanted the others
at art net to let me know if information about the crisis in
Puerto Rico is known in the United States because the news is
blacked out in Upper Canada"

Why didn't you just make a post saying that?
The post in question used this as a thin excuse to attack what
OTHERS were doing. Did you even voice an opinion when Lile asked
for thoughts on whether to join the NM case? I don't remember you
making any _public_ comment at all.

And as to whether I have been censored in the past or not, the
answer is yes.

I will let your response stand for itself. We can see the
smokescreen for what it is.

If you have any response, please make it _public_ in future. We
all thank you.

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From: "Barry Smylie" <barrysmylie@iname.com>
To: "Michael Betancourt" <mwb2@bellsouth.net>
Subject: Re: censorship
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 22:39:39 -0400
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>A aertian individual has chosen to claim that the work of their
>fellow artists is pornographic, and while I have already
>commented on this person's posting, I feel that a further
>elaboration is necessary after having looked at not only the
>address provided in that vicious attack, but also the work of the
>"artist" in question.

I wasn't the one who originally used the word "pornographic" in relation to
your campaingn Michael, you did.

I am saying that the stuff you porport as being falsly accused of being
pornographic, isn't even erotic. Get it? It's a "storm in a tea cup".

I could attach gigabytes of stuff that would gronk your mind which is truly
pornographic that escapes the censors and is posted for all to see anytime.
Do you really think that anyone is at all concerned about the innocent nudes
that you are campaining?

>Leaving aside the question of art or not, we should consider the
>implication of the following statements:

Pornography is art Michael - it is, for the most part, pure fantasy and

>"There is a deeper and more interesting event taking place than
>your jittery
>storm tossed tea cup "pornography" with sugary images of women
>plunked like
>de-eroticised cup cakes on your saucer."
>If the work is de-eroticised, how then can it be pornographic?
>The pornographic is based in an appeal to so-called prurient
>interests (which means erotic interests) is it the lack of
>eroticism that is troubling to this person? Perhaps this is so,
>or perhaps it is that this person responds emotionally to this
>work and is troubled by that reaction and so much invent an
>excuse (albeit a topic which should have been announced in its
>own right) to attack those artists who have contributed to the
>censored art exhibit.

Like I said Michael, I don't think the stuff at your site is pornographic...
it's, idon'tknow arty and weird, anti-commercial, and not easily hung in the
office or livingroom - public and alternative art gallery I guess.

>(Please realize that this is an attack on everyone who has placed
>work in the exhibition, and not just on Phil Rubinoff and

You sound like a street punk looking for a fight. Are you looking for a
fight Mike? You are aren't you?

>At the same time, using the work of Nidia Palomo as the
>justification for this attack is also a belittlement of that
>work. In effect, the posting is one done in cowardice with the
>goal of silencing the artists who have contributed their work and
>placed themselves in personal jepodary by posting their work on
>the internet in the first place.

I am saying that Nidia is onto something that is really being censored and
we must look into the reasons for the censorship of news of the general
strike in Puerto Rico.

>Has Mr. Smylie forgotten about the courtcases we have been
>involved with? Or has he simply ignored them?

I think it's just a bunch of middle class and safe shoe liberalism myself
Michael. Why don't you try on a real issue worth your medal. Why don't
your risk getting yourself canned for something worth the effort and all
that blustery emotion?

>It has been said of hateful speech that the appropriate and
>proper response is not censorship, but MORE speech demonstrating
>how that speech is inaccurate and inappropriate.

Everyone has a right to an opinion Mike... Censorship is when an authority
does not allow freedom of speach. Am I, or has anyone taken away your right
of speach Michael?

>Since the question of "pornography" in this instance is not only
>inaccurate but internally to the posting impossible, the real
>question is what has motivated Mr. Smylie to attack his fellow
>art.netters in this heinous fashion?

Am I attacking you or are you attacking me Mike?

>In my previous comment on this I suggested that perhaps the
>attitudes Mr. Smylie has brought forward for all our
>consideration are in fact the enemy, and that by posting in this
>fashion he is acting as a proponent of the very censors we are
>currently battling in a New Mexico court.

Don't go overboard Mike, I am not your enemy! Easy buddy, you're gonna have
an anerism.

>Know your enemies.

Do we really need to search for enemies with allies like - what? us?

I don't believe in censorship of any kind Mike and actually I am very sorry
that I said anything at all I just wanted the others at art net to let me
know if information about the crisis in Puerto Rico is known in the United
States because the news is blacked out in Upper Canada

Nidia is my only source of information regarding the strikes against
privitization of public utilities in her country.