Get your horses ready, it’s censor-lynching time!

October 15, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 2 Comments
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「鈴木式電磁気的国土拡張機」 Cover

「鈴木式電磁気的国土拡張機」 Cover

I’ve been hit. I suppose anyone who reads anything (Loan shark ads excluded) would have heard stories of Malaysian censors, from those of banned kiddy books (Remember Spongebob Squarepants? He’s at number 31 of this list) to torn out pages, and highlighted female breasts. Why they even bother doing that is beyond me. If they plan on damaging books that way, why don’t they just add it to the aforementioned list instead, therefore saving litres of ink, as well as their ‘innocent’ eyes? Innocent, huh. They tell people that they’re sacrificing their own mental virginity to safeguard Malaysians moral values. Moral values? You know, that nonsense they teach us for, let’s see… 6 years in primary school, 5 years in secondary, and a last gasp during the tertiary level. 12 years of it. So we don’t need your help, you dongs, especially when you’re most likely jacking off while highlighting my book.

Right. See the pic of the book above? It’s 「鈴木式電磁気的国土拡張機」 by 粟岳高弘(Awatake Takahiro). The guy is a doujinshi writer, and I’ve gotten hooked on his art- But be careful before you enter the site if you’re still a kid, or have the mentality of one, as with most doujinshi authors, there’s gonna be some adult material. Which is why I checked properly before ordering- nope, the book I ordered was ‘suitable for all ages’. So it should be able to enter this country’s beautiful, modern *note: zero sincerity here* airport (Although Customs is staffed with people whose mental processes are as advanced as that of those religious zealots from the time of the Spanish Inquisition). Finally able to relax, I placed my order with Kinokuniya, and waited for their notification…

And after paying RM50.90, I realised that parts of the book had been censored. Well at least they did it in blue. Right. It’s a sci-fi book, for crying out loud, not some trashy ‘lovella’ full of tasteless sex scenes in some Malaysian kampung with buffalo mooing in the background! And why this book? What about all those volumes of Ranma1/2, GTO (Neither of which are pornographic titles), and whatnot? It’s a good thing the guy at the counter was nice and allowed me to get a refund despite the clear disclaimer on the receipt which said “goods sold are not returnable”. Thank you so~! I’ve absolutely zero brand loyalty, but I think I like Kinokuniya more than ever (Not that I have any choice in the first place, since they’re the only guys in the country who stock Japanese books), no thanks to today’s incident:p

So I got my cash back. By a twist of fate I’ve been forced to save 80 bucks- the aforementioned tragedy being the first, and the second… remember that Newtype magazine I mentioned in a previous post? Sold out. So I was forced to save another 30 bucks. Feeling rather disappointed and yet quite happy for saving my cash, I popped into Isetan, which happened to have a sale, and got a pair of jeans at 50% off. Wonderful:p It wasn’t really an impulse purchase, though (That rarely happens to me), but more of a vindictive decision- like, “I really need another pair of jeans since my only other beloved pair from Nicole has a hole in it but they don’t sell it any more and I really like it what am I gonna dooo but I really need one by Friday because I’m definitely not gonna wear cargo pants to a wedding dinner ooo how about that one it’s from Soda and it’s on sale looks fine too but it’s not as nice as my own beloved gah what could possibly be nicer than that one but I’m running out of time so I’ll just take it lah what the heck and paid 47 bucks for it. Wonderful grammar, no?

Oops. That wasn’t really related to the post at all, was it? I think I’ll end it with a page from one of my favourite Malaysian (And possibly only) books, his satire on Malaysians, Adoi! by Kit Leee. It’s entitled the Black Marker Brigade. Hope he won’t mind my reproducing it here (Holler and I’ll cut it out). Just take it as free advertising:

Sad but true, the Black Marker Brigade exists. It’s a quiet, diligent, anonymous league of Backroom Types whose misssion on Earth – or, at least, in Malaysia – is to protect us from accidental or intentional exposure to tittilation of the salacious variety. Their thankless task, in effect, is to ensure that you never ever have to be confronted (and presumably, affronted) with an image of the Female Nipple. Whenever and wherever it may appear: in imported literature, cinema posters, and comics, for instance. And so what if you’ve just forked out $18.75 for a reputable photography journal or glossy art magazine? How can it claim to be reputable if it’s got naked pink titties in it?
Hah! In the name of Art too many atrocities have been committed. Too Much Flesh Exposed. It’s time people stopped taking off their pants just so that some artist-pervert can paint them. One practiced stroke of the felt-tipped pen and… voila! Goya’s Naked Maja is naked no more! A deft rub here and a quick daub there and… Hullo! Michelangelo’s David is ready to meet the Malaysian public! Anytime now the Black Marker Brigade may be commissioned to bring decency and modesty back to the medical textbooks. You can bet the floors of all our book warehouses will be slippery with drool.
Do members of the Black Marker Brigade go to work in sinister Ku Klux Klan-style hoods? What do they do to nude black women – do they switch to Tipp-Ex? What are the long-term consequences of membership in the Brigade? Does one go through life seeing dark spots and splotches on women’s chests that can’t be removed with even the most devout rubbing? What do they write in their passports under Occupation?
Well, It’s a dirty job – but somebody has to do it. The Stout-of-Heart and Incorruptible who attain the rank of Veteran in the Black Marker Brigade have the awful onus of ritually purfying 8 x 10 glossies and wall-sized posters of the most notorious and lascivious-looking of foreign film-stars. (God, we had a horrid experience with that disgusting Member of the Italian Parliament… what was her name? Ah, yes… Cicciolina… none of us got any sleep for a week. We had no choice – it was a Standing Order from the Minister of Home Affairs.)
One shudders to think of the things some people have to do to earn a living. Still, there are obviously a few rare souls who seem to have been born with black marker pens in their untiring little hands. You can easily identify them in a crowd, they’re a breed apart: look for the dark ink stains on their lips and fingertips. Our hands are filthy but our minds are clean! This is the solemn credo of the Black Marker Brigade.




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    Willing to help me translate Suzukishiki?

    • Thanks for the offer, but unfortunately I don’t have the time for any translation work right now. Second year of uni starts soon. In any case, I don’t have the book itself, since I got a refund from Kino for it. Interesting site though, I’ll be sure to drop by now and then.

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