The Bloomington Library pulled its copy of Shortbus from its shelves. It isn't cleear but it looks like it's not even available by request.
I never understand people who want to ban or ban access to books and media. If you don't want to read it, then don't. And just because someone is reading something, doesn't mean they have to agree with it. Reading about World War II doesn't make one a nazi. I believe book-banners and censors are simply terrified of ideas. It's a failure to be able to think.
I think Shortbus is a great film, and that Cameron Mitchell successfully made an engaging, interesting film with human sexuality as a theme (as, like it or not, it is in all of our lives) but it was not a movie about sex. That was sort of his point.
A library patron complained and the library removed the DVD from the library. I'll go so far with the 'community standards' thing, but it is the libraries' duty to have something to offend everyone. And if someone wants to view it, they should be able to. The hypocritical prudishness of the MPAA and censor-happy Americans is also something the film was standing up to. I enjoyed seeing it in a crowded house in a formal theater. It was not seedy.
This is perhaps what galls me the most:
Bill Swearingen, of Bloomington, had complained about the movie. He said he was pleased to learn of the results.The film went out if its way NOT to be porn. Not even close. There is nudity. There is sex. There is graphic sex. And three-ways. And a young dominatrix that lives in a storage unit. And someone manages to ejaculate across the room onto a Jackson Pollack. But there was nothing salacious, scandalous, or remotely prurient about it. Again, that was the point.
“I think that’s great,” Swearingen said. “I’m not a prude but it really was soft porn and to me I don’t see why it should be in the library.”
This was soft core porn on the same scale as roman sculptures and child birth videos. "Sexually graphic" does not equal "porn." You see what you want to see.
Bill Swearington, you have just proven that you are a prude. Because you don't understand something, doesn't mean you should keep others away from it. Stick to the Young Adult section. Although I fear that you'll think that's porn too because it is labeled "adult" material.
With six awards and five nominations worldwide, clearly many others think the film has merit.
I'm not saying it should be shelved next to Shrek, and I wouldn't show it to my niece. But I would show it to my nephew. (That's an age thing, not a gender thing.)
The shame here is on the library board for rolling over. And not into the wet spot. This was an opportunity for education as to why a library should have a diverse collection. They failed their patrons twice.