Sunday, 4 December 2005

Bad Mid-Day?

Now, we don't think we're a prude - we're usually accused of being way too liberal - but we were more than a little scandalised to see in today's Sunday Mid Day a double spread feature on the Bad Sex Award. Not just a short mention (which would be okay, IOAO, considering there was an Indian angle with Aniruddha Bahal taking it two years ago, and Salman Rushdie and Tarun Tejpal on this year's shortlist), but, erm, extracts. Not just this year's winner, but the winners all the way from '94. Plus, in a mild attack of originality, an add-on feature on Bad and Good Sex in the Indian film industry.

And yes, we know the Lit blog world has covered this, and that's in the public eye too, but there seems to be a line being crossed here.

A newspaper lands up in our homes, has puzzles for the brats, etcetera. Are you comfortable with the kiddos finishing the Jumble and then turning to a page of rather descriptive text, even if a few perfectly normal body-part type words are *******ed out?
Cross-posted on we, the media.


amit varma said...

Good post, Peter. My take on it is here.

√úbermaniam said...

My tke on it is here. I think it's okay to bring it out in the open. Considering how much sex we have in the mind. We'll get used to it. We'll survive. We're the people who used to blanch at all kinds of things that we now accept as given. Similarly, so will bad sex. God knows, it's a given in most marriages. Cheers and much pestilence from the daily pest. And you really must stop letting people use your comments space as an advertising space to their own posts. Considering how selfish people are about comments on their own sites. ;-)

madhavan said...

Perfectly comfortable. Though I have no kids. Also, if uncomfortable stop subscription. There are no lines in free markets, only choices

?! said...

I find it amazing how every one jumps to the defence of tastelessness. Hullo ? Ain't asking for muzzling freedom of expression or what not. All the gent is asking for is to show the newspaper readers the same courtesies shown by say, a movie channel which says "pg 13" or something like that.

So we are to let "market forces rule", huh ? Theory, theory. A guy subscribes to a paper, he finds a cheap article pandering to baser tastes. Oh no, do not write a letter to editor or rant on a blog. Tell yourself " Market forces will eventually drive him down. market forces ..."

Get a grip, people. To use an old line, Sunday Mid Day's article is as much about literary freedom or laissez faire as the missionary position is about missionaries.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

The article is all about using sex to sell. So sex sells. Big deal.

But yes, I agree that there should be some clear labelling to show which sections of the paper are PG13.

On the other hand, I was reading Victorian porn at the age of 10 (as I have mentioned in one post). I don't think I'm a sexual pervert (yet. I still nurture hopes!) because of the exposure.


madhavan said...


A guy subscribes to paper, finds cheap article pandering to baser tastes, do write letter to editor, do rant on blog, do not buy paper next time. Dont say close that newspaper down, that newspaper should put this and not that.

And by the way who will decided baser and finer tastes - you.

And who will decide whether an article is cheap or not - you

And who will decide whether said cheap article as decided by you caters to said base tastes as decided by you - you

And why you? Why not me

?! said...


It's not a matter of taste. Plenty of areas where legality is not in doubt, ethics are. That is why we have Ethics Councils, Ombudsmen, honor codes and other means of ensuring adherence to a general ( not necessarily all-consenting) standard.

shiv shankar said...

Peter: one question here is why msut kids not read sex, or se porn? How do porn writing and visuals affect children negatively?