Inherently Different


I can’t believe that this is even legal but a company is developing a technology that would pre-edit DVDs that have questionable language or visuals. According to industry reports, ClearPlay lets an adult watch an R-rated film like Gladitor with all the violence, nudity and language edited out. Which means that you can teach your child all about censorship without letting him/her develop a sense of right and wrong on their own. Goodie for the religious right!

11 thoughts on “Aaaiiiiiieeeee!”

  1. For your information, not all ClearPlay consumers are rushing to their local video stores to buy or rent R-rated films just because the questionable content can be removed. Are you serious when you say that children should be allowed to develop a sense of right and wrong on their own? That is just plain wrong! Among other things, concerned and caring parents monitor the movies their young ones see. Since kids are great immitators, ClearPlay can be used to keep them from being exposed to the moral filth that is prevalent in many movies. That’s not censorship; that’s parenting.

  2. Carl, you’re entitled to your opinion. From where I sit though, morals begin with teaching your children the differences between right and wrong, fantasy and reality, truth and lies. First of all, a young child shouldn’t have access to movies with questionable content to begin with. That’s good parenting. Showing them ClearPlay versions of movies is just plain lazy. If showing them films that have all the violence, sex and language removed is your idea of good parenting, I can only wonder how your children will react when they ARE allowed to make their own decisions about right and wrong.

    I’m not advocating you let children watch whatever they want… never did in the post above.

  3. “Showing (children) ClearPlay versions of movies is just plain lazy.” Is it? I will concede that some movies are not appropriate for children, even with ClearPlay filtering. However, what about some of the films that are supposed to be family-oriented, such as “Dr. Doolittle”, “Daddy Day Care” and “George of the Jungle”? Although these movies do not contain excessive violence or sex scenes, they do contain language that is not fit for children. By using ClearPlay, parents can keep such bad language from reaching their kids’ ears.

    I realize that there is more to parenting than just screening movie material for children. But ClearPlay is a great tool for parents to use while enjoying movies at home with their children.

  4. “By using ClearPlay, parents can keep such bad language from reaching their kids’ ears.”

    Really? Do your children live in a plastic bubble in which you, your wife, and selected clearplay movies are the only contact they have with the outside world? C’mon Carl! You either work for Clearplay or you’re not a parent. As a parent you’re responsibility is to teach your children what language is appropriate in polite company. There is NO WAY in the world that you can keep questionable language from reaching your kids ears unless you cut their ears off at birth. When a parent teaches a child what is and isn’t acceptable behavior and language correctly, patiently and consistently, you could put them in the middle of a gangbang without fear of them picking up a word that is unacceptable.

  5. Did you understand anything I said? Did you read my last statement? If you didn’t, I said that “ClearPlay is a great tool for parents to use while enjoying movies AT HOME with their children.” Don’t you think I’m aware of the unsavory things children are exposed to when they are away from home, let’s say, at school? That cannot be avoided. However, when the children are at home, their parents have greater control of what they experience, including their choice of movies. I never said that ClearPlay should supersede parental training. I simply said it was a tool parents can use to screen out harmful movie content for their children.

    One other thing: my family does not “live in a plastic bubble” where we while away the time watching filtered movies. We are involved in many wholesome outings together, including traveling and community projects. If you like to be entertained by gutter language, excessive violence and sexual misconduct in your home, go ahead. They have no place in ours.

  6. I understand you perfectly. I’m just trying to emphasize that clearplay isn’t a viable option for anyone who wants to teach their children how to function in the real world. It isn’t even a tool that any intelligent person would rely on since it requires an arbitrary measure of what is and isn’t palatable.

    I hope you’re sensible enough to know that if you don’t like what mainstream hollywood is producing, you can always choose to pick up a book and read to your children… that is unless you’re waiting for ClearPlay to edit your books too.

  7. I don’t think you understand me at all. If you did, you would not have ended your last comment on such a sarcastic note. As I said before, my family is into plenty of enjoyable ventures. Watching DVDs the way we prefer is only a small part of our activities. And yes, we do read books.

    ClearPlay was not designed to assist parents to teach their children how to function in the real world. It is simply a tool to be used for entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitute for good old-fashioned child-raising. In a brochure that comes with their player, it says: “Even with ClearPlay, all movies are not appropriate for all ages. Parental discretion is always recommedned.”

    “ClearPlay requires an arbitrary measure of what is and isn’t palatable.” How do you know? Have you personally tried it out yourself? ClearPlay does not compel its user to go by the developers’ standards of morality. With its over-16,000 possible filter configurations, the user of a ClearPlay machine is free to decide what he chooses to see or hear when he plays his DVDs. So, saying that no intelligent person would use such a device is arrogant and presumptous.

  8. Carl, I understand you perfectly and the fact that you seem to miss the fact that I’m using sarcasm to condemn your puritan views leaves me to believe you shouldn’t be using the Internet without supervision. The World Wide Web is a dangerous place and people with such delicate sensibilities (even when they’re brave enough to venture out often to partake in various wholesome family activities such as door-to-door bible thumping) might want to understand that not everyone looks at the world wearing blinders. I stand by everything I wrote and believe whole-heartedly that companies like ClearPlay are inherently flawed.

  9. I have tried to use sound reasoning to defend my position on the use of ClearPlay in filtering out objectionable content from my library of DVDs. The only things I get from you are sarcasm and personal attacks. But that’s okay; I’ve heard far worse from other people who use more “colorful” language.

    If I have “puritan views”, as you say, what’s that to you? What I do in the privacy of my home is nobody’s business but my own. If you object to what ClearPlay is used for, you don’t have to purchase it. You are free to enjoy your DVDs the way you see fit. I will not condemn you for your choice of entertainment, so why would you want to condemn me for the one I make?

    I assure you that just because I prefer to watch my movies a certain way does not mean I look at the world through blinders. I can clearly see many of the harsh realities of life, and I do my best to keep clear of them. And because of my diligence, I am able to avoid the heartaches that so many people suffer who are careless about the way they choose to live their lives.

    I do not wish to get into a sparring match with you. I just wanted to share an opposing viewpoint with you. You are free to keep the one you have.

  10. Howdy! Carl and I have been discussing this ClearPlay issue over on my blog, Radical Writ.

    While I follow you (and agree) on the whole “parenting your kids in a morally-pure, reality-deficient bubble” theme, I think that’s beside the point.

    The point is this: should a consumer have the right to view a DVD in a manner they see fit? As you’re aware, ClearPlay does not alter the DVD in any way, it merely mutes audio or skips frames. Let’s leave the kids out of this — does an adult have the right to request censorship?

    For example, if I had the time, I could watch Terminator 2 and on a notepad write down the exact times where swear words or boobies appear. Then I could give the list to my mom, who hates such things. She could watch the movie and if she’s diligent with the remote, she could skip the parts she doesn’t like. (Meanwhile, I can use my list to go back to the parts with the boobies and freeze-frame…) Is my notepad list of scene timings wrong or illegal?

    The problem I have with ClearPlay is not the technology nor the people like Carl who want to use it. My only issues are that ClearPlay does not have the director’s permission to provide these edit-times and they are making a profit by doing so. My little notepad example is not for profit and my mother had to make a choice to skip those parts.

    I think of ClearPlay in that same mold as so-called “rap artists” who take almost an entire song, add a few extra low-end beats, rap a different set of lyrics over it, and call it a new “song” (P. Diddy, I’m looking in your direction…) ClearPlay is, in essence, making unauthorized remixes of DVD’s.

  11. The fun continues with our friend Carl regarding the ClearPlay DVD Censorship issue. I’m posting my entire letter with the fellow, because (a) you might enjoy it and (b) dead horses make irresistable targets.

    Edited for brevity, but do check out Russ’ entire post in response to Carl’s tenacious stance on the value of ClearPlay. Russ is a smart guy and definitely did a better job of remaining level-headed in his exchange with Carl.

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