Not long ago it would have been an absurd idea to purchase a television, CD or MP3 or DVD player, computer software, or game console with the intention of limiting its capabilities. However, as Raiford Guins demonstrates in Edited Clean Version, today’s media technology is marketed and sold for what it does not contain and what it will not deliver.
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On the evening of November 20, 2001, one body was deemed optically correct. The body in question belonged to Britney Spears, a body highly visible at the time through music videos, films, televised appearances, video games (Britney’s Dance Beat,2002), and magazine covers, as well as scores of Web pages promising uninhibited glimpses of her “celebrity skin.” Spears’s pre-“meltdown” performance on CBS’sMichael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebrationaired to an estimated 25.7 million viewers. Hers was not the only body showcased, however. Other bodies performed during the telecast. Their bodies were not deemed fit for prime-time viewing and underwent substantial...
The English translations of Michel Foucault’s “Governmentality” and Gilles Deleuze’s “Postscript on Control Societies” both appeared in the early 1990s.¹ While Deleuze’sFoucaultis often discussed within governmentality studies, control and governmentality are in the early days of cohabitation. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’sEmpirerests on the exchange between Foucauldian discipline and Deleuze’s exegesis on control. Nikolas Rose’sPowers of Freedomdedicates its final chapter to control in his analysis of neoliberal strategies of rule. The work by both sets of authors is valuable for identifying ways of configuring Deleuze’s work on control as practice and process of governing....
“Let’s do something, let’s make a bet, ’cause I gotta have you naked by the end of this song.” On the evening of February 1, 2004, Justin Timberlake’s lyrics were just too compelling for their portentous singer. Near the end of the Disney protégé’s now infamous performance with Janet Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII, Timberlake reached across her chest and removed a cup from her black leather bustier, exposing her right breast to prime-time broadcast television audiences. This incident, hailed as one of television’s most TiVo’d moments, was ultimately proclaimed a “malfunction of the wardrobe” according to Ms. Jackson’s spokesperson...
Mayberry USA, a provider of “filtered Internet access,” based in Crystal River, Florida, is a filtering service of 711.net Inc., a resource for Christian information on the Internet (and not to be mistaken for the heavenly home of Slurpees). Mayberry USA’s mission statement purports to make “the Internet a useful and practical communication tool—available and safe to all people, all ages, and all faiths.”¹ “All faiths” on a Christian identified and disseminated ISP smacks of online missionary work when we consider that these services greatly exceed the private sphere of the networked home computer to influence the connected public...
“If you’re a studio that’s spent a lot of money developing aSpider Manbrand, do you want to dilute it by having aSpider Man Liteon the market competing with it?”¹ When asking the question why should anyone care whether a subset of people want clean movies, a number of answers quickly surface. The violation of federal copyright law and studio ownership, as voiced above, is one such charge leveled against Utah’s CleanFlicks. At the time of writing this book, the company transformed from a service that reedited Hollywood films into “clean versions” or “sanitized films,” as they...
This chapter “fills” the censorial gap discussed in the previous chapter, on film sanitizing, by focusing on digital special effects employed as cleaning effects for purposes of content regulation and management. Having contended with control technology at the location of the viewer, end user, consumer as a “service” provided by film sanitizers, we will now cast an eye and ear toward “cleaning” practices emanating from the layer of production/postproduction for the consumption of film and music. Technologies for sanitizing generally rely on acts of removal—expressed through Blockbuster Inc.’s redesign of the video store, ClearPlay’s filtering DVD player, and CleanFlicks’...
“The disturbing material in ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children, and it’s making the difficult job of being a parent even harder,”¹ derides onetime presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) speaking about the much publicized hidden interactive sexual scenarios in Rockstar Games’Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.Rockstar’s hugely successful title for the 2004 holiday season became the target of legislators, media watchdog groups, Christian groups and activists,² and retail policy after it was revealed that a downloadable modification for its PC version allows the player who controls “Carl Johnson”—...