Friday, May 18, 2012

Bizarre censorship at the New York Times.  A few days ago on 42nd Street I saw a brilliant new play, “Cock,” by the British dramatist Mike Bartlett.  Treating the familiar subject of a love triangle, the play is not perfect, but it is often riveting. 

Today the production was reviewed in the New York Times, but the reviewer was not allowed to use the actual title, and had to refer to the play as “Cockfight.”  The word cock is standard English.  Why does the Times ban it?

Last season, the Gray Lady imposed a similar ban on the play “The Motherfucker with the Hat” (superb, by the way).  While this erasure was perhaps more understandable, it exposes a continuing problem with purist censorship, which prevents us from apprehending reality as it actually is.


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