Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kissing liberty away

If I was the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Film Classification Board and the chairman of my Board of Directors was a 'bishop" with a complicated political past (there was all that unpleasantness about save-the-IDPs trips to the USA...Colorado, was it?), I would definitely have a problem with Coca-Cola and the un-African way the actors on its ads, uhmmm, kiss. I would definitely have a big problem. And I would ask the mighty Coca-Cola Company, or whoever its idiot agents are in East, Central and Western Africa are, to censor the ad such that all that unseemly, un-African kissing is banished from this godly, Christian land known as Kenya. Na hiyo itakuwa funzo kwa wengine wenye mienendo kama hayo.

We have done quite a bit to help the inept get their sea-legs, but I think it is time we accepted that KFCB's jihad against Coca-Cola is the the last straw. No Government can make the distinction of what is moral and what is not. Certainly no Government censor can do that. This is not to say that the libertarians should be permitted a free hand; where the effects of something remain largely unknown, it should be controlled. But kissing? Surely, the KFCB jests.

I will not argue that children have access to far more scandalous material than Coca-Cola ads; that is the argument of a child. I will argue that the KFCB has not demonstrated a compelling governmental interest in whether or not children will be harmed if they witness acts of intimacy, such as kissing, between obvious friends. If the KFCB, hand in hand with the Department of Children Services in the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services, wants to reduce the moral harm children will suffer because of witnessing acts of intimacy, let them present their facts, and data, for us to make a judgment, one way or the other.

In return, we have a few questions for the good bishop and his loyal henchman: what moral code is being applied? Is it a Cristian one (all those homosexual allusions in the first four books of the New Testament didn't catch your beady little eyes?)? Or can we apply the late and lamented Islamic Courts Union's (of Somalia) version of Islamic morality? How about the many strands of Hinduism or Buddhism? Judaism?

What was that? It is an African morality? Is this the one that privileges the rule of primogeniture over female circumcision? Is this the one that sees no evil in the infanticide of the bowlegged, cross-eyed, misshapen-headed, the blind, deaf and mute? Or is it the African morality that decrees an eye for an eye, a cow for a cow, and a village for a village...unless the slight can be assuaged by the delivery of village wenches for the pleasure of the affronted? Don't make me puke.

Governments don't have moral codes. Those that do tend to eventually ;consider all their subjects as immoral and to exact penalties far in excess of the moral offences. There is a reason why the phrase "moral turpitude" no longer features prominently in anti-corruption statutes; no one can properly interpret what "moral turpitude" means anymore, not in a world where judges, cabinet ministers, senior civil servants, ministers of religion and law enforcement officers are busily thieving and lying their way to great wealth. For a Government agency to behave like the equivalent of the House of Saud's Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, and for it not to expect ridicule, we must have entered some sort of twilight zone.

The craven managers of Coca-Cola who bent to the will of the KFCB are encouraging this monster to greater feats of inanity. Someone has to stop it in its tracks or one day we will be told what we can't and cannot read. Imagine the day they discover the homosexual themes rife in the Bible!

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