Censored… right out #$*@#@ loud!

Ottawa Tonite likes it when people create things. When creative people make books, poems, art, or music then the rest of us get to enjoy the fruits of their labours. Unless… their work is censored. And that happens a lot.

According to the Book and Periodical Council, which organizes Freedom To Read Week in Canada every year, more than 100 books in Canada have been censored or challenged in the last few years alone. And those books range from what you might expect to be challenged — queer literature, books dealing with the Israel-Palestine conflict — there are also some you might not expect to ever be the victim of censorship: Of Mice and Men, Harry Potter, or Wallpaper magazine.

In recent days, a version of Huckleberry Finn that deletes the “n-word” and the censorship of the Dire Straits song “Money For Nothing” have been in the news.

So, since Ottawa Tonite believes that each person should get to choose what he or she consumes, we’re organizing a cabaret of censored and challenged works. Come to Censored Out Loud at the Raw Sugar Café and join a motley crew (no, not Mötley Crüe) of writers, actors, and musicians as they celebrate Freedom To Read week by bringing some scandalous — and not so scandalous — works to life. Everything you’ll hear will have one thing in common, whether it’s Donna Summer or Margaret Atwood: the work has been censored or challenged.

Some of the people reading and playing on stage will be: Lisa Poushinsky, Nichole McGill, Jesse DangerouslyMegan Jerome, Jessica Ruano, Mike Essoudry, and many more. It’s gonna be fast-paced, fun, and a great way to celebrate the power of creative expression and the freedom to offend.

The show takes place Wednesday, February 23, 2011, starting at 8:00 pm at the Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset Street West. There’s a cover charge of $10 or what you can afford to pay and proceeds are going to go to PEN Canada, an organization that fights for the right to create and read.

We guarantee at least ONE thing to offend EVERYBODY. Spread the word. Loudly.

Censored Out Loud, February 23 at Raw Sugar Cafe


  1. I applaud this event and its valuable message. Censorship should not be tolerated. I hope that plagiarism is also despised by (almost) all who participated. One of the presenters, Nigel Beale, has posted to his blog (nigelbeale.com) the notes from which he read at this event and they include the following sentence: “Ulysses contains approximately 265,000 words from a lexicon of 30,030, and is divided into eighteen episodes.” The Wikipedia entry on Ulysses includes this: “Ulysses contains approximately 265,000 words from a lexicon of 30,030 words (including proper names, plurals and various verb tenses),[4] divided into eighteen episodes.” I have not investigated any further, but I imagine it’s very likely that more of Beale’s observations are also stolen from other sources. This is not the first occasion in which Beale has been caught presenting other writers’ words as his own. I hope that his actions will not be allowed to pass uncensured.

  2. See also http://www.spectacle.org/398/gertie.html for the source of this sentence: “It is a dizzying book to read, because it is functioning on so many levels at once: it is a story about Leopold Bloom, a modern version of the Odyssey, a pastiche of journalistic and other writing styles, a rich source of riddles and puns” — which Beale rewrites, “It’s a dizzying book to read, best accompanied by at least one guide, a pastiche of journalistic and other writing styles, rich with riddles and puns and sundry other connections sure to keep scholars busy”

  3. @derek: Hm. A month after this event, you show up and accuse one of the presenters of plagiarism, based on the fact that he used the wikipedia item on the novel as a basis for his brief introductory remarks on the passage he read. And, it appears, you have a long history of nipping at this contributor’s heels. Of course, you’ve read the appropriate pages on Wikipedia about use of their material and are aware it’s licenced under CC, right? You’ve had your say.

  4. What’s in it for you, Bob? Why defend a cheat and a fraud? Isn’t plagiarism the kind of abuse that PEN Canada stands against? Surely the organization doesn’t advocate the kind of activity that would get journalists fired, students failed, and authors sued. Autocrats and dictators, on the other hand, tend to engage in it pretty freely, I believe:
    I thought we were protesting tyrannical regimes.

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