Trope-a-Day: Moral Guardians

Moral Guardians: There are, of course, no official Moral Guardians in the Empire.  It covers that right there in the Imperial Charter:

“Access to information shall not be abridged by the Empire, or by any instrumentality thereof, save to the least extent required for the public safety; nor shall the freedom of research and inquiry; nor shall the freedom of speech, nor that of the press, save when such information or speech constitutes, in whole or in part, infectious or self-executing code;”

Unofficially, there are plenty of groups which, while powerless to censor, are more than happy to act this way in a hortatory sense.  And while they don’t generally care about sex (except for insufficiently aesthetically and hedonically pleasing sexual content [see: It’s Not Porn, It’s Art] – yes, this is the country in which the Moral Guardians will encourage people to boycott your pornography because it doesn’t look like the participants are having enough fun) and violence (although the market looks poorly on one-sided gorn, which hurts the sales of the horror genre), the more mainstream examples of the type have successfully purged reality television (and other media), gross-out humor, gratuitous ugliness and vulgarity (because orgies and slaughter are fine, but bad taste is just unforgivable – Values Dissonance, don’ch’know?), stupidity-themed comedy (stupidity being every bit as awful as bad taste), and other such approving cacopraxia from the Imperial media memespace.  It helped, of course, that there wasn’t all that much there to start with, most of the material in question bouncing right off the cultural blinders.