An Open Letter To the Australian Classification Board,
I write this letter out of frustration and disappointment with the upmost respect. A respect which I must point out has not been extended by you to the public of Australia.
As a mature man in my mid-thirties I have spent many years watching you attack the arts and insult the people by banning films which you have deemed unsuitable for us to consume. You are but a few people who have succeeded our own educated free-minds and I question whether you actually pay attention to the material you block.
Your most recent stop-action was taken against a satirical horror-comedy called Father's Day. There is no question that the content of this movie is contentious and it's appeal is limited to a few, but these “few” are an intelligent and loyal mob who, for the most part, conduct their daily lives in a normal law-abiding way. We are good decent people who enjoy a particular brand of art. The quality and content of this art is not for you to decide but rather for the individual who sought it.
Films of this type (and the others you have banned) do not pose a threat to society. Were it not for your intervention they would simply enter our shores under a radar only to be been seen by a niche audience who understand the context. Yet by deciding that Australians are not intelligent and capable of processing these films you are depriving us of a freedom and have driven many people to purchase the material from abroad. The second you say “NO” we all hit the internet and get it anyhow.
In rejecting a silly and harmless movie like this you are endorsing an illegal market. Bootleggers and pirates will seize the opportunity you have provided them and illegal copies will flood the market. I am sure that your colleagues at the Australian Federation Against Copyright are grateful for that.
I am a father of two who leads a respectable life. I contribute to my community and I enjoy day trips to the country. I (we) am just like you. None of us watch these movies while torturing kittens. We don't absorb the images while conjuring up sick and perverted atrocities... in fact I urge you to join an audience at one of these screenings... but I don't want you to watch the movie! Watch the audience instead. You will discover a joyous celebration for the oldest genre of art know to man. Literature is shaped from horror. Mankind's earliest stories were cautionary tales and I'm sure most of us grew up with the gruesome stories of The Brother's Grimm (amongst others)... and I'll leave the Bible out of this argument altogether.
Finally I would like to state that I am a very strong supporter of a classification system. This is a very important structure to ensure that varying degrees of matter are allocated to the correct demographic. Our present R rating clearly states that we must be 18 years of age in order to view this material. I wholeheartedly support this, BUT as adults we deserve the freedom to choose whether or not the content is suitable. If it's offensive to one person, they can choose to ignore or avoid it.
There is no doubt that you are intelligent people but to reiterate my previous point, you are but a few. You do not know us and cannot presume to understand us. With respect to you we ask for respect in return. I am also sure that there are far more articulated people who can elaborate my sentiments further and I encourage them to do so.
We are adults.
(adult, father, lover of art)