Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Big Brother Busting His Britches?

Thought for the day:  I think the world is run by C students.  [Al McGuire]

Good parents give their children guidelines all the time, and in general, those dos and don't dos are meant to protect our little ones. Don't play with fire. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don't interrupt Mommy when she's reading a book, and for Heaven's sake, leave Dad alone when the football game's in overtime. You get the idea.

But how about our governments? Just how great a job are they doing at looking out for our welfare? And how bright are our world leaders? Ayn Rand said, The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, make them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Intriguing thought, eh? I'm not saying I agree with her, but governments around the world certainly have placed a ban on a host of unusual things. Not sure how bright they are, either. You've probably heard of the ol' Banned in Boston stigma, but have you heard of any of these bans:

How about a ban against small boobs? Well, not exactly, but that's how it's playing out. According to the Australian government, there's no place in porn flicks for small breasts. Not saying they're all lecherous  fans of gigantic tatas, (not saying they aren't, either) but the law gives the Australian Classification Board the right to ban any adult film that they believe depicts a woman who may be less than eighteen years of age. Makes sense to put the kibbosh on kiddie porn, but the end result of this ban is that movies are being banned based solely on the size of an actress' cup size. Who cares if the ol' gal has wrinkles? Them thar boobs are too danged small!

Since most game consoles are made in China, it seems a bit bizarre that it's against the law to actually SELL the consoles there. In 2000, the government decided young people were spending entirely too much time playing, when they should be working. Not sure how effective this ban has proven to be at getting the kiddies into more industrious pursuits, though, because plenty of non-console games are still readily available for sale within the country.

Talking about video games, for a while, all video games were taboo in Greece. The ban started at the beginning of 2002, in a well-intentioned attempt to rid the country of gambling machines. Unfortunately, the law was written in such broad terms, it essentially outlawed all video games. However, the ban was declared unconstitutional by the end of that year.

You must obey the law always, not only when they grab you by your special place.  [Vladimir Putin]

Here's another lulu. The Chinese government put a ban on  reincarnation without prior consent. Kinda reminds me of the joke I hung on the lab wall back in the '60s that listed a bunch of bogus workplace rules. One was that you had to give two weeks' notice before dying. (Believe it or not, one of my co-workers thought it was for real, too.) Anyway, this ban is an attempt to establish control over the Tibetan Buddhists, including the Dalai Lama.

I used to think Denmark was a bastion of liberalism. Not so much. Would you believe they have the strictest child-naming guidelines in the world? Parents must either select names from a government-approved list, or seek special permission for an exception. (Guess there's no Ima Hogg there, huh?)

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master. [George Washington]

Jasmine is a lovely flower, isn't it? Smells wonderful, too. But this delicate, sweet-smelling flower is banned in China. Following the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, the Chinese government not only banned the flower from their country, but also any song about the flower, or any use of the word in a text message.

Because the government of Saudi Arabia considers the celebration of Valentine's Day to be a violation of Muslim beliefs, all florists and gift shops must remove everything red or symbolic of romance from their shelves prior to the holiday, and are banned from selling any such items to their would-be customers. But Cupid refuses to be denied. Lovers can buy red roses and other romantic goods through a thriving Valentine's Day black market...  for a mere six times their usual value. 

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. [Thomas Paine]

Iran, like many other countries in the Middle East, wants to curb the spread of what they perceive as Western decadence. To that end, many Western haircuts are banned. There is actually a list of government-approved haircuts. To be sure, the one in this picture would be taboo. Ditto, mullets, ponytails, and spikes. 

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.  [Ronald Reagan]

So, whatcha think? What's the oddest ban YOU ever heard of? Or better yet, what do you think SHOULD be banned? Salespeople who know absolutely nothing about the product they're trying to sell you? Those annoying robot telephone calls? Calls made for technical assistance that are routed to some other country, where the helper obviously doesn't have a firm grasp of your language? Products that fall apart two days after the warranty expires? Something else? Do tell.

As for me, I'll wear my hair however I darned well please.

              Fear not. Even if Big Brother is getting too big for his britches... he'll  be exposed in the end.

                                         Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other

[The info in this post was gleaned from a 2011 article written by Jill Harness, entitled, 11 Things You Won't Believe Governments Have Banned.]


  1. Great post and good question. I don't know if they were ever officially banned but I miss conga lines. They were fun and got various energies flowing together. Were they outlawed? Were there conga disasters where lines danced out of windows?

  2. A lot to reflect on there (I thought it was Iceland not Denmark for the names).

    I see you have found the phantom highlighting. Does anyone know how to stop this???

  3. It would take an idiot Texan to come up with the idea of banning pinatas. I kid you not. In Houston, pinatas have been banned in city parks. They are supposedly messy, unsightly, and can cause permanent psychological damage to children. Children can get hurt while trying to clobber the pinata with a stick. Also, the practice of clobbering pinatas can lead to violent tendencies.

    Your post was very interesting. What we need most is a ban on bans.......

  4. This is a great post and, strangely enough, something I was discussing with friends only last night. We came to the conclusion that most governments don't actually have the power or the know-how to solve any 'real' problems but they have to be seen to be doing something so they focus on the trivial.

    I agree with Jon. There should be a ban on stupid bans.

  5. denmark or iceland.... I find that fact alone...amazing!

  6. I make it a habit to pee in public as much as possible. Just for spite. Just sayin'

  7. Great post!

    Personally, I think our government should not be allowed to enact a new law without removing an old one from the books. There'd still be too darn many dumb laws, but at least it would be a start.

  8. Loved the Reagan quote. There was lots of laughter at our breakfast table when I read it aloud. Thanks!!

  9. Geo- HA! Last time I saw a Conga line was at my best friend's 50th birthday shindig. It was held at a huge Mexican restaurant, where a good number of the patrons were indulging in what was called an "upside-down margarita"... they'd lean over backwards, and waiters would actually pour the booze straight into their mouths, right out of the bottles! (Not ME! I didn't even want any of that stuff right side up!) So, anyhow, lots of boozing, loud music, and a mile-long Conga line snaking all around the perimeter of the room. Oh, and a number of other parties were taking place in there at the same time, too, including a bachelorette party. So, some of the gals in the Conga line, in addition to being blotto, were also waving, um, certain fake male appendages in the air, shall we say. Get the picture? Funniest thing was, with that huge rowdy crowd, there were only two uni-sex potties in the whole place. Two pots, and one long line of agitated people waiting to access one of those esteemed thrones. Come to think of it, the people waiting in line were doing more "dancing" than the people in the Conga line. But that was quite a few years ago, and now that you mention it, I haven't seen a Conga line since, so hey! Maybe they HAVE been banned. Or maybe WE just don't frequent places where that sort of thing goes on anymore...?

    Cro- Maybe Iceland has an iron (ice?) fist about naming, too. And no, doggone it, I don't know how to stop the phantom highlighting. (great name for it!) All I've been doing is previewing a post before I publish it, so I can cobble a semi-matching background color over the darned highlights.

    Jon- A ban on bans... now THAT'S one we could all get behind! A ban on pinatas, huh? Harsh. Kinda like all the schools banning dodge ball. Heck, WE all survived dodge ball, didn't we? What's next? Ban physical education altogether to spare the feelings of the the non-athletically inclined? Sheesh.

    Denise- I love your insight, and I'd have to say I agree with you. With all the problems going on in our state that needed addressing, our legislators like to waste time on stupid meaningless things like making sweet tea our state drink.

    John- No problem. I'm sure your name (or some variation thereof) is highly acceptable in both countries.

    Mr. C- That's 'cause you're such a rebel.

    Linda- Yeah, I know what you mean. It boggle my mind that legislators continue to come up with more new laws, year after year. Guess they're trying to prove their relevance.

  10. Connie- Cool! Happy to provide some chuckles with your Cheerios.

  11. I've actually heard about the Danish baby-naming law before. There was something about it on the news a few years back -- a brew-ha-ha over some baby's name.

    Now, the Australian small boob ban makes me scratch my head. I understand they don't want underage actresses -- but since when can you tell someone's age by the size of their breasts? Sounds like there was an ulterior motive at foot ...

  12. I shall be applying to the post of inspector!

  13. One more thing:
    I hope I didn't offend any Texans by calling them stupid - - but I've lived in Texas for fourteen years, so I should know (*smile*).

    And, yes, I am a proud survivor of mandatory school dodgeball!

  14. I wonder what they get paid to be on the Australian Classification Board. I would imagine they don't ask for much as long as the perks are good.

  15. 'Not saying they're all lecherous fans of gigantic tatas, (not saying they aren't, either)'

    Is it okay that this made me laugh out loud?

  16. Dianne- Oooh, another new profile picture... I LIKE it! Looks terrific.(Do I see a bit of a suntan there?) Yeah, the little boob thing is a bit of a head-scratcher, isn't it? Especially nowadays, when kids are developing at younger and younger ages. And some of us oldsters might LOOK small, but that's just because our boobs have relocated to an undisclosed location. (Like on the floor.)

    Cro- Lady M might have something to say about that.

    Jon- Well, you didn't exactly call Texans stupid; you said it took a "stupid Texan" to come up with a ban on pinatas. A politician, I presume, and I don't think anyone will take offense at you stating the obvious.

    Arleen- Yeah, I don't think the guys on that board much care about financial enrichment. It's another kind of enrichment they're interested in altogether. Don't care about the "perk-y" nearly as much as the well-"enriched".

    Suze- It's GREAT if it made you laugh out loud! (Laughing is like exercise on the inside, and it's just about the only exercise I get most days.)

  17. I want to ban outsourcing and not being able to talk to a human being when I call a customer service line. Then I'm going to move to Australia. I have the bodacious ta-tas, and I'm not wrinkled -- yet.


  18. Janie- Outsourcing and non-human "customer service" are two things worth banning, but you don't wanta go to Australia, now, do ya? Here it is, the middle of the summer, and they're having COLD weather...

  19. It's sooooo hot in Florida. I would relish even five minutes of cold weather.

  20. I'd be surprised if our two parties could agree on what to ban. They sure can't agree on anything else.

  21. Janie- Yeah, I know whatcha mean. It's been pretty brutal here in the Atlanta area, too.

    Marcy- You've got that right! It's a real shame, too. Things weren't always that way.

  22. I'm so relieved that they have a ban on "reincarnation without prior consent" in China! I think you were being too generous when you shared McGuire's quote about "C" students! Julie

  23. Regarding the small boobies ban in Australia, have they seen some of the young teens these days? The hormones in the milk is giving 13 year olds C cups.

    Seems China does a lot of banning.

  24. Julie- HA! You're right, and it isn't likely to get better as long as some of our political leaders stubbornly maintain their tunnel vision and dismiss well-educated thinkers as "snobby intellectuals".

    Jay- You're right, too. Kids grow up... and out... a lot younger than they used to.