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Cheers - AE

Thursday, 14 July 2011

YouTube's sense of humour failure

The Go The Fuck To Sleep book is probably pretty well known by now what with the press it got when it came out and especially with the Samuel L Jackson reading. So it's slightly surprising that when Noni Hazlehurst, who I'd never heard of but apparently was on the Aussie Play School for twenty years or so, put up a clip of herself reading the book Play School style, and which amused me enough to blog and embed it here, YouTube pulled it.

Noni, to her credit, has promptly put it back up again, and bloody right too since other versions of it were never taken down.
Former Playschool presenter Noni Hazlehurst says the decision to remove a recording of her reading mock children’s book Go The F--- to Sleep from YouTube was ‘‘laughable’’ and ‘‘absolutely ridiculous’’.
The video was pulled late last night only to be posted again about 5am today.
[...]Her video was removed, but others including those read by German arthouse film director Werner Herzog and American actor Samuel L. Jackson stayed online.
‘‘It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous, and to leave all the others up there is even more ridiculous,’’ Hazlehurst said.
‘‘The hypocrisy just makes me laugh.’’
‘‘Anyone with a tenth of a brain would realise this is not meant for kids,’’ she said.
The trouble is, Noni, that some people who look at YouTube probably have less than a tenth of a brain.
A YouTube spokesman said no comment would be made about individual videos, but they could be removed because a user had flagged them as offensive or because the person who had posed (sic) the video was underage.
Since Noni Hazlehurst is in her fifties it sounds like the latter. I'm speculating here, but I reckon some softcock, and sadly it's probably an Aussie who saw her name and thought 'Oh, this will be sweet and harmless', got offended by it and complained to YouTube rather than take the more practical option of turning it (the fuck) off. Samuel L. Jackson's version? Well, he's an actor who says bad words in lots of his films so our mystery whinger(s) may never have come across his version. Werner Herzog? Arthouse film director? Hmmm, ditto I expect. But sweet Noni Hazlehurst who used to - she's not presented the show for a decade - sing songs down the TV at toddlers and make stories with teddy bears and dolls, that Noni Hazlehurst going all potty mouthed? Oh no, the childhood of some 30-somethings is irrevocably shattered. It can't be borne, so it must be banned.

And of course SupineTube caved in.

Fellas, it's aimed at adults. It's humour for adults who can laugh at the frustrations an adult may feel when trying to get a noisy baby to shut the fuck up and give them a little peace. And maybe, according to Noni Hazlehurst herself, a bit of a warning.
The book and her reading are a bit of fun, she says, ''but there's a serious underlying issue. People need to understand when they're talking about how nice it would be to have a baby that it's a huge undertaking.''
''Many of the kids I entertained are parents themselves now, and I think it's pointless saying, 'Make sure your child has a lovely environment to sleep in'. I think we have to speak in a language people understand.''
This subtle distinction is apparently lost on YouTube, who'd rather pull something not meant for a general audience because someone's had a whine about it, even though other versions remain on their site. It's a little tempting to go trawling through the place looking for any overtly religious damnation-to-sinners type videos and flag as offensive as many as I can just to see whether or not they pull any of those, but that'd be unfair to anyone who actually did get their video removed. Instead I think I might make and put up a video myself and then log in as someone else with some bullshit complaint about how it offends me, and then we'll see what they do.

In the meantime, here's Noni Hazlehurst hosted by EyeTube...

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