Lebanon Censors a Play About Censorship

Some officials in this country don’t seem to live in the same place as people who are worried about going by everyday, about explosions and impeding wars.

Instead, they are more worried about how their reputation plays out through a play that doesn’t even target them in a documentary way. A play about censorship was censored by Lebanon’s bureau of censorship. Why?

1) Because the bureau couldn’t grasp the fact that this is satire.
2) Because the man in question doesn’t require his subordinates to stomp their foot in salutation and was offended the play suggested he does.
3) Because our censorship bureau got offended that a play is making fun of them.
4) Because the play in question was, according to the bureau, “not a work of art but a work of shame.”
5) Because even though there’s no law to dictate we can’t criticize the censorship bureau, they can – according to this article – “forbid whatever [they] want and [they] will forbid it.”

A play is not something that our censorship bureau can cut into little pieces for the audience to watch. They either take it whole or not take it at all. Our bureau has decided not to take any parts of it.
A play is also not something that we can get access to through modern technological means. It’s not the art that has gone digital to become accessible. Instead, our censorship bureau has decided that its sense of moral well-being is best served by stopping every single Lebanese from getting access.

In this act of censorship, this bureau in question has made a bigger fool out of themselves than this play would ever do. They showed us that what we get exposed to is dictated by something that can’t even take a joke.

I’m not one to usually follow the rhetoric of “there are worse things happening to care about this,” but when the country is on the brink of war, this is what is decided to be censored: a play meant to make people smile in these troubling times, instead of all the crap of sectarianism and violence instigation that we are bombarded with everyday by our media. I guess that’s what our bureau likes. Such a shame.

This is the play’s trailer:

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