9 Things That Shouldn’t Have Been Banned, But Were
Whether you want to believe it or not, there are things that you think of as completely harmless that another group thinks should be completely banned or wiped off the face of the Earth. Some of these groups want certain things banned for ideological reasons, conflicts of interest, trying too hard to be politically correct, or, well, some people are just whiny bitches. Some people are upset with things as trivial as sliced bread. Seriously. It’s messed up. Who could hate sliced bread? It’s the coolest thing since…uhh. Sliced bread?
I’ll keep it short since most people don’t bother to read the introduction to these articles anyway. I hope you enjoy 9 People That Need To Stop Complaining About Meaningless Shit…er…I mean…9 Things That Shouldn’t Have Been Banned, But Were.
9. Speedy Gonzales
Speedy Gonzales can best be described as a cartoon about “The Fastest Mouse in All Mexico.” It can also be described as a show that thrives on Latin American stereotypes, which today would be seen as racist. But, hey, it was made in 1953. What do people expect?
Although the show was popular, Cartoon Network decided to shelve the cartoon in 1999 after it gained exclusive rights to broadcast the show. Several years later, in an interview with Fox News, Cartoon Network spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg commented saying “It hasn’t been on the air for years because of its ethnic stereotypes. This is widely believed to refer to Speedy’s fellow mice buddies, who are all shown as being very slow, and lazy, and sometimes even appear intoxicated.”
Despite the seemingly racist undertones of the show, Speedy Gonzales became an iconic character in Latin America. In fact, the Hispanic-American rights organization League of United Latin American Citizens called Speedy a “cultural icon,” and thousands of people registered their support online through petitions, and leaving comments on a variety of message boards.
In 2002, the show was put back on air because so many people were asking Cartoon Network to rebroadcast the show. That being said, Warner Brothers felt the need to cover their tracks just in case anyone claimed the cartoon was racist. On the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD box sets, all Speedy Gonzales cartoons are prefaced with the following disclaimer: “The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were false then and are still false today. While the following does not represent the WB view of society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim these prejudices never existed.”
8. Greg Packer
You’ve never heard of Greg Packer, but he’s an infamous legend among journalists and newspapers in the United States.
After retiring from his job as a highway maintenance worker, Greg Packer started looking for a purpose. He made it his life mission to become the most quoted man-on-the-street. To date, the comments he’s made to newspapers and journalists have been used on more than 100 occasions.
Essentially, for fun, Greg goes to public events that he knows the media will be attending. He purposefully gets himself as close to the excitement as possible, and acts as if he’s really excited to be there, and is often eager to give an interview to anyone who asks. Although he always gives his real name, Greg has admitted to lying to journalists numerous times. But that’s not important.
Greg has been either quoted or photographed in at least 16 different articles by the Associated Press, 14 times by Newsday, 13 times by the New York Daily News, and 12 times by the New York Post. In fact, he’s become so good at generating a buzz around himself at public events, he’s been able to meet three different presidents!
Word spread after a column written by Ann Coulter was published that brought to light what Greg Packer was doing. The column mentioned how he had been mentioned at political campaigns, the opening of the viewing stand at Ground Zero, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and numerous different sports events. The Associated Press quickly caught wind of what Greg Packer was doing, and sent out the following memo to all of it’s journalists:
“The world is full of all kinds of interesting people. One of them is Greg Packer of Huntington, N.Y., who apparently lives to get his name on the AP wire and in other media. It works: A Nexis search turned up 100 mentions in various publications… Mr. Packer is clearly eager to be quoted. Let’s be eager, too — to find other people to quote.”
7. Fort Gay
26-Year-old gamer Josh Moore decided that he wasn’t going to just generalize where he was from on his Xbox Live profile, he was going to say the exact small town that he was from. That town, just happened to be, Fort Gay, West Virginia. I guess you could say he wanted to show his Fort Gay pride.
It wasn’t long before Moore’s account was suspended, for what Moore could only assume had something to do with the name of the town that he was from. He thought it might have been a homophobic act.
“At first I thought, “Wow, somebody’s thinking I live in the gayest town in west Virginia or something.’ I was mad. It makes me feel like they hate gay people,” he said to the Associated Press.
Moore contacted Microsoft and tried to explain that Fort Gay, is in fact, a real place, and he even gave them the ZIP code: 25514. To his amazement, the Microsoft representative refused to believe him and threatened to cancel his subscription to Microsoft Live unless he removed Fort Gay from his profile. It became such a major issue, that the mayor of Fort Gay, David Thompson, contacted Microsoft on Moore’s behalf. The whole issue was resolved by the mayor of Fort Gay (a title that sounds more like an insult than an occupation) was told by Microsoft representatives that the word ‘gay’ gets flagged as inappropriate.
Microsoft apologized and said they have updated their training to account for the mistake that had been made.
6. Air Jordan Shoes
Currently, Air Jordan sneakers are the most popular and debatably the most favorited basketball footwear worldwide. There was even a movie made about the shoe, Like Mike, and that film was so good they decided to make a second film, Like Mike 2: Streetball. Spoiler alert: both films were terrible.
It’s a well known fact that Michael Jordan is perhaps the sole (heh) reason why the shoes are so popular. However, it isn’t a well known fact that Michael Jordan was actually a rebel while trying to promote the shoe.
At the time, the NBA commissioner at the time, David Stern, banned Michael Jordan from wearing his shoes because he had a problem with the color of the sneakers. Jordan was told that he was no longer allowed to wear the Nike shoe while playing basketball games, mainly because the colors of the shoes violated the NBA’s dress code. Dumb, right? They are just shoes, afterall.
Michael said he was going to continue to wear the shoes, and the commissioner went on a power trip and said that he was going to fine Jordan $5,000 for every game that he wore the shoes in. It doesn’t sound like much, but over the course of an 82 game season, it would rack up to about $410,000 of Jordan’s $610,000 salary.
Luckily for Michael, Nike said that they would pay his fines as long as he continued to wear the shoes. And, luckily for Nike, the shoe became a worldwide phenomenon as basketball players around the globe coughed up a fortune trying to buy the latest pair of Jordan’s.
5. Harry Potter
According to the American Library Association, Harry Potter is the most banned book, so far, of the 21st Century thanks to a number of overly religious groups that believe the Harry Potter novels make children want to commit witchcraft.
Ironically, parents who want to keep the Harry Potter books banned have a hard time realizing, or at least explaining to their children, that the book is nothing but fiction. Nothing in it is true, and J.K. Rowling is not trying to brainwash Christian children into believing that the occult is a real phenomenon and that they should worship Satan. But apparently parents in America think that that is the message of the Harry Potter books.
Sure, the books touch upon things such as death and resurrection, as well as detailed descriptions of potions and spells, but it’s a book that is supposed to ignite creativity in children, and get them interested in reading. However, many Christians disagree, and see the novels as a messed up story of Jesus Christ, or the celebration of witchcraft. And to them I say: You’re absolutely wrong.
4. Water Guns
In 2012, Tampa Bay was set to host a Democratic and Republican National convention, and city officials decided that it would be in their best interest to set up “clean zones.” Basically, in these zones, certain items are prohibited, and people outside the convention will have access to bathrooms, water, and it essentially was going to serve as a small convention outside of the convention. However, city officials wanted to prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms in the clean zone, but under Florida law, residents are allowed to carry concealed firearms, thus the city was powerless.
Fearing what would happen if people became too rowdy, the city banned any other item that could be used to harm another person. They banned lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains, and of course, super soaker water guns.
To re-iterate: You could carry a concealed firearm with the power, at the push of a trigger, take life…but you weren’t allowed to carry around one of those big ass water guns that you have to pump for a minute and a half before it sprays everywhere. *Insert penis joke here.*
The city banned water guns because they couldn’t ban real guns, so they thought they should try and ban the next closest thing to it. You know, instead of paintball guns, or airsoft guns, or BB guns…
3. Google Earth
Have you heard of the Streisand Effect? It’s named after the superstar Barbra Streisand, and is a term used to describe something is trying to be covered up or hidden by someone else, but more attention is brought to it after the person tries to hide the fact. One notable example of the Streisand effect is when Beyonce’s publicist asked that the very unflattering photos of her performing at the SuperBowl halftime show be removed from the Internet. Of course, it backfired, and the pictures became viral.
Another notable example of the Streisand Effect is when the leaders of the tiny nation of Bahrain decided that they should deny people access to Google Earth. Why? Well. When the web service launched in 2005, the government didn’t want people to notice that there were people living in multimillion dollar estates with massive properties just outside of the countries largest slums. Calling them estates is actually an understatement, they are more like palaces sitting in the middle of small kingdoms.
Of course, the people were already upset with the way their country was being run. And they knew that the rich lived in large homes, because on the edge of their slums, they would see giant walls that they knew protected the rich from the poor. The general populous just didn’t realize how rich the rich really were. Thanks to the Streisand Effect, the people of Bahrain found out.
The government tried to block access to Google Earth for three days, but in that time, screen shots of the political leaders homes were popping up on photo sharing websites, and being shared via e-mail between people.According to Mahmood al-Yousif, a Bahrainian businessman, “Some of the places take up more space than three or four villages nearby and block access to the sea for fisherman.”
Yeah, I’d be pretty pissed too.
2. Sliced Bread
Banning sliced bread is the worst thing that has ever happened. Period. It happened on January 18, 1943, thanks to Claude R. Wickard, the head of the War Foods Administration who was also working as the Secretary of Agriculture. The ban said that no bakery or deli in New York was allowed to slice its own bread, and American families were forced to cut their own loaves like savages. Although the formal reason that was initially stated doesn’t making any sense, using statements that Claude R. Wickard said about the apparent issue of sliced bread, we can infer as to the real reason why god’s gift to mankind was banned.
As you’re probably aware, in 1943, a major world war was happening. Some might even go as far to dub that war, World War II. Anyway, according to FDA regulations, pre-sliced bread used way too much wax paper than what was acceptable, because sliced bread needed it as it went stale much faster than that basic ass non-sliced bread. However, according to the War Production Board, most bread making companies had enough wax paper to last them several months, even if they didn’t order more. So no, there wasn’t really a wax shortage.
The more likely reason is that the goal of the ban was to try and stockpile wheat, while simultaneously lower bread and flour prices. During WWII, flour prices had increased around 10%. That’s bad news for bread making companies, as well as the average consumer. And when pre-sliced bread was introduced into the market, bread sales were through the roof, which lead people to believe that wheat and flour prices were going to skyrocket because of the demand.
So, in order to stockpile wheat that had been harvested, while simultaneously lowering the demand of bread on the market, pre-sliced bread was banned. People were outraged, as you can imagine, and several people reached out to local newspapers to express their dissatisfaction with the ban.
On March 8, 1943, the ban on slice bread was lifted, thus bringing mankind back into another great era. It was the best thing that had ever happened since sliced bread was initially launched on the market.
1. Brad Pitt
In 1997, Brad Pitt starred in the film Seven Years in Tibet, which is based on the true story of a man named Heinrich Harrer. The man was an Austrian mountain climber who eventually became friends with the Dalai Lama, while China was occupying Tibet. As you can imagine, the film put the Chinese government in a negative light, and was an international blockbuster that brought attention to China’s occupation of Tibet.
After Brad took the role, he received more than just a paycheck for his work with the film. Communist authorities in China at the time were outraged by the film, and an unspoken ban was put in place. Brad Pitt was banned from entering China, strictly because of a character he portrayed in a movie, that was based on true events.
Chinese officials said that the film had purposefully shown Communist Chinese military officers as rude and arrogant, brutalizing the local people in the film.
However, in June 2014, while promoting a movie in Shanghai, Angelina Jolie spoke of Brad Pitt and her children, mentioning that her and her family were staying in China as well and seeing some of the tourist attractions. That being said, Brad maintained a low profile while staying in China. He didn’t even appear at a news conference about Angelina’s film that took place in the hotel that he and Angelina were staying at.
[Header image via Shutterstock]