Saturday, November 7, 2009


One thing that we yearn for here is good old fashioned magazines in English, and one that we quite enjoy is the Economist. We've actually gotten to the point that when we have guests we ask them to bring in copies along with the wine that is required for entry into our small home. We used to be able to pick English magazines up at the airport but about three months ago all of the English items disappeared and they still have not returned.

So, when we returned from our trip to Malaysia, Laos, and Hong Kong, we returned with several magazines that had been purchased both in Malaysia and HK. Then when Skip and Holly showed up a week later they brought a stack of back issues of the Economist that they had, a few of which we already had.

We have seen before duplicate copies where the cover art was different, most notably when Emily and Elaine brought a copy that had a drawing about an article on Texas on the cover when the rest of the world had a cover showing the riots in Xinjiang, China. But, the other day I was thumbing through one that I had read before and noticed a sticker over one of the photos that wasn't there before. Sure enough, I go to the other magazine and there is the full photo.
The article is about how the economic downturn is hitting the porn industry in California, it's a sad story really - you could probably read it if you clicked on the photo, and the photo is just of the rows of movie titles (VHS boxes) that you would see in any well equipped sex store.

The photo isn't clear enough to see any nudity, but you can see titles and that is what I presume they were trying to block - although porn star names in the article are still there. I'm thinking they would be worried about people looking up the titles over the internet, otherwise what could be the logic in blocking it? We looked at the subscription leaflets in the magazine and found that the censored one was from Malaysia.

That's a lot of work to go in and place a label on every single copy sold in Malaysia, who do you think got stuck with that job, and did they have to be applied before the magazines were imported into Malaysia?

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