The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres


I’ve decided to boycott any films I’m unlikely to find educational, enlightening, amusing or entertaining.

And I’m seriously thinking about extending this idea to other forms of media too, like books, DVDs, newspapers, radio stations and websites. If they don’t offer me something worthwhile, I will read/ watch/ buy/ listen to/ surf somewhere else instead.

However, I’ve decided not to call a national boycott on anything I find offensive, distasteful, bland or boring.

Firstly I like the idea of free speech, and that means if I want to be able to express my opinions on anything, I have to allow people to express other ideas with which I profoundly disagree.

Secondly, calling for a national boycott only serves to promote and advertise the very thing I’m trying to turn people away from, while at the same time making me look like I have a closed mind.

Remember when the Sex Pistols shot to Number 1 in the charts after their song, “God Save the Queen” was banned by the BBC?

Remember how Monty Python used the condemning statements of “Life of Brian” by archbishops as a promotional tool?

Remember how you’d never heard of Salman Rushdie until he had a Fatwa placed on his head for writing “The Satanic Verses”?

Remember what you thought about the people calling for the bans, boycotts and fatwas?

But when it comes down to it, I’m a philosopher, not a politician. I want to help people think for themselves, not tell people what to think.

So if anyone wants to know if they should boycott this or that film I’ll have to say, “Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow me, you don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!” *

*No bonus points for correctly guessing which film this quote comes from, but minus several million if you get it wrong


Kanani said...

Hmmmm...... I was going to say something further but have decided to boycott my own views based on my own bad taste.

Kim Ayres said...

Would I have found it educational, enlightening, amusing or entertaining?


savannah said...

i'm with you fellas xoxox

Fat Lazy Guy said...

I'm boycotting the bonus points (mainly because I don't know where the quote comes from).

Tammy and Parker said...

Kim, I totally agree with you when you say that you don't want to tell people how to think.

I do however have a wee bit of a history of sharing with people what I think. They can then take it from there.

I like to think of my posts as jumping off points for things that perhaps someone else really hasn't come in contact with or spent much time thinking about.

I do need to be more careful in not sounding as though I expect everyone to follow in my footsteps.

I also think that one's reactions to TT may be direct relation to their and their child's experience with the subject at hand.

The recent controversy has opened people's eyes to hate speech and the fine line between satire and aggressive humor.

But that is just what I think. Nothing more.

I've really enjoyed reading your thoughts and Tom's thoughts on this subject.

I know good writers......and good thinkers when I read them.

And I hope you know that just because I posted a bit of a differing view over at 5MFSN, that doesn't mean you can't post your view point too.

We can all glean a lot from each other.

Tammy and Parker said...

BTW, God Save The Queen? The Satanic Verses? I've got a wee bit of googling to do.

Mary Witzl said...

I thought that Sex Pistols' 'God Save the Queen' made a point, so I didn't begrudge them their free publicity. And my husband was a HUGE fan of Salman Rushdie before all the brouhaha over Satanic Verses. But I certainly take your point! Life's too short, and far too many things are out there, competing for our attention. We might as well make sure what we spend time on is worth our while.

The Birdwatcher said...

Life is full of surprises, like that film that turned out to be brilliant that you were dragged (I almost typed drugged) reluctantly to watch, or that book that looked like rubbish but you read right through at one sitting. If you don't try it how do you know whether it offfers you anything?

MizFit said...


Kim Ayres said...

Savannah - xoxox :)

FLG - clue: it comes from the movie mentioned in the post

Tammy - this wasn't a dig in any way. It's bascially an explanation why I haven't been joining in the debate that's been raging about TT.

Mary - it's really about the effect calling for boycotting has on your cause. When it comes to film, books, music etc I think it tends to be counter-productive, as well as morally dubious

Birdwatcher - I'm always open to new experiences, but let's face it, why would I waste hours of my life going to see, say, an Adam Sandler film?

MizFit - see the clue I gave FLG above. If all else fails, always look on the bright side of life...

Christina said...

You are very smart...
I have been avoiding the topic on my blog too. I am not going to see the movie b/c of two things:
1) I always found Ben Stiller annoying
2) Paying to go and sit in a dark room - I am asleep before the movie starts.

BUT I really do like how you put it. However, it made me really happy to hear hopw bad the movie did at thebox office opening day ;-)

Be good,

Jupiter's Girl said...

The quote might be from "Life of Brian" when the bunch of Catholic children recite "we are all individuals" in unison, repeating after John Cleese. THAT was a funny movie.

Phil said...

I refuse to see the movie because I am not a fan of that type of humor. Will Farrel, Adam Sandler, John C. Reilly, pfft. I grew up and have no time to waste with it. But, mentioning the word boycott does cause a stampede of folks who want to know, HAVE TO KNOW, what it is that they should be boycotting.

Usually it is the folks who are always fishing for a cause instead of learning who they are, and what they believe in.

Sigh. I am such an old man.


Tom said...

As a male, I find your use of the word BOYcott deeply offensive and would prefer you use more gender neutral language, such as "abstain from using" or "expression of protest."

Not to make light of the boycott, but I wrote tons on the matter and am in need of a bit of levity.

Although I must say, as a devout Christian, I am offended by your mention of the S** Pistols. Couldn't you have rephrased it as the "Procreate" Pistols so as not to offend?

PI said...

A fitting post to tell you I am awarding you with a Gold Cup along with four other 'Good Eggs'.
You know I'm rubbish tech wise so if you accept it - it is on the bottom of my side bar and looks like a gold cup. Well it would wouldn't it?
No-one deserves it better:)

Restaurant Gal said...

Never boycott "Best in Show." Funniest ever. And happy third blogging anniversary!

Kim Ayres said...

Christina - I've never found him funny either, so the basis of this post was the odd feeling of being asked to boycott something I wouldn't have watched anyway

Jupiter's Girl - it is indeed Life of Brian, but oddly enough the scene I think you're thinking of is in The Meaning of Life. in Life of Brian, it's said to a crowd of people outside his house

Phil - is it wisdom, or cynicism we gain with age?

Tom - nicely observed :)

Pat - A good egg? Thank you! I'll be over to check it out shortly :))

Restaurant Gal - "Best in Show" is one of those films I meant to see and completely forgot about. Will search the DVD racks for it.

Carole said...

I don't mind boycotting stuff I don't like, but what I do mind is people telling me what to boycott. Being a preacher's wife I am in a position to get a lot of mailings from differnt groups wanting me to boycott all sorts of differnt things. And every single time, instead of feeling called to act, I think, "Wow--these people have way too much time on their hands."

Kim Ayres said...

True. It's so much nicer when we're asked to consider rather than being told we ought to.

Andraste said...

I'm here because I'm boycotting something: Work. Oh dear.

I guessed Life of Brian, but I see someone beat me to it, and you confirmed - now it looks like I got the answer from the comments. But I didn't. I SWEAR.

Kim Ayres said...

Andraste, with your sense of humour I would have been shocked, shocked I tell you, if you hadn't know the answer

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