I have a few things on my mind that popped up as I watched Cartoon Network last week (and of course, visited this site).

Let's see... Where to begin? I was ecstatic to find out that Cartoon Network would be showing DBZ five days a week. Even if it was the dubbed version. After all, one episode a week just went by too slow! There were times I'd actually wish the weekend would hurry up and get to the big Sunday so I could see my Japanese DBZ (during this time, FUNimation was showing those fake Namek re-runs). Then I realized that I'd be moving to college a week before it started. We got there, and I found out that they did have cable, but had no idea how to set my VCR for it! I actually thought that their cable network out here in Big Rapids only had six channels. Then I found the switch on the back of my VCR. Duh.

Anyway, I started watching, and after the second week, I caught the episode that wasn't shown the first time around: they actually showed the infamous "orphan" ep that was for some unknown reason banned while it was on FOX. Soon afterwards, I read on this page somewhere that they were banned because there were orphans in them!

Whether that was the reason or not, I truly touched a nerve in my system, and I felt compelled to bring up this subject. It's one of those thoughts... One of those issues that just irks you to the point where you want to go up to the White House or whoever handles the censorship and curse 'em out.

I know this letter seems to have little to do with DBZ, but I think it's important that I state this: this isn't Funimation's fault (not entirely, anyway), maybe Saban's fault, and is mostly disgruntled parents' fault.

I can agree that at some point, DBZ does get a little out of control as far as violence (the only censored scene I could actually not tell what Funimation did until I watched the Japanese version: Dodoria's fight with the Nameks), but if parents don't want their kids to see it, hear it, or even smell it, then just turn the TV off! A lot of single parents say that they can't always be sure what their kids are watching while their at work, but I ask you, if your kid is too young to watch anything on television, he's probably too young to stay home by himself, too. I mean, isn't there someone at home with the child? Is he at day care? You do know that leaving a seven year-old at home alone is illegal, don't you? If your child is thirteen and at home alone, don't you think they're old enough to handle what they see on some cartoon (and don't mention that Beavis and Butthead stuff - those kids who followed their example were just crazy to begin with)?

Now I've had these complaints about censorship since the days of Mortal Kombat. You all remember, don't you? I know you do. SNES had that no blood, cartoon look to it, and with the Genesis you had to put in a code to get the blood. This is basically that same example. DBZ on FOX was like the SNES version of Mortal, and the international channel is the special code you put in to get the blood and original animation.

As soon as I heard that there was a rating system in place on TV, I knew for sure things would only get worse. People don't seem to realize that that little piece of ;-( doesn't do ;-( to stop kids from watching anything. What it comes down to is parents doing their job and not just turning the TV off, but sitting down and talking to their kids about what they saw, and letting them know that that kind of behavior isn't acceptable in real life. But usually, that's unnecessary; I haven't met a single kid yet who tried to sever someone's limb because he saw a Ninja Turtle slice a foot soldier in two. Kids aren't stupid, ya heard?

Once again, I've managed to talk (I mean, write) up a storm, but I seriously think that we, as a populace, should examine what we're doing to kids by sanitizing these cartoons. Think about it. There isn't as much crime anywhere else as it is here. Know why? They (main example is Japan; I'm not sure if anywhere else is quite as uncensored) are not afraid to confront their problems. They don't hide violence from their children and try to tell them that there is no death; they don't cover up cigarettes. Which reminds me; what in god's name does covering up a cigarette do?! Like kids won't see someone else smoking sooner or later. I mean, you could walk outside and see someone smoking! And if they've never seen a cigarette and their parents always hid it from them, never talking about it, they're more prone to smoke, 'cause they don't know better. It's just idiotic, and I don't understand how Akira Toriyama (who, in my opinion, is the best anime storyteller/character designer) can sit back and watch his work be single-handedly and out-right torn apart before his eyes. I'm sure he's had to have seen one of these dubs for himself (unless they only allowed him to see the Pioneer movies and sent him some kind of death threat saying, "There's a bomb on your TV - if you turn to FOX between six a.m. and seven a.m., it'll blow up).

Okay... Back to DBZ's dubs. I finally sat down and watched Vegeta and Nappa's arrival once more (Cartoon Network), and since I had read these pages, I'd noticed some things I hadn't paid attention to (I was young and naive!). The first and foremost being Vegeta and Nappa saying so many times that they were going to sent everyone to another dimension. 1. (I know someone else pointed this out on this page, but...) What's going on with this "another dimension" ;-( ? What? They don't know where they're sending them? As if they don't go to the "next dimension" (more acceptable, even though we all know they're going to hell... I mean, HFIL - I love that), but now, their spirit just goes somewhere for a while and takes a rest? Maybe it takes a trip to Jamaica? 2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Vegeta and Nappa have no concept of these "other" dimensions. So why are they always trying to send someone there? I can't stand hearing Nappa say something like, "I know what you need. A trip... TO ANOTHER DIMENSION!" Please. It's just not right. My little six-year-old-cousin told me, "Look! He killed Piccolo!" I did a little experiment. "No," I said, "he sent him to another dimension. That's all."

He gave a really strange look, right before giggling and saying, "no he didn't - he died!" Yeah. Great cover-up.

Granted, it sounds like I am irresponsible with my cousin, and I know people are already saying, you let your little cousin watch such violence?

Yeah. And I'm proud of it. I know that he's being taught well. We always talk. I even let him watch the Japanese version with me once. If there was a scene I didn't think he needed to see at his young age (I slipped once and he saw Freiza stab Kuririn, but I'm getting to the point), I talked to him about it. Simply put - I did my part. His own mother does the same thing, and guess what? That's right- she's a single mom. And most of the time, she's at work. Yet, her son is being raised well, he knows right from wrong... Anyone taking notes?

Whew! I sure got a lot off my chest. I want to write the government about this, get some people to get on this and send in letters about our disapproval of such censorship. Otherwise, there won't be just a DBZ uncensored site - there will be Movie uncensored sites, book uncensored sites, commercial uncensored sites... Things could get real complicated.

I myself am in school for Visual Communications (I'm transferring to C.C.S soon and taking up Web Page design and Art Direction), and write sci-fi stories that have that Anime feel to them. And as I first started writing my book, things kept popping into my head. I started editing my own work to make sure that it offended no one... But realized that it wasn't what I wanted - it was what the public wanted. Watered down gunk. So I re-wrote it, and realize that the censorship of this country just completely destroys all concepts of free speech, self expression, and creativity (I got kind of violent with some of the more intense moments, and language was not at all clean. The book is finished, and it's like my dream come true - it was my life's work... For the moment).

Sorry about the long letter. Just felt compelled to say that, ya' heard? It's a lot more than just DBZ, you know? I mean, music has been getting it for the past few years (hip hop is what I'm speaking of), video games are being priced at seventy dollars and tagged with that MA18 rating... It just doesn't make sense. We're trying to teach kids about violence and why it's wrong...

But we hide it all the time, and wonder why society is the way it is today.

Thanx for your time, and I hope everyone reads this letter and listens to what I'm sayin'. Othawise', next year won't be any different...

- Jelani Parham
(Class of 98, Hoping to transfer from Ferris to C.C.S)