Among the observations in the essay by Geoffrey Batchen, in Thomas Barrow’s book Cancellations, was his view that defacing of the negatives was an act violence, which resonated with my feelings about mindless censorship, further magnified by the use of an “X” (rather than some other mark) which implicitly means “NO”.
My thought process into cross-cultural tensions had carried me through four points:  the use of censorship as a tool to navigate and expose the broader issue of cultural tension  the randomness of it all, as reflected in Yossarian’s approach to censoring letters,  the violence, as explored in the book Cancellations, and  the tension developed in juxtaposing two seemingly valid objectives (e.g., protecting democracy and protecting our children). Thinking further on last point, the representation of opposites, yin and yang, I was reminded of Shinzo Maeda book A Tree A Blade of Grass where each image embodies a pair of opposites.
The first image uses a scribble to cover the eyes of the child. This act of violence is juxtaposed against the softened image of the Christmas tree in the background. The second image uses the traditional “Black Block” to cover the eyes, which is then overlaid with a simpler, less “violent” scribble. Tension is suggested through the child’s grasp of the fragile ornament. The last image censors the Christmas ornament, reflecting some of Yossarian’s arbitrariness, and through this presents the question of against which benchmark is “right” determined. This latter act avoids the scribble and favour of a pointed shape, somewhere between a block and scribble.