To reach his goal of bringing The Joy of Censorship to every state, Joe Raiola still needs to get to six of them: Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“And once I complete the states, I’ll start on the territories,” he says. “American Samoa, here I come!”
While it is not likely that he will make it to American Samoa, there is no denying that since 1994, when he first appeared in The Joy of Censorship, Joe Raiola has covered a lot of ground.
From the Henry Miller Memorial Library in California to the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indiana; from Yale and Penn State Universities to the Bumbershoot Festival in Washington; from the American Library Association’s National Conference in New York to a small public library in Wasilla, Alaska, where Mayor Sarah Palin once tried to ban the book, Pastor, I Am Gay. With his engaging mix of sharp social satire and autobiographical humor, Joe Raiola has won fans around the country with his outspoken and fiery defense of the first amendment.
Should comedians refrain from using certain words that deeply offend many women, African Americans and members of the gay community? Is satirizing Mohammad off-limits because it deeply offends many Muslims? Is there any context at all in which highly objectionable language may be used? And who gets to decide?
The Joy of Censorship sheds light on the endless partisan debates over freedom of speech, plus controversial supreme court decisions, political correctness, and President Trump’s dubious claim that “no one loves the first amendment” more than he does.
The program also traces the unlikely and colorful history of MAD Magazine, from renegade publisher William Gaines’ legendary showdown with the United States Senate over comic book censorship to MAD’s emergence as an influential satiric force. The Joy of Censorship concludes with a compelling slide presentation featuring some of MAD Magazine’s most outrageous covers and features, followed by a lively Q+A segment.