One story thrown up in the Ferragosto heat is that of Miller Distributor’s refusal to carry an edition of Dazed Magazine. Apparently it is because of an osé picture of Azalea Banks blowing up a condom. This is the ultimate non-story that risks being blown out of proportion (apologies for the pun). Miller Distributors is a commercial enterprise. Not the Church. Not the Government. It’s a commercial enterprise. They import and distribute most of the international press that reaches the Maltese shelves (when they’re not printing it). So if Miller decides it will not import one magazine or another then it is a commercial decision. The basis of the commercial decision is irrelevant – it still should have commercial consequences.
An irritated consumer would probably have the ultimate luxury in a free market – that of opting to no longer buying goods imported by Miller. A boycott. Would it work? Of course not. Particularly given the lions’ share of the market that Miller enjoys. Alternatively you could switch to other ways of obtaining your fare – the internet has worked wonders for that: just look at the Newsstand app for ipads and its android equivalents. I am subscribed to the Economist and the UK Times online and do not depend on any distributor to decide what I can or cannot read.
It’s not censorship though. What Miller is doing will just reflect on Miller and that’s that. Frankly I tend to agree with most commentators – that Miller’s sudden bout of overzealousness is ridiculous. In this day and age it was inevitable that the blocked image would be given more prominence via the net and other media. So why bother with a selective ban when you are also carrying 50 Shades of Grey to your bookshelves?
I’ll just put it down to summer nonsense. Now go have fun… and blow your own condom.