Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free Speech?

Hell yeah! I'm sure EVERYONE has heard about the Amazon fiasco. If not read it here on USA Today's blog. This has raised issues. Free speech issues. Personally I think the book should have been removed. Yet I am pro-free speech. How's that possible?

Firstly, without free speech this blog would never exist. Nor would my career.But I do understand that although I have the freedom to say something I do not have the right to be heard. And if heaven forbid I say something controversial my right to say is also the same right that protects those to disagree with me. And that goes both ways. I don't agree with flag burning but it free speech protects those that do. I think it's biting the hand that feeds you but oh well.

I have tons more I'd like to say but I want to get to the point which is the deal with Amazon wasn't a matter of free speech. The perv can write and say what he wants but free speech does not protect him from the repercussions of what he says or writes. (I'll try not to get into any personal feelings on the subject and stick with the facts of what happened.) Amazon's removal of the book is a type of censorship.But people forget that if you want free speech online you have to make it yourself. For instance I have heard of several people getting their Facebook profiles deleted for something they said or some photo they uploaded. "Free speech!" they cried. Wrong. Facebook owns the servers that you are storing this information on. Facebook is allowing you to use there software, hardware etc for free. They own it. So they get final say on what goes on on Facebook. You have no rights. Especially since you agreed to their terms when you signed up. It's basically like if you came to my house and started insulting me or something so I boot your ass out. Or you rent an apartment and get evicted because you have loud parties every night. The same goes for Amazon. And Yahoo. And so on. If you truly want free speech online you must have your own servers. So if this guy truly wants to spread the gospel of pedophilia he will have to self publish and sell it on his own website otherwise he is subject to censorship.

There were a lot of people screaming about this issue. But I don't think I heard anyone ask for him to be censored. Most of what I heard was for Amazon to remove the book. And there was lots of talk about boycotting Amazon. There were those that condemned this action. I don't understand why. Companies get boycotted all the time when there is a group of people that think the company's policies are wrong. Check this out:
Boycott Target for giving money to an "antigay' candidate
Boycott BP for, well, you know...
Boycott Shell for something going on in Nigeria (I tried to figure it out but the website is pretty damned convoluted)
Boycott Exxon for any number of things apparently
Boycott Chevron because they support a Burmese dictatorship(?)
Boycott Home Depot because they are pro gay apparently
Boycott The Hobbit Because-er-never mind. That one's over...
Boycott Red & Black Cafe because cops in their store makes them really nervous for some reason
Boycott the circus I dunno about this one. I love the circus but I also love a naked woman...lemme think about this one a bit...
Boycott Wal-mart because they are an instrument of the devil...that rolls back the prices on a regular basis!
Boycott Walgreens for any number of reasons whether you're liberal or conservative
Boycott Wikipedia for some reason
Boycott Real Housewives DC because there are some attention whores on the show. Go figure...
Boycott Lebron James for getting another "job" with another "company" that pays better
Boycott Dr. Laura because she said something bad or wrong about Tourettes ..THAT STUPID BITCH!!
Boycott Mel Gibson for being a dick
Boycott YouTube because they don't believe in free speech (see paragraphs above)
Boycott Mars because now vegetarians can't get their chocolate fix...wait a minnit, isn't it milk chocolate? In that case boycott Mars because vegetarians don't have enough products and companies to boycott. (Imagine my dismay when I typed "boycott ma" into google and the headlines "Boycott Mars" pops up and it turns out to be a frickin' candy bar)

All these were found by typing "boycott" and then a letter or two and letting Google do the rest. Speaking of Google: 10 Reasons to Boycott Google.

So the uproar about Amazon censoring an "alleged" pedophile is lost on me. It was a type of protest. And this country has a long history of fixing things society deems wrong by protests and boycotts. Especially when it comes to companies that are looking for a profit. How many people that want to give the pedo guy his free speech want to take it from Glenn Beck? Or the Dixie Chicks?

Granted are lots of gray areas when it comes to freedom of expression and free speech. Being an artist I try to keep up with what's going on especially the big cases. Sometimes I agree with the outcomes, sometimes I don't. But I do think that a how-to guide to something illegal such as murder, rape, pedophilia, etc. crosses a line. Writing about those subjects are OK but instruction manuals are not. That may be an opinion. And if so it is protected speech ;-)

Just for the record, I could moderate all comments to my blog but I refuse. That's my way of giving you free speech here. If you disagree with me let me know. All comments are posted unedited. That's not to say I wouldn't delete something but it would have to be pretty bad...And I don't want to have my Blogger account deleted because this is their property after all.

Keep my free speech alive! Buy my book!

And for what seems to be a good dissertation on free speech click here.

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