Saturday, June 14, 2008

The rare political post

I've only once before delved into anything kind of relating to politics on this blog but considering that I am (only just barely) in the media business, as a filmmaker and published author, I thought I should comment on this article.

Basically, it talks about the current Canadian persecution human rights kangeroo court trial of a journalist Mark Steyn for publishing words that were apparently offensive to Muslims.

It also talks - or I should say - alludes to American Exceptionalism and the fact that some people think America should perhaps reconsider it's stance on freedom of speech. Oh wait - hang on - did I say "allude" I believe I should have said, "explicitly states."

I quote: "Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech."

Now the article seems to fairly even handed in presenting both sides of the argument, but the overall gist of it is that America is alone in the world regarding the idea that speech should truly be free. Of course what this (and the quote above) is referring to is "hate speech" which is a big amorphous, undefined blob of thought that seems to say any speech that might make someone else feel bad is no good. If that isn't the least bit frightening terrifying to any of you out there who, like me, are marginally involved in creating works of art film - then you need to re-read 1984 (or read it for the first time). If, like so much of the world, you'd rather not read then (well, then you probably aren't really reading this) let me just point out that the reason this is dangerous is because while it may seem all ducky and might even give you the warm and fuzzies to be in favor of banning hate speech now just remember that what determines "hate speech" is defined by those that are in power - not those it allegedly protects. And if you don't think THAT is dangerous then - well hell, do me a favor and just go read 1984.

1 comment:

Devon Ellington said...

Yeah, the situation gets more frightening every day, especially for those of us in the arts. The only counter is to remain determined to create and put out there different points of view, and do it in a way that connects with people, so they stop and maybe, even for a few seconds, actually think an original thought or take a minute to look at something from an alternate point of view.