Thursday, September 15, 2005

So You're Getting Fucking Persecuted.

There was once a time when Jeff called me contrarian1. I was flattered2! And then people forgot forgot me and I had to abandon my plan to make money of blogging, and instead get a real actual job. That sorta sucks.

Serves me right for not being regular. I wonder if bloggers have their own kind of bran.

Anyway! Enough reminiscing. We’re here to talk about the Freedom of Speech!

Getting Started / Get Retarded

Yes, it’s a post referencing that event!

First off. It’s interesting to note that while there’s a lot of reacting to what happened in the news, I didn’t actually see what those two forumgoers posted, so I have no idea if what they said was racist or not.

Secondly, assuming, of course, that the statements made by the two defendants were actually racist in nature, then all I’ve got to say, again, assuming that what they said was racist, is that those they had it coming.

Being Harsh On The Ones You Love Mildly Dislike

I’ve never been very kind to my fellow bloggers. I’ve heckled them, mocked them, belittled them and, in general, challenged them to actually prove that what they say is important in the general scheme of things.

My argument is that blogs are intrinsicly uninteresting—dull, even plebian and horrible at times. You get what you pay for in terms of low cost of ownership, and sometimes you may get overcharged.

Quality Oxymorons

Nothing gives you the right to be important, least of all being a blogger. Most of us will be trapped in the personal limbo of being uninteresting to all but the closest and most obsessive of our readership, while a select few will get to be the next Kottke or Ooi, or whoever it is that is popular.

While being read and respected by thousands is nice, it certainly helps to realize that while Jeff gets another fucking award from yet another international organization and Kottke gets his six billionth reader, you and I will be filling up what we can charitably call Sturgeon’s Bottom Ninety Percent.

If you’re still dreaming about making it to the big-time by blogging, get over it.

That ‘Fundamental Right’

And then there’s the ‘fundamental inalieable right to Free Speech’. While many people focus on the right to say whatever you like without fear of censorship, I say “bullshit”.

Freedom of Speech means freedom of living to the consequences of what you say. While you can say what you like online, you’re never, never free from consequence.

The government may not be able to do a thing to you4, but that doesn’t mean that what you say can’t get you fired, or get you verbally slapped around like a two-buck whore online, or cause your friends or lovers to leave you.

Welcome To The Land of Shut The Fuck Up

And so you do and must censor yourself. You think to yourself, “Can I say this? Is this right?” before posting your vitriol across the public wire. Of course you must. Being free to speak doesn’t mean you are free from being told, in very firm words, to be quiet.

As a matter of fact, as a Citizen of the Internet, you are allowed to speak whatever you like. Freedom to speak doesn’t mean that you must be listened or that your words deserve immortality. You are free to speak. What happens next is not up to you.

And frankly, like religious bigotry and outright stupidity, racism is hardly a defensible thing. You want to get in trouble, get in trouble by yourself. I’m not defending you, not because I do not care about free speech, but I have better time defending the right to the free speech of others who are more deserving.

Footnotes

1 And my work eloquently-crafted, but I’m a crafty bugger, and I can spot a backhanded compliment a mile away!

2 And yes, I know what it means! It means he thinks I’m on crack3!

3 Do not deny it, you crafty old bastard! You know it in your bones to be true!

4 But it can, and did. Oh dearie me. That’s so unfair! Whatever shall you do?

Blogger mob1900 said...

Points taken. I'm gonne sew my lips up and blog with my penis.
stay angst, dude.

11:35 PM  
Blogger totoro said...

uh huh... so what's new?

1:44 AM  
Blogger BP said...

Always coming to the rescue, dude - even if you don't mean to.

Ooh, footnotes! You've also been reading Pratchett, haven't you?

8:42 AM  
Blogger T-Boy said...

mob1900: Er….

totoro: What? You came here for something new, not the same stale shit repeated over and over again, propaganda-style?

Man, youse in the wrong planet.

bp: Huh? What are you talking about?

Oh, and it's less footnotes or British authors and more Textile. It has a few annoying limitations, but it's very, very cool.

9:01 AM  
Blogger mob1900 said...

Don't worry, I meant Literally...

8:03 PM  

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