Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Summary of where we are, freedom-of-speechwise

Where are, freedom-of-speechwise? The answer is, in deep... oh, I give in ...doo-doo.

I don't know why so many freedoms seem to be in the process of being reversed right now. I've seen a few articles blaming what Americans call Baby Boomers, i.e. me, for everything - breathing too much, consuming too much, warming the planet too much and the cardinal sin of all, hanging around existing when there are younger people who need the money and the spotlight.

But I haven't, and don't know anybody my age who has, found the entire planet suddenly so thoroughly riddled with filth that only the government could possibly deal with it, and therefore complained to Our Overlords about it. So who is doing the complaining?

Much of the territory won by the civil rights movement seems still to be solid ground, but it appears that one of the 'rights' won by the general population, the freedom to think and read about things in the privacy of your own home - is now becoming illegal. Since there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that reading or viewing material (produced without harm to others) leads anybody even halfway sane to harm someone else, I don't see why I'm being told I cannot read some material I may choose to read.

I'm flabbergasted at the witch-hunting of "child porn" and "extreme porn" in America, Australia and the UK recently. It's a Moral Panic, the new Satanic Sacrifice Scare, and we're all to believe that if someone sees a picture of (nonexistent non-humans) Lisa Simpson and Bart Simpson getting it on [1] they'll immediately turn into a childpornomaniac and rape the entire preschool, or if they see a thirty year old album cover with a young girl on it [2] the whole internet needs to be censored by the goverment [3], or if they read about a pop group being murdered [4] the writer - note, writer, not artist or photographer - can be charged with obscenity in the written word for the first time since 1991, and in so doing help prop up a badly-broken law that will make possession of pictures of consensual BDSM couples punishable by jail time [5].

America has the First amendment. It doesn't actually work that well in protecting freedom of speech - it's been nullified too many times - but it's nice to have a piece of paper you can point at during times like these. Britain's got nothing except its perennial Nanny Class, and apparently once again, they know what's good for us.

[1] Sex, censorship, and the Net - Info World
[2] Wikipedia Article Censored in UK for the First Time - PC World
[3] Me
[4]Blogger 'wrote of murdering Girls Aloud' - Independent (Contains the strange sub-heading "Case marks first time 1959 Obscene Publications Act has been applied to internet" but does not explain what part of the internet was deemed obscene in 1959. I think I know what it means, though.)
[5] 'Extreme porn' law could criminalise millions: Here come illegal pictures of legal activity - The Register

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
I sometimes mention a product on this blog, and I give a URL to Amazon or similar sites. Just to reassure you, I don't get paid to advertise anything here and I don't get any money from your clicks. Everything I say here is because I feel like saying it.