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No Freedom in Speech

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If you want to provoke a heated discussion with Americans, one of the easiest topics to do it with is freedom; particularly, freedom of speech. Americans are brought up and bound into a fantasy of being free and having certain rights that cannot be denied them. This fantasy, however, is more often than not a manipulative farce crafted for the average citizen and not for the opinionated or the bold. We've become obsessed in our society with political correctness and decency. Nothing that is “offensive” or outspoken is allowed wide circulation because it supposedly infringes on other peoples’ freedom. This to me is one of the biggest jokes I have ever heard concerning the so-called American “freedoms” and makes about as much sense as telling a duck that it can’t swim because it might bump into a fish and the fish won’t like that.
I agree, wholeheartedly, that no one should behave in such a way that it will impede another’s freedom and happiness but, I do not agree at all that freedom of speech can in any way do such a thing. Media is something one can choose to view or not view and no one is any less in control of what they view than any artist is in control of what reality is. It is the artist’s job to present reality, his take on it, or a contrast to what reality is. It is the viewer’s job to choose whether or not he or she wishes to see, hear, and be affected by this artist’s work. Censorship or lack thereof will always offend someone but, choosing not to view something that is uncensored offends no one. How can the solution to offensive material be to take an artist’s work and render it void of its meaning by changing the content to be gentle when it would be just as easy if not easier for a sensitive viewer to simply ignore, block, or remove this work from their sight?
One of the roots of this issue is human desire for control. Each of us has a sense of what is right, what is wrong, and how we think we should handle that which we see as being wrong. Most of us seek to control those things which we do not like and there lies the issue. In our conquest of righteousness we think we have been charged with some divine right to change the world so that it represents all we believe to be right but, we are not, we have not, and we cannot. You may choose how you live, you may share your values with those around you, but you can never change what is right and wrong because right and wrong do not exist. They are, not unlike beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. To control media through censorship is to try and control reality, to enforce right and wrong, because media and art are merely expressions of reality and its counterpart. Censorship is a policy rooted in fear and insecurity and I can’t see why any person would uphold such a close-minded practice. I understand the reasoning behind it, I understand the motivation, but I do not agree with it and as an artist myself I must say with certainty that this practice should be abolished as so many infringements of human rights have been abolished yet to date.





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