Saturday, November 13, 2004

A few thoughts on freedom of speech

I visited the Bitch Novelist's Blog a little while ago, and was inspired to say a few words about it.

She raises some good points about literary fiction and it's lack of gonads. God forbid that anyone should say anything that might offend anyone else. Tapioca is the main course in the the field today.

There are 2 things about this blog that I don't like, however. First, she has made her point very clear. She does not need to keep whipping it. Let's move along to something else. Second, she provides neither her name nor any way to contact her. Let me preach on this one.

Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are two basic human rights. As the saying (usually attributed to Voltaire) goes: "While I don't agree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it." Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no matter how wrongheaded, or even stupid, I think it is. They also have the right to say what they think. We all have the right to disagree, as long as we don't try to interfere with anyone's life or liberty.

Along with these rights go a certain responsibility. We are all responsible for our thoughts and actions. Part of that responsibility is taking ownership of them. By hiding behind anonymity, Bitch Novelist is shirking her responsibility. I think that's wrong. Anyone who reads these entries understands that I will express my opinions out in public and sign my name to them. They're mine. Anyone that doesn't like my opinions doesn't have to read them. I don't expect to please everybody, and anyone that takes offense at what I say has the right to disagree. All I ask is that you do it to my face and sign your name.

That's enough raving for one morning. CUL8R.


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