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That wasn’t a good start, was it?
Some of you may have noticed my recent uptick in the use of profanity in my posts. Well, maybe one or two of you. In any case, there’s a reason for that. I tend to use this blog for silly things, avoiding politics, religion, and other incendiary topics at all costs. This post is a bit serious though. As most of you know, I’m an attorney, and I take the right to free speech very seriously. That’s what this post is about.
Last Friday, I posted the following meme on Facebook.
Almost everyone responded with, “Fuck you,” or the cleverest variation they could muster. It was wonderful. However, as you all know, there’s always one person that spoils the party. Here’s our exchange.
Why the focus on weakness? Because it’s bad for society. It’s not just profanity that scares people. Some people are afraid of applause and jokes on topics they believe should be taboo. Phonophobia is a real thing, but as someone who was diagnosed phobic during college (different phobia), I have first-hand experience distinguishing between fear and a phobia (c.f., depression v. sadness). There aren’t nearly as many phobics out there as your Facebook posts suggest. Some of these fears are merely the result to choose the easy way out and be weak. That doesn’t require professional help to correct; it needs a kick in the ass.
In other words, we all have insecurities and weaknesses, yet the world should be allowed to keep spinning anyway.
Unfortunately, the lowest common denominator of our society (in terms of weakness) is now dictating the terms thanks to their allies that blindly defend them with no appreciation for how it will weaken our culture. The allies claim that our job as the strong is to protect the weak, but that’s an incomplete statement. Of course we shouldn’t be picking on the weak, but we should be encouraging the weak to become stronger, or at least to learn to coexist in a society with the strong and everyone in between those extremes. Coddling (and downright encouraging) them isn’t good for us and isn’t good for them. Other cultures aren’t so weak, and they’ve already started to overtake us in specific ways.
Before I make my next point, I want to note that I hate the passive aggressive nonsense of, “If you don’t agree with my position on [political issue], then please unfollow me now.” Fuck that. Those people are assholes. If I don’t want someone to follow me, I should get up off my lazy ass and block them. The following isn’t meant to say otherwise.
If you don’t like what I’m saying, you have options. You can unfollow the thread, unfollow my blog or other social media platform, unfriend me, or block me. Ultimately, I don’t care if you don’t like the content of my thread regardless of the reason. If you do any of those things because of profanity (and I detect it), I’ll probably think to myself, “Well, that’s sad of them,” but it’ll be a fleeting thought quickly forgotten and never mentioned again. More directly, there’ll be no hard feelings on my end. I actually don’t want anyone to go, because everyone has something to offer in a conversation, but if you can’t handle naughty words, that’s your burden.
Or at least it should be.
So, your personal choice isn’t what concerns me. What concerns me is when you demand I facilitate such weakness, thus attempting to force your choices on me. Whether you complain to Facebook or another private entity (who often bow to the pressure of small minorities of misguided extremists), or even worse to the government, then you’re infringing on my life and possibly my rights. That’s where the line should be drawn, both legally and socially.
The Consequences of Censorship: The New Town Square
In the old days, if you wanted to bitch about an issue, you’d go to town square, prop yourself up on a soapbox, and start talking. Because town square was public land, the government couldn’t easily suppress the speech, and we had a free flow of opposing ideas allowing us to hammer out the details of our own positions. Now, other than major events, the public uses social media as town square. That is, we do the same thing on Facebook. Facebook’s control over their platform is, for all practical purposes, control over our speech, and is almost as dangerous as giving the government such control. Moreover, the government will always find a back door to indirectly influence private companies to restrict speech the government doesn’t want to hear, so it could become the same thing.
Suppressing any speech eventually suppresses all speech. That’s unacceptable because without free speech, none of our other rights have any teeth. This isn’t to say that I want private companies to be forced into certain speech. They have speech rights too, which includes the right not to speak. They also have rights to run their business, but only if it doesn’t harm society. There’s a delicate balance to be struck here, and ultimately the only pushback we can place on private companies is through antitrust law. That’s a completely different discussion that will definitely not be had on this blog. The point, however, is that this is extremely important.
So is shit, fuck, cock, and pussy really so much to ask for?
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