Free Speech – A Thoroughly Modern Liberal Problem

This piece was promoted by a comment on a previous piece about free speech.

I would be interested to hear your views on whether you think the Free Speech Crusade has a bit of an image problem at the moment. I’m referring to all the free speech banners being waved at this weekend’s ‘Football Lads Alliance’ March in London. Not much digging is required before you discover this lot are a load of knuckle dragging far right racists. Yet again, as per the recent ‘Nazi Pug’ business there’s a direct link between the issues you raise and infamous chancer ‘Tommy Robinson’.

Now this is not an attack on the poster of this comment but it is a rebuttal of the malaise that current liberals and “the left” seem to have with what free speech actually is.

Or Freeze Peach as some unfunny, condescending twats have taken to calling it.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This comment perfectly encapsulates the general patronisation that the issue of free speech has reached with some on the political left (of which I still count myself a part of).

The points in this comment are:

Image Problem – Image would suggest ownership.  No one owns free speech and that is the main point, it is for anyone and everyone.  To wish to attach an image to it is nefarious and rather transparent, as the rest of the comment goes on to nail home.

Crusade – this, on its own is not a terrible descriptor but taken with the other points in the comment the referencing to a religious (and as some would undoubtedly suggest, racial) war is not lost.  That religion is still one of the biggest opponents of free speech should be noted.

Football Lads Alliance March – this is inaccurate, see further points.

Not much digging – well indeed not much at all if, as I suspect you probably just read a few headlines (which were actually changed) from the failed Independent and failing Guardian newspaper websites and they will simply confirm your own bias.

Far-right racists – they were there, most types of people were there but hey just focus on one fraction of the attendees.

Tommy Robinson – see also, Football Lads Alliance March.  Basically this whole comment could have been condensed to:

“Tommy Robinson (whatever his real name is, ho ho ho ) was there and therefore this free speech thing is only a thing so racists can insult Muslims.”

That the march was reported as being a gathering of the “alt-right” or even “far-right” was enough evidence of the general lack of comprehension that some have about the actual event.  But that labelling has a purpose and that is to undermine free speech.

What currently sums up the attitude to this event and the chastisement of free speech in general is the treatment of Vanity Von Glow.

Because merely being a drag queen and appearing at this event can see you shunned by the apparent liberal and free thinking sections of society.  You do have to wonder whose knuckles are actually dragging on the ground.

 

In other related news, subject to a 3 month public consultation, the Sentencing Council for England and Wales has drafted changes to public order offences, including anyone perceived as targeting online a “protected characteristics” including “race; sex; disability; age; sexual orientation; religion or belief; pregnancy and maternity; and gender reassignment.”

People convicted of hate crimes could get harsher sentences if they have large number of social media followers

Police threaten to arrest Facebook users after ‘tiny drugs bust’ mocked

 

One final point; if we are going to do the “guilt by association” trope, then allow me to introduce you to Richard Spencer.  Who is, even in my mind, far-right in the true sense of the word and more importantly a white supremacist.  This is what he had to say about the lefty-maligned “Day of Freedom”

So for me, if I’m being accused of guilty by association then let it be with Tommy Robinson, a Nazi pug and a drag queen; the rest of you can bunk up with with your actual fascist bedfellows.

Nighty night.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

No I don’t know what is going on with the font.

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Here Comes a Candle to Light You to Bed…

“…And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!”

-Mr. Charrington, Nineteen Eighty-Four

 

The happiest days of my life were in infants and primary school (ages 5-11).  It was a time of fun, of basic understanding, of being able to be a child, of not being bullied, of manic cartoons on TV and of learning new words, especially the “naughty” ones.

This is Cheetara…

She was a ThunderCat (and probably the cause of many predilections of the phenomenon known today as a Furry).

She was also the cause of one of the few times I got into trouble with teachers at primary school.  I decided to dub here, with a new swear word I’d heard, Shitara.

This was shared only amongst a small number of my peer group, no harm was done.

Until someone told the teacher and I had to do lines as penance from knowing and using a rude word in class.

By the time I’d reach secondary school and was in my final year studying for exams so would come the next time I’d get lines for using a four-letter word.

Or a few four-letter words.

While a mate of mine kept taking stuff out of my pencil-case and throwing them at others in class; I proclaimed, in perfect timing just as the level of the classroom dropped, “leave it alone, you fucking cunt.”

The teacher, whom I thought out of class at the time, rose from behind a high bench and thus I was duly punished.

Lines, by the way, for those that don’t know, are akin to what Bart Simpson writes out at the start of every episode.

The point of these above stories is you really have to know your audience and your surroundings.

 

Exeter University student explains racist message revelation

Arsalan Motavali acted in an extremely cowardly and underhand way but is now a much-lauded member of the ever growing group of thought police that Mr. Charrington in George Orwell’s 1984 was a part of.

To be honest, if you were in a group with a load of people you didn’t know 100% you are pretty stupid to post stuff that is going to offend people, so I don’t really have any sympathy for those expelled by the university except for the fact that the actions that lead to their expulsion is a complete assault on free speech and free thought.

You’d think that if people were saying things that were offensive to you, you might what to call them out on it first, challenge them.  But Arsalan left the group.  He walked away.  That should have been the end of it.

But Mr. Motavali; seeking brownie points, got a few of his colleagues together and then, a few months later, such was the pressing nature of the crime, sought to publicly shame the offenders and thereby the university into taking action.

Given this man his badge for the Thinkpol and let him join Minitru, he is a strong and courageous citizen.

 

The Whatsapp groups I’m in with my friends work on what could be considered to be Mutually Assured Destruction.  In today’s society, what we post is intended to amuse and shock each other.  The misguided and hate filled out there would probably call it displays of “toxic masculinity,” really it is just friends talking, banter if you must, a way of brightening up the day.

But above all, it is a private conversation.

The thoughts, views and jokes told in the threads do not reflect the real life thoughts and behaviours of those involved in it, I can guarantee that, as much as I can probably say the same about those punished by Exeter University.

But we now live in a country where what is said and what is typed can lead to let alone imbalanced but completely unnecessary punishment.

There is a time and a place to say things but there is never a time and a place to think things, that is the beauty of private thought and sadly that is what some want to change.  The slippery slope is paved with good, offensive jokes.

Chip chop chip chop the last man is dead.

 

Thanks for reading.

A Snap Dog, a Nazi Pug and a Count go into a Court…

A few weeks back I wrote about the case of Count Dankula just after he had been found guilty of being “grossly offensive” for teaching his dog to react to the phrase (heard 23 times in the posted video) “Gas the Jews” and various other phrases.

Yesterday the young man in question, Mark(us) Meechan was fined £800 for the act of telling a joke.

Fortunately he wasn’t martyred on the alter of free speech by facing a custodial sentence but in a case that dragged on for 2 years, based on no complaints at all, you have to wonder, just from a financial point of view, what have we as a nation gained from this because it certainly isn’t swelling of the public coffers and a much needed boost to police budgets.

Though if this is how the police are going to waste their time then they clearly have an abundance of staff and money to waste on frivolous nonsense like this and don’t need any more increase in their budgets.

David Baddiel, comedian AND Jew, so therefore ticking all demographics so the “sides” wanting his opinion on this case can claim the real victory for themselves, wrote a very good article dissecting the trial, what is a joke and what is offensive.  Personally the people happy to see Dankula charged and fined are relying on some rather spurious information to back up their side of the argument but then again I would say that.

The thing is, even in my free speech absolutism head I can see why this was taken to court, the phrase “Gas the Jews” when taken completely out of, or completely without context, is offensive.  Technically, as that is how the judge (no jury was used in this case) came to his verdict, then as I’ve simply quoted it, now twice in this piece (and once in the original piece) I could be charged with being “grossly offensive.”

Which brings us to the case of Chelsea Russell.

A woman of 19, now with a criminal conviction, £585 less in her savings and a tag so she can observe and 8 week curfew.  Her most heinous of crimes…?

Off a whole gram of molly, and my bitch think I’m trippin’
Now I’m clutchin’ on my forty, all I can think about is drillin’
I hate fuck shit, slap a bitch nigga, kill a snitch nigga, rob a rich nigga
I think I’m trippin’, I think I’m trippin’

Quoting, on Facebook, the above lyrics, from a song called “I’m Trippin'” by “Snap Dog” (not Snoop).

As I’ve now quoted these lyrics on social media I too am perhaps in violation of some interpretation of a law that says I’m being “grossly offensive.”

The lyric site I copied them from are also in violation.

The websites that host the video for this song, or stream it are in violation also.

The artist himself is also guilty.

The rap in my music collection consists of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice-T (also his metal band Body Count, with their problematic song “Cop Killer”) and N.W.A – whose actual name, for those that don’t know, is “Niggaz Wit Attitudes.”

There lyrics are laden with nigger/nigga pejoratives.

The mere act of typing “the n-word” is a crime.

If we extend this to its natural conclusion, quoting absolutely anything, context be damned is a criminal offence here in the UK.

Chris Rock best not tour the UK again.

 

Thanks for reading.

Hitler had the Right Idea. He was just an Underachiever…

 

I love Bill Hicks.  One of the last great stand-up comedians out there and very much missed.

If you watch the video from 52 seconds to 1 minute, then that is where the title of this very short piece is from and of course taken as just that quote you’d be thinking…wow, that is quite a nasty thing to say.

If you were then to watch the full 2 minutes and 52 seconds of the video, in fact it you were to search for the whole set, you’d see it in its true meaning and form.

You know…

CONTEXT

 

Thanks reading.

The Very Modern Deaths of Pastor Niemöller and Voltaire*

“I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It wasn’t Voltaire that said this, it was *Evelyn Beatrice Hall who was….well, here is a link to explain it.

 

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

– Pastor Martin Niemöller

 

I don’t know, you get a title in your head, you draft a piece and then a few weeks later, news and current events take a hold and you have to edit the piece accordingly.

Or rather just strip it down completely as there isn’t much to add to go along with these quotes, brevity of these few words and simply looking at people’s reactions to news is better than a rambling ball of nonsense from me.

We live in interesting times (which is the title of another upcoming blog piece).

 

Thanks for reading.

A Joke – Highlighting the Joke that is UK Justice and Freedom of Speech

 

If you’re in the UK you may not be able to see this video…think about that…

I’d been meaning to write about this for a while but figured I’d let is play out to an actual verdict and while the sentencing will happen in April the sentence for telling a joke has been passed.

Guilty of being Grossly Offensive.

The story is that a young internet comedian called known as Count Dankula, who actually has one of the more lovely Scottish accents, thought it would be funny if he could take his girlfriend’s Pug (Buddah, no sure on the spelling, blame the lovely accent), a cute, loveable, soppy looking dog and make it unappealing by getting it to react to certain phrases and commands.

He posted the above video (which you should probably watch for context…and for a good laugh, using a VPN) of said dog reacting to phrases such as “gas the Jews” and taught it to give Sieg Heil salutes and watching the speeches of Adolf Hitler.

Yes a dog watching the videos of Hitler is apparently not funny.  Not even not funny but as of sentencing today, Grossly Offensive.

A quick look on Dankula’s twitter feed even suggest that he may be tagged and subject to being placed under house arrest in what is lovingly called a “Restriction Of Liberty Order.”

This is the state of Scotland today.

This is the state of the UK today.

This is the state of Free Speech in the UK today.

There isn’t much more I can add, call it a logical fallacy but the slippery slope has just been tipped further towards tyranny.

 

Thanks for reading.

Edit: Someone put up a mirror to the video, so people in the UK should be able to see it, for now.

 

The Surgeon and the Dildo…

It’s only words…crosswords

I thought dildo as an answer to the “sex toy” clue but I can only assume it is slang specific to the ram-shagging area the crossword was written in that it also can describe “an effeminate man” as it isn’t a descriptor I’ve heard of before.

Dildo in my circle is using as a generic insult, slightly more harsh that idiot but more amusing.

Oddly it was this morning as I got up for a long-held in beer piss that it dawned on my that “US Negro” is an anagram of surgeon.

Looking at anagram solvers online it seems that surgeon isn’t one of the best words to get an actually sensible anagram out of.

Naturally in this climate of hysteria and over reaction it is nice that the BBC, ever so keen to devolve into a tax payer funded version of BuzzFeed, sees fit to yet again trawl the twitterverse to find something to fit its brave, new narrative.

Thankfully, twitter is not short of white people with white guilt ready to call words “illegal.”

 

Despite the obvious connotations of racial discrimination; just like Caucasoid is a wholly scientific term to describe a biological taxonomic grouping, so too is Negroid.

The main problem here is that the derivations of Negro cause countless people to think of the word used by racists and as such just thinking of the word is mind poison to people living in the safest of spaces.

Context is unimportant. Some words are bad.  Period.  Down the memory hole.

If Derby CAMRA were smart their next crossword should feature an anagram of “cis white male,” for this term is OK to use and not in the least bit derogatory in either a racial of sexuality sense.

For now.

 

Thanks for reading.