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In response to Heli's post,MPriestly wrote:
>I notice you didn't let provocation pass you by. Neither have I. >I think
it's easier to ignore provocation. It's safer, in the >short run, to pretend
a problem doesn't exist. In the long run, >I see censorship becoming
fascism, I see your ideas leading >directly to mind control, the devaluation
of the individual, >and the erosion of rights and freedoms.
All too often I've heard fascists cry "censorship" when their hate/mind
control propaganda is called into question by people who have the guts to
stand up to them and disagree. I did not take Heli's post to in any way
argue for censorship, rather, I saw it as arguing, in an intelligent and
unoffensive way, for kindness.
I happen to agree with Heli that "violence is violence" - violence thrives
within a context where it is either condoned, or IGNORED. Within that
context, any level of violence is part of a larger systemic problem. If you
want to start chicken/egg discussions, who's to blame discussions, and "this
shade of gray is TOTALLY different than that shade of gray" discussions, be
my guest. That is not the framework for my argument, and I won't take the
time to respond to it.
If I witness someone publicly being a bully, I'm going to publicly denounce
it. I didn't see anyone else speaking out against the sheer nastiness of
David's comments, and I felt that my objection deserved the "public access"
that David's comments got.
When I posted my original objection to the flame against the newsletter, I
got plenty of grief for it, both gentle and not so gentle, both on the list
and privately. I am getting social pressure NOT to make poor use of the
list. Similar social standards often prevent us from bursting forth with
obscenities or loud political commentary in, for example, a fine restaurant.
If "flaming" is a net standard, then I am among those who voice objections
in order to bring about a change in those standards. I hope never to have
the kind of skin that grows numb to "meanness".
Freedom of speech, as you know, is relative. We do not, for example, get to
exercise freedom of speech in our jobs. But, gee, wouldn't it be nice to
flame, say, Claris MacWrite, in a independent user's manual for Microsoft
Word? Try it. I bet you'll be "censored".
Hopefully, this will be MY last word on the matter, but I am not making any
With warm (tho stubborn) regards,
roseread -at- aol -dot- com