Saturday, January 17, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Martin Luther King's birthday was this Thursday. Martin Luther King's Day is this Monday. This seemed a perfect mid-way point.

Martin Luther King's Day is the perfect time to celebrate one of our most precious freedoms, the freedom of speech. Without our freedom of speech (and thereby all creative endeavors) where would we writer, painters, musicians, etc. be? I've lived in a "benevolent dictatorship" and the constrictions on expression are destructive to the creative spirit.

So celebrate freedom of speech by creating!


Swubird said...

I have never lived under a dictatorship, so I don't know what you know. But I thank my lucky stars everyday that I was born an American.

Happy trails

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Swu, me too!

And Singapore, the "benevolent dictatorship" country where I lived was safe with all modern comforts. Every creative expression was "monitored" by the government and "edited" for content for the "people's good."

Took most Americans, myself included, about 1 day to start chafing at being told what to say and how to say it and what to think.

Dave King said...

Hmmmm, may have just put up a not altogether appropriate post. Or perhaps it is...

The Muse said...

Downtown today they're expecting a turnout triple of last year's MLK march. Allowing for this type of expression of freedom has always worried me. Thank goodness I have the freedom to choose not to attend. Security issues scare me. Even though the MLK marches are supposed to be peaceful events, you just never know if there is going to be one bad apple in the bunch.

Now, about your post, I could not imagine being stifled. I enjoy having my freedom of speech, all my freedoms. Living where one is unable to express themselves would be unbearable.

Enjoy your day!

Kathy McIntosh said...

Sometimes even here in America I have felt my expression is constricted. Recently, it seems to be due to political correctness.
Still, I'm grateful to be where I am.

Conda Douglas said...

Dave, I'm not sure if you meant my post or yours or both. But I do believe your post is an appropriate subject for freedom of speech.

I forget who said it, but the quote goes something like: "I don't agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Conda Douglas said...

Ah yes, Muse, that's always the struggle isn't it? Freedom always means less safety.

Singapore was very safe. No marches, no demonstrations, no controversy allowed.

Very safe, very bland, very boring.

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Kathy, the p.c. stuff can get real irritating (see Dave's post on Pics and Poems).

But hey, you don't have to put up with a midnight curfew (for women only as we're--female and therefore have to be protected from ourselves)as is the case in Singapore!

Anonymous said...

It's always so important to have that reminder, isn't it? This morning my husband and I watched his "I Have a Dream" speech on YouTube, and it brought tears to my eyes. I wish more people spoke so openly and kindly.

Conda Douglas said...

Me too, Caryn. I hate when "freedom of speech" is used as an excuse for evil, because it all has to be free or none of it is.

Anonymous said...

First of all Conda, didn't I meet you at the Maass High Tension class in Austin. I was the guy writing about the Texas lawyer. You gave me a card to contact you and I proceeded to lose it.

As to this post. I was managing editor of The Laredo Times newspaper for several years, and I guarantee you if I had been born on the other side of that river, I'd get my back wet every day. That doesn't mean I agree with immigration problems, I've just lived around the squalor and oppression that exists in that country. And the pundits are right. I've been expecting a revolution in that country for several years.

I have to sign Anon since I can't get my Google account to work.

Oh yes, I met Beth at the WRW.

Conda Douglas said...

Yeah, Bob, we did meet at the Maass High Tension workshop--great to see you here! Have you visited Beth yet at her site Beth's Adventures? There's a link on my page.

Yes, all it takes is visiting countries with serious problems of poverty, lack of democracy, etc., which I've done quite a bit of, for me to be sooo grateful I was born in a First World democracy--and understand why people want to come here.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Conda, I think I would die if I could not express myself in words and images. Any kind of repression is bad for the human spirit. And in many cases, that repression is crushing.

The world would be sterile without the expressions of creativity that have marked human cultures. Works of art, music, and literature provide insight and inspiration, and mark moments when we have transcended our daily lives. Just my opinion... :)

Conda Douglas said...

Yes, Lynda, I agree. It was a major part of how hard it was for me to live in Singapore--even though as an United State citizen, I was automatically a member of the upper classes--it was oppressive.

And for some delightful works of art, I enjoy visiting your webpage and blog!

Lynda Lehmann said...

Conda, thanks! And I enjoy visiting your blog, as well! :)