Thursday, December 15, 2011

Censorship and Other F***ing Bad Ideas

            So what is with people who feel the need to restrict the freedoms of others in order to “make the world a better place?” Are these politicians, parents, religious leaders, etc. truly holier than thou? Do they really know what’s right for everyone?

            Australian Senator Stephen Conroy is one of those people who knows exactly what you need to do, and he wants to use the law to make sure you do it.  The minister in charge of television and radio broadcast standards, Conroy advocates censoring the internet in Australia.  Since even communist China has been unable to completely censor the internet, I am nearly certain that Senator Conroy has taken on an impossible task. Just the possibility that he might succeed makes me angry, though, and I don’t even live in Australia!  

            It takes a lot of chutzpah for someone to stand up in public and declare that censorship is necessary. It takes a lot of something else – stupidity, perhaps – to drop the f-bomb on live TV while doing so. Yes, Senator Conroy used the f-word while answering a question during a live television press briefing. Ironic, huh?

            Perhaps Senator Conroy needs to promote good manners instead of censorship. I’m pretty sure the f-word wouldn’t slip from my lips if I were on national live television. My mother taught me better manners than that. I bet poor Senator Conroy’s mum is horribly distressed by his public rudeness. Now all of her friends think she didn’t raise her son properly. Perhaps Senator Conroy, fallible as he has proven to be, is not someone who truly knows what’s best for the rest of us. Hmm.

I wouldn’t presume to know what’s best for everyone, but I do have a suggestion. Maybe if we advocated for freedom of speech AND polite behavior, the world would be a better place. Let's make rudeness illegal! Now wait…would that be censorship? 

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