Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Today’s rant is actually a public service announcement. It’s written to all those who don’t understand one of our basic freedoms – freedom of speech.

This is actually a simple thing to understand. It guarantees that we can say whatever we want and the government won’t punish us for it. There are, however, several things it does not mean.

1) It does not mean that private business must respect our right. Let’s say, for example, that there is a public message board dedicated to one theme. For the sake of argument, let’s say its Amazon’s Customer Review board. It’s their dime, therefore, they get to say what we do and don’t talk about. If they decide to police it, they can delete any post that is off topic. That is not censorship, that is trying to rein in the monster that has gotten out of hand. Not all places are appropriate for all topics. We are promised the right to say what we will, not the right to say it any place we feel like.

2) It also does not mean we have the right to be heard. If I start saying the sky is red, and talk about that, everyone will ignore me. I still have my right to say whatever I want. Just because no one choose to hear it doesn’t mean my rights have been trampled on. If no one read my blog, it wouldn't mean my rights are being taken away. I'm still saying stuff, you just aren't reading it.

3) Finally, it does not mean we have the freedom from response. Several celebrities came out in opposition to the war in Iraq. They exercised their right. However, now they’re whining because people are boycotting them or asking them not to come and make appearances. If you’re going to take a stand, be prepared to live with the consequences. If you’re a public figure and talk about something that’s out of your realm of expertise, it just might negatively affect you. If you can’t handle that, then talk about it with your friends like the rest of us and don’t call news conferences to spout your view as if it mattered more then mine.

Yes, this is the result of several different issues going on in the last 24 hours.

And while I'm on the subject, just because you say something doesn't mean I have to pander to you. I watched an old interview with Norman Lear on TV Land Sunday night. During it, the subject came up of his sueing to have reruns of his shows put on during the "Family Hour." If they weren't, then he'd loose money on the shows. So, in order for him to make more money, he is sueing a private company (only networks. No "censors" involved) for treading on his "rights." Please. You know when you make a certain kind of show that you'll have to deal with the consequences of that. Why does everyone need to pander to you. If you really want to make money, make a family friendly show and sneak your views in more subtly. (Of course, today, you'd probably have to sue to get a decent show on at all. Times have changed from this interview in the 70's. And, no, I wouldn't be behind sueing to have a family show on any more then I'm behind this.)
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On top of this, I’ve had a frustrating day. I thought I had one account balanced. I went to double check, and found I’m twenty thousand out of balance. AUGH! I’ve been feeling tired and depressed all day, and I’m not completely sure why. I really feel like I need a vacation, which this weekend definitely won’t be, especially if Grandma’s around all weekend. And I spent extra time on my lunch hour looking for the roll of birthday wrapping paper I bought early this year before remembering that Donald used lots of it for Heather’s birthday presents. At least, I’m blaming it on that since I couldn’t find it anywhere.

I did take advantage of my new digital cable to record Scooby Doo over night. Pretty much what I remembered for the couple I watched when I was a kid. Don’t see myself getting hooked on that on a regular basis unless they move it to a time when I’m home. But it is fun.

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