Sunday, February 05, 2006

Free Speech

So The Dominion is back on form. They published the Danish cartoons that caused all the controversy and accompanied the article with the worst explanation for publishing anything ever:

Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst said the publication was a test of Islamic tolerance.
So do they fail if they crticise the paper? Because they're being intolerant. Or do they pass, because criticising what someone says is actually freedom of speech. What's the standard by which they become real boys? Should they start a Tuskagee institute, would that help?

Of course my fundamental objection to those cartoons is that they're all really bad.

Or you could just go and read Tze Ming, who says anything I'm thinking, but angrier and better:
Why be so determined to publish low-quality cartoons only, and specifically only because they will upset a vast amount of people who never did anything to you, but who, rather, have had to put up with this crap in escalating doses since September 2001? The right to 'take the mickey' is truly satisfying when the powerful are being mocked. What kind of satisfaction are these newspapers taking from putting the boot into people who are already floored? I mean, what is the point?

What I hate the most about these 'freedom-of-speech' moments, is that when the desired outrage is elicited from some cheap shot (eg, a newpaper gets called a pack of cunts, people stop buying Danish cheese) then those reactions are deemed attacks on freedom of speech. Well, they're not. They're further expressions of freedom of speech. Sow, reap, eat.

6 comments:

  1. Of course my fundamental objection to those cartoons is that they're all really bad.

    *raises eyebrow*

    I think that's rather missing the point. My reply to a similar post on Spanblather's blog pretty much covers this.

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  2. What point do you think it's missing?

    Am I in some way interfering with Freedom of Speech by having an opinion on the quality of the cartoons?

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  3. No, I mean the amusingness/quality of the cartoons is not the *point* at all.

    The point is whether they should be allowed to be published.

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  4. Allowed by who? The Dominion Post is certainly allowed to publish the cartoons since it did. The Herald is also allowed to publish the cartoons, but it hasn't.

    I happen to agree with the Herald's decision more than I agree with the Dominion Post. Again this is not interfering with Freedom of Speech, or Freedom of the Press.

    I do believe that whether or not the cartoons are any good is relevant to whether or not I agree with the decision to republish the cartoons.

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  5. The point is more that they are now newsworthy rather than great cartoons.

    The "test of Islamic tolerance" is not whether some NZ Moslems object to the publication, as they're entitled to do, but whether crazed mutants in Moslem countries start burning down our embassies.

    The point of republishing them is to make it clear to the Moslem world that the rest of us have got Denmark's back. If that's a "boy" thing, what's the "girl" thing? Stand by and watch the Danes get beaten down until they give in and pass laws giving the govt control over what goes into newspapers? Because that's what's being demanded of them.

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  6. I think the proponents of Islam do a good enough job of "putting the boot into people who are already floored" by denying any criticism of their religion, or governments or questioning of Sharia law without cartoons in a small free European country doing it. Just try having this debate in Saudi Arabia or Syria or Iran or even Malaysia.

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