Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Free Speech... But Only For Me.

This is getting slightly ridiculous, I think after this there's gonna be a blog moratorium on this for a while. But for now...

I can only speak for myself, of course... although I have been critical of Valerie D'Orazio's stance on the Simpsons porn case and related issues, I haven't seriously called for her silencing on any issue, though I have floated the idea that perhaps she should be subject to the same forces that some bring to bear on media they find distasteful. That isn't me becoming what I hate in others, it's trying to point out, "see? annoying when it happens to things you care about, ain't it?"

Honestly, I haven't delved too far into the comments section of many of the Occasional Superheroine posts I've read, because who has the time for that? So it may be that she is receiving unreasonable arguments from people on the Free Speech side of things.

But if others are misinterpreting what she says, I think it's only fair to point out that she seems to be reinterpreting the arguments of others herself. And, some folks may very well understand what she's saying, or failing to say, and taking her to task for exactly that.

To wit:

"So I shed no tears for the absence of porn based on underage cartoon characters on the Internet. Nor will I miss feeling like a party to an illegal act every time I do an image search for cartoon and comic book characters.

However, there must be a rather sizable number of people actually visiting these XXX cartoon parody sites -- not just those who get off on such images, but just regular people looking for some gross-out humor. Will the latter category find themselves roped in with these crackdowns, even arrested? Would having an illustration of a "Peanuts Orgy" on your hard drive be enough to convict you as a sex offender?

It would be helpful, I think, for these boundaries and determinations of what is or is not legal to view and download to be clearly delineated and widely broadcast, as to prevent misunderstandings."

This is what I wrote in my first post on the Simpsons child-porn case. Please note the last two paragraphs.

Of course, this post has been misquoted and misrepresented ad nauseum. Why?

I believe it's because within that post I dare to merely suggest that there might limits to moral conduct. That, I think, is the real problem.

That might be a problem, but it's not exactly my problem.

The issue I have with Valerie is the same one I've had with many on the feminist side of the spectrum since I began blogging. The idea that media ought to be censured for some supposedly greater good.

What does Valerie believe about this idea? Not that drawn child porn is bad, I'm pretty sure she thinks it is, but, well, let's let Valerie say it herself:

The biggest question I received in this debate has NOT been, "do you think people who possess Simpsons child porn should be arrested."

It's been:

"Why do you think illustrated child pornography is harmful when it's just drawings?"

The latter question, you will note, she doesn't bother to answer (at least not in this post), she just calls it "naive" and moves on. That in itself is kind of troubling, in the way discussing Jesus is with a fundamentalist; you know that faith is involved and certain things are just accepted as fact on belief alone and no discussion will really get anywhere.

But she also, at least nowhere I've read, doesn't answer the other question, the one about being arrested. And that's a bit more worrying.

Kind of ironic too, since what I did read of one comments section called for people to say something along the lines of "I support the right of people to make and possess drawn child porn" (and for the record: I support the right of people to make and possess drawn child porn). So let's pose the question to Valerie (in a purely rhetorical fashion, I doubt she reads what's over here) and everyone else: Do you believe those who make and possess drawn child porn should be arrested, jailed and/or fined?

No, I'm not just talking about those who might accidentally get it smeared on their computers while walking through the Internet late at night, I mean everyone, all of them, the righteous and the perverts alike. (In a practical sense, after all, what laws get applied will be far less discriminating than even Valerie herself.)

Also high on the iron-o-meter is Valerie's complaint that all this is abridging her own freedom of speech, and you can read that and see practically word-for-word things I've written talking about people trying to squash what they consider sexist or otherwise wrong.

Oh, but I like this part:

A Danish cartoonist who makes fun of Mohammed is allowed to have free speech -- but the offended Muslim who marches through the streets to protest it is held up as a symbol of a repressive mindset.

I've been seeing offensive and stereotypical portrayals of Christians in comics for at least the past fifteen years straight -- but I see no complaints from the same pundits who decry other stereotypes in comics. Why is that? Why is it ok to use the symbol of the evil preacher over and over and over again, but if that brand of stereotyping was done regarding any other religion it would be thrown off the stands?

Why is the person who possesses illustrated child porn supported and befriended by comics celebrities, fandom, and pundits -- but the same respect for "free speech" is not extended to me? Why?

1) The offended Muslim who merely marches has the right to do so, but we can still call that person repressive, if what they want is to forbid another human from drawing whatever the hell they want: because it IS repressive, and so is trying to get stuff taken out of comics, and so is opposing drawn child porn. When imposing your moral code upon others passes from persuasion to coercion, that's repressive.

And then the Muslim who issues fatwas, death threats, guns or bombs, that's something else entirely.

2) Here's a thought: conservative Christianity has attacked and ridiculed those who disagree with their viewpoint for decades if not centuries in America. They like to crow about how they are the dominant religion in the US (meaning they should always get their way, majority rules), but when they happen to get caught in less-than-favorable criticism, they're quick to whine about how across the globe they are a minority and then paint a picture with coliseums and hungry lions and persecution, wah.

Maybe nobody outside of Christianity actually feels sympathy for Christianity and the negative stereotypes. Maybe the stereotypes used by prominent Christian figures themselves have something to do with that.

3) Maybe because their brand of free speech doesn't endorse arresting or fining you for practicing yours.

It's free speech -- but only for some. Those who do not fit in with the "program" do not get the benefit of free speech or respect. Those people must be thrown out of their jobs, ostracized, and attacked.

Isn't this exactly what people are saying about Valerie? Isn't the case being made that free speech isn't about standing up only for what you do approve of, what you do believe in, but standing up for it all, for the right of people to say stuff you actively hate?

And drawn child porn is part of that "all", right? Especially if we're talking legal actions, right??

Why pretend you are tolerant? Stop the charade, already, and embrace your fascism. J. Caleb Mozzocco, embrace your fascism, embrace your intolerance. Stop pretending you are some beacon for free speech when you are just a Karl Rove hangover and a mediocre blogger to boot.

I didn't catch what this "J. Caleb Mozzocco" said, but this just begs a question, no, several questions:

Does Valerie consider herself "tolerant"?

Does Valerie believe that she is in favor of truly free speech?

If "Yes", why does drawn child porn seem to not fall under that umbrella?

If "No", why does Valerie feel entitled to the considerations of Free Speech when she herself isn't willing to extend those considerations to others?

Does hypocrisy in others excuse hypocrisy in one's own self...?


Andre said...

I am just going to take a guess here.

"Does Valerie consider herself "tolerant"? "
Of most things yes.

"Does Valerie believe that she is in favor of truly free speech?" I am going to say... yes unless it hurts people. (errr would that be a no then?)

"If "Yes", why does drawn child porn seem to not fall under that umbrella?" It hurts people.

Anon, A Mouse said...

But the follow-up to those answers are:

Is that really tolerant?

Define hurt... and then prove hurt.

But, let's not put words into Valerie's mouth. There's enough word-stuffing going on in both sides.

Andre said...

All right that is fair.
But then allow me to try and play devils advocate so that I might better understand the reasoning.

"Is that really tolerant?"
No but then I would go so far as to say that no such beast lives.

"Define hurt..."
Hurt = leads to kids getting molested.

"and then prove hurt"
I can't and you know it... but then that is really your problem not mine.
If your kid has a peace of food and one man says its poison and another says its candy do you let the kid eat it? No you err on the side of caution. If your so inclined or the object has value you do some testing. Still you don't test it by having you kid give it a good lick to see what happens.

Now forgive me if I am wrong but I really want to examine her points and WHY she feels that way.

Point one. If you fap to drawn kids you want to have sex with kids or at the very least are a danger to them.

The counter point to this is that if I play GTA I don't really want to kill people in real life so whats the difference?

I have yet to see this one truly addressed. I see topics changed, I see people say that it just is and if you can't see that your a moron but I have not seen this one really talked about.
However I have a thought an that thought is orgasms.
I think some people give it the magic power to change a game of nurftag(GTA) into a real shootout.
Its all fun and games tell someone has a orgasm or wants to feel those feelings that lead to it.

I will post more thoughts later but people are here.

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