Rights and Freedoms

Money, they say, is the root of all evil. Arguable, at the best of times.
Today, though, a coalition of 18 companies are telling us that they’re gonna put a stop to that tree of evil when it comes to child pornography. While child porn is, in my opinion, one of the worst things a human can be a part of, it’s also a multi-billion dollar industry. Where there is money, there is a way.
That coalition — including the likes of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Wells Fargo, e-gold, Microsoft, and more — has vowed to stamp out the commercial viability of child pornography. Payments to such sites will be halted. Cease and desist orders shall be issued.
I suppose I should stand up and cheer. Hurrah for the good guys! Instead, I’m sitting here thinking “What the fuck took you so long?”

_____________

In OTHER news… more reasons to love living under the Maple Leaf. I was chatting yesterday with a new arrival here in Vancouver, an internet sex-industry business guy who’s moved to Canada to get out from under the repressive sexual climate that the United States is becoming.
He illustrated his point with this story. The gist is this. You can’t buy a sex toy in Mississippi.
A double-barrel shotgun? Sure! A high-power vibrator? Fuck you, you sick fuck! You’re gonna do WHAT with that thing? Up the ASS? Holy shit, you sodomizing sick son of a bitch! Henry, get me my rifle!
I just can’t even begin to understand how a country –that’s clearly smoking crack– can purport to be “the land of the free” and you can’t even buy a fucking toy to use on yourself in the privacy of your own goddamned home.
And where the fuck are the people? There are those who are out there saying what needs to be said. There are those trying to fight for freedoms for all of you, and maybe you don’t think the Right to Vibe is up there with the rest of your freedoms, but how can a line be drawn? You are free, or you are not. But where in the FUCK are the REST of you? Where are YOUR voices?
America is sometimes the greatest illusion in the world. There’s the dream of America, and there’s the reality of America, and sometimes some of us just wish y’all would open your fucking eyes and see which is which.
Demand your freedom. Demand that your government not just try to pose as the land of the free, but that it seeks to define laws that are inspired by the spirit of what your constitution claims that it is.
If there’s anything more heart-breaking than the APATHY of America today, I wish someone would tell me what it is. As a Canadian, it breaks my fucking heart to see the changing of your nation from across the 49th parallel.
Rise up and stab ’em with your plastic forks, people, ‘cos it ain’t getting any better any time soon. You have voices. Fucking use them.

12 thoughts on “Rights and Freedoms

  1. RoyB

    Sigh. Right you are. I feel lucky to live in California. It’s almost a different country here. Still, we continue to see our freedoms stripped, our children, elderly, and poor devalued, and vote for the same greedy slimeballs that are doing this to us. ARRHH!!!

    Well… enough of that. I just wanted to write and say that I LOVE your blog. You have a way of brightening my day. 🙂 Every day, as soon as I get home, I rush over to my browser to see what you’ve put up.

    xoxo -Roy

  2. MrManicDepressive

    Unfortunately, most of us down here in the U S of A would rather follow like sheep than think for ourselves. Too much religion. Sex is NOT dirty, it’s fun damn it! But don’t let the Bible thumpers hear you. Oh no! We just keep giving our rights away, pretty soon we won’t have any and that is NOT a joke.

  3. scribe called steff

    Roy– Flattery gets you everywhere, baby. 🙂 Hearing things like that makes my day, particularly when butting heads with a bitch of a deadline, such as I am now.

    Ah, sigh…

    The West Coast tends to be a very liberal place to live, whether in the States or in Canada. I know we recently elected the Conservative party to power nationally, yet they failed to get a single fucking seat in any of our largest cities — Van, Montreal & Toronto — which says a lot about the cultural divide between rural and urban thought.

    Like the USA, as soon as you get into interior BC and the provinces between here an Ontario, there’s a radically right-wing line of thought that differs drastically from us metro-thinkers.

    But all that said, we’re still big on our freedoms. We have them, we want to keep them, and we’re proud of them. But we still argue about them. Such is the human way.

    I find it so fucking ironic, though, that this notion of freedom extends only when it’s applicable to the lifestyle of he or she doing the talking. You get your fucking redneck with a gun rack talking up the notion of freedom and liberty, but what they’re really saying is, “Freedom and liberty are important, so long as you believe in my god and my values.”

    Freedom isn’t a fucking banquet of subjectivity. Freedom is inarguable. It is the freedom to choose, the freedom to practice, the freedom to believe (ironically, Laura Bush has said the same fucking thing in the last year — maybe she should clue her husband in).

    Freedom’s not about what YOU believe in. It’s about what OTHERS believe in, and YOU having the balls to respect it and allow it.

    But why am I spouting off? Smarter people than me have said it better.

    ‘Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’ – George Orwell
    ‘Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.’- Ralph Waldo Emerson
    ‘No man can be fully free while his neighbor is not. To go forward at all is to go forward together.’ – Nixon
    ‘My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.’ – Adlai E. Stevenson
    ‘Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.’ – William Henry Beveridge
    ‘Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.’ – Mahatma Ghandi

    And the quote which has profoundly influenced my life since I first heard it in Grade 9 Socials class, Voltaire:

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

    MR. MANIC:
    Another quote for you. “A nation may lose its liberties in a day, and not miss them in a century.” – Charles de Secondat Montesquieu.

    Sorry, American folks, but your liberties are eroding, and your ignorance of its occurence is allowing it to worsen, and your apathy is the green light for it to continue.

    Like I says, breaks my fucking heart that the country who trumps freedom of speech more resonantly and with greater volume than any other nation on this planet is refusing to use it as its freedoms continue to erode.

  4. Kelly B.

    I’ve been reading this and your other blog for about the past week now.

    Steff, you may be the greatest woman alive… period.

  5. scribe called steff

    Kelly– Surely you jest. I come replete with flaws and all, I’m just smart enough to not share that with you. 🙂 But I do love the flattery, so thank ya, baby.

    J– Oh, JESUS.

    (For those clicking there, it doesn’t take you to the story in question, which is this: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/14109047.htm)

    BRILLIANT. Let’s get MORE low-income people KNOCKED UP so that we can further the cycle of poverty even more! LOVELY.

    That’s about as fucking brilliant as the Catholic church campaigning against making condoms available in AIDS-torn Africa.

    Oh, I’m a gonna get me a soapbox, climb the fuck up, and I ain’t never gonna come on down.

    I tell you, they can have their campaign of righteousness. I’m on a campaign against idiocy. We’ll see who shouts louder, baby. I ain’t sick no more, so my voice is BOOMIN’ once again.

    Oh, GOD, this shit pisses me off.

    And then there’s THIS story, same paper.

    Yeah, brilliant, people need to get parents’ approval to take sex ed. Aren’t the kids of the parents who would say NO to sex ed PRECISELY the fucking kids who should learn about it?

    What, is stupidity and ignorance now required by law of leaders in the United States? Hmm?

    I’m gonna RANT all weekend long on this shit, which is good, ‘cos I’m still PMSing. 🙂

  6. Mad Coyote

    Heh heh, thoroughly enjoyed reading the posted rant, and then the comment ones. Have to say, I wholeheartedly agree with you- it’s what I’m all about.

    But I have to toss in a bit of devil’s advocacy over Voltaire’s statement- intellectual Noam Chomsky took that statement to heart, and has been largely persecuted for it. Why? Because although he didn’t agree with a point of view, he still defended the person’s right to say it. The view?

    The Holocaust never happened.

    So therein lies the question- when we say free speech is an unshakeable right…is it truly unshakeable?

    (Just for the record, I know very much where I personally stand on this one.)

  7. sartre

    Oh Steff, please don’t use quotes like that. They are like an aphrodisiac. Both my weakness and my inspiration.

    On a more positive quote, “The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.” Hubert Humphrey. I firmly believe the veil of lies is receding, and the truth will finally reveal the malignant forces who use fear and greed to divide us.

  8. scribe called steff

    MC — Actually, I don’t believe the Voltaire quote to the letter of the law anymore. I don’t know if I think deniers of the Holocaust, etc, should be jailed for spewing their fucking ridiculous vitriolic speech, but I know that someone should shut them the hell up.

    But I think it’s a dangerous precendence to set, that of deciding what is good versus bad to say. You and I, we’re moral people, we have certain beliefs about things, we’re respectful people, yada yada… but then you have someone like Kim Jong-Il deciding that today you’re not allowed to talk about the colour blue. I mean, you just never know where these lines in the sand are going to go.

    In the US today, for instance, a law was passed in Kansas to outlaw state funding of birth control — something that will have monstrous ramifications for their state’s society, but the law was pushed forth by someone in an attempt to end state-sponsored abortions.

    We make these “little” laws for well-intentioned reasons, and they snowball out of control. Balancing those balls in the air is a challenging task. Eventually, one’s gonna drop.

    Sartre — I’m such a tease. You know you love it.

    And beauty of a quote from HH there. Suddenly, the fact that the high school in that old Christian Slater pirate radio classic, Pump Up the Volume, being Hubert Humphrey High makes even more sense than ever before. 🙂

  9. Anonymous

    you should take a boo @ last week’s Ecomomist. The US of A looks to be declaring war on abortion especially w/ the new supreme court doods. One of the Dakota’s is getting to ban abortion for any reason (yes even rape- can you fucking believe that????), Missippi is getting close and some other states are planning to ensure clinics show the young women ultrasounds of the fetus to try dissuade them from doing what they went to the clinic for in the first place.

    This is the same country that’s blowing ashit up all around the world in the name of freedom & democracy?

  10. scribe called steff

    That’d be South Dakota. Yeah, there’s a holy war on regarding the whole abortion thing. They’ve got three years to make it go away, and they’re gonna die trying.

    You have to be careful, though. They’re not “blowing shit up all around the world” — just in Iraq. And yes, that sucks, especially with the resurgence of bombing from today, but yeah. Sigh.

    It’s certainly ironic, this quest to spread freedom and democracy, this condemning of religious fanaticism, etc, when so much is transpiring at home. A weird, weird world out there.

  11. Lower

    steff…you dissapoint me… i thought you were quite liberal minded about what people use for sex toys and their methods….

Comments are closed.