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Dec 10 2010

On Freedom Of Speech

Freedom of speech offends me
And I hope it always will,
Till the sun explodes, or worlds collide,
Or hands of time stand still.
If I hate what you are saying
And you hate my words as well
That’s the way we know it’s working,
Or as far as I can tell.
You are free to be offensive,
Rude and crude and vile and mean—
It’s a radical idea,
But the best I’ve ever seen.

Strange… someone was looking for a particular verse of mine last night, and couldn’t find it. Looking through my computer files around the date in question, I found this one, which google tells me I never posted anywhere. Not here as a post, nor anywhere else as a comment. Not terribly surprising–I wrote it the morning my brother died, in the time when we were still optimistic that he’d recover. I know there have been times I’ve started on a verse, then set it aside when, say, the dog needed walking. I wonder how many orphaned poems there are on various computer drives (including dead drives) scattered around my life-space.

What with the WikiLeaks stuff going on, freedom of speech is being tested in a different way–not so much offensive speech, as speech that a person or party in power does not want to be made public. But I’ll put this verse up today anyway, and you can probably guess my stance on today’s issue as well.

2 comments

  1. 1
    Clare

    Oh yes, yes and thrice yes! If I want it for myself, I must defend it for others however odious or 'offensive' I may find their speech (and vice versa no doubt).The wikileaks affair is showing how precarious our freedom of speech is. Such a big hoohah from governments about irresponsible actions … pot meet kettle.Also wanted to say, I love the lines:"Till the sun explodes, or worlds collide,Or hands of time stand still."Very powerful.

  2. 2
    Daily Dose

    As a librarian I'm amazed at how many times people come up to me to argue that a book doesn't belong in the library. Uh, isn't that the point? If all sides of an issue are removed, there won't be any books left. Then again, maybe that is what they want.

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