freedom of icky speech

A beautifully articulate rant by Neil Gaiman on why we must defend stuff that we personally find icky:

Freedom to write, freedom to read, freedom to own material that you believe is worth defending means youà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢re going to have to stand up for stuff you donà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢t believe is worth defending, even stuff you find actively distasteful, because laws are big blunt instruments that do not differentiate between what you like and what you donà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢t, because prosecutors are humans and bear grudges and fight for re-election, because one personà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s obscenity is another personà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s art.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund will defend your First Amendment right as an adult to make lines on paper, to draw, to write, to sell, to publish, and now, to own comics. And thatà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s what makes the kind of work you donà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢t like, or donà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢t read, or work that you do not feel has artistic worth or redeeming features worth defending. Ità ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s because the same laws cover the stuff you like and the stuff you find icky, wherever your icky line happens to be: the law is a big blunt instrument that makes no fine distinctions, and because you only realise how wonderful absolute freedom of speech is the day you lose it.

I realize ità ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s all very American, that in Canada we donà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢t have the First Amendment that outlines that freedom of speech has protection in the constitution.A   However, Gaimanà ¢Ã¢”š ¬Ã¢”ž ¢s argument is still a valid one in Canada.

Posted in censorshipA  A  A  Tagged: boing boing, CBLDF, comic book, freedom of speech, gaimanA  A  A  

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