Freedom of Speech


The savages in the video below did not win the general elections in Greece. In fact they just got 7% of the vote. Neither are they likely to form a coalition with any other mainstream party, which has somewhat to do with the fact that one of their slogans is “We are against everyone”.

They’re called Golden Dawn and are the horrific face of the Greek far-right. They contested democratic elections, even though the visceral hatred they have for anything democratic is more than obvious.

Golden Dawn politicians and activists have a long history of violence, not only towards immigrants but also leftists, journalists as well as anyone who doesn’t speak Greek. In fact they have an obsession with the Greek language.

The cause of the mayhem by Golden Dawn activists in the video below is that a Greek “traitor” dared publish a dictionary that translates Greek to Macedonian.

Some of Golden Dawn’s members were also members of the Greek Volunteer Guard (GVG) which took part in the genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The party’s main proposals include sending immigrants to concentration camps and planting landmines in the Greek-Turkish border.

I’ve argued elsewhere that the far-right problem in Europe should not be countered with censorship and repression. My view on politicians like Geert Wilders of the PVV or the British Nationalist Party is that they should be allowed full democratic rights and freedom of expression. Their views will be easily argued against by activists from the mainstream, both from those on left and those on the right.

I have to take an exception here. Democratic rights should be granted to those who abide by the rules of democracy not violent savages. Assaulting people and terrorizing your opponents is not freedom of expression.

Political activism is about a battle of ideas, including extreme ideas. The Nazi thugs terrorizing neighbourhoods in Athens aren’t debating with ideas but fists, baseball bats and bombs. (Party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos (the speaker in the first video) himself has been arrested for the illegal possession of explosives).

Now the same thugs are in the Greek parliament. As Michaloliakos himself said, it’s time for those who love peace and democracy to be afraid.

Advertisements

The controversial prose ‘Li Tkisser Sewwi’ published on Realta newslatter is far from my literary tastes. However beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and my opinion on it does not increase or decrese its literary merit. Actually literary merit is not the issue here.

The main reason that conservative authorities got into a frenzy is the fact that it consists a lot of vulgar words. In reality the vulgar (obscene or whatever) words in the piece are more than appropriate. The character described is a low life ignorant pervert. How should the author make him speak? Saying please and thank you? Why not make him offer his seat for elderly people and pregnant women on the bus?

If I’m describing a white supremacist isn’t obvious he will use words such as ‘nigger’ or other racial slurs? Would that make me a racist because the characrer I’m describing uses such words? Definitely not, in that context those words are appropriate. If I’m describing a Gozitan old lady working ‘combini’, isn’t it obvious she will speak Gozitan dialect?

The hassle on this prose is ridiculous. Yet a person, the editor of the newsletter is being filed criminal charges that can even lead to imprisonment. And that is definitely not a non-issue.

What is even more hypocritical is the fact that such ‘obscene’ words are not only used by low life perverts, but by a much more substantial number of Maltese people. Ask any tourist what are the first words he learns from our language while visiting our country. Need I say anything more?

Maybe we feel ashamed of such people. However, denying their existance and make a criminal of a person who agreed to put their words on paper is an obscenity much more offensive than any amount of vulgar words can ever lead up to.

Another member of the clergy condemned the play Stitching on Talking Point article on the Times, though not as aggressively as others before him. This comes at a time where a storm in a teacup is made because some evil mavericks decided to dress as Catholic religious figures in the Nadur carnival, some of whom are also being prosecuted criminally. I emphasise the word Catholic since in this same island we live in, a Danish cartoonist mocking prophet Muhammed and Islam was considered as an icon of freedom of expression.

 

However what struck me in this particular article was the fact that Fr Paul Chetcuti states everything, even freedom, included that of expression should have limits. (On a general basis I agree with this but not vis a vis Stitching, on things completely different for completely different reasons).

 

From then he proceeds to say that believing in not having limits or the ‘sky is the limit’ mentality would carry serious harms and eventually deprive us of freedom. He then goes to mention issues such as the economic recession, global warming, increasing poverty and teenage pregnancies. What he and many others, no necessary within the Catholic church, fail to see is that with the possible exception of teenage pregnancies, setting limits, especially those on freedom of expression have nothing to do with these catastrophic ills.

 

The problem with these issues, seemingly unrelated but definitely aren’t, is not freedom, it is a malignant tumour that has been plaguing humanity all along. A disease we never found the cure for since we rarely if ever searched for it. This plague that can melt glaciers, bankrupt banks and kill children with hunger is called greed. We have our war on terror, on drugs or even on freedom of expression, yet no state or even minority has ever declared war against greed.

 

When it comes to global warming, not even the sky is the limit. For the sake of profit people not only kept polluting but up to a certain time (after which it could not be denied any longer) even went on the media, corrupting scientists with millions of dollars to say that we humans have nothing to do with this. One scientist said very crudely ‘the cause of global warming is the sun’. Unlike the people of stitching, these scientists were not practicing art or fiction. They were stating these things as facts.

 

Yet as the climate change problem is increasing problems in drought in the poorest regions of the world, fighting rages on in these same impoverished countries. If one looks behinds what meets the naked eye, the fighting is rarely about religion or ideology. From those waging it is for personal power, including financial wealth but not exclusively. Once again – greed. For the victims, the poorest of the world which have become a majority rather than a minority group) the struggle is against the consequence, of this greed – hunger, untreated illnesses, lack of education etc.

 

And the economic recession – greed in its pure form. What has happened (in simple terms, I’m no economic analyst)? The culprits are actually compulsive gamblers. No casino or jackpot could do as much harm as the stock exchange. These people take extremely high risk investments, with the potential of astronomic gain of wealth, or otherwise catastrophe. Yet, for these gamblers we don’t try to provide therapy like the man behind the jackpot. Neither do we imprison them for theft, fraud and misappropriation of funds. No, we bail them out. Rather than a deterrent we provide them with security, since these gamblers employ people, common citizens who work for their hard earned money. Poor guys, we think and rather than point our fingers to the gamblers and their greed we try to save these employees by giving more money to their oppressors. Ironically it’s mostly money that had been paid by the employees themselves through their taxes.

 

So, should there be limits? Definitely but not on a shocking play. It may be distasteful for some, but no Stitching will melt the glaciers, kill innocent people and eventually drown us both literally and metaphorically. I don’t think to explain what these limits are and towards whom. Hopefully it’s pretty obvious

Needing Stitches

While I’m passionate towards music and literature, I try to appreciate different types of art, including drama even if not so passionate about it. Thus, hadn’t there been this hype about the ‘shocking’ play ‘Stitches’ I’d maybe have been interested in watching it, maybe not.

However now I feel I need to watch it, or at least read the script, preferably both. I want to know what the fuss is about, not only for the sake of curiosity but in order to have a basis to form an opinion about the censorship of the play. With the information I have from newspapers, articles, TV programmes etc, I can say censoring it is just ridiculous. However, I can’t give the benefit of the doubt to those opposing it since it is them that are not allowing me, an adult to watch it.

I’m not absolutely against censorship, but the things I’d like to censor are of a completely different quality and for a completely different.

One of the reasons I find something eligible for censoring is promoting discrimination and racial hatred. A book published from the church’s press demonising homosexuals, which Dr Patrick Attard is opposing, would without a single doubt fall into this category.

Back to Stitches a reference to promoting racial hatred could be the mentioned fact that a particular character masturbates while watching women entering gas chambers. The issue here is not how shocking it is or not. That’s up to us adults to decide that. The issue is: is this condoned? Does Stitching promote Jewish people being sent to death as good fodder for sexual fantasies? If that was the case, I would regard it as inciting racial hatred. However I don’t think it is.

I don’t want to pester the producers but since the conservatives denied me the right to watch or read it I have to go to them to give me the answers.

One of the reasons I believe that racial hatred or promotion of criminal offences is not an issue is the fact that when one wants to pass such a message, it is not presented in a shocking way.

Human rights activists have opposed series programs such as Prison Break, Lost and 24 because they promote torture albeit in a subtle way. Since it is the ‘good ones’ using it, for the beneficial service of getting rid of crime, the subtle message is ‘TORTURE MIGHT BE JUSTIFIED IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES’ I definitely would not tolerate that.

On the other hand, the passion of Christ, from films, to statues, to paegants and books is a whole episode of blatant torture. Yet I don’t fight it slightly offensive. Torture is condemned, Christ is the hero not those torturing him.

Those condemning the play just quoted parts of the play in isolation, not context. It makes all the difference. Do they know that in the Bible there are these words written ‘There is no God’. Don’t they believe me? Go and check for yourself. What they will find is these exact words ‘There is not God’, however these are followed by the words ‘said the fool’. Makes a little difference doesn’t it?

I had neglected this blog for quite some time. Mainly because I was busy, which includes writing. I’m still into left wing green politics, but I’m taking a jab into fiction too, and I’m liking it.

However I felt the need to start writing here once again, especially due to ‘witnessing’ things I consider erratic. I want to excercise my freedom of expression the best way possible.

I appreciate people viewing my blog, better still commenting, even if one doesn’t agree with what I’m saying. Cheers

Unlike Santa, Larry Flint was a very controversial person who promoted pornography and made his own magazines. He was also a pain in the neck because the reasons he gave for what he was doing were valid.

Santa, is a good man that gives children sweets and one of Larry’s ‘mistakes’ was using him in a pornographic magazine. It was a cartoon where Santa was telling a woman what he brought her for Christmas, coming from Flint it doesn’t take much imagination as to what he brought. The controversy revolved on the fact that Santa has become a religious figure and what Larry was doing was blasphemy.

However, there is a hidden truth many don’t know. Santa has been hijacked, and not by Larry Flint. The Father considered as a religious icon is actually a product of Coca Cola.

Originally the idea comes from St Nicolas who was famous for giving gifts, especially to the poor. Unfortunately, Coke caught up with that and made Santa tailor made for them. Just consider the colours of his clothes and the fact that during Christmas time he appears on nearly every Coke advert.

Some might say, so what? Believe me this really matters. Coca Cola is one of the most notorious multinationals that ever existed. Apart from supporting totalitarian and brutal regimes, Coke is famous for its death squads, especially in South America. Under extreme distress for a very low wage South Americans, including children have to work for the company, or starve. Unlike cosy Europeans working for decent wages, employees of Coke are not allowed to form any type of Union. If they even dare to mention it, make sure that Coke funded mercenaries would efficiently take your life away.

Flint’s joke on Santa may be of a bad taste, however, nearly harmless. On the other hand, Santa’s hijacking by Coca Cola is responsible for murdering thousands of people, and hides the truth by affiliating with a myth about a Saint, that ironically was famous for helping the poor.

For more information: Coca Cola exposed and Flint accused of offending Santa