Cowards and human monsters killed indiscriminately in the name of their god and their perverted state. And like a disease their brand of evil is spreading through Western countries among disaffected youth and radical thinkers who believe that violence is the only way to stop the Western way of life.
And they are right. Because, and perhaps it is the Texan in me, it will take violence to force me to give up my freedom to live and speak and worship (or not) as I choose.
It is no surprise to me that the first victims of recent mass violence I am aware of in France were cartoonists who drew caricatures of the prophet Muhammed. Never mind that images of the prophet were created for centuries by different Muslim sects, these were caricatures and they were not respectful. Neither were the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo kind to any they satirized.
In the United States when a major motion picture studio was hacked it almost stopped release of The Interview, and I have been told that the current bombings in France have delayed an episode of CSI, Super Girl (a surprisingly good series), and a premier for the new Hunger Games film–although the film is set to open on schedule. Apparently because of concern about themes being insensitive to show in this time.
Personally I would delay nothing. I would give no inch to these horrible people, because what they want most is to stifle the collective creative pens of the West. Because their ideological brand cannot survive in a world of free critique. And their power to influence the mind pales in comparison to the influence of free thinking writers and artists to inspire the masses. It is the right of free people to express themselves. And no form of expression has proven as enduring as the written word.
Narrow minded peoples and societies have always had to control the written word, and to imprison and stifle its creators.
Free speech is powerful. So powerful that it is enshrined in the constitution of the United States as a fundamental right of all our citizens. But it is also the most volatile right. Because the freedom to speak includes the freedom to offend.
Even now while ISIS threatens terror on any country that opposes their advance, our college campus are hotbeds of often angry argument over how much we have the right to offend each other. But the slope of suppression and thought policing isn’t slippery, it is impossibly steep. And at the bottom of that slope nothing can be said at all. This is not a conservative problem or a liberal problem, it is a human problem. The power to speak is also the power to offend. And whether we are offending a tyrant overseas or someone who lives next door, preserving the power to speak freely and openly is more important than any political line or national border or philosophy.
Because without that power, to express, to offend, to create – we have no freedom at all.
Come back next week, and see what I think of the last Hunger Games installment. And until then enjoy your freedom to read, watch, or think about anything you like. And while you are doing it perhaps you will raise a glass of beer in solidarity with the youth of France who took to their street cafes in defiance of a group that would seek to frighten them into staying at home. And remember, the kind of freedom we have today is unknown in prior human history. And it is worth protecting.
My take? 5.0 stars for freedom of expression.