Monday, February 06, 2006

Semi-retired Satan

Mark Steyn - always readable, usually on the money - hits the nail squarely on the head in this article. I quite like the idea of Britain as "the Original If Now Somewhat Arthritic And Semi-Retired Satan!'' The rest of the article is the obvious point that modern brave and transgressive artists unaccountably concentrate on transgressing Chritian sensibilities, and not Muslim ones. I find this subject quite hard to post about. The correct approach is so obvious that it's difficult to work up a good head of steam.

Some chucklehead said that freedom of speech wasn't the same as freedom to insult. But that's exactly what it is. Exactly. What. It. Is. Freedom of Speech isn't, as some have claimed, indivisible and absolute. Libel laws, laws of incitement and of slander all serve to restrict our freedom of speech, for reasons that are usually apparent and, though debatable, not arbitrary or oppressive. However, within those laws, our freedom should not be trammelled by any reference to offence to third parties.

Publishing rude cartoons might mark someone out as rude, offensive or unfunny (or in the case of Steve Bell all three) but the correct response is to snort, turn the page or stop buying the publication. It isn't to attempt to stop the cartoons from being seen, threaten to kill the cartoonist and publisher and run around like a child having a tantrum kicking your heels and burning flags (and by the way the Danish flag is the one where the cross extends all the way to the edges. That other one is the Swiss flag. Morons.).

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