Thursday, August 19, 2004
My Part

Brian B. revisited a conversation that he and I had on Friday afternoon. It was quite an enjoyable thing, as I rarely get to go toe-to-toe live and in person on issues like this - it just doesn't usually come up. Plus it was really nice, because Brian and I are good friends, and I knew there would be no chance of a rift opening up (as there wasn't back when we had our other disagreements). Anyway, I'm kinda in the middle of studying for my final final (heh, wordplay), so I don't have time to rebutt in depth, but as fortune (or Providence, whichever) would have it, Bob Tarantino has done it for me.

[T]he government should not be involved in content-based prior restrictions on speech, whether that speech comes from an individual standing on the corner, an American corporation jamming the airwaves with, let's see, Amish people visiting South Central, a Qatar-based company providing a news servive or any-freakin'-body else. Which means that the CRTC was wrong to impose stringent requirements on the broadcast of Al-Jazeera, and it is wrong for it to yank the CHOI-FM license. Let 'em all in. We (er, the people) are not simpletons. We can figure out what we want to listen to, and what's not worthwhile. If speech content violates the Criminal Code, then perhaps criminal sanction should be sought (although that, in itself, is a vastly complicated issue, which I'll set aside for now). Government is simply not justified in banning content, and is not equipped to make decisions about what I (or others) should or should not see, read or hear.
Keep in mind, this doesn't address Brian's specific objection - that we should stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves - but it's a good summary of my basic position on issues like this. If I can remember to do so, I will respond more precisely to Brian's argument at a later time. For now, though, it's back to study!
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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