What does it tell us about ourselves that in all the MSM and new media coverage there is only one tua kee blogger who points out that many of the cartoons in Charlie Hebdo would be banned in S’pore because they are not”right”*.
I’ll put it this way: many of its cartoons would be banned for being “obscene”, while many of its anti-religious cartoons would be banned for being “offensive” to religions; some of which might be seditious to boot.
S’poreans are not willing to see this pink elefant in the cubicle, yet there are S’poreans pontificating in abstract on freedom of expression and its limits, sometimes to the point of rubbishy, meaningless nonsense. Like this very offensive, “My take is that free speech is only laudable when used well. And despicable when abused. It is worth having, but not worth having at all costs.”
My Facebook avatar pointed out
— “Call to account”. Well the guys who killed the cartoonists can be considered “calling to account” the abusers of free speech by that definition.
— “only laudable when used well. And despicable when abused”. Who defines “laudable”, “despicable”, “used well”, “abused”? Western liberal values? Wahhabi values? Western right wing values? LKY? Those who rule?As … rightly points out, the ruling elites try to impose their definitions in their own interests.
He wasn’t the only one upset with this rubbish:
— We got to grow up and deal with some noise and mess. You don’t have to agree 100% of Charlie Hebdo’s work; but the principle of free speech, as long as it does not explicitly incite violence against its targets, has to be defended. You can’t expect to live perpetually in some kind of kindergarten. There is a cost to everything. You pay some social cost for the free speech so that you reserve the right to lampoon, criticize and call out elites, the rich and powerful when it is necessary to do so. When you are willing to circumscribe your rights for minor annoyances and offenses, you start to erode that right and you may not be able to control how far that censorship can go.
— Do you realize how much of important history consist of words written that were offensive to the church, Kings and all manner of groups that would gladly keep the status quo. Have some ‘respect’ they say. The church wasn’t very nice when it was strong and able to impose its own form of inquisition. It took years and bloody revolutions to overthrow kings. ‘Disrespect’ that led to things like the Magna Carta, French Revolution, the formation of America and the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. Boy, that’s a lot of offensive ink spilt.
*Even then this retired Imperial Storm Trooper (paper division) general puts it down to the wisdom of the MSM, not giving credit to Harry the Axe man. I’d rather give credit to Harry.