SMU Letters To The Ed
There are no words more offensive to one who values the equal right to expression than Holly Taylor’s. This means that, by her reasoning, she should not have the right to speak. In fact, by her reasoning, if she does speak, she is liable to being shut down by coercion and intimidation. But of course her reasoning is seriously flawed.
Of course, as mature thinkers of modernity, we have learned from the tragedies of the past. The problems with censorship are clear. Even the Catholic Church, in this respect, has left the dark ages and has embraced the light of today. They have apologized for censoring Galileo. But will Holly Taylor apologize for assaulting Jose Ruba’s freedom to express himself? Probably not.
As a representative of the women of SMU, Holly Taylor has done irreparable damage to the reputations of my fine female peers. She has said, on behalf of you all, that the women of SMU are opposed to the equal right to expression, a value that we are all aware is intimately connected to democracy and free thought. She has said, over the course of a few poorly thought out actions, that her anger and confusion is more important than your reputations and your freedoms. She has hindered the development of the women’s movement. She is a wrench in the gears of progress.
I implore you, men and women alike, to stand no longer for this attack! Make your thoughts on this heard! But you had better do it before Holly Taylor, not liking what you have to say, decides for the community to stomp you out.
Dr. Carlos Pesoa has found it expedient to exercise his right to free speech. He said in last week’s online edition of the Journal, speaking on behalf of himself and his class, that freedom of expression cannot be absolute.
He offered three reasons to support that claim. Let us examine those reasons.
By allowing freedom of speech, he says, the cultural elite, because their positions command attention, will eat up everybody’s chance to express themselves. He got it backwards. While the elite have always been able to express themselves, the rest of society has not. It is the politicians, the wealthy who lobby the politicians, and the editors and professors, who make the decisions. By condoning limited speech we are further empowering the already powerful. We are giving the decision-makers the chance to impose their conception of right speech on us. Limiting speech amounts to a limitation of our speech, not theirs.
His second objection says that, although freedom of expression is important, there are provisions inscribed in law that limit it. These legal limitations, he continues, “reflect the sensitiveness of the place and times.”
Leave our Internet Alone!
The much loved Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) who regulates our television and radio, ensuring there is a specified amount of Canadian content aired on most mediums are now turning their eyes towards the Internet. Now that the Internet is becoming a key medium to many Canadians for their entertainment needs, the CRTC is concerned that Canadian content is not getting enough attention.
Television and radio has been already bombarded by the CRTC’s requirement to air a certain percentage of Canadian programs because viewers apparently can’t determine what they should view. This is why Canada seems to always be behind on the times in content compared to our neighbours to the south and around the world. For example, College Humor’s new television show on MTV in the United States is not aired on MTV Canada, which would mean they would have to drop another non-Canadian program in order to fit it in. Another example is BBC Canada. The first B stands for British, yet they have to air Canadian programs, essentially it’s CSI because that seems to be on 24/7. However, internet providers are not broadcasting the internet, they are providing the public access to a global network. The providers have even stated this point themselves.
The internet can be viewed as a true test of the quality of Canadian content.
If it is truly good and well liked, people will view it anyway, afterall it is our choice and it is already easily available. So if you don’t enjoy having the latest Nickleback song or one of the many ‘quality’ shows on CBC shoved down your throat, you simply don’t look for it. If you do want to view that, then that’s your choice and that is the whole point of the internet.
This is a prime example of how the CRTC is a useless body funded by taxpayers. When the public and internet providers are questioning their actions, one must ask why do we have this group in place. The original intent was to stem the flood of American content that was coming into our country and possibly Americanizing all of us. Canadians are not as stupid and gullible as the CRTC thinks. Canadian content can be and has been successful. They just have to produce produce
stuff that the public wants to view and listen to. Everyone can list off successful Canadain shows like Corner Gas. At the same time we can all list off programs that are pointless like Dragons Den. We do not need a government-funded organization to tell us what we should view on TV let alone the internet.
I understand the idea of promoting Canada and being proud of being Canadian, many of us are proud. However, this idea is scary because what they are really proposing is somehow filtering what we can and cannot see on the internet. I am not suggesting that we are going down the same road as countries like China who tightly controls what is flowing in and out of their country via the web, but we are stepping in that direction. As the consumer, we should not sit back and just let the CRTC dictate what they believe we should see on the web as they have for television and radio.
If you do not like the sound of this, I advise people to visit the CRTC’s website and contact them through one if not all the avaialbe avenues and voice your opinion. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/contact.htm
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