WYETH COUNTY, VA, April 16, 2012 – According to Wikipedia, the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell, popularized the adjective “Orwellian,” which refers to official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past in service to a totalitarian or manipulative political agenda.
It’s a novel written as pure fiction, but reading the above, one might think that Orwell was more seer than novelist, because Big Brother is definitely watching.
Read that sentence again and realize just how close wehave come to Orwell’s novel. The only thing that may need changing is to replace totalitarian with corporate, but other than that we have pretty much arrived.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental premise of America. Even when the speech is offensive or insulting, the right to voice our own opinion should never be comprimised. The founding fathers voiced many opinions contrary to England, censorship be damned. Where would we be now if they had been silenced?
Was anyone really surprised by Rush Limbaugh’s comments two months ago? Did those who support Limbaugh make a mad dash to the other side? No, they either defended him vocally, or quietly discounted his comments as Rush just being Rush. If Limbaugh had apologized profusely while kneeling humbly before the liberal altar, would it have changed anything?
It was much ado about nothing, but we should stand behind Limbaugh’s right to voice his opinions. Every American has a right to be heard, even those we disagree with or find to be just foolish.
The right to privacy is also under attack right before our eyes. The government can use a satellite to zoom in and count the freckles on your face if the powers that be deem it essential to national security. Our cell phones and our automobiles pinpoint our location, whether we want them to or not.
Every web page we have ever viewed, every email we have ever sent, and every posting we have made on a discussion board can be recalled from our computers in the blink of an eye.
Now an even more disturbing trend has started, access to our social networks. The thought police from Orwell’s novel would be proud of this trend, yet as invasive as this may be, experience tells us it will become an accepted part of life.
Any expression that deviates from the politically correct and socially bland can and will be used against you. Any extreme notion or idea will get you reprimanded, if not fired outright. Your every thought should be completely uncontroversial, unless you keep it totally to yourself.
Where would we be without the extreme voices? If nothing else, they serve as sounding boards for the middle. How can we have a middle ground without two opposite ends? If the only discussion allowed is what is currently acceptable, then we as inpiduals and as a society have completed our evolution. In that case we had best get to work on our doomsday bunkers, for the end really is near.
The attention given political correctness is guided almost exclusively by the possibility of residual controversy. One can assume there’s a very well thought out and much tested process that expertly collects, correlates, assimilates and interprets data. The sole purpose of this process is to establish parameters we can trust to provide politically correct boundaries. All we have to do is stay within the lines and the dreaded squeaky wheels stay well tended and quiet;
We cling too hard to the idea that our social evolution is measured by our docility and bland intellectual homogeneity. We go through mental contortions to pretend that we’re beyond race, hatred and bigotry, and that any expression that crosses the lines we’ve drawn should be ruthlessly suppressed;
We censure language for intolerance because it is a hell of a lot easier than censuring behavior. That way we can say we’re doing something about it without breaking a sweat. It’s like blowing out a candle in the middle of a house fire. It doesn’t change a thing, but we hold up the candle as proof we have tried;
Words are tools. They’re only as powerful as we have the skill and desire to make them. As Madea would say, “It’s not what you’re called that matters, it’s what you answer to that counts.”
I never thought I would be in a place to quote Madea but here I am. There’s too much wisdom in the quote to ignore.
Maybe we should concentrate more on treating each other as equals instead of talking to each other as equals. Why not focus more on what needs to be done and less on what should or should not be said?
Regardless of personal politics or beliefs, we should resist anyone who attempts to tell us what to say or think. Again, they’re just words, harmless until we choose to make them more. They are nothing until we find substance within them. We shouldn’t mind sifting through useless fluff for substance. We should want as much information and data as possible to use or ignore as we choose.
Americans do not need their innermost thoughts dissected for controversy any more than we need someone to censor words said in a public forum. We do not want our private lives infiltrated, we do not need anyone to run interference to protect our sensitivities, and we certainly do not want to give anyone the power to discard what they deem improper.
We are free to choose and should decide for ourselves what to think, say and listen to. That is just as our founding fathers envisioned.
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