Thursday, 13 November 2014

Free speech, free speech.....get your free speech here!!!

During my first tuning in of BBC3's hilariously titled cliche fest, 'Free Speech', I began to wonder some stuff. Not whether or not it still exists (because it doesn't, it never really did), but whether we actually know what it is anymore. It's like banter isn't is, or bantz, as the kids would say.....I added the 'z', coz I'm old skool. Banter is a relatively new phenomenon, in which two people undertake a game of ping-ponging jolly insults at each other.....but it's only fun if you're on each others level.

Free speech is also down to interpretation.....one persons idea of acceptable opinion spouting might be horribly offensive and outdated to someone else. That's where even the idea of free speech falls down. The main focus of the programme seemed to be how muslims are perceived in this country and how "foreign policy" dictates differences opinion and creates negativity. There were your usual suspects.....the experts....MP's, Muslim journalists and a token white guy in glasses on a hiding to nothing. It seemed to be going quite well until the first question came in from someone watching at home. They wanted British Muslims who'd gone to the middle east to fight, deported.....along with their families. Cue pantomime booing! Yes, it was an extreme view....but the programme is called FREE SPEECH!

From that moment, it all started getting ugly and I just tuned out. That's the problem when you have debates on religion, as soon as the blood starts pumping through peoples veins and they lose perspective. It's so easy for me to rubbish religion....I'm an atheist. To me, religion is a crutch.....an easy way out. Whether you're an extremist or you follow the religion, peacefully, to the letter....you're relying on a set of principles written by someone else to get you though life. I'd rather make my own rules, my own mistakes. I'd rather grow into a better person using my own morals in an organic way, even if it takes me ten times longer, if ever.

So what do we learn from these type of programmes? Muslims are good/bad? Some people are unfairly perceived because of the paths they choose? Free speech is a thing of that past? No. All I learned was that until we live in a world where people aren't used as pawns, brain washed into hate and fear.....when the importance of power far exceeds the easily achievable need for an end to world poverty (the 2014 net income of the top 100 billionaires would eradicate extreme poverty 4 times over, according to Oxfam), there will always be the need for meaningless belief systems.

When billions of people choose to live their lives by the instruction of a book, written thousands of years ago and which are easily exploited my many to justify acts of evil and revenge, their is never going to be a happy ending. It's hard to quantify how much good or bad these books do. It's a divisive practice and I've just never felt the need to be sucked in by it all, maybe I will in the future, who knows? Like when Morrissey talks about never hearing a good enough argument as to convince him that eating meat isn't cruel or unnecessary, I feel the same way about religion.

Bibles or Qurans don't make good people, parents do.


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