March 20, 2016

The Air We Breathe

Broadcast speech is a public good. Like air. You don't really see it, but it's there; permeating every aspect of your life. You silently feed off of it. You pollute it, and you mess it up for everyone else around you. You know it's dirty. You know it's toxic, and you try to avoid the malicious part of it, but it's always there, a nagging background noise that drones and drones incessantly, chipping away at your sanity.

No one really wants to be in charge of keeping it clean, because it's next to impossible to do it. Yes, some high-level, clumsily written rules exist, but nothing that really prevents you or anyone else from spoiling it for everybody else.

Oh, yes. The slippery slope argument. You can't contain free speech in any form because then you have to forbid all speech under this magically simplistic view. And no one wants to live in an oppressive society, right? God forbid someone is forced to use some basic common sense to avoid mocking the disabled. Or spew out flat out hate. Hey, it’s free speech. And we need. To. Stop. Being. So. Whiny. About. It. To hell with this political correctness madness!

Our right to be assholes if we choose to needs to be upheld.

And we pollute the air with the toxic, yet mesmerizing scent of tell-it-like-it-is. Hail the heroes that put the political correctness police to shame!

And, alas, tribal animals that we are, our imitative behavior exacerbates toxic (but still free) speech. And our confirmation bias makes us gravitate towards core lumps of opinion, fragmenting the atmosphere into clumps –fiefdoms—of monolithic like mindedness. Everybody please run for cover into the cozy caves of cacophonous like-minded primates.

Those outside of it are the enemy. Beware of them, lest we become them. Ugh.

Meanwhile, those with loudspeakers broadcasting toxicity keep pushing us into succumbing to the rule of the lowest common denominator. Breath that rotten air. It's the only one we have, and no one's cleaning it up for you. A bad outcome indeed. 

And just like that, the tinderbox is set for you. 

Just add a pinch of misery, a spoonful of racial resentment, a pint of massive underemployment, and the spark of an unpredictable, mean, racist, elitist, vindictive, narcissistic, fraudster, scammer, lying, cheater, and closeted incestuous egomaniac...

And the whole fucking atmosphere is about to be set ablaze. 

But, hey. At least we are a free society, right?