Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stalin's Blue Pencil And Ezra Levant's Blasphemy Trial

Was reading this very interesting article about Stalin and his blue editor's pencil. 

I actually think it is pertinent to mention this today-as Ezra Levant's blasphemy trial begins here in  Toronto.

Here's a quote from the article:

"Even when not wielding his blue pencil, Stalin's editorial zeal was all-consuming. He excised people—indeed whole peoples—out of the manuscript of worldly existence, had them vanished from photographs and lexicons, changed their words and the meanings of their words, edited conversations as they happened, backing his interlocutors into more desirable (to him) formulations"

This is what is happening nowadays with (radical) Islam.

One is forbidden to discuss it, to analyze it and to suggest that radical Islamic jihad has, at its roots, a direct line to the Koran. One is generally ridiculed, shunned, or worse for doing such things.

Therefore, modern day censors no longer need a physical blue editor's pencil.

The editors wish to excise blasphemous thoughts from our minds. And when they cannot get us to voluntarily do it, they "voluntold" us, or attempt to litigate us into submission. 

That is what Ezra Levant is facing today, and what Mark Steyn has gone through too many times to count.

The totalitarians are at the gate again.

The stakes are higher now and the weapons much more destructive than the blue editor's pencil of the past, but the aims are the same: you are to submit, and they want total control.

"The editor is the unseen hand with the power to change meaning and message, even the course of history. Back when copy-proofs were still manually cut, pasted, and photographed before printing, a blue pencil was the instrument of choice for editors because blue was not visible when photographed. The editorial intervention was invisible by design."

Are you going to live your life ever cautious, under an invisible editor's thumb?

I refuse to submit. I'll take my lumps.

Every time you let the invisible editor with the imaginary blue pencil censor your thoughts and your jokes, your freedom dies a little. You won't even notice how your entire character just melds into an ambiguous human clump of no particular opinion or persuasion. You'll plod along, always weary of saying this or that, always fearful of offending someone about something.

Not much of a life!

Conversely, every free thought you have and articulate, every joke you make, every single defense of liberty that you confirm is a way to take back what is rightfully ours: freedom of thought, freedom of speech, individual liberty and equality under the law. 

Nobody needs to give your permission to enjoy these basic liberties.

I do not need anyone's permission to be free. 

Let the totalitarian editors frantically wave their blue pencils in your face.

Let them pant and sweat and bark and bay till they are blue in the face.

And then laugh at them and continue to defend what is rightly ours: liberty. 

Not everyone will have the strength of character and financial war chest to fight back on all our behalves. People like Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn do more than their share but they cannot "win" this for "us".

There will be no one saviour that "wins" this battle.

We are all foot soldiers.

"The editor is the unseen hand with the power to change meaning and message, even the course of history."

I challenge you to write your own stories, speak your mind and always refuse to submit to the unseen hand, the unseen editor whose name dare not be spoken.