23 April 2010

Freedom of Expression

I have a problem with the freedom of expression defense for art that offends people.

Freedom of Expression is used more and more as a way to excuse artists from any responsibility for their work, and that's a load of crap. Every ... See moreartist, every creator, considers their audience when they release something to the public. They consider who will like their art and who will not like it. By releasing it, you must take responsibility for the reactions it provokes. If you are willing to take the awards, you must also be willing to take the bricks. If I release an article which someone hates, I have a choice in how I respond. Did I intend to provoke someone? If so, I should stand up and say 'yes, I meant it! And the point I am making is..." If I didn't not intend to offend anyone, then I should open a dialogue, explain my ignorance, offer apology for the offense and learn what exactly I did wrong. Your Swedish cartoonist, along with Salman Rushdie, both set out deliberately to provoke muslims, both knew there are muslims who would threaten their lives, and both did it anyway. I have no problem with that, had they acted bravely and stood behind their work. But to try to hide behind Freedom of Expression, look all innocent, and declare that they can do as they want because they are expressing themselves is bullshit. Should artists face death sentences for their work? No. But neither should they escape all responsibility for what they have done. Freedom of Expression may give you the right to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, but it doesn't excuse you from prison if your joke results in people being trampled. Nor does it protect you from being beaten with a firehose for being a dumbass.


  1. I really agree... Though im pretty sure the cartoonists are danish. After all im danish and know the story by hearth

  2. You would probably be correct, although I became aware of the story from a Swede who says he was Swedish. *shrug*

  3. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35777850/ns/world_news-europe/