Letter to the Editor: Censorship Not All That Bad

By and

Editor:

I want to present an alternate view on the issue of censorship. Quite simply, I like it, up to a certain point. It provides services to me that I value.

The core issues, as I see them, are the right of free speech and the right to be free of free speech. A balance is required between those two ideals. Imagine a world where free speech gets the total dominance. You could come to my front door and I would have to listen to whatever inane babble you cared to throw at me. Maybe in order to preserve your rights to expression I would even have to let you in.

My only recourse would be to see if I could out-annoy you in a noisy free speech competition, and maybe visit your house as a return favor.

This is a somewhat extreme and ridiculous picture that I am drawing here, but it shows simply that there should be places and situations where the free speech ticket has officially expired.

I think one of those places should be public schools, which we are forced to attend. For most people I know private schools are not a viable option. Many people recognize that religion should be kept out of the schools. I assert that for the very same reasons, we should keep other things out, too: attacks on religions, political slants, moral slants and sexual education.

Now I come to the hot topic of this week: banned books. If there are any books that have any of the above, or sex or vulgarity, they should be banned from the schools or they should be edited.

I have a right to be narrow-minded. The schools don’t have a right to fix me.

Another situation where precious free speech should expire is after I’ve bought rights to a copy of the material in question. I bought it, see? So now I can turn that book or movie into a coaster, if I please. I can burn it, tear out some pages, cross out words or run it through a TV guardian. I can go to someone who has a very specific way of defacing the work, and pay him to do it?kinda like the way people pay to have pennies stretched.

I like edited movies in particular. I hope all of these new editing businesses win out over the babyish attempts to squash them. I can buy and then deface anything I please.

Cries against editing and banning are nothing less than cries against freedom. These things do not stop people from exercising their rights to free speech.

Jonathan Richardson

Junior, Computer Science