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Thursday, July 27, 2000

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Free speech and clutter

I walked about a mile and a half this evening as I had errands to run. It was very hot but I kept missing busses but by then dark clouds were covering the sun and it wasn't too bad. It wasn't good. I was glad when a bus came but the walk was nice.

I need to do something to my apartment. I would love to get rid of all the clutter but I don't have room to put it all away. What I do put away ends up out again in a few days. I like having things handy and if they are all put away I have to get up and get them, or worse, find them.

I always dream of a clean, uncluttered place, something like you see in the beautiful house type magazines. I know this is a dream. Even in my best moments I never get close to that. I start out well but get sidetracked by a magazine I haven't read or an item I forgot I had.

I'm watching a Stossel show on censorship. Where do you stop? It was so sad to see all those people protesting "Dogma". They don't have to watch it. One state even does not let prisoners about to be executed to say a last statement. That is so sad. Why are they so afraid of what they will say?

I feel very strongly that free speech is very important even if it offends someone. If someone is offended they have the right to say so and to say why. When you don't allow anything offensive to be said you don't have a real dialogue. I really don't like the work dialogue, it's been overworked, but I don't know what else to use. If a child knows they will be punished if they say how they feel, they won't say it but it will come out in other ways. The same thing happens when you threaten grown people with punishment if they say what they feel.

We have said that words that are termed sexual harassment or racist can no longer be said but who terms what is harassment or racist? We've made the most sensitive or the most hateful, it depends on how you look at it, the ones that determine what we can say. It chills me when I think about this. I'm sorry but I think that people need to just learn to be hurt once in a while and they need to learn to say why it hurts them, not shut people up. The people that are offended often misinterpret why someone says something and instantly judge instead of finding out why it was said.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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