The Friday Rant… free speech

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This is firstly a blog about the Arsenal and Arsenal fans. However, recent events on another Arsenal blog have brought to the surface the issue of free speech and how we deal with it. Is Censorship the answer? Is banning someone the solution?

Some will view the issue as a slippery slope, because the issue of free speech impacts on all of us, directly and so definately. How can we have a broad, discursive, and expansive literature on life in general without free speech which may offend others? Conversely, how can we quell our own innate desire to stop the speech of anyone who goes against our own beliefs?

But isn’t that the sine qua non of the debate?ย Chomsky, probably Americas’ last remaining true progressive put it very succinctly, he said this:

“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for those we despise, we don’t believe in it at all”.

Free speech is complicated, if you want to silence some KKK member in the USA for his beliefs, then you also have to silence someone like Salman Rushdie, and personally I don’t want to do that.

Free speech is a privelage that is restricted in the world to just a few, many countries Imprison or assassinate people who express their rights for a different sexuality, for a different religion and for their beliefs that are different.

I want to hold on to that privelage…. it’s extremely important to me and to many others who are discriminated against and abused. However, to do so also means that we have to be more lenient on those who have opposing views.

Voltaire said,ย “Think for yourselves, and let others enjoy the privelage to do so too”.

That’s my rant done, now if any of you talk about something that offends me you’ll be banned. HA HA HA.

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53 thoughts on “The Friday Rant… free speech

  1. Morning.
    Nice rant NB, and a good subject too, Freedom to say it as it is, is how i feel it should be, Personally i feel that going on a football blog is mainly to talk and find out things about the team you support. I have to say that supporting Arsenal now is a lot different to when i was a lad.

    Arsenal in those days, was a London club based in the capital of England, owned by Englishmen and managed by Brits, Most of our players were Brits and our rivals the other so called British clubs were filled with Brits, today a lot of the bigger clubs are now owned by foreign owners, many with huge amounts of money. Money that seems to have appeared overnight. England as we know has changed, gone are the values we once fought wars for, and now we fight wars for oil instead of freedom. but thats a subject for another blog.

    English football is now something completely different, An English player is something of a novelty, grass roots football is drying up and now we look for foreign talent.
    A foreign owned club run by a foreign Manager who recruits foreign players is not a club run on English Tradition. Its based in England but far from being English.

    That is sport today, and not just football, an England Cricket match with a guy wearing a Turban batting for England is not my idea for an England team, but then i am now of a mind to feel that i care that much, far to late to worry about that now.

    Over the years i have read on other blogs how someone has supported Arsenal since they were a child, they love Arsenals history in fact they seemed so proud. I have to smile at a lot of that stuff cause now Arsenal is different, a world away from how it was.

    I have always been a football lover, I am no Racist but when i see an England team with many players not even born here i fail to see its English at all. They call it the EPL what a cop out, we now search the globe for foreign players never once looking to our own, and that in my mind is wrong, But again to late to get uptight from.

    FIFA is fixed EUFA is fixed our FA is fixed Athletics is fixed Horse racing Dog racing you name it is fixed and politics dont get me started on that.

    At the end of the day football blogs stop you from saying how it is they now censor everything you say so blogging is fixed to, fuck me whats the point. And now we get an Egyptian Moslem well fuck me sideways.

  2. Hi Steve

    ha ha ha You just say it as you see it, you’re a traditional English bloke with your views on the world. But if the Egyptian Muslim helps us to win the league and the FA Cup…. does it really matter where he’s from? The world has become a melting pot and that often causes problems with residents of a country.
    But one thing’s for sure…. your comment stays on, unlike the other blog which deleted your comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. NB, I firmly believe in the gift free speech, being unable to express my personal views without any recrimination is a vital ingredient in my life. However I also believe in basic common courtesy and where possible I try to adhere to the house rules – that of course in not always possible.

    I’m proud to live in my chosen country of Canada, here free speech along with common courtesy is a way of life. Canada is a country devoid of any form of racism or class distinction. Frankly one of the driving forces behind us leaving England and my beloved Arsenal was to move to a country where we are one class and one race – Canadians first and foremost. Here everybody has an equal chance to nurture a successful career and way of life.

    I find any form of race, colour or class distinction to be totally abhorrent.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my views without having my arse bitten,

  4. Hi NB.

    As you know I have always conversed with you and the other guys on the other Blog. I am not on yours so often, not through choice but through time limitations, and in reality don’t always have the time even for one blog. I would love to spend my days painting naked women, blogging, drinking vin rouge, and eating cheese ๐Ÿ™‚ When I win the lottery tonight I will be adopting that Utopian existence.

    I enjoy conversing with you, Cockie, Norflok, GN5 e.t.c and miss all your inputs elsewhere.

    Now you may not remember this NB but the Friday rant was the brainchild of….yes you’ve guessed it…a Mr GoonerB, so there may be some copy right infringement here and compensation may be due ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I suggested a Friday Rant when Norfolk was taking a sabbatical for medical reasons and we needed to replace his Friday round up.

    An interesting topic the free speech one, and a subject thwart with pitfalls. Free speech should not be curtailed in the modern democratic world, but similarly empathy and diplomacy are also very important considerations in this modern era. It is the old Yin and Yang IMO, and getting the balance right is not always easy. Go to one extreme end of free speech and it becomes personal abuse and bullying. Go to the other end and it is censorship and dictatorship.

    It is therefore very easy to see how with so many varying individuals that fall-outs can occur, especially in the blogging world where we think we know each others characters implicitly but in fact we really don’t. It is very easy to think you knew how someone was but to then mis-judge it because you haven’t really met them and don’t have a proper knowledge base to work from. In a fall out each party will believe they were correct so where does that leave everyone?

    Take me for instance I am very thick skinned and will also twist things said to me to suit my agenda and make me happy. You may for instance say “GoonerB, you are one big cock”. I would take that as “GoonerB, you have one big cock”, and then I am happy and think you are the nicest most complimentary person in the world.

    I don’t exactly know what happened NB but I would hope that as adults we can all accept that differences occur and cause issues at times but can be resolved in the cold light of day.

    Comparing your blog to others is like comparing chalk and cheese, or perhaps more relevantly chalk and naked women. Your blog will have a slightly more niche appeal where potentially anything goes, and you come on at your own risk of being offended. Other blogs may have a greater international audience, for instance, and so are more eclectic and therefore may wish to allow for a certain amount of risque humour but have a line that preferably shouldn’t be crossed.

    It may be to do with the types of bloggers that regularly frequent other sites that what could be seen as the right to free speech is seen to go too much towards the abuse and bullying arena. What is being said may be fine for you, so you think “what is the problem?”, but this is where the empathy and diplomacy come in, in recognising that not everyone is wired the same way and will invariably react in a different way to certain lines of comments.

    The blogging world, more so than anything we have seen in the past, allows people from many different avenues of life to enjoy each others company and that enriches all of us in alloing us to experience things and viewpoints that wouldn’t have happened 50 years ago, where like people would have purely stayed in their own circle.

    Doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and banter and your longevity NB on other sites is testament to that. As I say I am not really totally sure what happened, and only have a brief insight, but I would hope that you guys would take a hard look at whether free speech has truly been denied here or whether it did stray more towards being too personal and crossed slightly into the personal abuse bracket. As I said one can’t always assume that others will take things said to them the same way that they would themselves.

    Anyway, I have always found that private communication is best in these instances. A couple of sorry’s and e-mail hugs go a long way, and as I said it would be sad not to have the input and humour of yourself and the others on here from now on.

    Ta ra for now.

  5. Cheers 69. I completely agree with GN5. Free speech, but common courtesy, including respecting the house rules.

    On the race thing, despite colour, race, creed etc, I am a big believer in treating everyone the same, thats why I hate everyone.

    i dont give a shit what colour someone is, as far ime concerned there all Bastards that salivate over my cash and get enjoyment from seeing holes in my jumper. I trust no one, and expect the same in return

    I even hate myself for fucks sake. Ive told you before 69, The only reason I dont beat myself up is fear that I will retaliate.

    As for been slagged off by others, I enjoy it.

  6. Now we have our holding Midfielder, i take it we are only short of a first rate striker. At the start of the season, many said that we were only about 3 players short, Quality Keeper a holding mid and a top striker. Mr Wenger it seems doesn’t like to part with to much money in any one window, so i take it we will now have to wait till the summer.

    Giroud is scoring goals, while Walcott does have the odd goal, but could not be relied in a crises. Welbeck still seems like he is a way off, Sanchez must be nearing a showing so our future goal scorer is Oli.

    Coq will be back before to long, and with a nice Diaby break he should be well rested, to see out the rest of the season. Of course with the new guy and Coq in position Santi could be released forward, with Walcott and The Ox misfirering, Santi could fit in well. Welbeck should be back for next season so our striker problem should be eased. Seems like the end of our spending then.

  7. GN5 and GB…. great responses girls, and I agree, courtesy and diplomacy should always be part of free speech and expression. However, banter is always part of most football blogs and it should be taken in the spirit in which it is said, some people are more sensitive than others unfortunately and take it the wrong way. This blog has been up and running GB for nearly two years now and not once has someone felt insulted personally or felt abused. In fact, in the last two years I’ve seen more comments deleted or admonished on the other place, where perhaps just a “take it easy mate” or “you’ve gone too far” would have been sufficient.
    On here everyone knows they can have a laugh and mildly insult someone without it being taken the wrong way and that;s the way I like it. If I started banning people for a bit of humourous banter I’d have nobody commenting ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sorry about using your idea of Rant Friday… if the need arises again I’ll call it Soap Box Sunday ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Terry you are a joy to behold – thank you for putting yet another smile on my face.
    In general –

    I use ‘”colourful” language very sparingly but have no issue with its general use.
    NB’s pictures of naked women are always tasteful and chosen by the eye of an artist.
    I find foul jokes to be distasteful – but that’s a personal view and there use is a free choice.
    Racism of any form is completely and totally intolerable.
    Censorship of any form is third world thinking.
    Why the fuck did I start this?

    Anyway I wish all and any Arsenal blogs a great deal of success – the more fans we get the better.

    I agree with the vast majority of what GoonerB said – but when “attacked” ones defence mechanism automatically kicks in and its hard not to respond. I know its the “adult” way but we are all kids at heart.

  9. Cheers GN5, once more I completely agree with you.

    There is one thing worse than censorship and been slagged off? Its the cry of the desolate, when no one hears your cry, the despair of the of an ugly man on a dating site, all therwise known as been ignored.

    We all need to know we exist. Thats why I spend ages staring in a mirror.

    The consequences of been ignored consistently on a message board do not bear thinking about. thats why ime thinking about it.

    Firstly, a sense of “so my comments aint good enough hey? Fuck you”, this is then followed by emerging doubts “They all wish that I would fuck off” and then a slow creeping feeling of inadequacy culminating in a dance round a bonfire dressed as Napoleon before ultimately sharing a cell with Mourinio.

  10. No worries 69, I have done the bonfire dance many times. I usually ignore other people. Firstly because I dont care, and secondly in the hope they might have some form of breakdown.

    Anyway Ime not good on normal conversation. When people talk to me I just stare blankly, and then ask them from the hit 1970s show The Professionals, who do they prefer, Bodie or Doyle?

  11. Specially for you GN5, just an hour’s walk this morning over Marsham Heath. Cold, 2c with a brisk northerly wind straight from the Arctic Circle making it feel a lot colder. Spells of sunshine interspersed with sleet showers. Unusually for January there were patches of Gorse in flower.

    Lunch at The Old Forge, not a pub but a newly opened Thai/English Fusion restaurant. They know how to keep beer as well. Very nice lunch.

    Now it’s back to the cricket.

  12. Better than that Soixante-Neuf, highly efficient central heating. All mod cons here in 21st century Norfolk. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Sod it, bad light stopped play with Root 106 no.

    Oh well time to examine the inside of my eyelids. Zzzzzz.

  13. I’m all for free speech, I used to be all for free love, now I’m all for free beer, I expect the next freebie will be incontinence pads and then free funerals. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Seriously though, say what you like but keep it light, and avoid personal abuse.

  14. Evening all

    Norfolk, yea, my view of Norfolk is one of horsecarts, thatched village houses and inns with smoke rising from their chimneys, sheep wandering down the High Street and men in flat caps carrying shotguns and a sheepdog at their side ha ha

    I had my afternoon snooze at the same time then spent a couple of enjoyable hours at the bar….

  15. That’s a great photo Soixante-Neuf, coincidentally my younger son bought a derelict barn in Wreningham and converted it into stunning home.

  16. Morning NG

    Don’t get me started on renovating old places. In my life so far I’ve renovated 5 homes… 1 in London, 2 in Brighton, 1 very old house and large barn in Normandy and 1 house with barn and stables in Provence. I am a glutten for punishment and will shortly start on an old tractor storage garage / barn in Provence to make it into open plan, modern minimalist with touches of aged warehouse…. in fact I’m really looking forward to it because I will live there ๐Ÿ™‚ At the moment I calculating how to make a suspended kitchen worktop island which doubles as a dining table…. exciting stuff, I love it.

  17. It’s the weekend which means football…. interesting to see todays results, Man City and Leicester both playing…. hope for them to lose but draws will be sufficient as long as we beat Stoke tomorrow.

  18. Norfolk,

    You may be interested in this. When I renovated the house and barn in Normandy, it wasnt far from Mortain which was the scene of a massive battle between American and German troops in 1944. I took the old windows out and found about 200 machine gun shells embedded in the walls and when we put the fosse septic in we found two unexploded 105mm shells…. we had to call in the bomb squad ha ha I kept them all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. OK I’m fed up with talking to myself… soon I’ll be dancing around a bonfire dressed as Napolean.

    You fucking bastards…. I feel as if I’m on a dating site and getting no fucking replies ha ha

    OFF TO THE FUCKING BAR for some decent conversation with some French wankers ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Hello from Canada,

    Hi Norfolk, I looked up The Old Forge yesterday and watched a video on their site. I enjoyed seeing the owners but I was very surprised as the video was about some critical reviews they had received and their reaction to them.
    I really liked the couple and their food looked very appetizing but the only reviews that were discussed were negative – very surprising they would keep it on their site.

    They were attempting to show how badly owners are impacted by negative reviews and I felt sympathy for them as they seemed like honest brokers.

    The B & B looked great and it seems like you would not agree with the reviews – if you haven’t watched it already you should give it a viewing – I’d be interested in reading your opinion.

  21. Show me the way to go home, I’m tired and I wanna go to bed…..
    My ol’ man said follow the van, and don’t dilly dally on the way………

    Whey hey…. afternoon GN5, you misfit rascal ๐Ÿ™‚

    Right, I’m not about much longer, going to dinner with friends who live in the village where my garage conversion is, sot omorrow I can have a looksy and do some more planning.
    Don’t worry arseholes, I’ll tace my PC with me and will do a match preview tomorrow morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Hi GN5, I may have misled you on the lunch venue, we went to the New Forge Aylsham.

    It has had some dodgy reviews, but most have been quite good. We have known the place for many years through a number of incarnations. It only recently reopened as a Thai/English fusion restaurant.

    Chatting to the owner yesterday he admitted some difficulty with the waiting staff who are all still undergoing training. However we were very pleased with the quality of the food and the value for money.

    My eldest son, his wife and children have visited The New Forge a couple of times, my son is not a fan of Thai food but enjoyed a very good steak, his wife chose the Thai option and thoroughly enjoyed it, while the children happily tucked into the traditional Sunday roast.

  23. Try putting it up on AA and the you can join NB69 in the isolation cell.

    To be honest I find it to be completely distasteful; but then again its all a matter of personal taste – just not mine.

  24. I didn’t put that up there despite it showing my avatar and most probably my e mail address.my e mail address seems to have been compromised and that’s the truth.

  25. Morning all.
    Funny how a picture of a young woman exposed, congers up a mixture of thoughts, I must admit i like the poses of young women, but i would have to say that the picture portrayed would be better covered up. Ha ha, please some of the people some of the time upset others at other times. I am normally against censorship, but this proves that some times it is necessary Ha Ha

  26. And obviously…….I`m against censoreship, especially any kind of humour !

    I have a mind that is free to think and a mouth to speak it, ears to listen to it and eyes to see it, otherwise I may well as be a deaf, dumb and blind monkey.

    Je Suis Freedom !.

  27. Kelsey then you need to look into your crystal ball and figure out who is impersonating you.

    It would have to be someone familiar with the dialogue that’s been occurring – so either someone from AA or from here – and also somebody who is tech savvy – so that eliminates me and it wasn’t you.

    You can take it from here…………

  28. Hi Le Coq, censorship of any kind is abhorrent and should only be used in the most extreme cases of abuse.

    I never go onto any porno sites by choice and if any blog I participated in began showing porn then I would simply choose not to blog there any longer – no fuss no bother I’d just simply make a choice.

    I don’t find the picture pornographic (certainly graphic) ๐Ÿ™‚ but simply distasteful. NB’s nudes are always tasteful pictures of beautiful women with more than a hint of sexuality.

  29. WAKEY! WAKEY! Soixante-Neuf!

    Better hurry with your pre-match or it will turn into mid-match.

    Too much vin de maison last night?

  30. Yes, I find that picture abhorrent and an affront to my sensibilities. That geezer who nicked Kelsey’s email address should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. As if any of us believe that’s our Kelsey. If I was him I would have posted how Wenger has ยฃ200 million in the bank, of which he plans to use in a modest retirement pension fund, then we would all have believed it’s him.

    Going back to the picture, I am so outraged by it I have had no choice but to spend hours .examining it. I am not satisfied that I have reached conclusion on its content, so will stare at it all day tommorow to achieve clarity.

    I will also wear loose trousers whilst doing so. I find this makes me concentrate better

  31. GN5, I think dear old Soixante-Neuf has spent the night in the company of the local Gendarmarie, or in the arms of Marie.

    He won’t surface until the local magistrate releases him.

  32. But I’ve heard that NB doesn’t suffer from hangovers – he sleeps right through them ๐Ÿ™‚ But he may well have been lured (unwillingly) into a strange ladies xxxxxx fill into the blank spaces yourself.

  33. FFS…. I’m awake… shhhh, no hangover but a little bit fragile. Sorry girls, wasn’t meant to happen like this but didn’t get to bed till 5am. Kelsey doesnt have any taste if that photo has anythibg to do with it ha ha

    I’s not me Kels doing a good impression of you in the avatar ๐Ÿ™‚

    In just went on to AA and wanted to like BR’s pre match and presses reblog by mistake…. ha ha so we now have a Pre match although I stole it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m just having a livener and thinking perhaps I need a siesta ๐Ÿ™‚

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