Category Archives: freespeech

Being Offended is the First Step

Comic Michelle Wolf Responds To Backlash: ‘I’m Glad I Stuck To My Guns’ (npr.org) The legendary British comedian (and bibliophile with unspeakably good taste in novels) Stephen Fry has a famous quote about people saying they’re offended by other people, which comes from a 2005 interview in┬áThe Guardian about his researching of his Jewish ancestry. Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time on social media has probably seen the quote multiple times, and its popularity when it comes to image treatment has made it…

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Whiskey Tango Facebook

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Facebook data leak: Regulation is necessary (Yahoo! Finance) Part of the preparatory work I do as a teacher of college-level English is to make myself aware of the technological and pop culture elements of society that my students are likely to be aware of and use in their everyday lives. This process is known as gaining “cultural literacy,” and although it’s ultimately not as important in my preparation as knowledge of the intricacies of the English language, I’d argue that…

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I Know Censorship When I See It

Proposed R.I. bill would charge $20 to view pornography online (mynbc5.com) Washington state passes net neutrality law as states push back against the FCC (NBCNews.com) Among the many problems with Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s infamous “definition” of obscenity — you know, “I know it when I see it” and all that — is that it’s lazy. Defining words and terms is a very difficult process, especially when languages have to keep evolving so they can provide the tools we need to explain new developments…

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Let the Circle Be Broken

I’ve mentioned before, on several occasions, that one of the most profound and affecting lessons I learned about being a teacher, back when I was still reading up on pedagogical basics, is that when you don’t teach that something is capable of being changed, then you teach — through your silence — that it can never be changed. This doesn’t mean that change is likely, or that attempts to change won’t be met with strong resistance, or that teachers shouldn’t caution students about the difficulties…

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Failing to Learn from History

The Kent State Massacre: The Day Our Government Killed Innocent Protesters On A College Campus (theurbantwist.com) Tamir Rice’s mother honors Kent State May 4 shooting victims at ‘Black Lives Matter’ commemoration (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Donald Trump calls California protesters ‘thugs, criminals’ (bilbaoya.com) When I was getting my Master’s degree in English Literature, and earlier when I was taking literature classes as I was getting my Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, one of my primary areas of focus was 20th century American women’s poetry. My favourite…

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