“When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”  ― George R.R. Martin

 My relief is enormous. 

I can’t tell you how many nights I lie awake in bed, terrified by the thought that Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam were on the loose, armed to the teeth in cartoon land. 

I never worried much about cartoon rabbits blowing up ducks with sticks of dynamite, overgrown roosters dropping anvils on the heads of cartoon dogs or the untold violence that blazingly-fast desert bird unleashed on the poor coyote because that was all just make believe and make believe things can’t hurt me. 

Right?

Those guns, though. . .  Yosemite Sam with his revolvers and Elmer with that double barrel killing machine. . .  I mean, from what I’ve heard from the nice people on the TV news, guns are so dangerous, even crudely sketched ones from 60 years ago might rise up out of the television screen and pop a cap in my delicate places, because that’s what guns do.  

Thank God they never let Tom and Jerry have guns. They just beat each other with bowling balls, sledge hammers, cheese graters, frying pans, rolling pins, milk bottles, buses, trains, steam rollers, hot irons, pianos, pool cues, fish bowls, barbells, tennis rackets, axes, brooms, anchors, golf clubs, flaming torches and meat grinders, all of which are perfectly acceptable implements of destruction because they are not guns. 

This plan to disarm beloved characters from the past shows sound logic, because as everyone knows, hiding things from history makes us better people today. For this reason, I also applaud the decision to pull that hateful “Gone With the Wind” film from the shelves because if you can’t see what life was like in the Civil War era then none of those awful things really happened. 

As a prophetic fellow once said, “He who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” 

Also gone is marketing around some LEGO playsets that feature tiny police characters. That ought to fix things. The shows “COPS” and “Live PD” have likewise been sacrificed to the memory hole, because accurate depictions of life on American streets can’t be tolerated. The way to change reality is to stop looking at it and that’s just straight physics or something. 

That’s why, when a New York Times opinion writer offers a viewpoint that’s different from your own, you need to shut that monster down immediately and make everyone apologize! Differing opinions, as you know, are as dangerous as cartoon guns. 

We must all think alike. Act alike. Believe in the same things. 

If a writer, TV pundit or just some yahoo on Twitter spews words you don’t agree with, you could just counter his arguments with arguments of your own, but who’s got time for that? It easier to just make a lot of noise about it and get it shut down so that eventually, the only words you have to hear in the world are the sweet echoes of your own voice. 

Censorship works, by gum! It may have led to nothing but tyranny and misery in the past, but surely THIS time it will be different. 

Tear down a statue of the man who discovered America, the America you despise ceases to be. Deface a memorial dedicated to a Confederate soldier and the Civil War will have been won without a shot being fired.  

That’s how it went when “The Dukes of Hazzard” was pulled a few years ago, right? An enduring peace descended immediately? 

Heck, if only there was a statue of a rat out there somewhere we could tear it down and, in a single stroke, eliminate bubonic plague from our history. 

Am I being snarky? A little bit absurd? You better believe it. But that’s just me getting with the program. Absurdity has become a way of life in recent months and this new round of “cancel culture” is just the cherry on top of the absurdity pie we’re all being forced to choke down. 

Runaway censorship and destruction of historic symbols is like the dreadful, deafening bell announcing the death of a culture. It happened in Nazi Germany, in Soviet Russia and in Mao Zedon’s Cultural Revolution, and how did it work out in those places? 

Google, one of the most powerful companies in the world which has a near monopoly on information, has renewed its war on conservative websites by shutting them down — not for threats or overt hate speech, but because they offer opinions that oppose those of the mainstream. They’re targeting “wrong think,” in other words, and it’s no surprise because they’ve been doing it to YouTube channels for years. And if the world’s most used search engine starts stifling opinions and controlling information it doesn’t like, do you know what that means for truth and freedom of thought? Do you recognize the implications of that? 

Google censoring information is the equivalent of a planet-wide book burning, one that continues around the clock every day and every night. 

“Censorship,” said Mark Twain, “is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”

I don’t care who you are or where you stand on things. If you don’t want all the information that’s available on a given topic, I question the strength of your convictions. If you don’t have arguments to bolster your position, you need a stronger position.

What’s more horrifying than when corporate giants and heads of evil empires impose censorship upon us is when we do it to ourselves. And whose voices are the loudest of them all with their shrill demands that history be edited, revised and erased? 

College professors. Students. Journalists. Political sell-outs. Your next door neighbors and mine. 

In Vermont, a school principal was sent packing after she questioned a powerful political movement in a very tame and reasoned opinion (seriously, look it up) posted on her personal Facebook page. There was no hate in her message. There were no threats or slurs. But she failed to support the cause in just the right way and so, clean out your desk, lady. You’re done here.

And what message does that provide for her students? That it’s never safe to take an opinion that opposes the mainstream? That speaking your mind or asking questions will get you shunned? 

The same thing is happening to college professors, magazine writers and average Joes with average jobs who offer, not hateful opinions, but opinions that clash with mainstream passions. 

When the New York Times published that opinion piece from an Arkansas senator, the backlash was so great it had to be banished to the memory hole and the editorial page editor was forced to resign. 

Some journalists criticized the move and criticized loudly. But many others applauded the move, clapping their hands like seals to give support for the concept of silencing those with whom they do not agree. So much for balance. So much for the free exchange of ideas.

It’s heartbreaking, really. I don’t care how many degrees you have or what it says on your resume. If you welcome censorship and even applaud it, you are not a journalist and you are surely no friend of freedom. 


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