Freedom of Icky Speech

I know I just posted the other day, and it’s really soon for another post. And I know that maybe you’re getting sick of reading things that I find around the ‘net and put here. But I put ’em here with the good intention that you might enjoy reading them, and they might educate and improve your life. IT’s what I try to do with my life all the time.

Anyway, today I want to explain the only political view I hold that I’ll actually argue and defend and care about. And I want to do it through the modicum of Neil Gaiman, who has more or less said what I believe, word for word, more eloquently and importantly than I could ever hope to.

Please, go read what he’s just posted.

It’s important. It’s vitally important to me, not only as a lover of comics all across the range, but as a lover of books, and as a writer. Freedom of Speech is so important, there isn’t an italicize button strong enough for me to emphasize that for you. All I can do is keep repeating it: freedom of speech is SO important.

ANd the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is just as vitally important…because comic books are a quiet battleground that nobody’s watching and as a result, bad things happen there (read, in the Neil Gaiman article, what he says about Mike Diana. And then maybe, please, go google him and Boiled Angel and see what happened.). What happens in comics can be appalling and almost cartoonish in how heinously wrong it is. But it happens there.

We think that censorship and book-banning is a thing of the past, what those primitives used to do before the 1950s. We don’t have a really great sense of history and time, in our culture and perhaps in our species. But book banning is still alive and well. Why not go look at the Banned Books list for the past few years? And understand that this isn’t just some “Top Ten” list, this is a list of books people are fighting to not allow to be read. These are books people are fighting against the authors and the publishers, as if they were an actual crime.

You have to fight for the books. All of them.

I can’t urge you strongly enough to get a membership with the CBLDF. Honestly, if you hit your head and are a bit disoriented and considering getting me a Christmas present…go get yourself a CBLDF membership. That’s as good as gold to me. And if you aren’t big in comics, what about the First Amendment Rights group? There are other groups out there, fighting for freedom of speech. And they are all stretched and straining. You don’t hear it in the news (and when you do, it’s always against the work) but it’s a quiet battleground full of bloody, bloody battles that never quit. Why not send some aid to the troops?

Speak up with them, while you still can speak at all. Please.

Again, go read Neil Gaiman’s post.

And may I suggest a meme out of this? Either post a link to the Neil Gaiman article — or to this article — on your own blog. Post a link and then discuss, as I have, why freedom of speech matters to you and what you think of it. And encourage people yourself. Even if you can’t afford to support the organizations…thanks to them, you’ve got a voice, and you can holler with it. Why not go holler from some rooftops and see if you can get some of the other voices in the neighborhood to howl at the moon too?