Monday, September 26, 2011

Keeping It Real

For this blog entry, I want to take the time to really appreciate how privileged my fellow bloggers and I are to do what we do with MediaPost, Ball State University, and even our country as a whole.

Overall, bloggers and other critics have a reputation of being blowhards with a keyboard that only know how to complain about every little thing.

While the above sentiment isn't far from the truth, we should all be happy that we can write lengthy blog posts of celebrity gossip, political opinions, and even our cats. I know it's trite to say that we shouldn't take our freedom of speech for granted, but...

We shouldn't take our freedom of speech for granted.

I know our country isn't perfect. We've got our share of political, economic, and social woes, but at least we're able to complain about them. The US government goes to great lengths to make sure our 1st amendment rights are alive and well—even as far as allowing the infamous Westboro Baptist Church to protest military funerals.

Some people may look at the WBC's protests and think, "Well, that's a reason against free speech!" On the contrary, while I am against such protests, the beauty of it all is that one could express what he or she believes—even if it's the most unpopular opinion on the planet.

Other countries aren't so fortunate.

Last June in Taiwan, a woman was arrested for criticizing a restaurant in her blog because its food was too salty and there were cockroaches in the kitchen.

The lesson: if you don't like a restaurant in Taiwan, don't say anything or you'll be arrested for libel.

In a more tragic case, a woman in Mexico was decapitated for blog posts she wrote on a website known for being critical of drug cartels in the area. These cartels are responsible for the deaths of over 80 journalists in the last decade in Mexico.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a countless supply of these stories coming from all over the world; each one is a sobering reminder of how much freedom we truly have in this country.

As I mentioned above, this blog post is about my appreciation towards being able to blog about my opinions, criticisms, and nonsense from my brain to this website. We have the agency to do something that the most oppressive rulers fear; we’re doing something that will get us arrested or killed in other places. How's that for perspective?

All I want to say is: I appreciate writing the words you're reading.