There seemed to be enough for another post, so I copied what I'd written, polished it off a little, and here it is:
In principle, this gave most citizens the ability to share their ideas with others.
In practice, a person was free to share ideas with family, neighbors, and co-workers. Reaching a wider audience usually meant going to one of the culture's information gatekeepers: a relatively small number of news and magazine editors; book publishers; entertainment producers; and educators.
If those information gatekeepers didn't what they saw, the idea stopped there. That's an over-simplification, and I've posed about information gatekeepers before. Fairly often, including:
- "Huckleberry Finn, [redacted] Jim, and Making Sense"
(June 24, 2011)
- "Cultural Chaos, Divisiveness, and CNN"
(April 1, 2010)
- "What is an Information Gatekeeper?"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (August 14, 2009)
I think McCarthyism was a bad idea. I think there really was a 'communist menace,' but by the time I started paying attention, it was hard to see through the psychological detritus, paranoia, and blacklists.
A few decades later, a different set of idealistic do-gooders gave us political correctness. With similar results. Like Fred Astaire sang, tomato, tomahto. I've been over this before:
- "My Take on the News: Jingle Bells, Jangled Nerves, and Good Advice"
(December 16, 2011)
Everyone else had to be very, very:
- All of the above
The 'official' version of reality has had time to deviate quite a bit from what the rest of us live with. I think most folks are level-headed enough to tell the difference between ideologically-driven piffle and facts. Once we've had a chance to hear something besides what our 'betters' think is good for us, that is.
Many folks who aren't part of the 'in' group are probably doubting secular equivalents to the perennial 'End Times prophecy,' angst over spotted owls that can only live in virgin forests (and K-Mart signs), and nostalgic efforts to re-live the days of Stokely Carmichael. My opinion.
It's no wonder that America's (new) establishment fears open discussion and uncensored opinions online.
I don't, putting it mildly, agree with everything I see online. But I like living in a world where my 'betters' can't decide what I should and should not see. I've posted about this before, too:
- "SOPA, PIPA, and a Disapproving Rabbit"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 18, 2012)
- "Lemming Tracks: Internet Freedom; or 'Be Careful What You Wish For' "
Apathetic Lemming of the North (April 19, 2011)
- "Modernism, Luddites, Catholicism, and Godzilla"
(April 7, 2011)
- "Lemming Tracks: Blasphemy! Or, 'We're All Gonna Die' Predictions That Fizzled"
Apathetic Lemming of the North (December 30, 2010)