Speech Strumpet

Freedom of speech is quite the whore. It is to be used by anybody and for whatever purpose, even ill-fated ones. Lies and truths are welcomed all the same, because that cheap wench is open like a casserole at a garden party: anybody can stick their tongue in and have a lick.

And, like any sexy call girl, it is usually the object of jealousy from people that don't fully grasp how these things work. You've seen it happen: one party has an opinion and uses freedom of speech to tell the world about it; a second party comes along that disagrees with that opinion, and also uses it to tell the world about its disagreement; then the first party wants to take away the freedom from the second party, as if it should belong only to one. Like a gambling man in love with last night's hooker: he should have known that he's not the only customer worthy of her loving embrace.

Freedom of speech is a prostitute that can be used free of charge by anyone. To think that its usage depends of the circumstances, is hypocritically postulating that only certain opinions are allowed to spend the night with it. Unfortunately for those opinions, and fortunately for the rest, every opinion gets the same sticky turn as everybody else.

Homophobic creationists, holocaust deniers, biased scholars arguing why we should relieve tax burden from billionaires, and lobby-paid pundits talking about how a war will bring peace, are exactly the same in the semen-painted face of our beloved harlot as scientists talking about evolution, and civil-rights defenders.

Why? Because when it comes to being free to speak my mind, it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong or crude. It's my speech, and I have the right to speak it whenever, wherever, however I want, regardless of its veracity or prudence. Don't worry, though. There'll be quite a lot of other people that will call me out if they think I'm wrong, and they'll do it by banging that same open-legged trollop in much the same way I did.

It's a free market of speech, and like most free markets, it has the ability to balance itself out. Why not trust it will? Why is it that whenever a lie is provided as a fact in a public setting, a big outcry always roars to censor the liar? If I didn't know any better, I would think that people are not only jealous of somebody else caressing their courtesan, but that they have a sadistic itch that needs to be scratched. That the people are drawn to the idea of forcing our legal system, supposedly unbiased, to silence very specific ideologies. Like a choke ball forced into a victim's mouth, providing terrible precedence for any future bearer of an unpopular opinion. And, worse yet, it's counter-productive: the liar can masochistically welcome the censorship-choke-ball, making it easy for him to pose as a martyr, causing more attention to his lie.

A more elegant and, frankly, more effective way is entrenched in the bosom of that same old tart called freedom of speech: if somebody tells a lie publicly, provide the world a verifiable truth to counter it. When an alternative is brought forward that is more convincing than the lie (either by form or content), people will flock away from it eventually. And whoever stays behind with the lie, are masochists that will never change their mind anyway.

Like everybody else, you are free to shove your speech right up the freedom-lubricated rectum of that libido-packed fille de joie, to tell the world how reality really is... according to you... And if somebody else has a different perspective than you: just pull out, wipe yourself, and let them take their turn. It'll be yours again soon enough.

As a wise imp once said, "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."


Glossing over the Facebook status and/or Twitter posts of various people I'm following, the ones that center around "Restoring Faith in Humanity" always catch my eye.

You know the ones: about a someone helping the homeless, or about that guy that has always brought flowers to her wife for the last half-century, or about that lady that picked the little puppy in the side of the street.

They're all great, and most, if not all, bring a tear to my eye. Specially the ones that are posted by someone that is NOT the person that did the deed. Why? Because it implies that they did it completely selflessly.

For example, one of my favorites is the one about a guy leaving a note and a $50 bill to another guy after hearing him breaking up with his girlfriend. The money was intended to be broken into $1 bills so that the guy could go to a strip club and cheer up. From afar it could be taken as obnoxious and disgusting, but, from the point of view of the note-leaver, this was actually pretty cool of him. I think it's safe to assume that a strip club is the way that he gets over break ups and he wanted to help his neighbor out. Even more so, the fact that he left a note implies that both guys weren't really that close, so this guy wound up technically helping out a complete stranger (in his own way).

There's this thing though about these stories that always bugs me: he signed the note. Why would he do that? Everything was beautiful about this story: the guy was sad, and here comes somebody that wants to help out, which is great by its own, but also "Faith in Humanity is Restored" as now he knows that there is at least one person that cares about him... who lives in apartment 3F.

See, that's the bit that bites out the selflessness of the whole thing. It wasn't completely selfless, the guy took with him the feeling of "being a good guy" and the knowledge that somebody knows it. That is to say, the guy got something out of it, breaking the selflessness.

"Look at me, look at how I'm helping people out." The act is not really done to help people, it's for somebody to feel good about his- or herself.

Don't get me wrong: it's a great incentive to do something good for others. And even better, because whenever those acts are carried out, the benefited party feels as though they "owe" the good-doer. But, in these cases, it can be stated, very honestly, that the favor in itself was the reward. The good-doer feels good about his- or herself; that's what he/she took away from the deed, so nobody owes anything.

My issue here is when it's not honest from this point of view; when the good-doer feels as though what he/she has done is completely selfless when in reality it's not:

"I helped this puppy out of the water. Aren't I such a selfless person?"

Why are you recording yourself doing it?

"I gave so much food to charity. I'm so selfless."

Why are you signing your name in the charity's register and letting people take your picture while you're doing it?

"I'm walking this marathon to raise money for Cancer. Selflessness is my middle name."

Isn't just donating the money directly to the charity a faster way to raise money for it? Why are YOU running? How is running even connected to Cancer? Aren't you just running so people know that YOU are a great person?
And don't get me started about that "raising awareness" argument: donating the money to do a marketing campaign is much easier and hits the target right in the center to achieve that. The marathon is to celebrate YOU, not the charity.

Disclosure: I need to thank Doug Stanhope for this last bit, from whom I basically stole it from. This argument was stuck in my head for so long, and he eloquently formed it in his last comedy special, Beer Hall Putsch.

Still, though, if we need to use the common flaw of vanity of humans for something good, I guess making them feel as a "selfless good person" as their share of the selfless deed seems like a good patch for now, even if they aren't aware of the hypocrisy that it involves. It IS better than doing nothing, which is, sadly, its only virtue. Well, that, and that these stories are "feel-good" entertainment for a lazy Friday afternoon.

EDIT 2014-06-20: The video clip of Doug Stanhope has been taken down. Oh well...