Friday, September 07, 2018

A matter of bullying, not freedom of speech

  I basically agree with Voltaire and think freedom of speech should be absolute, but I draw the line at hate speech. Hate speech isn’t truly speech at all, of course, but plain bullying and also often incitement to violence.

  Freedom of speech has nothing to do with bullying and hassling people and inciting violence, and that is what Alex Jones and Infowars have done constantly. We should all start fighting all racist rightwing bullies. They have been given way too much leeway, for way too long.

  I haven't seen a single good argument for allowing Alex Jones and Infowars to continue their rampage, whether it's on social media or elsewhere. They should be charged with incitement and intimidation. The harassment of the parents of the Sandy Hook victims alone should have led to that.

  No, this is not a sliding slope. it's not the start of them coming after us all. They have done that for a long time, and will continue to do that, anyway. Confusing bullying with freedom of speech is not helpful, not helpful at all concerning the fight for true freedom of speech.

  And I'm being kind here. Those defending Jones' «right to bully» are certainly not helping the struggle for true freedom of speech at all. I’m quite frankly stunned that people like Glenn Greenwald and Caitlin Johnstone can be so far off in this matter. That traditionally inclined liberals with a long history of being soft on fascism and rightwing extremism is even farther off isn’t surprising at all.

  There is a blurry line between what is freedom of speech and what is harassment, but Jones and Infowars aren't even close to that. They haven't merely crossed the line, but built a house, a damn castle far into the wrong side. They aren’t the victims here, not even close. Those constantly hounded and hassled by them are. Yes, we shouldn’t really focus on Alex Jones at all, but on his victims. He has become wealthy by verbally assaulting minorities and the vulnerable.

  Tommy Robinson and similar belong in the same category.

  Tommy Robinson is just one more brutal, xenophobic thug that doesn't deserve any support.

  Hate speech / incitement to violence isn't and shouldn't be allowed, and Infowars and rightwing groups are filled with it.

  Some people see those fighting fascists as equal to the fascists and even worse than them. We live in a society where down is up and the horrible is hailed as meritorious acts.

  The truth is certainly completely different than the propaganda. Equating those fighting fascists/xenophobes with the fascists/xenophobes is to support, enable the fascists/xenophobes.

  People denying there is hate speech are the enablers of it.

  I, for one am sick and tired of dangerous and abusive RWNJs (Right Wing Nutjobs) being hailed as defenders of free speech or even them being remotely associated with it.

  Those who are fine with racism/xenophobia tell us that we should allow xenophobes to «offend» people. It is just a diversionary tactics on their part. They know it isn't about that.

  The appeasement of racism and bullying must stop. Appeasing hideous acts and beliefs make it stronger.

  I'm an author/artist. I loathe censorship and attacks on freedom of speech. I learned early on when it is and when it isn't, learned to know and identify the approximate whereabouts of the blurry line.

  Bullying, harassment isn't a matter of freedom of speech, and I am totally baffled how anyone can claim it is.

  Those defending Alex Jones' «freedom of speech» is defending his right to call for violence, not his freedom of speech. It isn't about that or censorship at all. It's quite simply about finally aiding and defending the many victims of Infowars activities.

  Once again: Infowars and Alex Jones being banned from major media sources is not a matter of freedom of speech, but about a bunch of disgusting bullies being partially stopped from bullying people in public. They certainly have more than enough venues left where they can express themselves and their venom.

  The true slippery slope is to further allow rightwing bullies to bully people in public without consequences.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Author's Word - Red Shadow

  Red Shadow was supposed to be a short story, but it quickly dawned on me that I couldn’t give the story justice that way. The expansion from that point turned self-evident, as events added themselves. Even a prolonged short story would have been only one fourth of the necessary length I eventually ended up with.
  I saw a girl sit outside a tavern, bathing in the red light from a heater…
  That was all it took to get my muses going. The story grew from that very second in complexity and length.
  I tested out various scenarios in my head, to see if there was material enough for a novel. There wasn’t. I could have expanded upon Nelli and Roberta’s stories, but not within the confines of the story about Larry and Nelli. If anyone should ever make a TV-series with lots of episodes, they would have to introduce a new element and thus ruin the cohesion and integrity completely.
  So, this is a novella, a story too short to be a novel, and too long to be a short story. The story is done, is told and there is no point in continuing it. We know everything we need to know. There is no way there can be a sequel.
  Which is kind of neat.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Concerning fake news

  My introduction at a meeting about NATO, militarization and the anti-war struggle at the Bergen Public Library May 14 this year.

  John Pilger says that fake news isn’t anything new at all. He says that the established society has perpetuated it longer and further than anyone else, and he is absolutely correct.
  It’s easy to pick events from many decades back where terms like false flag operations and fake news and similar first gained prominence in modern times. The methods used have been further developed and improved since then. The propaganda has become so effective that most people will passionately defend establishment lies and brand those exposing them as conspiracy theorists, irresponsible rebels and similar, while it is in truth those saying that that is truly irresponsible.
  Establishment media has long since dubbed itself the fourth estate, a necessary correction to the other three. That has increasingly been revealed to be far, very far from the truth. What has been obvious for quite some time and becomes ever more obvious is that the fourth estate is an active supporter of the other three, to all the forces supporting establishment society, an echo-chamber that more or less word for word repeats what originates from public and private authorities and institutions.
  NATO and its legitimacy, for instance are hardly debated in public within the member states at all, and establishment media is an important tool for the establishment there as well. The public appearances of people working against NATO are so rare that most people aren’t even aware of their existence, and thus they can certainly not decide what their opinion of the matter is. This is certainly not even approaching anything called democracy.
  And when someone stick their neck out and express basic criticism of establishment media, they are attacked by those very same media, in a very loud, but also thoroughly sleezy manner creating the impression that the media takes the criticism to heart, something that just isn’t correct. Every time fake news is mentioned, it is the other, independent media that is the bringer of those fake news, and establishment media that is the great defender of the truth, something that isn’t even close to being true. The best one might say about establishment media is that it’s twisting the truth, but it’s far worse than that.

  When the British government in Mars claimed that the Russian government was behind the poisoning of two Russian citizens living in the UK, no one in establishment media spoke out or asked anything even remotely like critical questions about it. Jeremy Corbyn and others calling for caution and evidence before taking action were called traitors and worse. The UK government and allies expelled many Russian diplomats. Establishment media in most western countries joined in by declaring all expelled Russians spies instead of diplomate. As usual, no proof was ever presented.
  The case had many holes, many dubious sides. When it was later revealed to be pure invention or at least grossly distorted by the UK-government, many should have asked themselves why they had been so easily fooled, but that didn’t happen, didn’t happen this time either. Their verbal attacks against Russia, and everyone voicing criticism against the initial reaction… continued.
  That the British government has become infamous for lying and for distorting the truth was not seen as important either. Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Minister claimed that the laboratory that had probed the sample of the poison had stated that it had Russian origin. Not long after that people from the laboratory stepped forward and stated categorically that the formula was well known and that it could be made at any somewhat advanced laboratory.

  Every time representatives of the clandestine services hold court (press briefings) and repeat the lecture about «the growing terrorist danger» and/or that Russia is a threat very few ask anything even resembling critical questions. The echo-chamber that is the current human society is once more ascending to prominence.

  US/NATO propaganda dominates people’s daily existence. What they hear from Syria tells them nothing about the fact that the western war-machine has had forces there for years before the war started in earnest. It omits the fact that US/NATO is the most aggressive military alliance in today’s world, the most aggressive military alliance that has ever existed, that the United States has military bases in 158 countries and that they practically surround Russia. US/NATO is the bad guy, the villain, the conqueror threatening whatever peace is left in the world, and is bombing one country after another to dust.

  If you want to get closer to the truth when it comes to what is happening in the world, you should watch/read Telesur, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, Intercept and various investigative blogs. Those will give a far better information about what it is about, with a distinctly different angle compared to the fake news establishment western channels.
  The same rule applies. Question everything and check it from several sources before forming an opinion or changing one.
  It isn’t hard, really. It just takes a bit more work than the lazy and passive approach most people invest in finding out what is going on, both concerning single events and the world as a whole.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Author’s word - Red Shadow and Other Stories

  This is an anthology of novellas and short stories and short short stories I’ve written the last twenty years.
  It contains two novellas, four short stories and several short short stories.
  There’s no central theme in this book, no common denominator. It’s quite simply all the stories ready for publishing I had yet to publish, everyone not novels.
  They are almost all Transgression Art in one way or another, though. Most of my work are.
  I considered publishing Red Shadow as a single story, but decided against it. I had enough material for an anthology, and I had wanted to publish my unpublished work for years, and Red Shadow was a great cover story.
  The story Fangs and Claws of the Earth was originally meant to be included as a novella, but I decided to make that a novel instead.
  Some of the stories are clearly experimental, even more so than what I usually do. Most of the stories are very different from each other, so much that it might be hard to see that they are written by the same author. I guess they are recognizable as «a Keppler story», though, even though I don’t have a clear idea of what that is…

  Other titles I considered for the book:
  The Ruthless Photographer and other stories
  The Drunk Bartender and other stories
  The Yawning Waitress and other stories

  But since none of those stories is actually written yet, the choice was easy.

  Publishing date: September 21.