Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cult of Free Speech Stupidity. Ann Althouse Pouts, and Pulls a Grade School Extortion Trick.

I know, back to her again. Last time I posted about her, I deleted it the next day, mainly because I was way too rambling, and that makes for bad blogging/argument. And I was unnecessarily harsh. But I am taking another pass here, as I noticed on her blog today she's still feuding with the peeps at Lawyersgunsandmoney, for deleting her husband's history there, when they deleted his posting account.

She referenced some post on some other blog referencing some post there on LGAM, but refused to post the direct link because of that, but added, and I quote:

"I'm not going to interact with people who have deliberately and finally cut of my channels of interaction with them. Restore everything and apologize and I will."

One person's believed stand on principle is another person's immature snit. I'd say. So would lots of others, I'd imagine. However, even if one does not want to drive traffic to people they, for what ever reason not want to drive traffic to, shit people. What good is that sort of stance? Better to do what I do (I argue,) and that is to at least play the role of the bigger, more mature person and just be nice. For example, I usually don't post links to her site, not that the tiny traffic I get here will ever change her stats. I just usually think it's not worth doing. I explain why I reference her, and get on with the argument. And this blog is more about me than anyone else. But hey. Here the gratuitous link:

Link Here.

However, that really ain't going to help anyone understand what I am talking about.

Ms. Althouse has some truly weird (to my mind) thoughts about free speech, as something that has meaning past the law. I mockingly call it a cult or a gospel. On a recent bloggingheads appearance she called it a culture of free speech. Some such. Likely, my post a few weeks back about Stanley Fish's ideas was likely greatly influenced by that appearance. Anyway, here are my general biases. I hate the Internet, but on the other hand I really hate the Internet. And I am prone to say things like, "Life's too short to take the Internet that seriously." So I don't get the Internet feud shit, as such, nor do I get the obsession over the post history being lost for now or forever. I mean really? Talk about crying over a dropped penny lollipop.

Now let me get to the real point (sorry for the long set up.) Ms. Althouse has her Bachelor's in Fine Arts. Mine is in Theatre. Now (and she's not the only art grad turned lawyer who I have found to have confusion over these matters) it seems to me that people from that discipline are (often) lacking a reality-based understanding of the nature of communication, based on the fact they see their art, or call it communication, as fixed and permanent. Over at the theatre we don't buy into that bullshit kind of thinking. Our art is temporary. It's fleeting. During each successive performance, a different performance is given. Even if all the performances were archived, important nuance, and sometimes broader differences are totally lost in translation. And the video itself is a different communication. (For example, the Met Opera has been doing some brilliant HD transmissions of performances. But I can tell you with authority, it's not the same as being there. Being there is a physical experience, where your body reacts to the live acoustic orchestra, and the live singers. Ya can't really dupe that, even with Dolby surround sound. It is not the same.)

So that is what I learned in my studies. Communication is not permanent. Even the so called fixed art forms fade, and are lost over time. For practical and technological reasons (I was more of a tech than actor) I know that part very well.

There is another point lost on people from that side of the campus. They are likely not to get the following fact of the planet, if not universe:

You have no right to an audience.

Granted, a sculptor or painter has an opening, and throws a party and lets people in for free. Then they hope to sell pieces. At the theatre we would like to say, and sometimes will say shit like, we sell dreams, we sell fantasy. But truth is, we sell tickets to the show. We know we have no right to an audience. We have to convince them to cough up the money, to get them in the seats.

So take those two ideas, that the real nature of communication is impermanence, and that no one has a right to the audience. Accept that as true or not, but accept that that is my understanding of such things. Therefore know why I find being upset over lost Internet postings to be so much childishness. Please notice that I did pull away from specifically picking on Ms. Althouse. But she has repeatedly triggered these thoughts in me. She's a public example of this sort of free speech stupidity, or call it culture of free speech if you prefer. It's not really reality based. We can have a nice chat about the miles and miles of Hollywood film stock that have not only been lost in warehouse fires, but deliberately junked, and in some cases, still basically rotting away somewhere. Never mind, think about the many brilliant and lost performances from the Golden Age of TV. Or we can cry over the lost Library of Alexandria. But get real kids. It's not as if we have preserved the original performance of King Lear, Never mind, Oedipus Rex. Shit. We don't even have the reviews!

Ok. I spent more time and keystrokes than I intended. Done.

(Note. I have had postings wiped. I have had multi page websites wiped. I got over it. No big deal. It's only the Internet, for crying out loud.)

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