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Freedom Fighters

November 15, 2010

The reports from UK journalists in Burma are not only bringing us reports of the release of Aung San Suu Kyi they’re also serving as a reminder of the freedom offered to us here. We talk and complain of nanny states and a big brother culture, but these are nothing compared to the oppressive regimes enforced in countries like Burma.

We forget that the fact we can open our mouths and rant away our disgust at yet another CCTV camera popping up without being fearful of our safety is something to actually be thankful for. I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching, neither am I saying that we live somewhere that’s all sunshine and roses, but it struck me that the journalists in Burma are employing tactics such as hidden cameras, crews splitting up so the authorities can’t find out where they’re staying and filming their reports in hiding because they’d be arrested if they were caught. That’s a hell of a risk. All to let us know what is going on. And what are we concerned about? The fact that Emo Aiden got booted off X Factor and Katie Weasel is still clinging on to the edge with that chin of hers.

The freedoms we have over such things like speech and demonstration are very much taken for granted, and very much misused. The minority of people involved in the Millbank incident are testament to that. However, some may argue that as we have that freedom we have the right to use it as we wish even if that means portraying ourselves as mindless yobs. In truth, that just makes you a bit of a wanker.

The irony seems to be that despite the ever-evolving means of communication on offer to us, we’ve become worse at communicating, listening and learning. Free speech is ours and most of the time we just can’t be bothered. I find it quite sad that it takes the highly-publicised resolution of plights of inspirational women like Kyi to motivate people enough to respond at all.

Words are powerful, whether written, spoken, typed or texted. Put them to good use.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. chris Whitehouse permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:33 pm


    You seem to have echoed a wee bit of what I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – especially with the rise of Facebook and other forms of social media. (This isn’t a dig at your blog btw – just to clear that up). I’ve came to use the words ‘who cares’ just all to often recently but the spate of nonsense that’s been written our way. People are using their words to say simply nothing….it’s terrifying. Taken for granted all our ways of living!

    There’s a singer/songwriter I’ve gotten into called Matthew Good and he’s an advocate of us not switching our brains off to the trappings of crap…he’s really worth checking out. He’s done work for Amnesty International and writes his own blog as well so you may have something to get back from his work too.


    • November 15, 2010 10:36 pm

      Thanks for that link, sounds like an interesting man. I’ll def check him out! 🙂

  2. November 17, 2010 5:08 pm

    I agree with your comments 100%, Sara. Most insightful.

    The primary concern of the mainstream media is, according to Marxism, to keep us (the population) distracted with meaningless trivia, when it should be educating us about the world.

    If someone turned up on your doorstep beaten and bleeding from an attack, you’d take them in and ring an ambulance; do your best to make sure they were comfortable while you got them help.

    These days, the world *is* on our doorstep, or at least at our fingertips (blogging being a case in point), and there are people suffering all over the world. We (writers, journalists and academics) have a responsibility to ensure as many people as possible know and appreciate the truth.

    This way, at least people can decide whether to be concerned or not, rather than simply rotting on their sofas watching Eastenders.

    Question is, how do we do it?

    • chris Whitehouse permalink
      November 18, 2010 12:52 am

      Interesting point. And to an extent I agree with you but is it only writers journalists and academics that have the responsibility? Granted they have a greater platform to do so but shouldn’t everyone be responsible at least at a base community level?!?

      • November 18, 2010 10:20 am

        I agree, the responsibility should be everyone’s. Journalists and academics are more likely to be in the public eye, and as such their responsibility is perhaps greater than joe public.

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