Friday, June 25, 2004


Just so you know: I'm posting this blind. I'm currently unable to access my own blog directly, though I'm still able (for the moment) to post to the blog through Blogger. If you're a reader in the States, you might not have any trouble accessing my blog, but if you're in South Korea, you're fucked.

Apparently, the Ministry of Information and Communication has taken a page from the Maximum Leader's handbook (the PRC also followed Mike's procedures to clamp down on its own cluster of wayward, meddlesome bloggers) and is hunting down blogging service providers and cutting off access-- Blogspot, Blog City, and other services have already been closed off to us. This is almost definitely linked to the Kim Sun-il beheading video, which some Koreabloggers have linked to, but to which the government is trying to block access.

My opinion, shared by many: the government is not interested in allowing people to see what they're up against. The government (with its ostensibly liberal administration) is frightened that the people might make a decidedly rightward swerve. The Korean right hasn't exactly been angelic throughout its history, but at least it's willing to confront the actual threats to the country (in this case, the NK government and Islamic terrorism).

I haven't seen the beheading video, and since I've been in PC-bahngs lately, I don't plan to see it anytime soon. I do hope some concerned SK citizens see it, get mad, focus their anger in the right direction, and decide we need to stand together to face this threat.

I'm almost afraid to link to him for fear he'll be shut down, too, but Joel has the scoop on the censorship.

Strangely enough, the censorship doesn't make me furious: it makes me grin. Censorship is a sign of insecurity, a sign of mind control, a sign the emperor has no clothes. If you want proof that the government would rather you be a sheep, here it is! Theoretically, I can keep posting blind, unless the MIC blocks access to Blogger. Joel was kind enough to offer his blog as an area to post; I'll use either him or the Maximum Leader's site (where I'm a guest poster) until we get things sorted out.

In America, we can fight the bullshit of censorship, and people do. As much as certain parties (cough-- Tim Robbins-- cough) cry "Help! I'm bein' repressed!" à la "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," the only real ruling force is the market (and Tim Robbins doesn't really look that uncomfortable to me). There's a lot of confusion in America these days about market vs. censorship, and it needs to be made clear that, if people are burning piles of Dixie Chicks CDs, it's not because the government has ordered them to do so. People did this of their own free will (which may, in fact, be scarier than a government order).

Currently, the US is experiencing a flap over Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9/11." People have been crying "Censorship!" for a while now, from Moore on up. For the most part, this hasn't been about government censorship: it's been about the market. The recent news, however, is that we may in fact see a government mandate (from the FEC) to ban advertisements for Moore's movie. This still isn't censorship, but the flimsy reasoning behind the ad bans begins to creep toward the censorship line.

Personally, I think Moore's film should be seen by as many people as possible. I implicitly mistrust the critiques of people who haven't bothered to see the film (and everyone's been linking to Christopher Hitchens's scathing review of it-- keep in mind that Hitchens is a leftie), and if you censor the film, how can you critique it? How can you debate it?

The same goes for my blog-- it should be read by as many people as possible, so that I might become a god among men. Or something like that. Luckily, in secular, pluralist societies, we can discuss, question, and critique our gods.

Next up: I've got logos for Prosblogion and Fafblog. I'm rather proud of them, too.

UPDATE: To clarify-- I'm unable to access any Blogspot (Blog City, etc.) blogs, not just my own.

UPDATE 2: Check out Oranckay as well.


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