Monthly Archives: September 2012

Why Doesn’t Google/YouTube Just Take It Down?

So there’s this extremely offensive-to-Muslims 14 minute video and riots are breaking out and people have been killed in parts of the world where (1) people don’t have the same understanding of “free speech” that we have in the US, (2) may be misinformed about free speech in the US (for example they may believe we limit some speech like Holocaust denial which we don’t, and are purposely allowing this offense against Muslims), and/or (3) have a fixed belief (based not only on stuff they’ve read, but maybe stuff they’ve experienced) that the US is the Great Satan and responsible for all their suffering.

I understand why the US can’t and won’t apologize for its Constitution, and why it can’t stop Google/YouTube, which is not the US Government,  from showing the video. I also get how the middle of a riot is not a great time for a teachable moment about our wonderful freedoms. Here’s what I don’t get: Why hasn’t Google (which now owns YouTube) followed the US government’s request to take down the video?

I get that Google doesn’t want to be told by a government what it can or can’t do although I believe they put up with this in China for quite a while. However, there are guidelines for YouTube, and YouTube as a private entity has the right to decide what material goes on and what’s “offensive” to the community to the point where it should be banned. Granted there could be a floodgate with every group that feels they’ve been “attacked” by a video clamoring for banning. God knows it’s easy to find hate of every kind all over the Internet, and if Google started to ban hate, what would be left?

However, real people are being killed over this goofiness. Certainly there is no artistic merit or any case other than “free expression” for this material’s still being shown. And if taking it down means a bunch of complaints about other stuff like the racist garbage or the anti-Semitic crap, so what?   If homophobes start to complain about please for marriage equality, and fundies of all creeds get incensed by scantily clad ladies, what the biggie? Google/YouTube is free to go back to its policy of ignoring these complaints and defending its freedoms, but just because you have the right to show whatever you want, doesn’t mean you have to.

(Please feel free to disagree.)

A Dog’s Own Story

The boys liked to roughhouse, pull my tail or show me a biscuit and take it away, but they were my boys and I loved them.

The Daddy kept his distance. He almost never had a good word to say, but he was the pack leader and I loved him, too.

One day he said, “Get up, boy! Get up, there!”

I wanted to prove I was a good boy. I wanted to show him I knew what to do. I wanted him to call me good and love me, so I jumped up and went into the kennel.

He shut the door and I waited, but there was no treat. Then they all got inside the car, and it started to move.

I began to cry. I didn’t want to be alone, but I wasn’t scared at first.  Then the car started to move very fast. The wind felt like thorns against my skin. My eyes teared up and hurt. It was hard to breath.  Then I was scared, and I got the sick.

The car slowed down, and finally it stopped, and I was happy. They got out. I thought they would let me come down, but the Daddy looked at me sternly. He had a hose and started spraying me with water. I think he was trying to drown me. I barked and barked but nobody helped me. The boys were laughing.

It felt very cold when the car started to move again and I was still wet. I stayed in a corner, making myself small. I couldn’t stop crying, but now I was afraid they would hear me and punish me for making trouble.

I wish I knew what I did wrong.

Then we stopped again. The daddy was looking at me. He reached up and opened the kennel door. I was sure he was going to kill me, and so I ran.

I heard the boys shouting my name. Yelling for me to come back. But they were also laughing and I knew they wouldn’t protect me from the Daddy, so I kept going until I couldn’t go anymore.

I was hungry and thirsty. I was lost and alone. I lay down to die. I saw the lights come toward me, but I couldn’t move.

The car stopped right next to me. The grill was so close I could feel its heat.

The stranger got out. I barked to scare her away, but she came right up to me. She wasn’t afraid. She wasn’t angry. She talked to me softly, and said, “C’mon. C’mon boy.” So I followed her. She opened up the door of her car and let me inside.

That was when I knew I was home.