*In response to Saturday’s (I’m a day early) Stream of Consciousness  prompt hosted by Linda over on LindaGHill
http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-2914/

Topic: Write or right in any of it’s definitions.

The right to write immediately forms in my head.  Writing used to be my religion. As word lovers and crafters, we just want the freedom to express , no matter the venue.

In highschool, i was part co-founder of a Creative Writing group. I’ve always been more of prose writer, diary style. I did write poetry as well. I wrote alot of slam poetry( better known as spoken word).  In highschool, it was a blast. We had amazing teachers and an awesome diverse club.

Until the principle censored two poems that were going to be published in the literary magazine.

I never forget that day. The tears of my friends. Grown adults insulting the creative work of teenagers calling it smut. And I’ll never forget our mentors pulling us off school grounds and taking us to a dinner and sliding a phone number across the table.

The phone number for the New York Civil Liberties Union.

My peers and I received help for NYCLU who promptly contacted out school. We published the censor poems in a booklet and handed them out, just outside legal grounds of the school.

I wish I could say we made a real change in the school. But, it was weeks from graduation ( it was our senior year) and all that we really accomplished was the administration caving a bit and humoring us until we were out the door.  We did stand up for ourselves, for that I’ll always be proud, and we did inspire the creative writing members we left behind. Our writings are left behind too.

As I grow older, i know understand freedom of speech is such a double edged sword. Just as fierce as our young selves fought to have poems published in print, just as fiercely others fight to have their propaganda and hate printed and spread.  Even if it’s harmless, like religious pushers.

I had a lady run frantically through a crowded mall to thrust an unwanted flyer in my hand….and then run off without saying a word to me. I looked at the flyer and it said ” God’s path to Salvation from sin”

I snickered.

Guess i look a sinner.

We all just want to express ourselves. If i want to publish meaningless words, I have the right too. But then I have to stand back and let others do the same, even if it’s against my beliefs.  Even if it’s harmful and full of hatred.

The right to write. I wish it was just one sided, all the indie writers finally coming to light. But, with a door open it allows entry to anyone. We cannot be a hypocrite and pick and choose who walks through that door.

The only thing we CAN choose is how to react, or better yet, not react when we come across something different from our point of view.

 

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Comments
  1. LindaGHill says:

    Very well stated! It’s just really as OM always says – I have a space in which to write, and if you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. The right to express oneself seems to have grown with the times (of social media) as much as it has narrowed by the reader’s ability to slam those expressions and sometimes repress them. It really makes you wonder if we’ve come very far at all.
    Great, thought-provoking post, my dear. Thanks again for joining in SoCS, even a day early. 😉

    Like

    • Thank you for stopping by and for hosting. These free writing are really good for the mind and great writing training exercises.

      I fear social media and technology is setting us back, not advancing us. Social etiquette is already out the window, people just don’t know how to behave ( manners) and be socially polite ( alot of people can’t even hold small talk anymore, or spark up a conversation with a stranger). Blogging is basically “free press” but having blogging as an outlet sometimes prevents us from seeking publications in magazines and journals and even books. Those venues are still heavily controlled. Sometimes i think blogging was created as a distraction, to let free writers run amok on their little website to keep it from gaining spotlight in mainstream medias. Or maybe I’m just paranoid. lol.

      Like

      • LindaGHill says:

        You have a lot of good points. I agree, people have forgotten how to act with the whole anonymity thing. They don’t have to be held accountable.
        And you’re right – we have here a way to express ourselves for free. The serious writers will continue to write behind the scenes – and yet WP for instance is a great way to get ideas out and to keep in the practice of daily writing.

        Glad you found some value in my prompt!

        Like

  2. Debra says:

    You probably accomplished a great deal. Everyone involved or who heard about the issue learned that free speech is important and legally protected. Kind of topical issues for today. Even if you don’t think you won a major change you planted ideas into many minds. That matters.

    A poetry slam club at the high school level must have been so much fun!

    Like

    • I like that idea, of unknowingly inspiring people and left an imprint behind.

      HIgh school was a blast! Being from New York the spoken word scene is literally at your fingertip from big groups like Urban Word to little hole in the wall cafes holding open mics.

      Like

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