Speech is not a right your government or the EU gives us as a gift. Our speech is none of their business. (for sound click here!)
Thank you EU"! For pushing me from an ardent EU supporter, through skepticism, to ”No thank you I have enough problems with my own national government to have to deal with you as well!”. It been lovely but I get the message. You’re breaking up with me! Because today you have ended my livelihood.
I am both a consumer and a creator. Most creators are themselves consumers. Most authors have read a book or several before they were inspired to write one themselves, as most musicians were inspired by previous musicians, comedians by comedy and so on, etcetera, und zu weiter, med mera ad infinitum, in absurdum, and ad nauseam. Creators usually keep consuming others works throughout their lives so starting with your distinction between creator and consumer you are wrong.
I support myself commenting, critiquing, and satirizing culture. And I know there’s an exception for parody, charicature, and satire – but how are these automated filters going to know the difference between news reporting politics and satire? Because these days I can hardly differentiate between the two myself and I’m a political satirist!
Only two days ago I made a meme out of an interview with our social democratic Prime minister Stefan Löfvén from Swedish state television. It quoted him saying “Our party has always, always, stood up against oppression and it doesn’t matter what kind of oppression it is!”.
Then I edited in a collage I made. A picture of the Nazi eagle holding the social democrats party logo in its grip. Childish I know but I couldn’t help myself and yes it was a bit more fun to watch than hear explained in words but… The reason I did that is because the social democratic party cooperated with Hitler Germany throughout the war – has never admitted it, keep denying it, and keep denying that it denies.
And that is just part of a long tradition of denying oppression, including not recognizing the Armenian-syrian genocide, and being one of the few countries in the west that hasn’t recognized what has happened to the Yazidis as a genocide.
The meme was trying to satirize the historical fact that our prime minister was allowed to lie – without the journalist gainsaying him or reminding him of any of these or other instances where the social democrats have not in fact stood up to oppression but rather supported it, ignored it, downplayed its crimes, and then, since they are mostly in power and have built the corporate welfare state, erased such instances from its official history.
The clip was nine seconds long and was quoted – or as it stands now, “stolen” – from Swedish state television. It is funny all by itself if you know that he’s lying through his teeth (or scary if your not a professionally damaged comedian). Should I pay for using the clip? You see I am already paying for Swedish state television. It is a propaganda channel for the government funded by me, involuntarily I might add, through taxes. I am already forced to pay for my own indoctrination on the personal level, as well as my business competition on the professional level, and now you’ve effectively voted to forbid me to make fun of it.
I don’t know who took the photo of the Nazi eagle? I guess a small sum should go to the person who photographed it? But that you also want me to pay the Nazis is just wrong. I don’t care if they had great aesthetics I refuse to pay the Nazis. That was an attempt at satire. It might be poor satire but could you tell the difference? The social democrats party logo is not mine either. It belongs to the social democrats. Should I pay them both for ruling me poorly and for letting me make fun of them? How is an algorithm or some other technical system going to know all that and decide if it is funny or just sad?
The only reason I was for Sweden joining the EU to begin with was freedom of Speech. Because that is the base pillar of a free society. I would very much like to live in one. Sweden got it in 1994 after we joined the EU. Sweden might boast that it has the oldest freedom of the press in the world, and it often does… But in practice Sweden has had a nigh state monopoly on information through state media and subsidies to the so called “free press” since before I was born. And I’m forty so it seems a bit ridiculous but… It is my business. My actual business, though I’m not only saying this as a comedian or satirist, but as a citizen of the Union because it is my personal business as well. If the EU does not make our lives richer, both economically, and culturally, but instead try to impose the sort of shit I wanted into the union to get away from then I’m glad you’re taking away my livelihood because then I won’t be able to pay your salaries.
The problem as I see it with my state rights is that they are seen as gifts from the state. But for me freedom of speech is not a gift. You see I don’t consider freedom of speech a right my government or the EU gives me as a gift. I consider my speech to be none of your business.