I’m just a writer, of fiction mostly – and under this particular pen name, erotic fiction. It’s not rocket science, nor is it Tolstoy. Just some entertaining and possibly offensive wordsmithing to make the days more interesting, and possibly a tad less bleak.
So why does it matter to me, all this cancelling of movie premieres and threatening of people millions of times more powerful than me by hacker-terrorists? (I want to call them ‘hackerists’ but that sounds like something you could buy at Home Depot).
Because there are a lot of things that define this country, but to me, the 1st amendment’s kind of a big one. Other countries have good schools, good medical care, and some might say, better child care options and cuisine. But the freedom to speak your mind without fear of persecution? We always owned that one. Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor … they may or may not succeed here, but one thing we can promise — we will let them speak.
But now, because somebody on the other side of the world doesn’t like what we have to say, we can’t? Who the hell are they to tell us what silly movies we can or cannot make?
Years ago, when The Last Temptation of Christ was released, certain church groups in small towns told everyone to boycott any video stores who stocked it. Fortunately for the movie studios, that didn’t seem to have any huge impact. And if you didn’t grow up in the Bible belt, you probably you never heard about it, nor did you care. But it’s the same thing; censorship.
Freedom of speech, as we all know, is not the freedom to tell blatant lies about other people or yell ‘fire’ in a crowded public place. But last time I checked, it did cover the freedom to make a movie based on a real person in the name of art or entertainment. Don’t like it? Don’t watch it. But, until now, you couldn’t dictate whether it was released in the first place.
Let me repeat: until now.
This is a big deal.
As Lush Jones, I write erotica — basically harmless stories about sex, and you could essentially boil the plot of all of them down to one basic premise: a woman reclaims her sexuality. As I said before, it ain’t War and Peace. But I bet there are plenty of people who don’t want stories of women owning their sexuality to be told. Probably, if they could, they’d love to tell me and the gazillion other erotica writers, to stop writing.
So what? I’m not feeding my kids based on the success of my writing (phew!) so it’s not like I’m ever going to really suffer.
But plenty of people do suffer. People in countries, like North Korea, who don’t have a voice. Who look to us as an example. Who think we’re the one place you can say anything. If we can be stifled, what hope do we offer them?
So you know what I’m going to do on December 27th? I’m going to exercise my patriotic rights and watch a movie that has stuff in it that offends at least somebody. I haven’t decided which film yet, but I’m taking suggestions. And I’m doing it because I can. Because I am allowed to do so. Because I may not have control over what movies are released, but I do have control over the remote (sort of). And I’m going to talk. About the movie, after the movie … hopefully not over the movie, because that would be rude.
Give me your Netflix, your Amazon Prime, your DVD.
Send these, cable-tossed and ratings lost, to me.
I lift my remote in silent salute to free speech and liberty.