Sometimes people start revolutions without even knowing it. Some people think they can express themselves freely. That there is such a thing as Freedom of Speech. And that that will triumph over and break the shackles of censorship. But this is not true. This is a mere illusion. For although the shackles of censorship may be cracked in spots, they usually quickly recover and protect their fierce fortress.
Such is the fate of a man who lives in Sweden and who happens to be an artist and whose life is being threatened and who must travel to secret places at night to protect himself from his persecutors who have waged war on his life and offered a hefty (although not that much, really) price on his head.
You may recall the eruption of hatred following a controversial cartoon published over 2 years ago by Lars Vilks which showed the body of a dog attached to the head of Mohamed. Holy War was declared on Vilks and his head was from that day forward on a tight leash. And that war seems to be gaining energy, for when Lars Vilks recently lectured at a university in Sweden on the concept of Freedom of Speech, and displayed samples of his work, which incidentally do not target Muslims specifically, but all religions, a riot ensued in the lecture hall (how appropriate, huh?) and someone butted heads with Vilks and smashed his glasses.
As if smashing his glasses would erase his visions of the world…
slashingtongue.com, a site which occasionally stops by and visits me, posted a brief write-up of the event, as well as 4 short videos, which include interviews of Lars Vilks by CNN and AP and Swedish TV, and which adequately explore the theme of censorship and show its raw footage. I didn’t have to watch the videos to know whose side I was on. “Bring it on, Lars,” I said. And I included a clip of my favorite t-shirt, which I saw on the back of a young man, here in Athens, which read:
“God Is Too Big To Fit Inside One Religion.”
Then I decided to watch the videos. And what I saw there was a man who is willing to die for his right to express himself freely and openly and without censorship. A man willing to die in the name of Art. A big casualty for Art, I thought. But I understood him completely.
Also interviewed was a woman whose face or body you could not see because she was behind a veil of black and who openly threatened Lars Vilks—on camera! She would not rest, she said, until she had his head. The Swedish people are following her closely, I am glad to hear.
And then I saw the eruption of violence in a lecture hall. And that’s when I realized that the vision of Lars Vilks had been validated.
So I added and additional comment.
“For although Mohamed may not be a dog, those who follow him have demonstrated that they are rabid, and they are now Mohamed’s burden, his children. And, of course, the rest of the world must deal with them as well. (Besides Lars.)
But I like dogs.
I’m not being fair to them.
Dogs are as good as the people who have them and better than most people… almost always… Better.”
To watch the videos and decide for yourself — (Don’t take my word for it.) — follow the link below: