Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

It’s my 100th post boys and girls, and this one’s going out to Mark Twain. In a roundabout way, I have the twinnies to thank for that. They’ve been keeping us so dang busy we haven’t had time to read all the New Yorkers that have been piling up on our bookshelves- until now. We made a deal not to renew our recently expired subscription until we read said back issues, and I have to say, its been an unexpected pleasure. Without more piling up, I’ve been able to savor the issues I have left, and one of the yummiest things I’ve read recently is Mark Twain’s essay The Privilege of the Grave, from the December 22nd issue.

I’ve long felt the world is a fickle pickle where no one gets to speak their mind. Say the wrong thing, they don’t love you anymore. Say the right thing at the wrong time – same dealio. Mark Twain’s essay addresses this (with far more wit I might add!) when he says that free speech is a privilege only the dead can enjoy. They can’t be punished for it. For those living, he equates free speech with murder :

As an active privilege, it ranks with the privilege of committing murder: we may exercise it if we are willing to take the consequences. Murder is forbidden both in form and in fact; free speech is granted in form but forbidden in fact. By the common estimate both are crimes, and are held in deep odium by all civilized peoples. Murder is sometimes punished, free speech always- when committed. Which is seldom. There are not fewer than five thousand murders to one (unpopular) free utterance.

After several more clever paragraphs, Twain basically concludes that we should all write down our true beliefs in diaries, so that when we’re dead, people will finally know what we’re all about. But I’ve found a shortcut….


If Mark Twain were alive today, I suspect he’d have at least a dozen anonymous blogs where he could talk smack to his heart’s content without fear of reprisal. His essay has made me realize that I’m not talking nearly enough smack. I’m anonymous (mostly). I should let rip. But I don’t. Much. I can only think of a few entries out of my 100 where true smack talking has been featured. Prius Driving Rich People Diapers are Poop and Dangling Babies over Dobermans come to mind, along with my recent entries about the local Mother’s Group that both confuses and terrifies me on a regular basis, but really, out of a hundred, that ain’t much. I need to work on that.

So let’s see….

Okay, got one! I don’t understand this whole home birth phenomenon, I really don’t. I think its cuckoo for coco puffs. I personally know (not blog know) 2 women who have given birth in the last few years, having both had the kind of uneventful, complication-free pregnancy I can only dream about, who almost died in the process. Loads of bleeding, loads of transfusing, priests were called- that kind of deal. Why on earth someone would want to forgo doctors and life-saving equipment?

On a lighter note, I did once ask a home birth Mom why she felt home births were the way to go, and her answer was….well, priceless. She said:

“Because I labored in my own bed, and I got up in the middle of it and made myself toast.”

Oh, TOAST!!! Nobody mentioned toast! NOW I see!


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