Best Reader Comment for July 2014

Even though I've slacked with the frequency of my posts this past month, my readers have still impressed me with their feedback. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The best reader comment for July 2014 was by Francois Arouet who wrote in response to an essay of mine from 2012 titled "Thoughts on Media Violence" and as all good comments do, it sparked more discussion.

Here's Arouet's thoughtful, critical, and interesting point-of-view:

"As the French philosopher Voltaire said, 'I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.'" Actually he never said it. Voltaire would have been the last one to defend to the death anyone's right to say anything they wanted. Living under the vicious censorship of Louis' tout Catholic France, and having spent some time in the Bastille for his writings, Voltaire published much of his writing (including Candide) under a pseudonym and wisely refused to defend to the death his own right to say anything. The too-famous phrase falsely attributed to him was made up whole cloth by Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre in her very readable biography The Friends of Voltaire – a book absolutely no serious or respectable scholar of Voltaire or the Enlightenment would dare cite and hope to retain intellectual credibility. The director of, I believe it was, Institut et Musée Voltaire at Voltaire's Les Délices used to have a form letter that he sent out to every writer or editor each time he saw the quote. 'Show me where he said it for we can not find it.' No one ever has shown it. As to the 'moral obligation to speak out against hate speech' well, how do you define that? A simple look at the Bible or the Koran reveals astounding hate speech. Would you propose the government censor that? Where will you find more despicable screeds pouring napalm over the fires of hate and calling for genocide? 'What would you do about that?' the late Christopher Hitchens asked in his wonderful lecture on Free Speech here at Utube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olefVguutfo And, use it with caution, see the transcript here: http://news.genius.com/Christopher-hitchens-on-free-speech-annotated Hitchens' take-down of the famous rule against 'shouting 'FIRE!' in crowded theater' is particularly instructive. Cheers and enjoy. And Lucy is correct. In fact humans are, in fact, only a half a chromosome away from Chimpanzees."

He joins a growing list of previous "winners" -- Abrawang, Bill Beck, Cranky Cuss, EyeSpye, Margaret Feike, Robert La Vallie, LibbyLiberalNYC, MalcolmXY, Pat Malone, Matt McMillan, Jan Sand, and Bob Skye.

I also thank the rest of you who also shared your opinions with me this month, motivating me to continue writing:

Abrawang
ChillerPop
ClayBall
CrankyCuss
Jerry DeNuccio
EyeSpye
James Hart
Robert La Vallie
LibbyLiberalNYC
Marshallj4
M.C.S.
Jan Sand
Schopenhorror
Stim

Thanks to everyone who shared my posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, and who posted a review of my City of Kik blog on Amazon.com. (If you haven't reviewed it yet, please do so. It means a lot to me.)

Thank you all for continuing to read, share, and comment on what I write.

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