Recently, there has been buzz about the controversial hate crimes bill, so I thought that I would talk a little about it. This bill, if passed, will basically destroy the first ammendment, since it so obviously limits what we can say. While there are some glaringly obvious reasons why we should contact our representatives in the Senate, there is one other reason that we should be opposed to it.
What will happen to novels of the past century? One could argue that these are out-dated and have no bearing upon us now, which I disagree with. I have found more reason and honesty in classic literature, than with the modern day. There is also the metamorphosis of word meanings, such as the word "gay." The original meaning meant that one is happy and general in a very positive mood. Now, this seemingly harmless word is something that is now used in a negative way--to hurt someone's feelings. Should we destroy those works because they use this word now because of one word? No, because, 1) it is ridiculous and 2) it destroys the past by manipulating it. The work is less powerful and is more meaningless. Do you think that Mark Twain's Huck Finn would be as powerful by making the language more "friendly" or banning Dostoevsky's The Idiot because it is sad, or destroy De Sade's work because it is salacious? I don't think so. Some of the best literature resounds with us today because its impact upon our concious. Rest assured, this ignominous bill will have an impact upon our creative impulses.
Goethe said, "the decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation." If this is true, then yes, America is on the decline, considering that our creative output is diminishing. This bill will hasten us towards destruction by stifling the human need to express ourselves. In studying Rome and most ancient culture, we saw one thing in their eventual demise: literature (with substance) was diminished along with the collapse with the culture. In looking at the rennaisance (take your pick of which one), there was a blossoming of art, culture, and the written word. While civilizations do come to and end, shouldn't we leave something for future generations to look at that is reflective upon our culture? We shouldn't give our progeny the task of rising from a self-mutilation that could have been avoided. They deserve more than that. But we have to fight against the ignorance we are taught. Now is the time to show our fangs.