Reality and censorship

The truth is I am unable to write about what I would really like to write about this week.  Anger, rage, disillusion, sorrow, even despair, I need to leave all of these emotions elsewhere and pretend that everything is fine, when it is not.  Censorship, silence, abuse of power, deception, mistrust, no, these things do not exist.  No, they especially do not exist in the world today.  Isn’t that right?

Reality is that I am afraid.  I am afraid of putting my foot in my mouth, and, for this reason, I can’t, nor do I even dare, to say anything.  And, I have reason to doubt reality.  Actions belie words.  The silver-lining is that I still adore my students, and I am able to find motivation to continue with them, even on the most frustrating of days.  I encourage my students to promote social justice and combat censorship while I am incapable of changing the system I find myself in, but everything is fine.  I feel fine.

28 comentarios sobre “Reality and censorship

  1. I think that the censorship is not so strict in our world. In democratic countries anybody can write anything, except insults, violence and racism. Of course when writers publish some information about for example current events or politics, they should have derive their information from a trusted sources. Sometimes it can be hard to believe somebody who has some information for you. Another time you have to try to find the information on your own. But if the information are correct and true, you do not have to be afraid of censorship. The readers want to know what is happening in the world or in your country truly. If somebody is censoring your articles, you have no choice but to publish the articles again, perhaps in another web or magazine. And of course it is important to tell your students everything about the articles which were not published because of censorship. Your students will also try to tell the people truth some day.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I wrote what I did because if I were to be honest about my feelings in this school supported blog, I might get in trouble. I have spoken to my students about what has beeng going on, as they, too, were wondering why I chose this as my post. Your support means a great deal. You express your thoughts beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Recently I was at the theatre on play, which name is The Threepenny Opera, which was wrote by Václav Havel (our ex-president) and which was then rearranged by David Drábek, our known playwright and director. Main idea of the play was about people, who have power over other people. It was about censorship, reality, lies and hopelessness. The main character got into a vicious circle, where each step took him further to hopelessness and vortex of lies. He wanted to take his life, because he no longer wanted to play any role in this game, which was full of uncertainty, but he found that it would be just another meaningless death, because people do not understand it. I thought about this quite a long time and I realized, that policy consists of society and it depends on behaviour of individuals. Therefore, I think that if everyone thinks about him – even though he thinks that it does not change anything – it maybe change something.
    In any case, thanks to people who are not afraid of saying their opinion publicly, they are not afraid of saying something opposite to the system, thanks to people who think about things and they do not go like silly sheep for the crowd.
    You remind me just the main hero of the game, who are dealing with the same issues as you.
    Thanks people who are trying to motivate people around to courage and thinking, too! Especially students and young people.

    1. Your comment buoyed my spirits. I feel as though I am in a precarious situation right now, but I am doing what I can to make the best of it. I have heard of the play you mentioned, and I now plan on looking it up so that I may read it. I remember being very interested in Václav Havel during his presidency. I visited Prague in April of 1990. It was a fascinating time to be there and I have wonderful memories of the city and the people I met.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read our work. It means the world to us that we have people reading our work and taking the time to share their thoughts. It is so enriching to have these international conversations. Thank you.

  4. Censorship, abuse of power, mistrust, lying and problems like this were always present in any society throughout all human history. And it will be present now and it will be part of society in future. It could be on statewide level, as a part o ideology (communism, nacism, islam), it could appear in few or more cases, like in our western society. Even in the most hummanistic society, there will always be present some tendencies of this behaviour. This is essential thing students must understand – the world will never be ideal, where everyone is happy, rich and everyone loves each other. If everything goes well, the society can get closer to this state, but it will never reach it. And of course, everyone must contribute to get there, ergo every human being must start at himself.
    And this age is much better than even 30 years ago, partially thanks to the internet and globalization. You can say almost everything, have the most stupid opinion (e.g. believing in flat earth) and still be treated equally in front of law. You have to be just prepared to face objections.

    1. I am bracing myself now to face consequences for expressing myself. The comments I’ve received on this post have certainly helped me feel stronger and more capable of doing so. Your realistic response is wonderful. I think your expressing, «the world will never be ideal, where everyone is happy, rich and everyone loves each other. If everything goes well, society can get closer to this state, but it will never reach it. And, of course, everyone must contribute to get there, ergo every human being must start with himself,» is a super observation. Thank you.

  5. I think that, today isn’t a strong censorship as previously, in fact we are free. But I think that there are things that are concealment to people. Today we read a lots of information from newspapers, television, magazines, internet, radio. But a lot of information are false or distorted. Every day people read tabloids, without thinking about whether it’s true. Serious newspapers some people don’t read, because they think it’s boring. But these are the facts.
    I am a little disappointed with today’s society, where many people chasing after money and they lose notion of what is really important. Some are willing to change opinion behind the money. People say that it’s good that we are free to speak our opinion. But how many people actually say it? Many people cursing, but in reality no one does anything to change. I am glad that there are people who motivate others to try to change social justice, teaches them their voices heard. Because nowadays the trend is to take the opinions of others, without thinking about it.
    I hope there are more people like you, who can improve our society.

    1. I am certainly trying to have my students (and my own young children) learn to be critical thinkers about the world and our place in it (both as individuals and as a collective). I sometimes struggle, though, with balance. I imagine we all do. That said, I agree with you that overt censorship isn’t always as evident in day to day life for many of us. I say this knowing full well that in many places in the world, people live each day knowing or believing that voicing their thoughts and opinions could have serious consequences. Still, subtle forms of censorship still persist, and these are just as tricky to combat and stand up against. I was reluctant to write about my inability to express the things I truly wanted to, but I am now glad that I did. Posting the entry you responded to has opened up a fantastic dialogue and, for that, I am very grateful. Your response to my post was thoughtful and articulate. Thank you very much for reaching out to me.

  6. Censorship in the modern world is on the high level because powerful people do not want to say the truth to common people. Most people think that the censorship does not exist in ,,democratic” states. People do not want heard the truth because they are afraid of the truth. But some people stop worrying and it is the beginning of end avalanche which will be the end old age. After this event nobody will doubt that the change is possible. I hope that this change will be in my country too.
    Fear lies and you believe it.
    Your students need to know the truth because truth is important for understanding important reality.
    Stop the New World Order.
    I hope that people do not stay flock of sheep and they will fight for honor.
    Until they decide about me, I go through the wall and then nobody can stop me.
    I hope that truth and love triumph on lies and hate.

    1. My students are aware of the situation I am in, and I am fortunate to have their support. Knowing they believe in me helps me feel more corageous. Your words, and those from others, have also helped tremendously. I am braced for the upcoming events and exchanges. May truth prevail.

  7. I think that it is a very interesting article. I have a lot of question and I should think about them. We live in „freedom“ country and I think that arcticles without censorship are very important for our democracy. It is only 30 years when we live in communist state and censorship was part of our life. For example we couldn ‘t read a lot of books because the authors of these books often emigrated because they disagreed with communism.
    Fortunately, at this time we don ‘t have this problem in the Czech republic. We shouldn ‘t forget that it isn ‘t obvious.
    But sometimes is very hard write or say true . When we often say the true it should be problem for us because some people have often different opinion.
    I should summarize my ideas. We should appreciate our life and we should realize that a lot of people live in undemocratic countries and their rights are restricted. And it is the worst thing in the world.
    ELiška Tesařová

    1. I have visited countries where censorship is an issue or has been an issue in the past, and I agree with you that it is important to always remember to value life in a place where overt censorship is not permitted. It is, in part for this reason, that I continue to have my students research life under dictatorships in Spanish speaking countries. Not only do they investigate the power of censorship within these countries during the dictatorships, but also the students often look at declassified US government documents, too. Looking at US papers helps us all obtain a more complete picture of history.

  8. The reality is that some censorship is here, but in my opinion it’s not so bad. Partly because I believe it stems from the nature of our species. Definitely it’s a lot less than in times past, such as during the Communist era. Certainly, in some countries there is a large censorship even today. But a large part of the world live in democratic institutions. Today, in a democracy, at least most of the independent media, so they can write about whatever they want to write about. Finally, to reduce the level of censorship must help each one of us. Encourages your students and be their example and example to all others. Sometimes it can be hard. When persevere it will be better. Don’t afraid of the censorship, and also not be afraid to express your opinion. Write about what you want and do not to be control by the emotions.
    Petr Mach

    1. Thank you for you thoughtful comment. I will keep your words and advice in mind, and I will continue to encourage my students (and myself) to work to combat social injustices and censorship!

  9. I think there is no more censorship, like it was in communism, but there are still something like information controlling – somebody decides what we should see in every TV news and what we need to elaborately search. This is not censorship, but it is information imbalance, and if you are critical person, you can think that it can be misused. Unfortunately, there is also big amount of informations in our everyday lives… Some people can´t see important things or distinguish what is true and what is just populist nonsense. Lot of people believe everything and they don´t know how to search resources of informations. So I think all of this are problems about todays´ «censorship» and informations; but still – we are living in the best century – we have democracy, we quickly get the informations thanks to technique, and you can tell what you want(depends on situation, of course). So maybe it is not perfect, but I hope that people are trying to improve it, right? I feel free, because I am critical and I don´t believe everything what I read. I am glad that I live in this «small censorship», it could be worse.

  10. There is a question. Why do you think that things as abuse of power, deception or mistrust don´t exist in the world today ? Because it does exist and much more! Injustice, envy, violence. Look around. That is the reality!
    Maybe there is not so many censorship but still if you say what you relly think in some cases it doesnt eventually end very well. If you look at this pair – a teacher vs. a student. What will happen if you as a student say what you really think about behaving of an arogant, egoistic, self – centered teacher? You will be punished. Guess what! Exactelly the wrong people have the highest power to decide about our lifes.
    And YES! You should be afraid of the reality. Because it is not good and it won´t be, if we still stay blind and try to see things as they aren´t. But I like that you try to be a good motivation for your students in this confusing time.

    1. Trust me, I am well aware of censorship in day to day life! And, yes, sadly it is often the people with the greatest power to make life difficult for us that hold power over us. Thank you for taking time to respond to this post.

    Very nice article that made me think about what is nowadays a difference between censorship and reality. The reality is nowadays replaced by more censorship and unfortunately we encounter it every day it is in the newspapers, magazines, television and all around us. But I have to say that censorship is not as radical as it once was when everything was controlled and unacceptable sentences were censored. About the reality I still think that not everyone is brave to express own opinion , because of fear . The fear that we maybe carry from the past or fear that company would condemn us. Maybe this is the reason why we do not read true things , but things that are modified ( censored ) to a scale to which we are accustomed. And maybe this is the reason why censorship still exist.

  12. In the modern world, censorship is a powerful tool for powerful people. Trying to tell people only what they want to say, but not everything, and especially not the truth. Many people do not even want to hear the truth, because they are afraid of her. Nowadays, people should not only listen to what others say to them, but also for his truth must go. Using censorship powerful people are gaining even more power. Censorship should be limited, but not completely abolished, otherwise people might publish any gibberish. Although the present time there is not much censored as in the second half of the 20th century. At that time, the Internet was not yet on the internet can give anyone anything. Finally, I would like to say that total censorship in the world is enormous, but one person will not change anything. There should be an independent institution that will reduce censorship.

  13. In my opinion, sometimes censorship isn´t so bad as it seems is important for our world, I think thats good that people don´t know everything about what is happening in the world because because it would create panic, fear and violence among people. It would be a huge chaos. People should know just what you are able to mentally accept and understand.Censorship keeps us common sense. Sometimes it is hard to believe things that saw only one person or talking about them and it´s not see, for example UFOs, ghosts…Let everyone believe what he wants.

  14. In my opinion, sometimes censorship isn´t so bad as it seems is important for our world, I think thats good that people don´t know everything about what is happening in the world because because it would create panic, fear and violence among people. It would be a huge chaos. People should know just what you are able to mentally accept and understand.Censorship keeps us common sense. Sometimes it is hard to believe things that saw only one person or talking about them and it´s not see, for example UFOs, ghosts…Let everyone believe what he wants.

    1. Yes, I agree. Sometimes we all practice self-censorship so as not to hurt someone’s feelings or inadvertently put our foot in our mouth by saying something we might regret! Thank you for your insightful response.

  15. New age and new type of censorship. Twenty-five years ago we had texts only about politic correct things. Now we don’t have public known censorship. When somebody needs change and hide information about events or people, he need only one thing, media. Media can translate changed version of information to mass of people. More version about one thing and we cant find the truth. In age of internet we know everything, but only few information are really truth. Mass media are controlled by powerful people. Powerful people can change everything in media and they do it still 100 again and again. We don’t know truth, only we may trust that one of the version can be from most true. In the end we are in very similar age like twenty-five years ago. The difference is in people, who know about lies and who does not. We may choose which kind of people we are.

  16. Today we have modern age as the time went by many things have evolved through the time. Now we have social media, world wide web, internet call and many other things. Same thing happened with censorship. It evolved too and if we think about it was inevitable. Everybody with power will try to give us an information they want, it doesn’t matter if it is the truth, but for them it is their truth. This way we won’t think about them the wrong way, we won’t question their actions and we will follow their way of thinking and because world and way of communications evolved so did the censorship. Now we can not say with certainty what is the truth and what is not because on the internet there is so much information we can not tell them apart. That is the way of modern censorship these days, too much information, at least in my opinion. I am not defending censorship, I am just trying to say how I see it. In my opinion censorship is bad thing for us because if the government is saying everything else but the truth how can we trust them? If we can not trust the government and the information they are giving us, what can we trust then? If we know the information they are giving us is wrong and the truth is different, should we speak up and tell the people about it even that we know they will probably try to block our way? We have to choose our path. Righ or wrong? Will we stand still and try to tell the truth or we will bow and accept everything they will tell us? That is up to us and entirely up to us.

    1. I agree with your remarks. Coincidentally, the student who is writing about satire on this blog is now working on an essay on how the media and technology skews our perceptions of truth and reality. He is writing about mass media and the speed with which information is transmitted and how sometimes the press is too quick to report something and, thus, misconstrue the events. He is examining all of this while studying short stories by the Argentine author Borges. My student has not yet finished his work, but what he has so far is very good. I will have to suggest to him that he read your insightful comments. Thank you!

      1. Thank you for taking the time to comment on this entry. I appreciate your thoughts and your willingness to share them with us. Good luck with your computer!

  17. Hello,
    I want to say sorry for late dispatch my homework. I had to repair my computer so I can´t send it. I apologize again and there is my work.
    Have a nice day, Tomáš Hansl

    Your opinion about censorship makes me think about it. Especially because of my different point of view. I have to say that most of us can express our opinion in different ways. However, I think there could be problem with question what we can afford. For example someone can express an opinion and emotion only to a certain extent. Nowadays, it is not so frequent as before, but there are still places, states and political systems where it’s common. However, we can use the internet, read newspapers and magazines which are full of opinions, descriptions of feelings about situation around us and dissatisfactions. As I said, we live in another time and we should be thankful for what we have. Thank you!

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