Freedom of Speech 
Thursday, 09 .March, 2006, 05:03 - English Entries, Travel, Music, Thoughts, Politics

Bob Dylans life once was saved thanks to freedom of speech. He reports about this exceptional event in the very educational and entertaining song Motorpsycho Highway, in which he can only escape from a patriotic American farmer by pretending to be very fond of Fidel Castro (and his beard). Besides that, this song includes violence, shooting, a daring jump out of a window as well as a not very much hidden invitation for having sex, i.e.: all the things that you really miss from modern music.

As said already I am currently in China and the hotel that I am staying in provides a desktop PC in every room, including broadband internet access. It is worth switching it on. After chosing the English version Windows 98 comes up and everything looks normal. Great. So what was the name of the place around here, at which this big Buddha statue is located? Just type in http://en.wikipedia.org and ... uuups: Error message. Maybe the network is down. But no, http://www.spiegel.de comes up fine.

After several tries it became clear, that I could just not access Wikipedia from here. I was not sure whether it is generally blocked from China or it is just not available due to additional security measurements in this hotel, and found more on this issue at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_mainland_China.

What do we learn from this? Maybe that you do not need freedom of speech if you can express your preferences for Castro without running into problems. Maybe that every blocked page is in good company. Maybe that you need to experience a restriction yourself to find out about what it really means.

What I appreciate is the internet access via my mobile phone (GPRS). It connects to the network via Finland and there is no blocking inbetween. Maybe it's after all not too bad to work in this industry.


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