I have a pretty good reason for not posting this month.
You see, I did write a few articles but had to delete them, because I have now succumbed to the problem of this age.
Self-censorship. That’s better than being censored by others.
Self-censorship is pretty easy to define. If you’ve ever written something, took a moment to think about what people would think of it, went back and changed it to make people comfortable reading it, then yes, you have just censored yourself.
I read a lot of stuff about bloggers being killed for frankly expressing their views. Had they held back, they would’ve been alive. I wonder, did they recognize the risk of using the freedom of speech? That’s the one question that always bugs me, but I don’t think I can ask them.
I don’t know how it feels when someone is offended by what I write. No one has ever taken offence to anything I write, and why would they? I never expressed my opinions about something serious, or made fun of anything big. Of course, the biggest reason for me being safe is the lack of readers, which I now see as an advantage and hope stays that way.
So, this month, I’ve tried writing a bunch of stuff, and it was funny. But it seemed inappropriate. Someone will definitely take offense. I know I don’t have readers, but there’s no guarantee that this blog will consistently remain unknown. That’s one thing about internet: Either you remain unnoticed, or you become extremely popular because one guy feels like his friends should get to know what you have to say.
Here’s the thing with writing something that’s supposed to be funny: You never know who’s going to get offended. That’s a common problem. When someone tries to be funny, there’s always a chance that there’ll be someone willing to stab you through the heart for a joke that was never supposed to be offensive. Rational people will support you, and might even stand up to others, but you should never get your hopes up.
Of course, a lot of people have a talent of taking offense easily. A decent number of them have the ability and time to spend time protesting it. A very less number of them have enough dedication and motivation to take guns out and go on a kill-crazy rampage, like killing 11 people whose crime was that they cracked jokes.
I could post an article making fun of cats and there’s always a chance that there’s a small group (like the OMG Cats are sooo cutteee Community) which will definitely get offended for writing about cats without their permission. But that’s a small chance, virtually zero, because the hits I get is lesser than the number of people in the above stated community, which has never been heard of. If you want to learn more about random communities getting offended, maybe you should talk to Kamal Haasan about Vishwaroopam, which first landed in controversy because a random group believed that he wasn’t honoring his native language because he used a Sanskrit word to name his movie. Now if that’s not stupid, I don’t know what is.
I find myself holding back now. I guess everyone does. There’s always that nagging sensation which makes you wonder if people will get offended with what you have to say. And then holding back will take away the snappiness. And people will see that and think that you’re playing it safe. That you are afraid to take risks anymore. Which is true, because you feel like you can’t afford losing readers. That’s one bad thing about having a wide readership. Reader satisfaction is suddenly an important thing. And that’s going to bring about eventual destruction.
So, you know, I’m not gonna share jokes. I’m not gonna write. In fact, I’m not writing this. A mindless machine is writing this post. And sharing it for you to read. Stupid machine. Sharing was fun, but now that we know the risk, it might not be worth it anymore. At some point, taking offense might become so big that there will be impossible surveillance, and the future becomes 1984. Thought surveillance, torture, and death will be the policy the ruling body will follow.
No offense to time travellers from the future. I’m just speculating.