Remember when years ago, during the bad old days of the Soviet Union, before Gorbachev the good or Yeltsin the Drunk, we, as “Americans”, we were outraged at how “Communist” governments refused to grant their citizens access to foreign perspectives on the news, how only their bravest, huddled in dark cellars, dared listen to clandestine sources like Voice of America which we, as free and democratic peoples, graciously made available through our hard earned tax dollars.
“One day”, we thought, “perhaps they, like us, would be free of censorship, free to evaluate a full spectrum of differing opinions and to make up their own minds”. “After all” we used to think, “truth will out, truth will shine through and need fear no falsehoods”, … at least in the long term.
A recent opinion article by the editorial board of Sputnik, a Russian international outreach media, made me cringe just a little bit as I recalled that now bygone world, it homed in a bit too hard (see “Why Accusations Against Sputnik, RT an ‘Insult to the Americans’ Intelligence’”; October 21, 2018). Commenting on the issue, Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan laconically remarked: “Freedom of speech is turning in its grave. It was killed by those who created it.”
How times have changed.
Our once velvet chains, intellectual and economic, have been exposed, as our MSM “overseers” impose our masters’ wills upon us. No lie is too outrageous to feed us, no calumny too filthy. No one, regardless of how wealthy or how powerful, is beyond the reach of their whips. “Good slaves, enjoy your “nutritious” (and politically correct) gruel” is constantly pounded into us via the now 24/7 “news” cycles.
News”, … remember that?
Remember when Bob Dylan used to belt out “The Times they are a ‘Changin”, the anthem of a generation that eventually lost its way? I wonder what he thinks of where we find ourselves today?
Somewhere, a spirit that was once George Orwell listens distractedly to a thin green woman (who was once a wicked witch) declaim, “what a world, what a world” as, in a strange parody of Prometheus, she, showered in an incessant stream of water, … endlessly melts.
“What a world, what a world”!
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé and Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com. Diana Marcela Cardenas Garcia is a Colombian social communicator and journalist who collaborates with Dr. Calvo on diverse civic, social and political projects.