virus: the "i have rights" meme

the great tinkerer (
Sun, 17 Jan 1999 20:16:45 PST

i rarely try to start a thread on this list... but i was watching tv for the first time in ages....
so it was one of those dateline specials, some kids wrote up a newspaper that was (subjectively) offensive and threatenning... got me thinking...

in our society there is an "i have rights" meme. it seems as though when anyone is offended by anything anyone does they have a right to stop them. conversly: when people are stopped or prevented from doing anything that they think they have the right to do, they will take it to court.

the simplest example of this meme would be a censorship vs expression argument. freedom of speech vs freedom from speech (i wont get started)

another example (which i probably saw on dateline or 20/20 hehe...) airport securities are supposed to inspect people based on certain criteria. if a person seems to be arab/islaamic they will be inspected. obviously you see how the person feels there rights are being violated because of their appearance... but would it be justified if a bomb or weapon were discoverred in any one search?

so where do people get the idea that they have any rights at all that can be violated?! its a cultural meme i suppose. perhaps we should have a dictatorship/martial law every 10 years so people actually appreciate there rights instead of taking them for granted...

~the great tinkerer

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