Re: Freedom of expression, freedom of the press, fiction, poetry
I was quite surprised by the fact that footballer John Terry is being tried at a criminal court for racist remarks. I don't think such a thing would be possible in the Netherlands, where, as far as I'm aware, racism isn't illegal (discrimination is, obviously). I'm not quite sure where to place this on the line of freedom of speech vs. public order. Instinctively, I would say the Dutch system is to be preferred, but I can't really back it up with anything.
It reminds me of a case in the 50s, when Willem Frederik Hendriks was tried for a passage in a novel in which the main character grossly offended Catholics. They let him go on the grounds that it was not W.F. Hendriks, but the main character who offended the Catholics. I don't find it an altogether satisfying result.
For more serious freedom of speech issues, I will be moving to Egypt in the coming academic year, so I'll get to see some oppression first hand.
and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years. - Marcel Proust