20 Apr 2015

Calgary Comic Con Sponsors Need To Hear Your Voice

By I’m going to assume you know the basics of what happened to the Honey Badgers at the Calgary Comic Convention just a few days ago. Mundane Matt’s videos are a good primer; if you haven’t watched them, do so now to get an idea of what happened. Some aspects of the situation are still unclear. I freely admit that. That is irrelevant to what I have to say to you.
I have no time for those who seek to limit free speech. Let’s be blunt, right up front: I consider censorship pathetic cowardice. I consider it weak-minded bullying. I consider it the refuge of the inadequate. That’s at best. At worst, it is nothing more and nothing less than totalitarianism, regardless of its origin. It is a road paved with skulls, as history has repeatedly shown.

Sure, let’s hear arguments about ‘shouting fire in a crowded theater’ and where the limits lie. I’m all for it, because I’m all for the inviolable right to speak ones’ mind. Let’s argue politics; I’m sure a lot of you would disagree with mine, and I welcome a healthy debate. Who knows? One of us might change our mind. That’s the beauty of the concept, the open debate, the sparking of ideas from mind to mind, the alchemy of new thoughts created simply by exchanging old ones. That freedom is a beautiful thing, and leads to more beautiful things, as well as terrible and mundane and everything in between. We are adults, however, and as long as the words remain words, we can handle it. 
Can’t we? 
Not the Calgary Comic Con people.
They have shown themselves to be weak-minded. They bent under the shrilling of a few loud voices. They banished political diversity because it scared them or offended them. Whatever their justification, they have censored us.

This is not okay.

While I am well aware this would not fall under any Canadian federal statute, as it is not the government seeking to limit the Honey Badgers’ speech. We can’t seek recourse that way. But our excellent Badgers raised $10,000; our excellent community donated $10,000; the City of Calgary, local businesses and the Comic Con are now richer by some amount just under $10,000.

That is bullshit.

As I said, however, the law does not seem to apply. Perhaps, as some commenters in other articles have said, there are legal recourses that can be pursued, and I urge people to pursue them vigorously. But those mills grind slow, and they grind, sadly, ever less fine.

So where can we go? Where is our refuge?

Where we can find refuge is in our speech, in our voices, in our emails and twitter-blasts. It is already in our hands. We just have to exercise it.

Nice guy that I am, I’ll even drop you the links:

Or if you prefer an indirect approach:

Let us be the loud voice this time. Send them an email. Express your displeasure. Shine a light on this sad attempt to silence an unpopular (they seem to think, anyway) opinion. Demand an apology and, most of all, a refund. That is the sharpest cut of all: tell them with one voice that as they have taken, so we shall not give. Not one cent. Not one minute. Not one good word. With one voice, tell the sponsors that your days of using their services, of even considering setting foot in Calgary or the convention, are over. Finished. Done. That you will encourage everyone you know to do the same. Let them know their attempt to quash free speech is not only noticed, but it will be held up for shame and scorn as long as the Internet lasts.

No free speech for us, no money for them. It’s that simple to say.

I have raised my voice. I ask you to do the same.

About Matt Karlsson

Matt Karlsson is American, and in his normal life, a teacher, professional photographer and writer, food critic, travel writer, and many other things. While living in S.E. Asia, he discovered AVfM and found many of his vague misgivings about the state of Western culture and humanity itself articulated and explained, with stats to back them up. He hasn't looked back since.



To whom it may concern (Calgary Comic Con),

We are shocked that you kicked out the honeybadgers. How dare you victimize a group of the most amazing friendly articulate artist human right's activists from your event for what seems to be nothing at all? At this point we think you suck, big time. The evidence we have seen heaps deep shame on you. You had better show the online community what terrible transgression of your rules or any fair rules of decency our good North American friends made if you don’t want to go down as severe assholes of history. The online content about your inhuman treachery grows. Open your eyes.

Yours sincerely
Angelo Georgiou Agathangelou Esq. and F4J UK

P.S. In a good comic, you would be the bad girls/guys. You could say you made a mistake, that you are very sorry and give them free stuff to show us your on the level.

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