Fin in a Waste of Waters

"These moments of escape are not to be despised. They come too seldom....Leaning over this parapet I see far out a waste of water. A fin turns....I note under 'F.,' therefore, 'Fin in a waste of waters.' I, who am perpetually making notes in the margin of my mind for some final statement, make this mark, waiting for some winter's evening." (from Woolf's THE WAVES)

19 July 2006


So, I understand very little about computers and the internet or how one would even go about this, but apparently, the government of India has blocked access to a number of blogging websites, including, yes, blogspot. Read the article here:

The specter of terrorism, of course, was speculated having invited the censhorship, but what I found more sinister: this speculation comes as afterthought. It is the ever-present villian, lurking, if it IS to be found in the text itself, in the last paragraph, a fleeting familiar word, a brief mention, a long-since understood fact of life. And yet it is there, grinding away to push the chugging machinery of the article "forward" (where?) -

And does this not show that it pushes US?

A small incident from my own life:

I once got off the tube because a man in my carriage made me extremely nervous. He had a bag on the ground between his knees which he constantly fidgeted with, nervous fingers running over it like flies, flickering over all of the zippers and tabs. His foot was in constant motion, his heel drumming against the ground faster than you could keep rhythm to any techno beat. And his eyes darted up and down the cab, though stopping and dropping so that all I saw were his shiny lids when he caught me staring, daring him to reveal himself. He won the game, though, and I got off at the next stop, rationalizing "better safe than sorry."

Nothing, of course, happened (but what if it had, a voice persists in me? the fleeting familiar word), and this is nothing compared to the magnitude of the censorship in India. We let it win; we let it push us (and certainly not forward). Too many of us, entire governments, let it push us into silence & basements and off trains & planes and out of cities and into Canada (oh wait, that's Bush, but it's all the same, isn't it?).

And now, worse, we take it for granted.


At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

Taking anything for granted, especially our freedom and/or safety is working with the enemy. Still, moving away from potential personal danger is a far different thing. I believe in following an instinct or gut feeling. Maybe the guy on the tube was simply troubled or mentally ill and maybe he had something in the bag you were better off not experiencing first hand. Either way, walking away was a good call.
Censorship is a tool of control and a poor one, at that. If a government thinks it is controlling the minds of its people then the control of the body must follow. Or not. I can't imagine what group of Indian people got together to decide what internet sites were unacceptable and what criteria they used. Would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that one. :-) I tried to read the article, but it had been removed from the site. Wonder what was up with that?

At 3:08 PM, Blogger o.a.k. said...

in my sat writing class (i'm teaching them how to write persuasive essays), the latest topic is "should people make more of an effort to keep things private?" and the issue of blogs came up...and i started thinking about censorship and self-censorship. good post girl. good stuff to think about.


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