Many people, but not all, believe in the freedom of expression and speech. Some are even allowed to practice those freedoms and to do so without fear. Personally I am all for it, but you know me ... there's often a "but" - or in the case of Prince Harry, a butt!
I feel for the distress that is being felt by the Duchess of Cambridge, after pictures of her topless - in what she clearly thought was the privacy of her surroundings - appeared first in the French and then other continental European media. As a husband, and father to an extraordinarily lovely daughter, I know how I would feel personally if "inappropriate" pictures of those closest to me appeared in a popular magazine without permission. Or is this the sort of thing Mr Zuckerberg of Facebook fame was referring to when he suggested that no one was entitled to a private life any more? If you have no problem in baring your breasts in public, there are plenty of outlets for one to do so. But to have some disgusting little photographer taking pictures of your body, uninvited, with the sole reason of selling them for a profit, how can you possibly claim that it is okay, while hiding like a coward behind the overall mantra that it is the "freedom of the press"? Is it in the public interest that we need to know what Kate Middleton looks like in the minutest detail? It suits a bunch of equally disgusting voyeurs, no doubt.
But this is the sort of world we have created for ourselves, and like it or not, there will always be the smutty opportunist who is solely in it for the money - and, sadly, there is also an audience! So, Catherine, it is something you will have to get used to, I am sorry to say. And although you may derive some pleasure from successful litigation, it is small compensation for your indignation.
And as for the earlier mentioned Prince Harry episode - over which there has been much less indignation - I think that is a case of "choose your friends more carefully - and your choice of playground".
So one up to the freedom of the press and zero to morality.
The "Kate" portfolio could not of course happen in the Moslem world - and now you get some sense of why the women are covered up; it always was an issue of "modesty", but it is to Islam that we turn next and where I think the lack of common sense has been most striking - perhaps on both sides.
No one, surely, believes that a deity - be it pagan, or religious of whatever persuasion - is a suitable subject for mockery or denigration. Oh yes they do!
The earlier Danish cartoon mocking the Prophet were an indication of the sensitivity felt by Muslims over their particular "God". Did the maker of the US video, recently released and which mocks the Prophet, think that it was going to be clever to see how many people he or she (I believe the identity of the amateur videomaker is still anonymoous) could get to riot, and kill?
I know we live in a world where "political correctness" has in some cases gone barking mad, and we know that there are fanatical islamists, just like there are fanatical christians, who seek opportunities to become disruptive - although that would be the subject of a much broader discussion. But while we should promote religious freedom, my personal opinion is that we would should not be ridiculing religions. In fact amongst my friends I think I must be one of a few who felt mildly uncomfortable at the Monty Python film "The Life of Brian", which was a religious satire and did lead at the time of its release (1979), to some condemnation - but didn't bring rioters onto the street.
Back to the recent video? Defended by many on the basis of freedom of expression, so 2 to the "media" - and still zero to the Common Sense team where it would have been less disruptive to have released such a video which does not seem to have a point - and where perhaps some members of various societies are "using" the video as an excuse to fight against the West. It's not getting better folks!
The third goal to the media comes from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that decided to get in on the act this week - and published caricatures of the Prophet in naked and pornographic poses. One has to ask - to whose benefit? Freedon of expression? Give me a break - it is purely and simply a raging lack of common sense.
I know - this is all my opinion, and I am a total prude who cannot lighten up a little and look at the funny/clever/satirical side of life. Maybe I am - but then other people that I speak to about the subject are either agreeing with me so I shut up, or they are agreeing with me! I leave, therefore, the last words on the subject to the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who said;
"The principle of freedom of expression must not be infringed, but is it pertinent, intelligent, in this context to pour oil on the fire? The answer is no.”
My sentiments exactly.