Thursday, February 21, 2008

"A Forum For People Who Have Whacked-Out Views"

It's just come to my attention that the Freedom-To-Be-Antisemitic forum the Vancouver Public Library is convening on behalf of conspiracy theorist Greg Felton will be introduced by the British Columbia Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. Least that's what the Library Journal reports.

This is shaping up to be the most intellectually strange event in Vancouver since the Necessary Voices Series hosted 911-Truther Barrie Zwicker (about which I reported here ).

Meanwhile, in the UK, Ophelia Benson, co-author of the excellent book Why Truth Matters, looks at the VPL's justification for drawing Felton to its bosom and asks a couple of questions.

"Then does the library think its role is to provide a forum for exchange of any and all views no matter how uninformed, wrong, baseless, distorted, incompetent they are?

". . . Does the Vancouver Public Library, in short, really see no difference between upholding the right to intellectual freedom and affirmatively providing a platform for people to purvey, for instance, inaccurate history?"

In the Library Journal article I noticed two other things.

The first is that the library has responded to the uproar over the Felton invitation by offering to provide additional programming for the airing of "a different perspective." Spot the weirdness in that? Good.

The second is that the lunatic himself responded to the Library Journal by questioning its credibility and inviting its readers to telephone him directly to have a chat about things. Felton even posted his telephone number for you.

It's 778-322-1415.


Blogger kurt said...

Always did avoid whackos. of the ideologue and religious fundamentalist viewpoints. They only serve to make lives miserable and wretched.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Marky Mark said...

He also commented on my (primarily running) blog and said that if I think he has the right to free speech, then it shouldn't matter where he speaks, adding that public institutions have the obligation to present contrary points of view. He called himself a "contrarian."

I can see from the hits on my blog that the VPL is following my back and forth with him.

It's interesting that the one place where he hasn't commented is here, given your piece in the MSM.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Graeme said...

If Greg Felton believes so much in free speech, then he surely can't have an objection to me calling him an antisemitic cunt.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Marky Mark said...

He will tell you that that is libel because in his mind he isn't anti-Semitic (as: 1. Jews in his mind aren't Semites; and 2. in any event he is anti-Zionism and not against Jews.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Graeme said...

Aye, so he's just a cunt then.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

"It's interesting that the one place where he hasn't commented is here."

It may be because he knows what a pikey is, and he knows there are pikeys keeping a very close eye on him.

2:15 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Is it a cell phone number? Cause I have me an idea for a neat SMS...

Off topic - that shot in Victora was done well before the advent of blogging in my life ;-)


12:52 AM  

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