A little while ago, one may remember this blog plugging an online radio show called the Pumpkin Seed Eaters. South of the Border's review of their debut instalment was generally and cautiously positive, with a couple of suggestions, most notably to an unnecessary anti-Semitic remark. After making the hosts/producers aware of the review, I received an encouraging reply from one of the hosts (who go under pseudonyms, though I know who one of the hosts is), basically saying thanks for the feedback, that they realise there's room for improvement, and that South of the Border would get a mention on the next show. Seemingly having taken my review well and with the bonus of the blog getting a reciprocal plug, the experience seemed to go swimmingly.
Alas, no. No plug for the blog (which is not really important, because I do this mostly for the amusement of trusted friends and associates and whoever else happens to stumble upon here), but also no genuine remorse or acknowledgment of the poor taste of the relevant joke. My words, used as part of a segment on feedback received of the first episode were attributed to a Seth from Caulfield - get it? only a Jew would be pissed off at an anti-Semitic remark - thus continuing to tap into the already far too prevalent strains of anti-Semitism that exist amongst certain 'traditional' fans, evidenced most notably in the past few years with regards to attacks on FFA head honcho (and former Sydney Hakoah chief) Frank Lowy.
Now, I'm for free speech. Having that stance means that I have to tolerate (not accept) the fact that this means opinions will exist that I do not like and am not comfortable with. And it also requires the acknowledgment that freedom of speech (in its varying degrees) is one of the core strengths of Western society, in that in the plurality of voices that should ensue we will be in a better position to critically analyse our society. Or something like that. But as you might have guessed, I have a pretty massive problem when people start using that freedom of speech to racist and defamatory ends. That kind of thing serves no one well. Nevertheless they'll still have their place on the 'link hall of fame' on the right hand side of the blog, because their program comprises the voice of a very underrepresented segment of Australian soccer, and that this voice, irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with its content and style is one that should be heard.