Montréal, 31 mars 2001  /  No 80
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Scott Carpenter is a young entrepreneur living in Victoria, B.C. and the founder and editor of Liberty Free Press.
by Scott Carpenter
          I can remember, sometime around the age of five or six, getting a speech from my parents about the importance of minding my own business. Of course I don't remember the event that preceded the talk but I do remember, with photographic clarity, the moral lesson of it all.
Driving the point home 
          It was something to the effect that if no one was getting hurt and an event didn't concern me that I should, without condoning the activity, mind my own « damn » business. Dad was fond of adding the word « damn » to most of his speeches. In using that « damn » word he developed a real penchant for driving the point home. None of my « damn » business carried a certain authority that a less diplomatic approach would have lacked. Needless to say, I never doubted the seriousness of any speech that contained the word « damn ». 
          But I digress. 
          The result was that I understood at the tender age of about six that minding my own business was important. As I grew older and my ability to reason improved I started to connect the dots on my own. Finally, the importance of Dad's lesson went beyond an emphasis on the word « damn » 
          Minding one's own business is a lesson that lies somewhere near the core of libertarian philosophy. It is a quality that is essential to the flourishing of a free state; without it we degenerate into a nation of tattle tales and moral busy bodies. What's worse is that given time such a society will move from a « nanny republic » to a complete dictatorship where the « know it all » with the biggest and the most guns gets his way.  
          If that sounds extreme then consider that the opposite of minding one's own business is sticking your nose into everything that doesn't concern you. Nosiness is the precursor and bedfellow of bossiness and bossiness is the use of intimidation to achieve a perceived moral or ideological end. In short, bossiness is the use of force against your fellow man to get what you want. 
          When we were kids we had ways of dealing with tattle tales. In the winter a face wash or two was a good way to get your point across. Of course you always got « told on » but punishment for rubbing little Jimmy's face in the snow for telling on you about playing marbles on the playground never felt so sweet. Another face wash or two and a bloody nose often solved the problem all together. 
          But what do you do when the government and its state mandated propaganda machine are at the root of the problem? 
Get that... thing off the air! 
          The CBC's recent crusade to crucify Bell Expressvu for importing and broadcasting hard-core American pornography is one of the most filthy, disgusting examples of busybodiism that I've come across in months. 
     « Porn is not a popular topic in our "tolerant" society even if it is one of the largest arms of our entertainment industry. »  
          The CBC report read and played on the March 28th edition of Newsworld like it was written by some fifth grade snitch who gloats all the way to the office before he tattles on someone for trading hockey cards during class. 
          « Why didn't the CRTC do something sooner? » asks the report. 
          I wonder if maybe it was because someone down at the CRTC didn't see a problem with it. Hell, a little S&M never hurt anyone, right?  
          In fact, I would venture a guess and say that if Bell had been broadcasting these channels uninterrupted for almost two years they were doing so because there was a large consumer demand for it. Unfortunately, the damage that could be done by the CBC's witch-hunt – bringing out from behind closed doors that which is normally private – forced Bell to drop the channels to save its ass. And let's face it, there's nothing anyone at Bell could have said that would have done anything but make them look like a bunch of perverts. Porn is not a popular topic in our « tolerant » society even if it is one of the largest arms of our entertainment industry.  
          And therein lies the biggest problem. In pursuing this story the CBC used the force of the state to interfere in the legitimate trade of entertainment between Bell and its customers. This trade was voluntary and hurt no one. More to the point, Bell's relationship with its customers was one of mutual benefit.  
          But what about the children you ask? Well, the channels were pay for view. They were not available to children, only Bell's adult customers. So regardless of the « violence » or « tastelessness » portrayed in any of its programming Bell – and its customers – had every right to engage in whatever perverse and pornographic activities they chose. After all, choosing to subscribe or not to subscribe to these channels is what being a free adult is all about. 
          On the other hand, in a country with a « Minister of Heritage » and a « Programming Censor » what did we expect? 
          I often wonder how it is that the little bastards who could never mind their own damn business on the playground always got into places of power in the real world. 
          I wonder if it's to late to rub a few more faces in the snow? 
          Dammit, are you with me?! 
Previous articles by Scott Carpenter
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