OPEN SESSION: The Moleskinerie Open Thread Discussion


Welcome to OPEN SESSION:  The Moleskinerie Open Thread Discussion.

Moleskinerie invites you, our visitors to share your thoughts on a special topic.

Today it is "Freedom of expression and creativity"

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 

First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Image: Wikipedia


13 thoughts on “OPEN SESSION: The Moleskinerie Open Thread Discussion

  1. I think it’s interesting that as Americans we assume that people in other countries don’t have freedom of the press. I’m sure I’m fairly uninformed on the subject but we make it sound as if people in Canada or Sweden or England are worse off than we are. I’d be interested to find out about just how other countries manage the freedoms of more established countries. I imagine there’s a big difference in the lives of artists and writers who have been suppressed and those who can put out anything they want.

  2. It’s funny: we Europeans like to believe that we are more free than Americans are. The last scenes of Michael Moores ‘Sicko’ come to mind: some Americans living in France conclude that one difference is that the French government is afraid of the people, while the American people fear the government. I think this already helps the French (and many other Europeans) to actually use the rights that the First Amendment provides (or any equivalent of it in other constitutions).
    On the other hand I came to respect the American democracy more after living in the States for several years. And a little googling learned me that my constitution (Dutch) provides freedom of speech since 1848. The First Amendment was written in 1789. I do think that the Founding Fathers were true innovators of democracy.

  3. The US is also a largely YOUNG country. Someone I know is also under the impression that capitalism is in the constitution–It’s not. However we handle the economy, it could be changed around A LOT and still be a democracy. Some people don’t know that these things aren’t one and the same…And Michael Moore is a great man. There are too few.

  4. The constitution proclaims the right to freedom, liberty, and the right to pursue happiness. Most people would assume that capitalism and the right to earn money in a democratic manner falls under it.

    Freedom of the press remains limited in some countries.
    “According to Reporters Without Borders, more than a third of the world’s people live in countries where there is no press freedom. Overwhelmingly, these people live in countries where there is no system of democracy or where there are serious deficiencies in the democratic process.”

    What in heaven’s name does all of this have to do with a notebook???

  5. “The indigenous peoples of the U.S. mainland, including Alaska Natives, migrated from Asia. They began arriving at least 12,000 and as many as 40,000 years ago.[27] Some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies. After Europeans began settling the Americas, many millions of indigenous Americans died from epidemics of imported diseases such as smallpox.[28] In 1492, Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus, under contract to the Spanish crown, reached several Caribbean islands, making first contact with the indigenous people. ” – WikiPedia

    We’re an older sibling to many, many countries.

    “Since 1990, 33 new countries have been created.” (

    I can’t imagine what this has to do with a paper notebook. The right to pursue creative endeavors such as art or writing, perhaps?

  6. I don’t know what this has to do with notebooks either but it’s pretty interesting anyhow.

    Plus, sometimes these people were infected with smallpox on purpose. I think of “country” as the current form of government; there used to be MANY nations here.

    Speaking of notebooks, All of these captains of expeditions kept a “secret rutter”. I met a guy who calls his diary that, his rutter, after reading “Shogun”. And a trekkie who does the whole captains log, stardate thing. Harold Nicolson used to begin entries with “Rabbit Rabbit White Rabbit”. And Susan Sontag’s journals show a completely different personality.

    I’m wanting to start a formal DIARY and I find I’m really pretty excited. They say you can write any sloppy thing in a journal and I often do but I kind of want a “well-written life”.

  7. They polled a sampling of American college students who believed that its a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to BE HAPPY. And I ought to know this but is the life, libery, and pursuit of happiness bit in The Declaration of Independence? I guess they go together.

  8. I think diaries and notebooks are important in the sense that within them we can say anything about anything without fear of being sent to a “re-education” facility or of becoming a political prisoner. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a country like North Korea. I doubt that keeping a journal is a safe hobby there.

  9. Because of the First Amendment I can write/draw/record anything I want in my notebooks and leave them on my bookshelf, leave them to my heirs, do whatever I want with them without fear of my government or its agents.

    When I go to some of the other countries I have lived in or visited I have to be very careful of what I write/draw/record/photograph and who has access to it. My citizenship does not guarantee my freedom anywhere else, although it can often provide a measure of protection in more public circumstances.

  10. There are quite a few countries though that seem alright on this front and that we don’t think about it makes us less continental.

    I guess in N. Korea you have radios in your house and you can never turn them completely off. That spells real trouble to me.

    Diaries can play an important role in history whether it’s difficult to keep them at the time or not. Stalin even had people taken out of photos. It seems totalitarian governments somehow try to REWRITE history. I don’t know that they’re successful but it comes up over and over again. My own journals don’t seem to have real historical value and maybe some in N. Korea wouldn’t either, but the fact is it’s needed later to make the record complete.

  11. Michael Moore a great man? Maybe in some alternate reality where propaganda, distortions, and outright lies are prized commodities . . .

  12. Those of you who are born or living in a Country as free as US or Canada (that’s me) and few others should consider yoursleves lucky, it is better than winning the lottery. There are still countries where there is no freedom of speach, can’t listen to music and can’t even go freely to a library and take a book of choice out and read.

  13. Could the “Find a dealer” (retailer) link be placed more prominently on and I spent half an hour the other day trying to find it! It’s a great resource,.. if it can be easily found.

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