If I lived in Iran, I could be thrown in jail for doing what I'm doing right now:
posting my thoughts on the internet.
Censorship is nothing new, of course. It's just that I'm used to thinking about it in Cold War terms. But "red" is good and "liberal" is bad now so I better update my sensibilities.
I used to think my mother was paranoid. Now, looking back, I realize she was realistic given the context of the times.
In school we had a "Norman Bethune" society, a local charity where we were encouraged to volunteer. My mother came as close to forbidding me to join as she could, and since I didn't really care anyway, I humoured her.
Now I realize that the images of the McCarthy hearings and the trial and eventual execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, all of which occurred around the time I was born, were still fresh in her mind.
In University, students in the freshman psychology class were recruited to undergo some basic memory tests. Nothing fancy, just flash card stuff, as I recall.
My then-boyfriend threw a fit and strongly discouraged my participation.
Again I conceded. I only take a stand when it's really important to me.
(Whether that's a good thing is a subject for another time.)
Years later, it came out that patients in the hospital affiliated with the university were being used as guinea pigs for the CIA.
I still don't think it would have affected me as a student, and I still don't know how my friend got wind of it or what made him suspicious way back then, but I can no longer ascribe it merely to paranoia.
More recently, I recall my son Mark's nervousness during our celebration of New Year's 2000, in Fort Lauderdale.
He kept whining about terrorists and bombs.
Paranoia just ain't what it used to be anymore.
So I don't plan to move to Iran anytime soon but I do plan to blog - because I can.