Archive for the 'censorship' Category

Words

This is something I post every couple of years because I just enjoy it so damn much that I welcome any excuse to watch it again: a 1986 video of Frank Zappa debating government censorship of rock music on the old politics talk show “Crossfire“.  And who would be more up to the task than the delightfully obscene Zappa?

Readers of a Certain Age will recall the idea of state censorship of rock music was a popular item among the shrill and shrieking crackpots of the religious right which was in its ascendancy back then (thanks, Ronnie), but interestingly, something they seem to have since gotten over, or gotten past, or aged out of.  Or maybe lascivious rock lyrics matter less to them as they busy themselves with feverish preparations for the Rapture.

Free Speech!

“Speechies“?  Hello??

Is this thing on?

“No comments have been posted”

Maybe that should be “99% Full Comment”, or “Full Until the Comments get Embarassing Comment”.

Last night I noticed that the comments (34 of them at last count) with Jonathan Kay’s snarly little bitchfest about the shrieking voices of “The Left”  seemed to have gotten lost in a series of tubes or something.  I considered that the problem might not be douchebaggery, but rather comment software run amok — until I looked at a few of Kay’s older entries, and then some from other contributors, which were all fine.   The tip-off that there might be fuckery afoot was below the text of the articles, which all have something like this:

Or almost all.  Kay’s “shrieky lefties” post not only has 34 comments lost in cyberspace, now it’s missing that friendly little linkie where readers “Click here to post a comment”:

As you can see by CC’s screenshot here, this is sort of a recent development.

Maybe it’s just me, but “No comments have been posted” seems a little dishonest considering there’s no way anyone can post a comment.   Shouldn’t that be “Comments are Closed”?   (And does anyone want to put money on how long before the entire post goes away?  Wingnuts:  why screen shots were invented.)

Who cares what Ann Coulter says?

She’s a comedian.  She has about as much political drag as the Trailer Park Boys.  (Oops, maybe “drag” was an inappropriate word to use in this context… influence is what I meant.)  And even if she was the world’s most inflential wingnut, so what?

What is this, a police state?  “Watch your mouth”?:

Ms. Coulter catapulted to international notoriety two days after the 9/11 attacks with a column in the National Review in which she advocated conquering Muslim countries and converting the people to Christianity. But as the columnist prepares to visit Canada this week to speak at three universities, a senior University of Ottawa administrator has warned her to use “restraint, respect and consideration” when speaking at the school.

I don’t think her audience is paying to see “restraint”.  But I think it’s a better idea to let them make the call on whether her routine is acceptable or not by using some of those tried and true old messaging strategies like “applause” or “walking out”.

Here comes the Corporate States of America

Today a US Supreme Court case rejected campaign finance limits in a decision known as Citizens United:

In what could prove to be the most consequential Supreme Court decision in decades, all five of the Court’s conservatives joined together today to invalidate a sixty-three year-old ban on corporate money in federal elections. In the process, the Court overruled a twenty year-old precedent permitting such bans on corporate electioneering; and it ignored the protests of the four more moderate justices in dissent.

I like free speech and I like robust businesses making money.   But.  This decision means corporations can now spend their money on political campaigns as if they were individual persons: as little, or more to the point, as much, as they want.  Roll that one around for a minute.

One can only imagine the implications, given the relentless voracity of corporations and the morally bankrupt, psychologically syphilitic assortment of pimps, thieves and con artists that litter the political landscape like so much dog shit.

Olbermann explains how the Citizens United decision, ostensibly made in the interest of free speech, could be its eventual undoing:

(h/t JAB)

“Life is short. Have an affair.”

That’s the slogan an online dating service proposed using in a transit advertising campaign which was summarily rejected last week by the TTC:

The Red Rocket is no place to encourage extramarital liaisons, the transit commission’s advertising committee decided.  [...]

The ad doesn’t jive with taste or community standards criteria for public transit ads, said councillor and committee member Suzan Hall.

“What individuals choose to do is what individuals choose to do, but as far as the TTC is concerned, I am never going to support that we promote infidelity.”

The ad doesn’t “jive“, eh?  I think the G&M means “jibe“, but never mind that.   The Morality Police thought the ad was a whole lotta jive and got right to work typing their stubby little fingers to the bone firing email after outraged email at the TTC:

TTC staff referred the ad to the committee on Thursday, which is customary practice for anything they think might be problematic. Since AshleyMadison.com sent out press releases announcing the ad this week, “e-mails are coming in hot and heavy” in response, Ms. Hall said – none of them positive.

And took to the interwebs for more SHRIEEEEEK! “Stop persecuting us with this anti-life, anti-family advertising!:

“To blatantly advertise cheating in this manner where people of all ages, including children, are open to it, means people may be incredibly offended,” Dave Quist, executive director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, told the National Post.

“People are generally outraged by that type of a lifestyle and to advertise it in such a public fashion, in my opinion, is wrong.”

Gwen Landolt, vice president of REAL Women of Canada, said that while her organization believes in free speech, the Ashley Madison ads go too far.

Of course.  The Morality Police always believe in free speech, except when they don’t.  If that bus board was emblazoned with a certain verse from the Old Testament, oh, I don’t know, say maybe… Leviticus? you can bet they’d be holding the free speech flag high.  Because free speech is context-dependent.

As is the free market, apparently.   If a private company wants to advertise its product, shouldn’t the “invisible hand”, not the Morality Police, determine whether that product survives or not?  And although I don’t recommend adultery, if someone wants to do it, who am I to say that they can’t?

Besides, people aren’t swayed to have affairs by advertising, or the presence of sex trade workers, or pron, or any of the other amenities of the sex business.   Contrary to what sex-obsessed socon busybodies would have us believe about our inability to think for ourselves in matters of love and lust (the same way the Taliban makes women cover up because men are dumb brutes who can’t resist their carnal charm), the sex business serves a need that already exists and people seek it out by choice, not the other way around.

But let’s have some fun with this:  let’s think up a new bus board ad for this campaign, something the Morality Police can’t target.  I bet if Ashley Madison had used something like “Life is short — Do it” or “Life is short — Go for it”, those things would be running around Toronto on the sides of buses right now.

Yo, free speech warriors…

…especially you socially conservative so-called “free” so-called “speechers”Hello?  Hello?? (*tap-tap*  Is this thing on?)


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