Published on May 13, 2007 By averjoe In Current Events
I guess most know that Imus the morning radio shock jock was fired for the comments he made(comments that can be found in my last blog entry).

The firing has already started to quash freedom of speech, especially as far as artistic expression is concerned. Several shock jocks have been fired because one group or another complained that what these radio DJs said was offensive.

It is unbelievable how carried away people can become when something that is said can be construed by someone as offensive or after a truly horrific incident occurs like the shootings at Virginian Tech.

I combine these two incidents because they both to some degree concern freedom of speech and how it can be threatened by some incident that occurs in society.

A shock jock says something that is deemed offensive and is fired for it (after spending years saying things that were deemed offensive and not being punished at all) and therefore all other shock jocks (really all talk radio host, comedians using various venues or singers using certain lyrics) must curtail there language or actions on radio.

The Virginia Tech killer writes plays and essays in his college creative writing class which have violent themes running through them and all of a sudden any student or person that writes in such a manner must be examined and/or punished.

I read the other day that a Cary, Illinois Cary Grove High School student was arrested for writing a controversial essay in his creative writing class that said, “ So I had this dream last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started shooting everyone, then I had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but it would be funny if I did.”

According to the news report, the creative writing class assignment paper said, “write whatever comes to mind. Do not judge or censor what you are writing.”

Obviously, the teacher was lying when she gave out this assignment. She should have told the creative writing class students that whatever comes to mind will not be acceptable.

The teacher should have told the students to avoid bloody and violent dialogue, the personal pronoun or reference to anyone or anything that has to do with classmates, school officials, the school in general or the community.

It is disconcerting to think how far back freedom of speech may be pushed because of the Imus incident. If we keep going at this rate American shock jocks, comedians or other artist will be pushed back to pre Lenny Bruce days as far as speech is concerned.

You see, one can find someone that is insulted or hurt by almost anything said, therefore it is (or should be) a very tough calculus for government to figure out when or if speech should be censured.

Trying to ban words or control artistic expression is foolish. I can think of dozens of words that can be considered offensive or insensitive when used against a person or groups of various types.

That is why, in most cases, things are usually left up to the marketplace to put a stop to speech that is viewed by some as inappropriate.

If something is said that is offensive to a large percentage of people, sponsors or advertisers usually will flee in droves and that person's opportunity to express his/her ideals on a platform with wide distribution and support from business entities will end.

If what is said or done on the airwaves or before an audience is in any way offensive, we count on the marketplace to put a stop to it or correct the excesses ( to some degree).

It has been demonstrated that teenagers and young adults tend to do things that the previous generation view as vulgar, rude and/or stupid. While some limitations may be placed on teenagers or, more precisely the underaged, they should almost never be applied to legal adults. Freedom of speech must be maintained.

on May 13, 2007
Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.

Lenny Bruce said that and it's funny 'cause it's so true.
on May 13, 2007
I'm still trying to figure out exactly where in the Constitution anyone is guaranteed the right to not have their feeling hurt.
on May 25, 2007
I agree.