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March 29, 2008

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech has always been subjective…take, for example, the old standard of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. While someone might argue that they have the inalienable right to say whatever they want whenever they want, another side is that their speech is causing harm to those around them. This was the basis of many lawsuits that have reached the supreme court, insofar as what kinds of harm that speech can cause.

It’s a matter of reality…yes, we have the right of free speech, but it’s always been conditional. You can’t just walk into a courtroom in the middle of a murder trial, and start spouting off that you like the pink marshmallow peeps during Easter…they’d arrest you for contempt. You can’t walk into a church during services and start spouting off about how you like to nail fish to a cross because you can call it a “carpafixion”. You’d be arrested for disorderly conduct. The venue and timing of your speech also has to be taken into consideration…and we all know this, regardless of how much we want to scream that we have the freedom of speech.

Now, on a more practical note, the individual wearing the t-shirt is expressing themselves through their mode of dress. This, is typically not a big deal, to much of anyone…except those that like to nitpick. I think the basis of his being refused entry was that the comment on the t-shirt presented a potential liability. The comment, while not overt, would undoubtedly be seen as inflammatory by some. The tennis event, I’m assuming was televised, so i can see two bodies that would have a vested interest in denying him entry. One, the television stations that most likely would be taking all the complaints from the viewing public (because people in this country can’t help but to complain about everything, even if it doesn’t directly affect them), as well as the potential lawsuits that could result. Also, the venue that the match was being played was most likely privately owned, so the ownership didn’t want anything on the grounds that could potentially incite violent activity. This is perfectly within the rights of the ownership of the venue, as while I think it’s overkill, they were probably trying to protect themselves from a liability issue.

Yes, it’s stupid…people in this country have somehow managed to completely forget how to ignore things that offend them anymore…..it’s almost as if they seek things out to complain about, or fight about. The concept of “political correctness” has transformed this nation into two groups….those that are offensive, and those that are offended…and the membership of these groups gets swapped on a regular basis. I’m sure during my little tirade here that I’ve managed to offend someone…and you know what? I don’t care. I swear a constitutional amendment of “sticks and stones” needs to be implemented, because people are too childish to just let things go that they don’t agree with.

Wow….I must be cranky this morning….more caffeine is necessary!

(This is another of Tim’s famous rants.. I enjoyed it and I hope you did as well. ~Kat)

Filed under: Politics,Rants by Kat at 7:42 pm
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