Damn, Gina! Free speech gets ugly sometimes.

How would the folks on the right have reacted if Kathy Griffin had posed with a fake, severed head of Hillary Clinton?

I doubt they would have been calling for her death, her deportation, or the downfall of her career. As I saw in a recent meme, they probably would have invited her to speak at the next Republican National Convention. That’s not too much of a stretch, given the White House invitation extended a few months back to Ted “Suck My Machine Gun” Nugent. Imagery of violence is okay for Republicans, as long as it’s aimed at Democrats.  I kid!  I kid!  Kind of.

It’s like a flop in basketball or soccer. Kathy Griffin hard checks the right, and the right falls dramatically, writhing on the ground, holding their virgin eyes as if they’d been gouged out with a hot spoon.

They forget that we have all been watching this game all along, and their teammate did the exact same thing just a few minutes back.

That doesn’t excuse Kathy. She went a little too far here, and there have already been market-driven consequences for it (she lost her job at CNN, for example). In the land of capitalism, protected by free speech, market-driven consequences are the only ones you should ever want for dissent, my right-wing friends and family.

But don’t give me your innocent, flopping bullshit. Get up and play on, LeBron, err…I mean, every Republican snowflake that’s “deeply offended” by Kathy Griffin’s antics.

Speaking of outrage, Bill Maher is a house…n….n….never mind. You know what he said. If you don’t, google Bill Maher and it’ll pop up right at the top.

Notice I didn’t say “fake outrage.” For some, the outrage is absolutely real. Bill crossed a line he shouldn’t have crossed, and if it touched a nerve with you, you have every right to be pissed.

For others, though, “racial equality” means they used to watch Martin from the safety of suburbia. Those conservative folks, gleeful with schadenfreude as they witnessed a liberal icon faceplant into a pile of manure, couldn’t care less about the substance of the fact that he said the n-word. They only care about the fact that he said something that will have liberals foaming at the mouth.

Damn, Gina, indeed!

It’s how we on the left feel when a Republican politician gets exposed as a sex offender. Except committing sex offenses is against the law, and not protected by the First Amendment. But the feeling’s similar – when someone from the party of “morality” and “family values” falls on their face, we’re quick to demand the Republicans live up to their ideals and pull the plug on that political violator.

Bill Maher said something idiotic. He is known for saying occasionally incendiary things. He’s a comedian, and saying “politically incorrect” things is his shtick. Hell, the name of his old show on ABC was Politically Incorrect. That’s part of his value to the world: he says things without fear of retribution. Sometimes, he says shit that is harmful, racist, sexist, anti-Islam, or anti-just about anything else. He’s contrarian. But his ability to push that envelope and say whatever he wants is also what makes him a socially, politically relevant comedian.

And even more than Kathy Griffin, he deserves 100% of the protection of the First Amendment, precisely because he says shit you don’t agree with.

This is a capitalist country AND one that treasures free speech. If you don’t agree with Bill Maher’s use of the n-word and think his apology isn’t enough, unsubscribe from HBO. It’s not a crime to say what he said. It’s distasteful and ignorant, but it’s completely legal and protected.

And don’t expect me, as a liberal, to “live up to my own values” on this matter like I’d expect you to when the hundredth Republican congressman or commentator this year gets caught playing hide-the-salami with someone other than his lovely wife. My values are 100% aligned with my stance on this: he said something stupid as hell, and I defend vehemently his right to say it even more so because it was stupid as hell. And I encourage you to put your money to good use and spend it elsewhere than HBO if you feel so inclined.

Bill and Kathy and Milo and Bill-O all get my support when it comes to saying whatever the ever loving fuck they please. Their civil liberties being fully exercised, even when distasteful – especially when distasteful – is what helps ensure that the rest of the country’s civil liberties stay alive.






2 thoughts on “Damn, Gina! Free speech gets ugly sometimes.

  1. Would you be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; I’m simply tryitng to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.


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