Distichia Moralia provides with keen wisdom the following, “Speech is given to many; intelligence to few.” After the European trip of US President Joe Biden, intelligence is in short supply in the White House, the staff, and of course, the US Media! Would someone please tell me how so many can say so much, yo-yo’ing from one point to another, and still make no sense? Honest question, the other day someone told me the patients were running the asylum, and I countered no, the clowns took over the circus. Both sentiments are accurate, but I detest clowns, and mental patients can occasionally do something brilliant.
Now, to be perfectly fair, little Joey Biden has a mental cognition problem that is more than likely some form of senility or Alzheimer’s disease. I am not entirely blaming little Joey; his spouse and handlers bear the full brunt of the blame and deserve their punishment for not allowing this senile old man to retreat to his beloved basement and finish the rest of his days in solitude and grandchildren. May little Joey sniff hair and massage shoulders in a creepy fashion after retirement to his heart’s content. But his handlers, the complicit media, and his spouse need to be hauled in front of a judge for elder person abuse!
From Australia’s Sky News, the BBC, Daily Mail, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, and Jerusalem News, essentially covering the entire globe, every media channel worth a small moment is complaining about Biden’s European performance. Not all media channels are created equal, but to have them all complaining about Biden in Europe is pretty phenomenal. To have Biden walk back his handlers’ “clarification” and then renounce his previous sentiments in the same speech is nothing short of a full-blown communication failure.
To clarify, I do not care what you embrace for your political party. Any person with half a brain cell can observe what is happening and know instinctively that the elected leaders have no clue and even less intelligence. Worse, their intellectual ability for self-preservation is running on fumes and day-old flatulence. Truly, “speech is given to many, and intelligence to few.” Unfortunately, this is not the tip of the iceberg humanity is headed towards at full speed!
Satire is truth wrapped in comic wit and presented for discussion. Never taken seriously as supported by how many “shock” comedians? Yet, the Babylon Bee is removed from Twitter because some Twitter employees think they have a special mission from their god CEO Parag Agrawal to silence any voice they deem “hostile.” More people prove that “speech is given to many; intelligence to few.” Would someone please tell me how Kathy Griffin can parody cutting off then President Trump’s head, and she can maintain a Twitter account, but the Babylon Bee has their account suspended. Worse, Kathy Griffin, a fully non-humorous comedienne, got a Netflix special, but Dave Chapelle was hounded mercilessly for weeks because he told the truth and was actually funny.
Kathy Griffin, Dave Chapelle, Biden/Trump, Babylon Bee, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple, and others are tied into a Gordian Knot over the topic of controlling speech unconstitutionally. Whether as perpetrators, victims, or politics, every actor mentioned, especially those not mentioned, as this was NOT a definitive list, all share in the ongoing saga over the First Amendment.
A reminder, the First Amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The perpetrators who are pulling the political strings to hinder and thwart the First Amendment hide, like evil thinking cowards, cower behind the shield, “Congress.” Claiming that since they are not Congress, they only prohibit speech on their private platforms conditional as part of the “User Agreement” or as private citizens or businesses. Hence, limiting the speech of others is entirely legal, moral, and socially acceptable, intentionally muddying the lines between legal and illegal for entertainment or some other bloviated excuse. Except, what these perpetrators are doing is stealing freedom from everyone for personal profit.
What is “Hate speech?” Sure, the lawyers have concocted a definition for court, but in practice, “Hate Speech” is anything any person who thinks they possess a modicum of power deems it to be. Any tool that limits speech will be used as a weapon to beat people out of their rights and freedoms and steal the same to enslave all. The Supreme Court regularly hears cases on First Amendment issues, specifically speech. Of the five freedoms protected and enshrined in the First Amendment (Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly, and Petition the government), speech is the one most often attacked. The Supreme Court has wisely used the rule of thumb, “Screaming ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater,” as the basis for whether to rule speech as governed under the First Amendment or not.
Why is this a wise rule of thumb? Because creating panic in a population enclosed in a building should not be protected “free” speech as the consequences are dire indeed. But does this mean anything else goes; absolutely! A simple rule exists to explain why, “When you limit the freedoms of a single person in a society, the entire society loses ALL of their freedoms, rights, and liberties.” Democracy is messy! A constitutional republic is doubly chaotic! We, the citizens of either a democracy or a constitutional republic, accept this as a necessity to protect our individual rights, freedoms, and liberties.
This means when Twitter declares something as broaching their “User Agreement” and limiting one person’s speech, as a citizen of the United States, every citizen of the United States loses! When Facebook or LinkedIn practice censorship in the name of “socially acceptable speech,” they are thwarting the US Constitution and decrying they are the wisest of us all and intelligent enough to declare what is and is not “acceptable” speech in a public environment. When YouTube ends people’s livelihood because they do not like the content in a video, everyone loses their right to produce content free from burdensome oppression.
Chris Rock was free to make a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith as a point of reference. Will Smith was perfectly in his right to first laugh at the joke and then choose to become offended. But, Will Smith’s rights ended when he took action and hit Chris Rock. Speech is a responsibility, and exercising speech properly means sometimes being held accountable for the speech made. Unfortunately, modern society has allowed people to make offensive and degrading remarks without accountability for too long, which is a problem. However, the solution is not to control speech by a business, company, government, non-governmental board/organization, etc. The solution is to remind people of the accountability inherent in exercising their rights to speech.
Speech is never “Free.” Free speech means no consequences to what you say, but the reverse is true, and speech has a significant cost! Ask any disabled veteran about the cost of speech, and let me know if they claim their injuries are free. Worse, ask any person jailed who made a speech if their speech was free, and tell me if their sufferings, depravations, and sacrifices were without cost. Chris Rock was entirely in his right to make an offensive joke. I did not find it funny. But could Chris Rock have been held accountable for his poor sense of humor without being slapped on international television; absolutely. But, name me another group of people who abuse the rights, freedoms, and liberties of others without care and concern than Hollywood. I know of no other industry!
Yet, Hollywood has taken it upon themselves to be the lords and masters over everyone else when they cannot control themselves. Solidifying the permanence in the principle, “Speech is given to many; intelligence to few.” How many known victims of Harvey Weinstein? How many unknown victims are living? How many dead victims? How long was Harvey Weinstein abusing his power to subjugate people to whet his appetites and passions? How many others are currently copy-catting Harvey Weinstein’s example?
The government has failed to police Hollywood, and Hollywood refuses to police itself, but how many in Hollywood are willing to insist that Hollywood needs a deep cleansing, an injection of values, morals, and law; not many, if any. Name another industry so rampant and steeped in villainy, depravity, and disgust that it can escape basic law enforcement. Hollywood spawned Bollywood and how many other incarnations in countries around the globe, all suffering from the same moral vacuum and creating the same social decay without consequence. Spoilt children, parading as virtuous adults, demand their rights, liberties, and freedoms, all while denying others the same rights, liberties, and freedoms. Demanding politicians, the same politicians fawning and feeding the Hollywood monster, to use the powers of government, and big business, to thwart laws for their own profit and gain.
Have you ever heard of a “Casting Couch?” In business, the military, government, a “casting couch” is sexual harassment, a crime worthy of jail, heavy fines, and social scorn for the perpetrator. In Hollywood, the “Casting Couch” is regular business for those desiring to be in Hollywood, and the victims, if they speak out, are scorned and unemployable. The horror stories about the “Casting Couch” are depraved, disgusting, and the victims’ ages run the gamut, all with little to no consequences for those soliciting sexual favors in return for employment in Hollywood. The case of Harvey Weinstein ripped the scab off the festering wound of Hollywood, but Big Business and Government have helped keep the wound alive and infected, to the shame and horror of the victims.
Will Smith, enjoy the spotlight your actions created, and may the consequences fit the crime. Chris Rock, you’re still not funny. Wanda Sykes, you lost your funny. The Oscar’s is not worth my time and energy to scorn, let alone watch. But, Hollywood, your industry is sick, and the greatest crime is that your infection is spreading faster than a case of Chlamydia in the Playboy Mansion. Hollywood, you have lost any and all claims to tell anyone else how to live and until you clean up your mess, I will continue to refuse you my money. You might start by remembering, “Speech is given to many; intelligence to few.”
© Copyright 2022 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images. Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.