Friday, November 2, 2007

Freedom of Speech from A!! to S!!!, with and all of the F'n N's

In titling this entry, I had to debate what words I would put in it and what words I would omit, as I am attempting to speak to a wide audience and not the kookaholics out there in search of the most bitter bastard who derives readership by bashing Bush or hanging Hillary. However, my concern is freedom of speech, not proper speech.

My motivation today comes from Dog the Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman. He's waiting to see the size of the shit sandwich he must eat concerning comments he made in a phone conversation with his son. His son is currently dating a black girl, and the Dog didn't approve of her. However, his use of the N word in a phone conversation about the situation, and subsequent release of the tape, now place his future on TV in doubt.

However, let's look at his comments. His motivation was not racism, nor oppression of the black man. He used the term specifically to refer to someone who, because of her character and not her skin, he viewed as human debris. A couple of years ago, Senator Robert Byrd got blasted for comments along the same line, as do all white people who utter that word. As a matter of principle, if the black community wants to eliminate the word from common use because of its excessive misuse, I'm okay with it. That is why I have refrained from using it here. However, we have to stop jumping on people because of words. It's the meaning behind the words that matters.

Personally, I don't give a rat's left masticated nut sack what words people use as long as they can express themselves with a minimum degree of intelligence. The use of any word just to be edgy is the most puerile expression of oneself. I can remember listening to the lyrical vomitus that is 2 Live Crew when I was in grade school. My attraction to it was that it was BAD. I have obviously grown since then, and I strive to at least write as though I own a dictionary and thesaurus (or can use the online equivalent). So to sum up, while I understand the idea of a sense of decorum in one's own public speech, we must stop obsessing over words and focus on ideas. And when it is necessary, we should have the freedom to call someone who is an asshole an asshole.

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