After an astonishing, stupid week of pointless hate, with expressions of the ugliest emotions, grounded in religious dogma, lacking understanding of issues involved, but mindlessly reacting to a perceived slight against some unstated ideal.
And I’m not talking about the rioting outside of American embassies, but, rather, the mindless attack of American conservatives because that’s what they do.
At moments like this, it’s hard to tell the difference between Al Qaeda-style “Jihadists,” and American “conservative” style fanatics. Oh wait. The former are killing people and the latter are happy let people get killed. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said [emphasis added]:
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.
But I want to ask a different question. Which is this: WHAT are you defending?
Seriously. This mess is based on something, and if you’re attacking the American Administration then you must also be defending something. In this case, seemingly, the director of a Hollywood exploitation film that I disappeared in, The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood. ”Disappeared” because I and my second wife were filmed and paid as extras, but the footage ended up on the cutting room floor.
Having seen the mess that I saw on that film’s shoot, I can state with complete authority two things: First, that it was pretty clear the director had a real problem with figuring out what the hell he was doing, as a large crew, a large cattle call of extras (us) and invited “celebrites” — such as Chevy Chase — stood around pointlessly for hours as a scene was set up, but delayed until it had become unseasonably chilly and then was abruptly cancelled in the middle of the scene (thus, our footage and the cutting room floor), and second, that I met Batman, Adam West, who was co-starring in the film — which was penny-dreadful.
1960s Batman TV show with Adam West, eponymously @ left
The anti-Islam film that’s set off a firestorm in the Middle East was directed by a 65-year-old schlock director named Alan Roberts, we’ve confirmed. He’s the creative vision behind softcore porn classics like The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood [sic].
An Alan Roberts is listed as director on the film’s casting calls and call sheets from the summer of 2011, back when it was innocuously called Desert Warriors. Castmembers and crew told us yesterday that Roberts was brought on by producer “Sam Bacile” aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and he muddled his way through a disorganized three-month shoot…
Well, I’ve seen the dreadful pastiche that’s the cause of all the trouble, and I CAN state, with some authority, that the cheesiness factor IN said film (apart from the offensive factor, whose ultimate imputation is far less clear) is definitely in line with the chaos and badness of the Happy Hooker Goes To Hollywood set. You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, evidently. But the question arises more urgently: THAT is what you’re defending?
I say this because, while I used to be a First Amendment absolutist, I came to understand that there are no absolutes, and when it comes down to a distinction between people dying (as, apart from OUR four murdered diplomatic service employees, dozens have died as local police have attempted to defend those embassies and rioters have gotten themselves killed, ofttimes, as is generally the case, because they were the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time, and their lives count for every bit as much as the lives of our Americans, or else our entire conceit that we recognize at our base a fundamental set of truths, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” is a FRAUD) and when it comes down to a distinction between equal human beings dying in protests against a film seemingly intentionally posted on YouTube and translated into Arabic just to stoke these kinds of rioting, WHAT “free speech” is being defended, and is or isn’t that same speech the “falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic”?
The last sentence is intentionally as convoluted and distorted as is this entire mess.
What are the players defending?
Well, in the case of YouTube, I can’t exactly say what they’re defending, unless it’s some unsophisticated false idea of a First Amendment, since they censor their content all the time, and cannot hold that they are First Amendment absolutists, but can, perhaps, hold that their “policy” is more important than the immediate problem. Listen:
Google decides to leave video on YouTube
Michelle Quinn / Reuters:
Google will leave a controversial video clip about the Islamic prophet Muhammad on YouTube despite a White House request that the company review it under its own policies, the company said Friday. — The White House confirmed Friday that it asked Google …
Even though YouTube took down the clip in several other countries. And, of course, this has enraged the Barking Moonbats of the Wingnut Blogs:
click pic to enlarge; original page here
The Happy Hooker’s director’s evidently re-dubbed and translated-into-Arabic film was intended, in its Arab incarnation, as broadcast by the Egyptian equivalent of Bill O’Reilly, was falsely screaming “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. It played perfectly into the hands of Al Qaeda-style extremists in Libya, seemingly, and predictably inflamed riots around the world.
But the Righties and YouTube believe that they shouldn’t be intimidated, or that the Obama Administration is engaging in “censorship” — even though they back a candidate who has quietly promised that, if elected, he will make censoring porn a high priority in his Justice Department :
In Meetings With Anti-Pornography Group, Romney Campaign Promised To Prosecute Porn
By Scott Keyes and Adam Peck on Sep 14, 2012 at 10:31 am
WASHINGTON, DC — Mitt Romney’s campaign told a leading anti-pornography group that the Republican nominee will pursue and prosecute pornography if elected president…
I’ve seen the clip, and it’s total crap. I know the director’s work close-up and it’s crap. It was clearly intended to literally falsely yell fire in a crowded theater — literally a crowded theater, in this metaphorical case — and is a statement INTENDED as raw bigotry against a religion which, whether you agree with it or not, over ONE BILLION equal human beings, endowed by their creator with unalienable rights BELIEVE in.
So, what is being defended by YouTube and the Wingnuts?
Mitt Romney, I guess, whose “better” answer after days of damage control is now that it’s because the USA hasn’t been “strong” and “resolute” enough in “projecting its power.”
I wonder how that could have stopped the panic in the crowded theater? By killing them all as they rushed for the exits?
By keeping the video up, because YouTube doesn’t want to be seen as censorious?
Or the absurd position of the “moral” absolutists of the Radical Right that The Happy Hooker Goes to Hollywood‘s director’s repurposed schlock-turned-insult is a timeless masterwork of human expression that must be defended to the Dying Breath of the Last Defender of Camelot?
WHAT is being defended here?
Batman would know. Maybe.
click to enlarge, click here for news headline