I don’t like the way that the battle against obscenity is going. I’m convinced that ultimately the battle will be lost, much to my delight. For some reason, Americans find the word “fuck” much too titillating to do without. Many are even thrilled at the mention of the word “titillating.” Fans of obscenity won a long, hard and throbbing battle to let America perform all sorts of sodomy. You bet we’re going to want to talk about those acts, too. For these reasons, I’m certain that media censors are fighting a losing battle. But for now, the censors have won some disturbing victories.
I was disappointed to hear of the recent firing of radio personality Howard Stern by Clear Channel Communications. This wasn’t the free market working its mystical, magical, overrated voodoo. Stern remains way too popular to have deserved getting canned. He was fired for being indecent. And he is. If ever a person was indecent, Howard Stern is that man. Congress, by imposing massive fines on indecency, has effectively made it illegal.
I find it disturbing that indecency is illegal. I know that my idea of indecency is not at all the same as a pastor in Kansas. There are a lot of people who would tell you that sex is indecent. Most of these people, however, have children or altar boys. So in addition to imposing goofy standards on the rest of us, these people are a bit hypocritical.
Worse, yet, is the reality that any form of censorship can be abused for political purposes. Stern was fired because the Federal Communications Commission put pressure on Clear Channel. The FCC is run by the Bush administration. The government pressure began shortly after Stern criticized George W. Bush. Is it possible that out of all the indecent broadcasters, only the ones who are critical of Bush get prosecuted? Shouldn’t we be doing exactly the opposite?
Despite all those times we’ve patted ourselves on the back for being the “home of the free,” America has unnecessarily restricted free speech all over the place. It’s not just indecency. Did you know that sedition is illegal? The nation’s founders can overthrow a country, but you and I can’t be trusted to do it right.
Let’s face it: Talk is harmless, and I can prove it. I was going to demonstrate this by asking all of my readers to take up arms against the government and place me in my rightful throne as AmeriCanada’s God-King. Unfortunately, people get really upset when you threaten the government or the president, even if he is a nincompoop. So instead, I ask my followers to take up arms against Richard Morgensen, of Indio, Calif., and place me in the slightly less dignified throne of God-King of the Morgensen household. Either my point about the harmlessness of words is demonstrably true, or I become the powerful leader of fanatical cultists. It’s a perfect win-win situation. Unless you’re Mr. Morgensen.
Let’s recap the article so that, for once, there is no confusion about the message of my article. I am in support of unrestricted free speech, with the sole exception of the clear and present danger doctrine. I am not encouraging you to overthrow the government and declare me ruler for life. That would be a felony. I’m not even encouraging you to beat up everybody who doesn’t participate in the revolution. On the other hand, I’m not discouraging you, either. Hypothetically, if such a revolution were to happen, I’m sure I would pardon all crimes of those who landed me in the throne. But that shouldn’t be confused with sedition, which we all know is illegal.
Daily Nexus columnist Loren Williams fucking hates fucking censorship, goddamnit.