Tag Archive: speech

“Not This Time”

shimmeringjemmy posted earlier today. I’m going to follow up with a bit more rhetoric.

I seriously ask friends and readers to take the time to read this and follow the link at the end.

Like many people I have been very angry at the last 3 elections. My anger has not stemmed from what the Republicans are doing to the Democrats. My anger has stemmed from what the Democrats do about the Republicans.

Personally, I had pretty much come to the conclusion that both parties want nothing more than to polarize the country to take the inevitable decision out of the populaces hand so that they could turn it into a contest to see which side could wield the better legalese interpretation.

And then in my eyes… it got worse. The Democrats would counter with minority candidates. Now personally, I’m not pleased with what government (read the current administration) has done in the past 8 years. But… I really saw no draw from the candidates on the other side of the alley either.

When I entered the Washington caucus I did so uncommitted to a candidate. I was hoping that there’d be more representation at the caucus.. but apparently that is not the time to actually discuss candidate issues. I walked away from the caucus at least feeling like I could vote Democrat but not necessarily feel bound to one candidate or the other.

Over time I moved into the Obama camp. In researching the candidate he actually covered issues that meant something to me. His videos are often subtitled. He talks about problems with outsourcing, education, poverty. But he doesn’t simply throw around the issues. He talks about where the problems are coming from, what mechanisms have prevented them from being repaired and how to deal with them.

In the last few weeks, the whole minority issue has been thrown around. X says Y and thats about race. Y says X and that’s not about race. And of course the political thing is to look away or doom say those who spoke improperly.

This week, Obama went in an entirely different direction. He stood up and talked about race. He commented about how we have race issues in this country. He commented about how ignoring the issues and side stepping them doesn’t resolve them. By politicising them we don’t deal with them. He pointed out that by making them non-issues or political-issues… they will never be non-issues, we will never find resolution and things will not change.

He said that once again we can turn this into political partisan bickering. We can worry about if it’s a “race” race. We can judge politics on trends. We can do the same thing we’ve been doing for 8-12-20 years. And at the election we can be in the exact same place.

Or we can face the actual issues. We can look at why there aren’t jobs for Americans. We can look at why our education system is failing. We can look at why an average middle class American can’t afford a house and work on those issue for the future.

For years. I’ve begged people to look at what’s actually important and stop turning this into a “What the other guy does to make him Evil” race.

Obama has given a speech that make me proud of the country again. Proud of its accomplishments and potential. There is a perspective of reality. And a faith that it can improve.

I strongly suggest you listen and read this speech it is YouTube embedded along with a 99% accurate transcript. It is moving, sincere, and speaks volumes.

Maybe if we can get more people to realize what the issues really are… Maybe if we can remember that picking sides is for sport not for governance… Maybe we as a people can say, “Not this time”

I’ve got my candidate and I am actually enthused about him

I find myself wondering this morning if there is ‘bad speech’

In an absolutely free and liberated word… anyone should be able to say, truly anything.

I’m not saying we should agree with anything that is said. But I feel anyone should have the freedom to say it.

I suppose then, the question becomes… where is the safe line of consequences?

We often throw ‘Flag Burning’ onto this heap. In the United States there are some that feel that this goes to a point of taboo while others view it as representative of the freedoms the country stands for. So who is right? You can’t really ask one extreme side or the other because they have the definitive answer that they are right and the other side is wrong. Fall to extreme-extremism and you get those that will kill to defend their views. And to be honest those anti-abortionists who support the death penalty and killing doctors still confuses me a lot.

My personal view is that everyone has the right to speak and act as they Will. (Yes, stolen entirely from Liber Oz) Now… Just because you have the right to say it and the right to be inappropriate doesn’t mean that the ‘masses’ are going to be happy with you about it. It also doesn’t mean that you aren’t putting yourself on the road to self destruction… but that too is inevitably your decision.

I think the entire process is actually there to help us individually learn more about ourselves and the limitations or tolerations we have. I’m not condoning hate crime; but I definitely learn more about myself and the people I want to be around based on the degree of hate speech they use with intent.

Granted, at the same time… I find myself curious at my ability to ignore vicious speech in the name of humour. The film “The Aristocrats” is an exploration into the AndyKauffmanesque style of humour which is laughing at the action of intended humour; not the humour itself. This is actually a very difficult movie for most to watch because it is a mesmerising onslaught of humour based around the speaking of taboo.

So, some people find themselves laughing uproariously at the comedic irony over issues that individually they’d never laugh at. Issues that frankly disgust them. Such is the art of comedy. To push the horrors of unreality in our face in a manner that we laugh despite ourselves.

I’ve posted at least a few times on my journal that the deepest mystery of theatre is the symbol behind it. The comedy/tragedy masks. Symbolised by a frown and a smile. The mystery stands as to which mask represents which half of theatre.

So what really is the line of what is appropriate comedy? We can all have personal lines. An episode of “Family Guy” has Brian the dog transported to the past. A real ass gets in his face and challenges him to a fight.

Brian Griffin: No, no, I was just being friendly.
Man: I will kick your ass anytime, anywhere!
Brian Griffin: Uh, okay. How about top of the World Trade Center, morning of September 11th, 2001, 8:00 AM?
Man: I’ll be there! You think I’ll forget, but I won’t! [he and the woman walk away]

It is of course obvious that this episode got a lot of angry mail from the public. The episode aired in May of 2007. A few episodes later the following was made. I like to think that it was a response to the public.

Brian: Oh, please, Peter, your excuses are lamer than FDR’s legs.
Meg & Peter: *gasp*
Brian: Too soon?

Humour pushes the envelope. From the song, “Everyone’s a little bit racist” to just about everything Mel Brooks did in film until Spaceballs.

Certainly, I will personally admit. There are topics that offend me. Certainly, there are topics that I do not deal with well. Especially far more since becoming a parent.

So I find myself thinking today… when someone crosses the line in the name of humour. Or of free speech. The context and intent. I’ll make the occasional Jewish joke. And despite what people think, I consider myself both very much Jewish and very much NOT an anti-semite. Though I’m certain there are probably far more pious Jews that would disagree with me.

So, What is the line? Is there a line?