December 5, 2008

Offenstock

Posted in censorship, Freedom of speech at 3:16 pm by prurientdiarist

Freedom of speech is a real bitch, especially when other people contrarily theirs right next to you as you exercise yours. The typical religion-atheist name-calling is going on here. This incident doesn’t interest me all that much, but it did get me thinking.

Wouldn’t it be fun to organize the most offensive celebration of freedom of speech? You could invite people who represent the entire spectrum of thought and welcome them to put up signs, stand on their soapboxes and try their damndest to convince others that they are right.

Here’s how I might go about it:

1. Hire a bunch of smart off-duty police officers (and, no, that isn’t necessarily an oxymoron) who respect the constitution, and make sure they know that the goal of the festival is for it to be anything goes, no matter how offensive. Aside from displaying child pornography, no message is to be censored nor its author to be silenced.

2. Warn everyone who enters that they likely will be offended by much of what they are exposed.

3. Warn everyone that violence and harassment will not tolerated at all but that it is reasonable to expect arguments to take place.

And then let the good times roll. It would be an interesting little experiment, don’t you think? I wonder how long before a punch is thrown.

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1 Comment »

  1. dillywren said,

    I think the degree to which it would be interesting would entirely depend on the location in which it was hosted. Putting it on in a city or town that is a strong bastion of either liberal or conservative thought would lead to an extremely one-sided affair in which whoever bothered to express the opposing viewpoint would just get nitpicked and harangued until they couldn’t defend themselves any more, thus proving to the majority how right they are in their own smug viewpoints. But if there were a city or town in which that broad spectrum you’re talking about is actually represented in full, where the event was “balanced” in the broad scheme, then yeah, it would be worth going to. Although I think it’s at least as likely, if not moreso, that rather than punches getting thrown, the group would split off into factions of choir-preaching and not that much interaction would happen.


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