“If we end up going on being this thin-skinned, we’re going to kill each other. So we need to have the ability to hear unpalatable stuff. What would a ‘respectful’ cartoon look like? The form itself requires disrespect [my italics] — so you either have the form, or you don’t…
“I think we’re being extremely wimpish at the level of ideas. People must be protected from prejudice against their person. But people cannot be protected from prejudice against their ideas — because otherwise we’re all done.”
As I keep saying.
Blogging is the Final Frontier, the Wild West, likely the last new medium we will ever witness.
Perhaps a better analogy is a wildlife sanctuary or Yellowstone Park, but for speech.
I aim to try to keep it that way for as long as possible.
People are stupid. They do not understand the concept of venue, or medium, or as Rushdie calls it here, “form.”
The fights between players in a pro hockey game would get them arrested in a bar.
The language the comic uses up on the stage would get him punched out were he to utter it just a few inches closer to the floor.
Had Avenue Q been staged without the “cover” provided by puppets, it wouldn’t have been so widely accepted. Ventriloquist dummies and animation (think South Park) provide similar “cover”, “twice removing” provocative speech from a blameable source and thus rendering it more palatable.
People also don’t appreciate the concept of personae. Does any sane adult really believe that Don Rickles goes around talking like that in the supermarket, or that the Monty Pythons wear dresses and viking hats round the house or that Johnny Rotten still spits on people?
Alice Cooper golfs. Think about it.
The lack of sophistication of many of my critics on the Left of the ‘sphere is what saddens me the most. (And on the Right, too. We have our share of young, idiotic unsophisticates and cowardly careerist hacks.)
That such immature, unsophisticated, poorly-read, literal minded folks are allowed to vote and reproduce distresses me enormously.
As my fellow defendant Kate put it so eloquently last weekend: we want the right to be rude to each other. We’ve been talking this way on the web for over a decade and don’t much care for tone deaf luddite outsiders suddenly telling us what to do.
I don’t see why I should have to suffer because other people are dumber and wimpier than I am.
And no, that this state of affairs has existed since my first day of kindergarten hasn’t made it any more palatable.