Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Injustice, Freedom of Speech, and Real Anger

Pretend for a moment I'm not a writer. It isn't hard to do.

I don't want anything in this post to come across as sour grapes (which I find a rather weak argument, anyway). I'm writing as a father and public school teacher.


1. I'm disappointed Chelsea Handler is a cultural gatekeeper. If you hadn't heard, she now has a publishing imprint. Not just another book deal, but an imprint. I can't say it any better than the comment by PLG (at the bottom of the article). As a parent and teacher in this "culture," I'm saddened we've decided, as a society, the Chelsea Handlers of the world are fit to choose for the rest of us. Yes, she's funny. Sort of, in an awkward "I shouldn't be laughing at this" way. She's also vulgar and repugnant.

2. Does anybody realize how much press Philip Greaves received, for free, last week? Yes, it was negative. But don't fool yourself into thinking everyone disagreed with the sicko, though. This kind of publicity fuels the "world is against us" battle cry championed by these kind of folks, no matter how small and misguided their numbers are.

3. How about the teacher in Michigan who was suspended after ejecting a hate-spewing high school student from his classroom? Freedom of speech? Really?

Here are the lessons I've learned:

1. Sex sells. Rudeness sells. Drunken amorality sells. Making money does not mean what you do has lasting value.

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." - Benjamin Franklin

I won't mention Handler again.

2. People, in general, flock to negative stories like flies to shit. Why can't we be more like bees and find the flowers?

3. Being hurtful is never okay. Freedom of speech is powerful, and like all power, requires responsibility.

I couldn't say it better myself:



Michael Stone said...

I've been under a rock this past few weeks so the names/stories you mention are not familiar to me. However I get the gist and, well, what you said. Good post, mate.

Aaron Polson said...

Mike - It's been a mad couple of weeks.

Daniel W. Powell said...

A sad state of affairs, to be sure. These are cultural signposts; unfortunately, they indicate devolution. We had this chat in class the other day. What does a Kardashian do? Sing? Dance? Write? Act? What is there to what they do?

We couldn't drill down on anything specific...

Natalie L. Sin said...

Chelsea Handler has an imprint now?? Oh eww, Ewwww. Did the world run out of toilet paper?

Katey said...

I didn't even know who Chelsea Handler WAS (I'm still only halfway there) until this story--which I think proves your point just perfectly.

As for the other stuff, yeah. I've felt ill all week.

Barry Napier said...

Sad days indeed.

Also, I'm glad you mentioned Greaves. I was actually angry (abeit quietly) that there were people defending the book with the standby shout of "freedom of speech."

My favorite argument was on one of the Amazon posts/arguments. It basically stated that if you don't have children that could possibly one day be harmed by such a person, then you have no place in the argument.

Good post, my friend.

Aaron Polson said...

Daniel - Signpost up ahead: you've entered the Twilight Zone. Wait...the Twilight Zone would be more reasonable than what I'm seeing.

Natalie - I'll take an old Sears catalog.

Katey - I have to admit I didn't really know, either. Once I found out...ugh.

Barry - Hear, hear, brother.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I hadn't heard of Chelsea Handler either. I assumed it was because I live on an island far away. It is a sad state of affairs when a teacher gets his hands tied like that and has few weapons to wield. Kind of a statement on society in general I suppose. Nobody rants better than the late, great Peter Finch...

K.C. Shaw said...

I don't know who any of those people are either, which is probably a good thing. I don't need high blood pressure and I have a low tolerance for stupidity, willful ignorance, and inhumanity. All three of those bugs seem to have somehow become features for a certain segment of the population these days.

Aaron Polson said...

Alan - Nobody. And your island isn't that far away.

Amen, KC.

Lee Thompson said...

Good post, even though disheartening, Aaron. Sad and couldn't agree more. To cheer us both up: you should be getting your first copy of Dark Discoveries soon! Yay!

Cate Gardner said...

I've heard of neither Chelsea or the bloke, whose name I've forgotten in switching to the comment screen. This makes me happy.

Cate Gardner said...

I've heard of neither Chelsea or the bloke, whose name I've forgotten in switching to the comment screen. This makes me happy.

Aaron Polson said...

Lee - Hooray! I'm looking forward to DD. Thanks.

Cate - And lets continue to let him writhe in obscurity. ;)