Thursday, June 28, 2007

Free Speech does NOT equal money, pinheads!

The Supreme Court decided these kids don't have the right to hold up this poster.

It used to be that free speech did not allow you to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Now, free speech does not allow you to tell a joke if five pinheads with gavels shoved up their asses don't get that joke.

"Bong Hits 4 Jesus" is a good joke, a great punk rock, piss off old people joke. The handwritten, didn't really think about how to space the letters banner makes it even funnier.

I have been funny at times, but I don't think I've ever put together four words as funny as "Bong Hits 4 Jesus". When The Wonders of Science put out our first record in the 1980's, we decided to stick on bright orange labels that said "CONTAINS NO SATANIC MESSAGES". This was before Tipper Gore shoved the whole Advisory Label stuff down our throats. That was a pretty good joke. The labels were much more popular than the record, to be honest. But "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" is funnier.

Of course, The Supreme Court also decided to extend the worst court decision of the late 20th Century, the idea that money equals free speech and the restriction of campaign contributions (read bribes) is unconstitutional. The great writer A.J. Liebling once said "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." Now, freedom of speech has been put on the same class based unequal footing.

We tend to canonize the Founding Fathers in this country, but we shouldn't forget that they were ruling class guys. They just wanted to make sure that other ruling class jerks couldn't screw with them the way King George had tried to screw with them, and in writing the Constitution, their "don't tread on me" view of the world was extended to everyone they considered citizens. The great progress of this nation is the expansion of the definition of citizen. The great flaw was the expansion of the definition of person, where a corporation had the rights of a person, though the responsibilities of personhood are nearly impossible for a corporation to meet. Corporations have never had to meet the standards of citizenship, and in this day and age, they almost revel in not meeting those standards.

We need to get back on an equal footing, folks. We need to organize and raise hell and make it as hard as possible for the government to continue screwing with us. I don't want to be considered a "corrupter of youth" (didn't go well for Socrates), but if it takes Bong Hits 4 Jesus to wake this country up, then let's all get together at 4:20 in the parking lot and light that sucker up.

Praise Jesus, dude!


FranIAm said...

Of all the things I can say right now, the one that most comes to mind is that I mourn the loss of irony.

Where are we headed O Humorless Nation?

Plus- as a card carrying Catholic I am all over the humor of Bong Hits for Jesus.

And I can't imagine, at least as I understand him, that he wouldn't be too.

How is Bong Hits 4 Jesus BAD and Ann Coulter saying that terrorists should blow up John Edwards is OK?

Please 'splain.


Jess Wundrun said...

Matty, this is one of the best analysis of that day and that decision that I've yet read. Kudos.

Thanks for bringing it home when you compare the whining of the plutocrats who cry that speech is squelched when they can't make shit up about someone they don't want in office and run it two seconds before the election.

FWIW, I think that if these kids were gunned down by some crazy Cho-type person whilst holding the bong hits sign at an off campus event the school would have disavowed all supervisory responsibility for them.

I'd also like to point out that Thom Hartmann disagrees with your characterization of the Founding Fathers as ruling class guys. In his book "Screwed" he mentions that a majority of the Founders actually knew they would take an economic hit for separating from England. Many were solidly middle class farmers. They pretty much were the first in modern history.

Matty Boy said...

Hiya, Fran and Jess. Thanks for the kind words.

As for Hartmann's take that a lot of the founders were middle class guys, he's right, but a lot of the "big names" were very well-to-do. Like conservatives and liberals both revere the Bible, those of us who have bought into the religion of Being American see what we want to in The Founding Fathers. There's plenty there for the anti-tax crowd, plenty for the pro-gun people, and plenty for us who believe in free speech, freedom FROM religion and limits to what the government can do to us using the cops and the courts.