Tanks to Artistic Expression!

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Art is often political, deriding leaders, subversively displaying the costs of failed policies, and inflaming critics all around. But when a painting featuring an Old Glory–stained U.S. map slipping into a toilet bowl beside the phrase "T'anks to Bush!" gets displayed on government property, well, it's not just the artist who will struggle.

The piece roundly roused the ire of conservatives in Northern California but Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who has an anti-censorship poster hanging in his office, has no plans of bowing to the protests. The exhibit at the Department of Justice that includes the piece is sponsored by a private group called California Lawyers for the Arts, which includes the artist Stephen Pearcy, Esq.

"What upsets me is the thought that a group of people thinks that only certain kinds of art should be allowed and some kind of art should be suppressed," the curator of the show told SacUnion, asserting that works expressing a conservative view would have been included had any been submitted.

The same artist earlier created an effigy of the American soldier with a sign reading "Bush Lied, I Died" and hung it from a noose outside his home. "Angry residents in his community tore down that effigy," MSNBC's Monica Crowley said, "and rightly so." Of course, absent all the outrage, the artist probably wouldn't be getting his work broadcast to national television audiences either. Yet another example of censorship backfiring.

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  1. “The piece roundly roused the ire of conservatives in Northern California but Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who has an anti-censorship poster hanging in his office, has no plans of bowing to the protests.”

    All three Northern California conservaties in the same place at the same time! …Isn’t that dangerous?

    …C’mon, there can’t be more than three of ’em!

  2. Blog entry with copy of the painting.

    Either this Percy guy is a nut, or his right-wing blogger neighbor is a nut. Take your pick.

    Either way, the guy’s a shitty painter.

  3. That really is a crappy painting. The guy must’ve attended the Ted Rall school of art.

  4. “Angry residents in his community tore down that effigy,” MSNBC’s Monica Crowley said, “and rightly so.”

    Do conservatives believe in property rights? No way.

  5. And I used the words “Either way” far too many times in my initial post. Urgh.

  6. “gets displayed on government property”

    Do any americans believe in property rights?

  7. ?All we want is some common sense decency from the state attorney general,? said Republican Party spokeswoman Karen Hanretty, adding that the artwork is ?blatantly offensive to people who think that America does not belong in the toilet?

    I thought the point was that it didn’t belong there. Anyway, what a lame painting. I’ll take implements on hooks any day.

  8. but Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who has an anti-censorship poster hanging in his office, has no plans of bowing to the protests.

    Maybe some white-supremacist can get a grant for an exhibit called “Burning Crosses.”

    After all, art is often political…

  9. From the “nutty neighbor” mediageek mentions above:

    Thanks for the hits!!

    Since I wrote a few posts on this guy in February and with my recent post that I did recently, I think it is fair assumption that I have made. I am not against anyone’s right to free speech. In fact, I very much support free speech However, when that speech becomes a danger to innocent people around Mr. Pearcy or tax dollars are being used to support something offensive then I as well as you should have a problem. First off, Pearcy draws attention to himself at his house. What happens if some nut job decides to vandalize his house or his neighbors? What if some nut job sets fire to something? Crazy stuff happens, shouldn’t we protect innocent people who are innocent by standers. Secondly, his art is now on public property expressing an opinion that is just that an opinion. A pretty direct political opinion that many many people feel hurt by and don’t agree with. If I posted some art depicting a person laying in the street, addicted to drugs and claim the Democrats support of medical Marijuana caused this, would my art be displayed? Absolutely not!!! Think about, it really is a partisan issue in a non-partisan world.

  10. Either this Percy guy is a nut, or his right-wing blogger neighbor is a nut. Take your pick.

    Can’t it be both?

    Just a hint, Steve: The phrase “I very much support free speech, however . . .” really parses as “I don’t support free speech.” It’s OK — you don’t have to lie to us. Also, “We have to censor him because third parties might get hurt by other, crazy, third parties” is a pretty dumb argument.

  11. Writing of art, anyone else see the story about Mel Gibson making a new film? This time its set several hundreds years ago and is supposed to use Mayan for dialogue. One has to ask, is he going to deal with the 16th century revolt against Catholic Spanish rule that the Spaniards mercilessly suppressed? Or is he going to make some fairytale about how the “Indios” dropped on their knees begging to be converted?

  12. Tom Crick: California actually has a fair number of conservatives (Kerry won 54-45, which is significant but not terribly large. Further, the vast majority of California by land area voted for Bush (note that this map uses red for Kerry and blue for Bush). California is reliably Democratic just because LA and the Bay Area are overwhelmingly liberal, and most of the population is clustered in those areas (incidentally, it seems that much the same thing happened in New York and Pennsylvania).

  13. Yet another of these stories comes and goes without the distinction being drawn between ‘free’ speech and ‘subsidized’ speech. This art show was put on in conjunction with the California Arts Council and the state Attorney Generals office. The problem with this painting is not its content nor its lack of artistic merit, but that taxpayers are footing the bill for this matchbook art school dropout. In CO we recently had a similar controversy cloudburst regarding the “twelve dildoes on hooks,” and all over talk radio and the local press, people were going back and forth between “free speech” and “think of the children,” with no mention that taxpayers were bilked out of $5000 for that crap. Followed by commercials urging us to vote for a tax increase in Nov. to help save the State. The bottom line is that no speech should be subsidized by the government unless every last person who is forced to pay that subsidy agrees with the content. Which is to say, never.

  14. And Eric nails it.

    May as well close this thread down and head for the local pub.

  15. Phil:

    Free speech is not protected when someone yells fire in a crowded room when there is no fire. There are two fires burning in this situation. On one hand you have my stance where people like me are kinda being offended and on the other hand people standing up for Mr. Pearcy’s side because they believe the war is bad. The state of California, if it is trying to be bi-partisan and fair to all then it should lean either way on the subject and frankly shouldn’t display the art. I didn’t want to say it earlier but it is like putting something up that is sexist, racist and/or discriminatory to disabled people. If you respect the rights of those not to be offended then you must respect my right and millions of other Californians not to be offended. FYI, didn’t liberals fight to take the Ten Commandments down from public buildings and you are asking me to look the other way?

  16. What the fuck are you yammering on about? Where in The Bill of Rights does it state you have the right to not be offended?

  17. The United States Bill of Rights

    Incidentally, the “shout fire in a crowded theater” or as the judiciary labeled it, the test of a “Clear and present danger” from the case -{ Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47}- was later overturned in favor of a test of “imminent lawless action.” -{Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969),}-

  18. Just as a scenario:

    The year is 1997, and the “painting” is precisely the same, except that it reads “T’anks to Mr. Clinton.” Are conservatives outraged? Or buying T-shirts?

    I keep hearing about the tax money, but apparently the show was sponsored by the Sacramento County Bar Association Tuesday night artists’ caucus. It’s not as if the fellow actually got an NEA grant to spread his message or anything.

  19. I’ll second that Eric nailed the real issue. For me, I’m not nearly as offended by anything someone wants to call art as I am by taxpayer’s money being given away for this crap. That’s the real outrage.

  20. Sad (but unsurprising) to say, MoveAmericaForward’s artistic response was little aesthetic improvement.

    http://www.moveamericaforward.org/index.php/DailyFile/pro_american_response_to_pearcys_anti_american_propaganda/

  21. “Angry residents in his community tore down that effigy,” MSNBC’s Monica Crowley said, “and rightly so.”

    Do conservatives believe in property rights? No way.

    Hakluyt,

    Conservatives do believe in property rights as long as you don’t use your property to do something they don’t approve of. Liberals, on the other hand…. oh wait. Never mind. 🙂

  22. Hey I am not gonna sit here and site law or question your integrity. You obviously are not reading my examples very carefully and are quick to site law as if this were one on one situtation. Mr. Pearcy is a very clever in what he his doing. It’s just in poor taste in my opinion.

    FYI if you read those Bill of Rights more closely particularly the first amendment it starts off and says “Congress shall make no law…”
    This thing is up at the Department of Justice of California, Since when is Congress part of the Judicial Branch of government? They think they are but they’re not.

    Intimidation is a hate crime in California.

  23. If you respect the rights of those not to be offended then you must respect my right and millions of other Californians not to be offended.

    There is no such thing as a right not to be offended. I’m offended by Rev. Fred Phelps, but too bad for me, you know?

    FYI, didn’t liberals fight to take the Ten Commandments down from public buildings and you are asking me to look the other way?

    What am I asking you to look the other way about? Can you quote it back to me? And what do “liberals” have to do with anything?

  24. By the way, steve, if you produce a painting like the one you described, I’ll gladly reproduce it on my own blog. Score one for free speech.

  25. Free speech is not protected when someone yells fire in a crowded room when there is no fire. There are two fires burning in this situation. On one hand you have my stance where people like me are kinda being offended and on the other hand people standing up for Mr. Pearcy’s side because they believe the war is bad.

    steve, do you think you have the right to say there are two fires burning in this situation when, in fact, there are literally no fires burning in this situation at all?

    Should it be against the law to say, “Purely metaphorically speaking, there’s a fire burning in this theater!” in a crowded theater?

  26. “works expressing a conservative view would have been included had any been submitted . . .”

    Is that sort of like the Ku Klux Klan not having discrimination, they just don’t have any black people applying for membership?

  27. I love to point out the obvious, so notice that, once again, those that criticize the GOVERNMENT are anti-American, while those that approve of the government are pro-American. Just like the founding fathers intended.

    If trotsky recounts the facts accurately, then Eric’s missed the issue in CA, although not perhaps in CO.

    By the way, steve, the word you’re looking for is “cite”, not “site”.

    Finally, I propose we just ignore steve.

  28. Censorship? How dare you! That, sirs, was performance art.

  29. The article cited reads that the show was “sponsored” by California Lawyers for the Arts, “presented” by the California Arts Council “in conjunction with” the AGs office. “Sponsored” sounds like the financial angle. If that is the case, I rescind my nail. Let ’em hang what they will, as long as I don’t foot the bill.

    I’m still not happy that I had to pay for those dildoes.

  30. I want to see that Artist do a “Piss Prophet Mohammad” or “Piss Koran”. I be willing to pay to see that!

    I’d also bet he’d be hounded to his death by the “religion of peace” ™

  31. It’s obvious I stumbled into the Great American Frontier of Liberalism.

    1. First you tell me my conservative point of view is wrong in saying the art should taken down and that I am not for free speech.

    2. You want to stop and ignore me after you correct my misspelled words.

    3. Then you get all philosophical about fire.

    Eric, it’s on tax payer property. If some freak vandalizes the building YOUR taxes pay for it not the California Lawyers Association.

    If someone vandalizes Mr. Pearcy’s house because of “his art” and his neighbors are hurt by it, who pays for the consequences?

    Why should we let them risk it? Seriously. There is a serious group offended by this piece of art but the way some of you guys put it, too bad it’s free speech. If something created was hurtful to American Indians, they’d get it taken down. Just today the Wedding Crashers Movie Website had to take down their fake Purple Heart parody that was a total joke, but not to veterans. So when a few American’s get pissed because a visual art piece is on public display on state property offending their country and their leadership that they voted in fair and square, we’re supposed to stay quiet because it’s free speech? Give me a freaking break!

  32. I’m still not happy that I had to pay for those dildoes.

    At least it was obvious that there was some level of artistic skill that went into the dildo display. Still pisses me off that as an artist who makes a living in the private sector that I have to foot the bill for it.

    In the end it seems to boil down to this:
    Pearcy is a leftwing douchewit with the artistic ability of an epileptic four year old who’s attempting to shock us all with some sort of “out there” political statement. However, he’s woefully late to the party. He may or may not have taken the King’s shilling for his “art” and he may or may not be deliberately harrassing (sp) steve.

    Steve, on the other hand, is in lockstep with California-style Neo-Conservatism and has probably never actually taken the time to read The Bill of Rights or contemplate the works of John Locke, Milton Friedman, or Ayn Rand, let alone picked up a copy of Reason Magazine.

    Steve, just so you know, there’s more than LIBERAL and CONSERVATIVE. This forum is dedicated to the ideals of Libertarianism .

    In the end, it’s all about personal liberty and responsibility.

  33. It’s not getting a government grant, but it is on public property.
    This painting does not offend me. As others have already pointed out, it’s a crappy piece of art, but its political sentiments don’t bother me one bit.
    But they obviously do bother some people. And being that it’s in a public building, it does seem to me that the public might have some say in what is being exhibited.
    I think you have more of a case on this particular issue, Steve, than you do on the effigy the guy put up on his own property. Seems to me in that case, he was totally within his rights.

  34. I love to point out the obvious, so notice that, once again, those that criticize the GOVERNMENT are anti-American, while those that approve of the government are pro-American. Just like the founding fathers intended.

    Comment by: biologist at July 25, 2005 10:02 PM

    Like the President said, “We can’t love our country and hate our government,” and “There is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government.”

  35. I have an effigy I’ve been wanting to put up in the front yard, but I just mowed and edged, and really don’t want to see the lawn trampled by a throng of murderous yahoos. Advice?

  36. But then who would admire my spectacular edging?

  37. Sadly, ladies and gentlemen of the libertarian bent, steve represents the majority of Americans in his viewpoint: stupid soccer moms/dads who are afraid to offend anyone and who think that free speech also means the right not to have to hear it.

    Garbage, of course, but just to get back to our roots, guys, let’s have a little fun with steve (and I thought all people named steve were cool: Steve McQueen, Steven Segal, me, Alice Cooper, etc.)

    Anyway, first of all, steve says that “So when a few American’s get pissed …we’re supposed to stay quiet because it’s free speech?” Uh yeah, Steve, although the First Amendment exclusively applies to the Federal Government, the 14th does not. I vote you exercise your right to read. Furthermore, steve-o, let’s consider this: I find your ignorant, drooling foolishness offensive, so let’s ban it. After all, a “few” Americans are pissed, so we all say piss off to you.

    Furthermore, you came to the wrong board to start yammering about how stuff that offends minorities gets taken down. We know, and we hate it, but unless my elementary school education fails me, two wrongs don’t make a right. Oops, you won’t get that. Censoring speech for one group doesn’t mean that you should do it to another for a “fair” playing field. You just shouldn’t F*CKING do it!

    “If someone vandalizes”…blah blah blah, you’re like a walking version of Congress’s screwed up idea of the Commerce Clause. “If somebody, somewhere, does something, and it makes someone mad and it hurts me, let’s ban/regulate it!” I know, retard, let’s make the person who hurt innocent little you pay for it. That’s called responsibility, not calling on Mommy and Daddy State to coddle you when your poor widdle feewings is hurt.

    Get a life, I am done with you.

  38. Stephen, I recommend large shotguns and land mines. Yeah, you’ll have to redo the yard, but just once. I guarantee it.

  39. and I thought all people named steve were cool: Steve McQueen, Steven Segal, me, Alice Cooper, etc.

    I’ve known some cool Steves, but also some Steves who were colossal jerks.

  40. steve: if there were a plague of locusts o’er the land, my tax dollars would likely be used to clean that up too. Don’t bog this thread down in hypotheticals. And I don’t think anyone is saying that you have to bend over and smile about this painting. You have the right to free speech as well, so use it to tell people that this painting sucks. What you have to understand, though, is that you have to tolerate this painting (even if it offends you to do so) because the perpetrator of it has as much a right to expression as you do.

    Moe: In a better world, yes, we would be able to vote out any piece of art we didn’t like from any publicly funded display, in which case about 20% of the Getty would be in the trash bin at any given time. But we don’t live in a better world, and politicians misuse our hard-earned cash in innumerable ways.

    And I think that might be the issue here. The fact that this thing is being displayed by a government entity (even a State government, which has ostensibly agreed to abide by the Constitution), means that that entity is advocating a viewpoint; whether that viewpoint be Anti-Bush or the meta-viewpoint of open politico-artistic discourse. The best thing would be for the government to stop with the advocacy. Art got along fine without the NEA, just as the Humanities did without the NEH and all of America did without the AdCouncil. We don’t need the Man holding a forum for us to express ourselves, or “improve” our lives in politically desireable ways. We’re plenty capable of doing that on our own.

    geek: looking at those dildoes, it is anything but obvious.

  41. You know, having read the comments section on steve’s blog (he has an opinion, and it does matter!) I have to conclude that these two mental midgets deserve one another.

  42. I want to see that Artist do a “Piss Prophet Mohammad” or “Piss Koran”. I be willing to pay to see that!

    I doubt it. Judging by his work, I’d have to say that Pearcy would be incapable of turning anything out with an iota of artistic merit.

    Hell, at least

  43. Let’s try that whole a href thing again…

    Piss Christ

  44. Eric: “politicians misuse our hard-earned cash in innumerable ways.”
    True dat, and it’s certainly the case that much more money is being misused for much worse purposes than is the case here. On principle, though, I can see steve’s point that the public might have the right to object to having the state AG’s office displaying such a politically divisive painting.
    However,
    steve: “If someone vandalizes Mr. Pearcy’s house because of “his art” and his neighbors are hurt by it, who pays for the consequences? ”
    This is kind of a bizarre argument. If some anti-American vandalizes my house because I’ve hung an American flag on my porch and my neighbors are hurt by it, who pays? If some teenage thug with nothing better to do vandalizes my house because he’s a bored teenage thug and my neighbors are hurt by it, who pays?
    Ignoring the question of how exactly his neighbors will be hurt by someone vandalizing his house, the logic behind this argument is disturbing. It’s kind of like saying you’re to blame if you buy a nice car and someone steals it. Or that a woman is to blame if she goes out in a sexy outfit and gets raped.
    Who pays? Hopefully the fucks who vandalized the house and “hurt the neighbors.” They’re the offenders. Not the guy whose house got damaged, regardless of what you think of his lawn ornaments.
    Basically, what you’re saying boils down to: “Don’t rock the boat. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Don’t upset the sheeple, because some of them might commit crimes against you, and it’ll be your fault.” Hardly an argument compatible with any kind of idea of individual freedom.
    And, just to clarify, I’m not trying to suggest that all folks (you included) who were offended by the effigy, or who support President Bush and the Iraq war, are “sheeple.” You seem to be suggesting that by implying that most of the public can’t handle provocative dissent.

  45. The fact of the matter is that the government’s proper role does not include providing a gallery space for an artist, let alone one who’s work is as horrid as this. Just because the burden on the taxpayer is not immediately obvious, and takes some level of abstraction to understand, does not mean there is no burden.

  46. Moe and others:

    I have pretty consistent in my point regarding my approval in people’s rights in dissent in the government and for free speech. But it’s not about rocking the boat or drawing attention, it’s about being reckless or careless. I think I have a point to that whether people agree or not. AND I am not looking for people to agree with me. I just want to make a point. I am not asking you all to like what I have to say. I think wellfellow somes it up pretty good here, the burden is not immediately obvious.

    Ayn Randian:

    Get bent would you please? That was pathetic!! The whole thing. You just copied every argument made against me and called it your own with your own little adolescent spin. Get original or you’ll never make it. Idiot.

  47. Wow, steve, I can’t figure out how you were never captain of your debate team.

    Your point was that some people are reckless and careless: wow, very insightful. We know that, but see, libertarians believe in personal responsbility. I.e., if something makes you so angry that you start torching the offender’s house, well, YOU are responsible. YOU couldn’t control your emotions, YOU acted like a jackass, so therefore YOU will pay the penalty.

    steve, you came in here with the hopes that someone would coddle your feelings and give you sympathy. You were wrong about the 14th amendment, wrong about having some made up “right” not to be offended, and wrong when you called us the “Great Frontier of Liberalism”. In short, know your audience and come back when you acquire some reading skills.

  48. Steve,

    I’m don’t see how you can claim to be for free speech given your argument.

    There are 3 things in play. One – a piece of art. Two – one group of people who are offended by the art and one group of criminals who vandalize private property and threaten property owners. Three – A private home, a private art gallery and a government building.

    First, any artwork can be offensive so any piece that is in the Dept of Justice exhibition is fair game for removal. Second, you claim that offensive artwork shouldn’t be shown in a government building because it is essentially taxpayer funded (so no art shows should ever be allowed in public spaces). Also, offensive art shouldn’t be shown on private property because criminals may vandalize, threaten and injure the property owner (so no art or religious decorations should be allowed in your front yard at Christmas). Third, only a private art gallery that is not receiving any government money (NEA, state grants, etc) would be allowed to show the offensive art but the previous reason (criminals vandalizing offensive art) would disallow even the private gallery from showing the art.

    Your rules don’t allow for any “provocative” art to be viewed as any group that may be offended can have the government remove the art and anyone that shows “provocative” art becomes responsible for inciting criminals to attack private property whether it be a home, gallery, art or person.

    Your view of free speech in America seems to be whatever is leftover after groups of prudish, reactionary censors and government bureaucrats have inspected every public and private space to insure no one is offended or injured by art, movies, music, videogames, books or speeches.

  49. You keep talking about your ‘right’ to free speech, how about my right to not be offended? We live in a politically correct world. It’s a free country, you either love it or leave it.

    No one has the right to display such treasonous ‘art’. Support our country or shut up.

    What we need is an artistic review board to approve/disaprove of art, similiar to how some towns have architectural review boards for zoning.

  50. This thread is brainfever.

  51. I have pretty consistent in my point regarding my approval in people’s rights in dissent in the government and for free speech.

    How have you been consistent? How can you possibly reconcile the above sentence with the following one:

    But it’s not about rocking the boat or drawing attention, it’s about being reckless or careless.

    This makes absolutely zero sense. So you’re all for restricting personal liberties if there’s a chance of their being misused recklessly or carelessly? What does that even mean? Reckless and careless are weasel words.

    I think I have a point to that whether people agree or not.

    Here’s a big hint about the world, steve: No one actually gives a good god damn what you think. Only what you can prove by using reason and logic. To be perfectly blunt I’d say it’s really quite blatantly obvious that you aren’t really thinking at all. All you’ve done so far is to expectorate a bunch of emotional, mish-mashed garbage all over the web, and then lash out with ad hominem attacks when you get called on your bullshit.

    AND I am not looking for people to agree with me. I just want to make a point. I am not asking you all to like what I have to say.

    No, I don’t like what you have to say. You engage in petty emotional justifications for curtailing personal liberties that have been used by every petty authoritarian with an axe to grind since time immemorial. In essence, you want to curtail my freedom because I might say something that might possibly offend someone, somewhere. Yet you have no rational, legal, or logical basis from which to make your argument. You don’t even make the pretense of trying to dress it up in a rational appeal. Whether this is because you don’t care or you’re just too dim to try is up for debate.

    I think wellfellow somes it up pretty good here, the burden is not immediately obvious.

    I don’t speak for Wellfellow, but it seems clear to me that he was referring to the fact that this shit on canvas was housed in a public building, which is the same as publically funding and condoning it. He was not saying that such a peice of “art” shouldn’t be publically visible, say in an art gallery or private office building. Meanwhile you perceive some imagined burden that said painting, or any offensive/provocative art is likely to suddenly incite anyone who sees it into a fit of maddening violence.
    This is patently ridiculous. It also shows that you have a belief in your own superiority over your fellow human beings, as if the rest of us are too stupid to make up our own minds, and that you, as the sole arbiter of all that is good and moral must protect the herd from anything that might conceivably cause a stampede.

    In conclusion:
    You’re a shmuck.

  52. Mediageek, you speak for me well, better than I do for myself!

    That’s why this thread is brainfever. I don’t understand steve’s argument. I’m all for taking it down because it’s in a public building. But that’s the only reason. I’m fine with it in a private gallery.

  53. “In essence, you want to curtail my freedom because I might say something that might possibly offend someone, somewhere.”

    Pretty selective (not to say deceptive) summing up there, misleadiageek. He wants to curtail your freedom because you might say something that might possibly offend someone, somewhere, who might throw a brick at you!

    Big difference… 😉

  54. Wellfellow-

    Thanks, that means a lot. Given the amount of brainpower around here, I often feel out of my depth!

    SRS-

    My mistake. Now that you’ve pointed out the error of my understanding I recant all of my previous criticism and vitriol directed at steve. In fact, I move that we elect him to be Minister of Truth.

  55. I am way late in this conversation, but I would prefer someone tearing down the effigy than having the state or some housing co-op take it down.

    I hold the same position with “fighting words” and flag/cross burners. Why make it a federal case when you can just kick the guys…

  56. Ayn Randian:

    What part of the 14th Amendment says I have no right to being offended?

    Seriously, show me where?

    Secondly where was I wrong about it when I never brought it up in the first place?

  57. Mediageek,

    when you see stangers on the street and you, I don’t know, strike up a converstation… Maybe chat about the weather or sports… and when the other party talks and you like totally disagree, do you start saying to them things like… “engage in petty emotional justifications for curtailing personal liberties that have been used by every petty authoritarian with an axe to grind since time immemorial.” or this one…”that you have a belief in your own superiority over your fellow human beings, as if the rest of us are too stupid to make up our own minds, and that you, as the sole arbiter of all that is good and moral must protect the herd from anything that might conceivably cause a stampede”.

    This is some of the best creative writing I have seen to date, seriously. I mean, I totally dig it. I could do without you calling me a shmuck or something like it, but your words are fantastic. If any of that were true, I’d have a real problem, but I don’t so.

    But c’mon man, what I have tried to state here is simple. I don’t like the art. I don’t like that it’s presented on state property. Privately, like in an art gallery or show or at the DNC or whatever is fine. I never said I was against free speech. State property, it doesn’t belong, take it out… simple. You guys get all tied up and start citing law cases and the 1st Amendment and the 14th Amendment stuff like you all are lawyers. Are you lawyers? You wouldn’t bash somebody’s race or ethnicity or disabilities or economic situations in this country publicly in the name of free speech? So what are you guys so against a Republican being a offended.

  58. So what are you guys so against a Republican being a offended.

    Me, I’m just against blowhards who can’t write.

  59. You knew what I meant…

  60. steve’s argument here:

    “What happens if some nut job decides to vandalize his house or his neighbors? What if some nut job sets fire to something? Crazy stuff happens…,” coming as a it does from an ideological opponent of the shitty art in question, is the political equivalent of “Nice place you got here. Sure would be a shame is something were to happen to it…”

  61. when you see stangers on the street and you, I don’t know, strike up a converstation… Maybe chat about the weather or sports… and when the other party talks and you like totally disagree, do you start saying to them things like…

    For one, I don’t strike up conversations with strangers on the street. For another, I can check weather.com for that info, and thirdly any sport that doesn’t involve the rapid acceleration of a chunk of lead and copper to a distant point is, to me at least, boring as hell.

    This is some of the best creative writing I have seen to date, seriously. I mean, I totally dig it.

    Thanks. I try to make my vitriol both engaging and entertaining.

    But c’mon man, what I have tried to state here is simple. I don’t like the art. I don’t like that it’s presented on state property. Privately, like in an art gallery or show or at the DNC or whatever is fine. I never said I was against free speech. State property, it doesn’t belong, take it out… simple.

    You know, we’re not idiots. It’s good that you seem to have finally bought a vowel, but don’t pretend like this is what you were advocating all along when all one has to do is scroll to the top of the thread to see that is obviously not the case.

    I never said I was against free speech.
    Yes you did.

    You guys get all tied up and start citing law cases and the 1st Amendment and the 14th Amendment stuff like you all are lawyers.
    Well, maybe because, you know, our nation is founded on certain laws and civil rights which you seem to be rather oblivious to, especially when you go about advocating their state-based curtailment. The bottom line is you’re in a feud with your idiot neighbor and have decided to wrap yourself in the flag in an attempt to curry favor.

    You wouldn’t bash somebody’s race or ethnicity or disabilities or economic situations in this country publicly in the name of free speech?
    Evidently you’ve never watched an episode of South Park. As for me, well, I like to bash idiot statists.

    So what are you guys so against a Republican being a offended.
    Because people who make a point of going around being “offended” at this or that are mewling, sissy-pantsed nitwits. Again, I ask, where in the Constitution does it say you have the right to not be offended by something? Personally, I find your touchy-feely emotional approach to this entire thing offensive, but I’m not advocating that your right to freely express yourself should be abrogated.

  62. Oh, and joe, very well said.

  63. Mediageek:

    You are a sad person….

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