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The Crime in Silencing a Jester

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posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 10:43 PM

In societies where freedom of speech was not recognized as a right, the court jester—precisely because anything he said was by definition "a jest" and "the uttering of a fool"—could speak frankly on controversial issues in a way in which anyone else would have been severely punished for.

In bringing the role of Jester up to date, I have become increasingly puzzled and bothered by the invisible shifting lines that cartoonists and comics need to be mindful not to cross:

Almost 9 years ago, comic Bill Maher lost his hit tv-show, Politically Incorrect due to making one satirical remark a week after 911; "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly."

A month ago the developers of Faith Fighter had to take their online flash game off their website due to treats from the OIC

And just this past week the ADL sent cartoonist Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury a pathetically pissy pretentious letter regarding his strip in last sunday's paper.

Trudeau does an excellent job of stating the facts. He is not making any exaggerations or fabrications. The fact that this happens to be a commonly portrayed stereotype shouldn't be reason to avoid the subject entirely.

Where is this invisible line, who draws it and who determines the consequences/punishment for crossing it? Individuals and organizations that define themselves as defenders of truth, yet squelch the expression of it, should be given a special hot seat.

[edit on 5-6-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 10:51 PM
Seems like a fair comment to me. Pretty smart comic I would say, hit the money, I mean nail right on the head.

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 11:01 PM
Slightly off topic but the reverend seems to be drawn very strangely.

The un-kept hair and beard, dark shadows under his eyes.

Very weird.

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 11:04 PM
reply to post by Chadwickus

your right he looks drunk or hungover

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 11:18 PM
I can see you guys are not familiar with Doonesbury. If you check out some more Doonesbury, you see that almost all of the characters have this heavy look about them.

Note this thread is not posted in the comic forum...
so i'm not here to critique the aesthetics of tooning.

Where did you guys come from ... the mutter box?

[edit on 5-6-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 11:23 PM
reply to post by The All Seeing I

Ah fair enough.

Thanks for the link

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 12:14 AM
Wonderful thought provoking post.

I confess over the last decade or so of running the spectrum of political belief and moral dilemma finally settling upon the belief that I don’t like where we took the country, I don’t like the dirtying of our name and hope for a return to more idealistic intellectual revolution.

I hate to turn this into a political discussion that will give a perception of my leanings (which would probably be wrong), but I don’t feel creative enough to find better words.

That said I am more and more disgusted by the Right’s ability to say and do disparaging things while claiming that they are being wronged on all fronts.

America sits at a point in history with the least religious ne spiritual base in our history. We are no longer the church goers that our parents and grandparents were. We grew up to question what did not make sense, or did not reside in our hearts. We believe faith is something you feel, not something you are told to feel. We (hopefully, at least for me) decided to follow our hearts and try and ignore guilt instilled. Perhaps we decided to hold true to the Golden Rule as opposed to Do as I say and not as I do.

Thomas Jefferson said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

I would like to add a caveat that "Controversy breeds thought and mild offence refreshes beliefs."

We need our Jesters. We need those in power to be tested, again and again. But we need it done intelligently. Want to change abortion laws? Then change minds. Don’t murder a man in what you refer to as the “House of God.”

The Right is running scared. The Moral Majority of the Eighties is neither. They have been backed into a corner and see only the wall backing them up.

That being said, my devils advocate gene reminds me I'm not too fond of the ACLU either. :-)

For a moment I was going to add a note to the OP that when I say “You” I am speaking figuratively, then I remembered the post I am replying to and realized this was a thinking mans poster 

[edit for dumb typos on 6/6/2009 by whiskeypoet]

[edit on 6/6/2009 by whiskeypoet]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 12:23 AM
Cool thread OP.
I believe this just happened on ATS.
This thread here, I believe was satirical in nature and the fine work of a jester.
It was locked by a MOD recently.

I believe people miss the relevance of the OP, it comical observations and the implications that if the premise within the OP is true, what do humans do. A position that is indeed funny.

Like the Comic strips and Bill Maher example the OP of this thread highlights, I believe people miss the relevant and important truths present in the content provided by these comedians, comics and satarists.
I hope we don't take the path that the OP shows as being possible, where we censor these people. What a plain world we would occupy.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 12:35 AM

Originally posted by whiskeypoet
We need our Jesters. We need those in power to be tested, again and again. But we need it done intelligently. Want to change abortion laws? Then change minds. Don’t murder a man in what you refer to as the “House of God.”

If only George Carlin lived long enough to share his thoughts on this. Though when i look at his critique* in this area... i'm sure he's seen it all and commented on most of it

...of all our jesters i am glad he was never silenced.

* Disclaimer: for those who are hyper-sensitive to colorful language, don't click/watch

[edit on 6-6-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 12:48 AM
reply to post by The All Seeing I

He was a hero of mine. I always wondered what a man like him might have done with the reigns of power (Thrown them away?)

They tried to silence him. I think I learned all my cuss words early because they tried...

Dont every forget to move your sh*t so I can put MY stuff there...

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 01:03 AM
reply to post by whiskeypoet

When i think of Carlin's material and his challenges in being censored, Bill Hicks comes to mind. I made a thread on the news of Letterman airing Hicks segment that he had originally cut from the show. You'll find the video in the thread.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 01:21 AM
"Goldfish left Lincoln Logs in your sock drawer"

You took about 30 minutes of my life (breaks included) but I have to thank you.

I felt bad for Letterman. I understand his insecurities and fears and applaud him for trying to right a wrong at least ex post facto.

I was moved by the audience laughing at Dave at the height of his remorseful intro. They were there for the funny; Dave was there for the penance. Mr. Hicks would have liked that.

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 01:25 AM
reply to post by atlasastro
Disclaimer: I'm a theist but not of the Abrahamic faiths. I have minor biblical scholar and scriptural skills. Also I am not a scientific/legal or medical expert in any field. Beware of my Contagious Memes! & watch out that you don't get cut on my Occams razor.All of this is my personal conjecture and should not be considered the absolute or most definitive state of things as they really are. Use this information at your own risk! I accept no liability if your ideology comes crashing down around you with accompanying consequences!

Explanation: [To be sung slowly and mournfully]

All the Jesters! ......and the Clowns!

They'll make you smile!
.... They'll make you frown!

They'll make you laugh!
....They'll make you cry!

They'll make you wonder why!
.... about that weird ATS guy!

Personal Disclosure: Starred and Flagged. Well done OP.

Thank you for the kudos atlasastro. Star for you as well!

To even be equated in a minor way with any of those comedic and satirical Legends humbles me greatly.

Edited to fix buggy emoticon.

[edit on 6-6-2009 by OmegaLogos]

posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:53 PM
...and how could i forget about the late great Lenny Bruce (born Leonard Alfred Schneider), the man who paved the way for every provocatively thought provoking comic that followed him:

[edit on 6-6-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 01:11 PM

it's not cowardly.

Interesting. Against the morals of Islam perhaps.
Perhaps no one were in any plane crashes on 911.
And money lender and insurance companies took over.

Oh mister money lender can I develop Tesla technology.

How about a fund to conquer the Illuminati.

Give freely.

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