14.4.07

CLEANING UP THE CULTURE? I follow the women's basketball competition for the play value. It appears, though, that a rather ill-advised remark about the tournament by a radio yakker might serve to marginalize excessive behavior in entertainment more generally.
"This is the end of the shock-jock era," said Richard Levick, chief executive of Levick Strategic Communications, a crisis communications firm in Washington, D.C. "When your advertisers start abandoning this form of entertainment, it's all over."
Or not.
All three instances of failed shock humor -- Richards's, Coulter's and Imus's -- led to condemnations and calls for sensitivity from a myriad of politicians and activists; Democratic Senator and Savior Barack Obama chastised Imus for his "divisive, hurtful and offensive" words, further suggesting that no one with "a public platform" should attempt to find humor in race-based stereotypes. The problem with this viewpoint is that the majority of Americans -- of all colors and classes -- have laughed at these hideous prejudices at some point; if you try to disassociate yourself from the hordes of hatemongers, your DVD collection better not include anything with Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mel Brooks, Trey Parker or Matt Stone.
Or it's an opportunity to generalize other grievances.
Whatever the motive, the push to censor blasphemy on campus in guise of "tolerance" is extremely bad policy. It is bad because it tramples on speech and expression, bad because it promotes a religious double standard, and bad because it is an invitation for other religious groups to seek the same protections. When Muslims claim the "right" to be free from insults to their faith, Christian conservatives won't be far behind.
I'll let Janet at SCSU Scholars deliver the summation.
Ladies, you are superb athletes. What you are learning bodes well for you for your entire life. Relish in your achievements! Ignore all those who will try to put a label on you. You are first class. Congratulations on your successes! Now, move forward and play even better and harder next year!
If the public culture becomes less coarse, let's call that a spillover benefit.

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