In defense of the offensive



It happened so easily and with such “logic,” I was stunned later on.

In discussing cinema owners’ decision to pull the film, The Interview, after threats of violence by North Korea at the multiplexes, I heard myself say, “A movie isn’t worth anyone getting hurt. You gotta pick your battles.”

Yet when Sony Pictures itself bowed the knee, I re-thought the issue, with some help from a strongly worded Facebook post by a friend and mentor.

“Wait a sec. A monster like Sony’s going to let poor, repressed, frightened and doltish North Korea tell us what movies to watch?”

Grab a kilt and cue the bagpipes. It’s time for a throw down.

A bad and unfunny movie isn’t worth a stubbed toe, but free speech is a right for which to die. A lot of people already have done it. Twelve more were added to that list today.

The cold slaughter at Paris’ Charlie Hebdo magazine has been a wake-up call for me.

I enjoy good satire, but It unnerves me sometimes, and I don’t appreciate mean spiritedness. I always want to know where that line is that separates dialogue from diatribe. Often it is invisible until crossed.

Sticking up for someone expressing a view you do not share isn’t comfortable. Comedian Jim Norton told The Blaze just that last summer.

“It’s really hard to truly want people who you hate to have the right to say whatever they want,” he said.

Nailed it.

We live in an offensive world. As a reporter, wordsmith and citizen born in a country with the fundamental right to free speech, I must be more willing to stick up for those who offend me. I may need them to return the favor sometime.

Je Suis Charlie.

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