“Friend, either you’re closing your eyes
To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a pool table in your community
Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here
I say, trouble right here in River City…”
~ Robert Preston, Album “The Music Man” (1962 Film Soundtrack)
Forgive me for noticing – but last night I saw where people are upset at one of the Kardashians (not sure which one) for using the phrase “f*cking retard”. If you guessed it was the profane word they were upset about, you’d be wrong. It was the word “retard”.
Hell has no fury like a progressive scold scorned.
Look – some of the tweets I have seen are disgusting – but if we are going to have free speech, some people are going to say stupid, disagreeable stuff. The question is not what word is used, rather it is who gets to decide who gets to say what – and once it goes that far, there is going to be trouble in River City.
People as diverse as Roseanne Barr and Elon Musk are getting in hot water because they used the “wrong” word on social media. People are getting fired or resigning from the senior management levels of major corporations and organizations for using an “unapproved” word.
The hell of this is that none of this is about the victim of the word, it is all about the people who elect to criticize and shame the perpetrator – it’s all virtue signaling. “Oh, dear! How dare you say that about another person! It’s so bad, it offends me, and I’m not even retarded!”, they say – but are they? It is interesting how often members in good standing of the accusatory mob of last week wind up getting targeted this week for falling afoul of that which they just criticized last week. It’s like the boomerang effect of the #metoo movement – how many “male feminists” have been hoisted on their own petard after swearing the oath of radical feminism? How many creeps were against it before they were for it?
Quite a few.
Do you think any of the people who attacked one of the Unspeakable Armenians for using the word “retard” are really concerned about what a mentally retarded person thinks about that word – or is it more likely they are concerned about what their fellow scolds think of them?
The #metoo movement has uncovered the shocking fact that people who seek to deceive will think and believe one thing and say another! Shocking, isn’t it! The progressive movement has long proven that they don’t really care what you do if you only say the “right” things.
Free speech isn’t a collective event. Once a group starts to police speech, free speech is over. Speech is just the verbalization of an idea and ideas are unique to everyone – and today’s anti-free speech movement is less about the words and more about what people think. I should be able to say things or think things that might shock you because you don’t think the same way – and governing that thought by a collective, perpetually aggrieved lynch mob is no way to run a lemonade stand.
This is the kind of trouble Orwell warned us against in his novel, 1984.
Trouble with a capital “T” – and right here in River City.
One thought on “Trouble in River City”
Agree that speech should not be policed – that is the very essence of free speech. “Hate speech” laws are totalitarian and indeed Orwellian.
People exercising free speech should be aware that others may disagree and there could be social consequences -— and then get ready for them.
I’m all for bringing back Socratic debate in the “literal” public square. Not a “free speech zone” but a designated debate zone in every town. Bring back middle school debate teams. Disassemble cultural Marxism in schools and teach critical thinking based on historical classical literature (not intersectionality or critical race theory).