Fun fact #1: Tonight at the Henry Miller Library we’ll be having brilliant comedic theater, courtesy of MAD Magazine’s Joe Raiola. Not to be missed! Doors at 7:30. We’re 1/4 south of Nepenthe. More info here.
Fun fact #2: Joe’s awesome and brilliant stand-up performances have received rave reviews across the US. Some folks even call him “Carlin-esque.” Not bad.
Fun fact #3: For some people, “Carlin-esque” is preferable to “Kafka-esque.” I’m not so sure.
Fun fact #4: Freedom of speech is the first amendment in the Constitution. Numero uno. The Big Enchilada. There’s profound symbolism in that. Founders were, like, really into it.
But as anyone who’s absorbed the Socratic ruminations of George W. Bush can attest, “freedom is not free.” Freedom has its boundaries.
No where is that more evident than in the realm of free speech.
And it’s implications have been interwoven across America lives ever since.
We can’t, for example, yell fire in a crowded theater. That’s a no-no, straight from the judicial lips of my main man Oliver Wendell Holmes.
And then there’s a bunch of politically correct stuff you can’t say. And though it may not cause heartburn amongst the authorities of the state, it can nonetheless get you fired (or severely fined; one ill-timed Swedish joke cost me a week’s worth of vacation.)
This is interesting stuff, I think, which is why we’re stoked about Joe Raiola’s performance here on Friday. It’s at 7:30 and it’s free. BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THIS.
Joe has a show called “The Joys of Censorship,” and I did some cursory Web searching, and found some really interesting nuggets.
Take the FCC for example. “I call them the Federal Censorship Commission,” said Raiola. “It seems to me now that you can get free speech if you pay for it. On XM satellite radio, on HBO and Showtime. But if you can’t afford that, then you’re stuck with what the FCC gives you and we have to live by their rules. Something about that is fundamentally wrong.”
And then there’s the Orwellian “free-speech zones” into which protesters are herded, and until recently a ban on photographing the coffins of U.S. soldiers.
“The Joy of Censorship” has been performed to rave reviews in over 41 states, and now it comes to the Free and Soveriegn Town of Big Sur, CA. (Note: after the event, the Big Sur Secessionist Association will have their bi-annual meeting. Donuts will be served.)