"Don't Get Stuck On Stupid!"

Dedicated to exposing all manner of journalistic malfeasance and moral incontinence, while laboring in comfortable obscurity.

Location: Antarctica

Monday, October 10, 2005

Expression vs. Oppression: Free Speech vs. Class

There has been some humorous kerfuffling around the blogosphere regarding the woman (I certainly won't describe her as a "lady") who was apparently kicked off an Southwest Airlines flight because she refused to cover up or remove a profane political t-shirt slogan which made a play on the movie title "Meet the Fockers"...save for one crucial vowel.

She then goes off on some sheehan-esque rant about how soldiers are dying in Iraq for Freedom (okay, well, Sheehan would never admit the "...for freedom" part), and yet she has to (horror of horrors!) cover up a shirt that says "F*ckers" on it while riding on crowded public transportation. OPPRESSION!!

Chick, this ain't about soldiers dying for freedom. It's not about freedom of speech. You're a middle-aged lefty feminazi living in the lap of luxury compared to the people in Iraq. This isn’t about being oppressed; it’s about showing a little focking class.

Picture this. I'm boarding the plane, walking up the aisle with my eight-year old son in tow. You are already in your seat, brandishing your scathing rhetorical wit proudly emblazoned across your sagging thirty-somethings. My eight-year old son can read. He glances over at your shirt, and then quickly glances back, his face turning a little red from embarrassment.

A few minutes later, as we sit in our seats, my son leans over and whispers, "Uh, dad? Why did that lady's shirt say the f-word?"

What should my response be? "Well, son. You see, it’s her Constitutionally protected right to express herself in any way she see’s fit, even if it uses the kinds of words that I would wash your mouth out with soap if I heard at the dinner table.”

Or maybe, Option B:Well, son, you see, she’s a clueless twat.”

Me, I’m liking Option B.

Then of course, the Anti-Christ's Luciferian Utopia has to join the fray. How's this for a quote:

Allen Lichtenstein, lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union in Nevada, said Heasley's T-shirt is "protected" political speech under the Constitution. The real issue, he said, is that the airline allowed her to wear the shirt onboard and then objected only when people complained.

...Wait for it....

"That they changed rules in the middle of a flight simply because someone didn't like it and it might be problematic," he said.
Wha...? Splutter...? Beg pardon? Is this NOT just the clearest statement of ACLU general policy you've every seen? Let one disgruntled parent complain and now we've got a spring festival instead of an Easter pageant. The ACLU is all about stifling free speech as soon as one person complains. Why, then, are they suddenly so interested in this injustice? What mind-numbing hypocrisy.

And for a parting comment?

"I have always flown Southwest everywhere I go," Heasley said. "I will never fly with them again. They can disrespect somebody else."
Yeah. The close-minded bastards. Disrespecting people is vewy bad, isn't it? Like, oh say, putting some politicians' pictures on your shirt and calling them "f*ckers," for example? Or strutting profanity where old folks and children can drink it in, whether they want to or not?

Lorrie Heasley, you are definitely Stuck on Stupid.

Linked at Mudville Gazette, Basil's Blog, and Outside the Beltway