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Thursday, February 16, 2006

C-list rocker takes on D-list publisher

I like Matthew Good's music, even though I can't tell any of his songs apart. I went to his concert  in Calgary a few years ago at the Whiskey nightclub. My favourite part of that evening was meeting the kind of fans he attracted -- the friendliest, most earnest college kids, the kind who were corporate enough to go to Starbucks instead of Tim Hortons, but would insist on soy milk to make a statement. Sort of like Good himself, and his wife, but fifteen years younger -- master capitalists and aesthetes, who put on a noisy show of being proles with working class street cred.

The club was great, the crowd was great and the music was great. But in between songs, Good insisted on having Jack Handy-style  Deep Thoughts about the war in Iraq, Republicans, and all sorts of things you'd expect at a college Chomsky reading group, not at a rock concert that was supposed to be fun. Talk about spoiling the mood. I'm glad that Good has taken up blogging, because that's a far better forum for his foreign policy philosophizing than at a music show.

This is all a lengthy throat-clearing before I point out that Good has now offered his opinions about our magazine's decision to publish the Danish cartoons, and focuses on me in particular. It's flattering that he read my column and learned of my views, after I listened to him that night and heard his. (I paid something like $30 to hear him, but my column is free on the Internet. But I think I enjoyed his performance more than he enjoyed mine.)

I'm surprised that such a politically expressive artist would be against freedom of the press. At least I think that's his view; his criticism is largely just a list of adjectives -- "moronic", "opportunistic", etc. -- without really articulating his reasons why the cartoons shouldn't be published. I'd be delighted to hear a clearer expression of them, either on his blog or on ours.

I can sum up my case for publishing the cartoons in one sentence: They're newsy, and we're a news magazine. But it is fun for a D-list media celebrity like me to get so much attention from a C-list rocker like him. We're moving up!

UPDATE: Good joins the fray in our comments section! I'm delighted to hear his attacks were merely personal, and not aimed at our freedom of the press. He meant "moronic" in a good way!

Posted by Ezra Levant on February 16, 2006 | Permalink


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» Freedom of the Press Lame Excuse for Publishing Cartoons from Robb's Rants
The self-righteous feel no need to be charming, and thus double their offensiveness. Mason Cooley Thank heavens for Ezra Levant, publisher of the Calgary-based Western Standard. He has saved us from making the mistake of not printing the infamous... [Read More]

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I'm glad someone is willing to take a stand...

Posted by: Knight of the Blue Revolution | 2006-02-16 5:28:24 PM

He did not offer any reasons other than being partisan.

but alas, that is canada. freedoms are things to be regulated and controlled by our paternal ruling class.

it is rather ironic that almost all the artists in this country support the paternalistic overlords that control what is correct thought.

Posted by: stuckInVancouver | 2006-02-16 5:34:39 PM

It seems France is taking a stand. The minister of foreign affairs is attacking Iran on its intention of building nukes.

My guess is that France is getting ready with its airforce and navy.

Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-02-16 5:37:06 PM

"Perhaps someone should have reminded (Ezra) that objectivity is the basis of the fourth estate before he started throwing stones in its glass house." -- M. Good.


Can someone explain what Good thinks he was saying?
Holy schmokers.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-02-16 6:05:15 PM

Ezra, you totally missed an opportunity.

"I'd be delighted to hear a clearer expression of them, on his blog, on our blog, or in song at his March 22 appearance at Mac Hall."

Posted by: Johnny Pockets | 2006-02-16 6:06:52 PM

Hey Blog master!!!

Your comment section on A tale of two cities has been hacked by some kind of spammer , can't post there.

The Islamics have been hacking many websites they are engaged in cyberwar.

As far as Abu Grahib goes, they need to execute all the prisoners there. Those prisoners are all committed to destruction and murder of the West , they can never be let go. There is no reason to keep them alive , it wastes the taxpayers money. There is no country to return them to, even if they come form Syria and Iran , even if you let them go they will just come back and murder more Americans and Westerners.
Get tough, eh!
If the Yanks got qualms about their image turn them over to the Shiites and let them execute them
Make it legal, make the penalty for insurgency be execution, ASAP.
Stupid idiots , they put them in jail in Yemen and now they are free to kill again.
If you leave them alive they are always a danger they always will get outside help and return to kill us.
Make terrorism a capital offense. And make it law that the penalty be dealt within 30 days. .
For ALL Western countries!!!
Anyone convicted of Islamic Terrorism gets the death penalty, no reprieve no appeal, no pardon.
Do you people want to wait til the nukes evaporate your cities before you wise up??!!!

Posted by: max | 2006-02-16 7:29:54 PM

Some people say: if you know you've got freedom of speech, why do you have to test it? The problem is: if you never test it, how do you know if you've got it?

If one has a strong argument to make in favour of a position, one should be able to express the argument, with supporting evidence as appropriate, without being pilloried by some just because they don't agree with the argument.

Mr. Levant has such an argument; he has elucidated it. The simple fact that there is such a furor of opposition to him being able to freely and legally do so shows that Mr. Levant's argument is proving to be a test case that highlights the weaknesses in Canada's tolerance for diversity of opinions.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 7:30:13 PM

If you don’t like what I’ve said, Mr. Levant, that is, of course, absolutely your right, but I would like to make one thing very clear. At no point in my comments did I suggest that you did not have the right to publish those cartoons. I invite your readers to read what I wrote, as it is entirely apparent that, at no time, did I disparage the actual printing of the images. What I did disparage was your very obvious use of that undertaking to garner yourself press. Mention of this was on the CBC on Saturday, and you penned a piece for the Calgary Sun that was released the same day as the issue of the Western Standard that contains the cartoons. These actions are, in my opinion, extremely telling with regards to your motivation. Were freedom of the press and expression your motivating factors, you would have had the class to just print them and deal with the fallout without turning it into an opportunity for yourself. And if your response to that is that you’re in a business, then spare us your self righteousness and self-proclaimed branding as some vanguard of civil liberties.

As for my use of the word ‘moronic’, I tend to apply it to those that employ right-wing vernacular whilst attempting to pass themselves off as a pure journalistic stalwarts. And your twisting of the actual focus of my entry only speaks to this. Again, I did not disparage the printing of the images, disagree with it as I may, simply the manner with which you have conducted yourself with regards to shameless self promotion.

Lastly, if you would ever like to actually interview me with regards to my knowledge regarding US foreign and covert policy, its history, or how global human rights standards have declined since the advent of the US led war on terror, I’d be more than happy to provide you with some larger words than employed on stage.

As for those that have left thinly veiled comments on my blog disguised as comments, that would be the reason why the comments were disabled for that particular entry. Because no matter how brave you might think yourself, Ezra, for leaving your comments open, I do not support the penning of bigoted statements, nor will I provide a venue for them to be posted. If that’s freedom of speech, then I think I might remove myself to some foreign destination where I can be presented despotism at face value rather than suffer the ignorant hypocrisy of those that would, in the same breath, claim you a defender of free speech and employ the term “raghead”.

Very best.
M. Good

Posted by: Matthew Good | 2006-02-16 7:45:27 PM

Pardon me, that should read "thinly veiled threats".

Posted by: Matthew Good | 2006-02-16 7:47:53 PM

From Matthew Good's blog
Matthew Good:
Good points, Dan? Were you dropped on your head as a child? You accused the Muslim world of being ‘less moral’ than the Western world. You know what that’s called? It’s called bigotry, and I’ll not have it here. Take your horseshit and go elsewhere. Seriously - fuck off.
My response:
Matthew, the Muslim world is less moral than the Western world. That you fail to grasp that is not surprising, given what you do for a living, but despicable nonetheless. Matthew, how many of us Westerners pack up our belongings and seek the good life in Iran or Saudi Arabia? Perhaps you should do a concert there, and bring some scantily clad female fans and homosexuals too, we'll see if the government is hospitable. Matthew, do you think you could have achieved your C-list rockstar standing, or any standing whatsoever, in the Muslim world? Do you think the average citizen in Ghaddafi's Libya or Saddam Hussein's Iraq has the same opportunities that Canadians, Americans, or Europeans do to achieve their potential? There are probably countless would-be A-listers that we'll never hear of, rotting away in some prison, deprived of the rights and freedoms that you take for granted with your remarks.

Matthew, are you aware that bigotry and racism is probably more rife in the Arab world than in any other culture? Are you aware that cartoons denying the Holocaust, portraying Jews as hook-nosed mongrels and bloodthirsty baby killers is standard fare in the Arab media? Or that Christians are targeted with equal zeal? No, you don't realize these things. You are a cultural relativist and a moral relativist. Matthew, I know I'm not going to change your political philosophy with my comments, and that's fine. But I can promise you one thing: There is absolutely no way you would have the life you do, the career you do, the prospects you do, if you were born in the Muslim world. Your successes are due at least as much to the Western culture of liberty and democracy as to your own talents, and probably moreso. We, as people, are not superior to Muslims, or to anyone else. But our culture is superior, and it's neither racist nor bigoted to stand by that claim.


Posted by: Matthew Good is an empty-headed C-list rocker | 2006-02-16 7:58:58 PM

Matthew: By referring to "thinly veiled threats" are you disparaging the thickness of the fabric on someone's burqa. Is there a minimum fabric thickness that one must have? I want to make sure that the poor woman is aware that such a code exists. Would all Muslims be offended if the veil was too thin? Or are you referring to the whole burqa and the second "t" should actually be a "d". Maybe you should record a song called "Thinly veiled threads" to the tune of the "hokey pokey".

Posted by: Tolerance Guy | 2006-02-16 8:00:36 PM

"If that’s freedom of speech, then I think I might remove myself to some foreign destination where I can be presented despotism at face value"

Perhaps you could visit our friends at One Free Korea http://freekorea.blogspot.com/

Do you let us know if you experience a rundown
feeling at the posted link below.


Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2006-02-16 8:02:25 PM

It's good to know that's an excuse for some to lower themselves to the same level. That's enlightened thinking. That said, let the me- bashing begin in earnest. Enjoy yourselves.

Posted by: Matthew Good | 2006-02-16 8:02:46 PM

The wisdom of crowds

Consider the new Lara Croft from Bethnal Green, the constituency of George Galloway.

Karina Adebibe, a 20 year old from Bethnal Green, will be playing the video game industry's iconic heroine. To prepare for her role as Lara Croft, Karine will have to undergo SAS (Special Air Service) training and survival program.

Bloggledygook carries the story of a German Muslim group that has dared Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp and deny the Holocaust there.

By denying the Holocaust, Ahmadinejad not only denigrated the Jewish victims of the genocide but also the 200,000 Roms and Arabs murdered in the "gypsy camp" of Auschwitz-Birkenau and other camps, the institute spokesman said. The fact that the president of an Islamic state repeated Nazi anti-Semitism was harmful to the image of Islam and "a disgrace for all the world’s Muslims", he added. The Berlin-based institute, founded in 1927, is the oldest Muslim body in Germany.


There's a saving power in the ordinary world. German Muslims who can see Jews as neighbors and those who can see Karine Adebibe as Lara Croft can never be truly lost. The greatest blows against the fantasy ideologies occur when ordinary people stand up for daily things which aesthetes have held themselves above. Tolkien well understood to what airless places men are led in the quest for solitary power -- "no taste of food, no feel of water, no sound of wind, no memory of tree or grass or flower, no image of moon or star are left to me," was Frodo's description of the arid sustenance of the Ring. The struggle against unremitting stupidity of Political Correctness or the remorseless hatred of Osama Bin Laden are both at heart an effort to reclaim ordinary life -- with its laughter, pity and guiless admiration -- from the faded wraiths who envy our mortal humors.

posted by wretchard at

Posted by: maz2 | 2006-02-16 8:07:18 PM

Matthew - You Rock ! ( but I guess we knew that already )

Posted by: Nbob | 2006-02-16 8:07:33 PM

Matthew Good: Is that what it's all about -- ME. Is your self-promotion more important than anything else here? Frankly, when I first heard your name I thought of Matthew Sweet, a cool rocker and then it clicked, here is the CRTC-mandated detrius that we are forced to listen to 35% of the time on the radio. Praise the Lord for satellite radio where the wheat is separated from the chaff -- except for the CRTC legislated exceptions which I have the freedom not to listen to.

Posted by: Tolerance Guy | 2006-02-16 8:08:00 PM

Hey Matthew, if you're actually thinking of taking up my challenge and heading East, you'll find it advantageous to read into other ex-pat Canadians' experiences. Check out William Samson's 'Confessions of An Innocent Man: Torture and Survival in a Saudi Prison'. It's a real gem.

Posted by: Matthew Good is an empty-headed C-list rocker | 2006-02-16 8:11:44 PM

Matthew doesn't realize that the cartoons were published and then there was the fall-out,which was primarily criticism from smug,comfortable,left=wing types. The dialogue that comes from the muslim community is this;we will not commit violent acts unless you do something that offends us, To hell with your rights.Praise allah and pass the bullets.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-02-16 8:12:17 PM

What is the logic behind "garnering press" and being "in a business" disqualifying someone from also taking a stand on civil liberties? Ezra must always consider his responsibility to his shareholders and his responsibility for the survival of his enterprise. These are not bad things. The fundamental nature of his business requires that he communicate with the public, if you choose to interpret his communication as being irrationally self-serving rather than serving the purpose of his business by attracting the interest and, yes, the admiration of consumers, you may well be very mistaken. I suspect that you may view free enterprise and private business as somehow wrong, that you might think that it is up to some hypothetical government body, or government-controlled media, to dictate what is published. But maybe I'm reading too much into the typing of a pop musician who made his living due to Canadian content broadcast regulation.

Posted by: noneofyourbusiness | 2006-02-16 8:13:18 PM

Nice bit of sophistry. WS running the cartoons was free speech. People pillorying Levant as a publicity seeking weasle with poor judgment? Also free speech.
All the rest - the hateful anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish screeds post in response? Swill, but free speech nonetheless.
I now sit patiently, waiting for ET to post something defining free speech on her terms.
In the meantime, I'd like to say that logophiles can't be trusted to tell the truth. Bigoted?Maybe. Wrong-headed? probably But also free speech.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-16 8:15:39 PM

"That's enlightened thinking."

Did someone say Enlightened?


Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2006-02-16 8:16:13 PM

Some people say that other people shouldn't be able to express their opinions if some third party doesn't agree with their opinions. Speaking as an amature anthropologist, I find that fascinating. In my opinion Anthropology reminds me of a song...

What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Put down the knitting,
The book and the broom.
Time for a holiday.
Life is Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band.
Come blow your horn,
Start celebrating;
Right this way,
Your table's waiting

No use permitting
some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away.
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret!

I've put down my knitting, my book and my broom. Here I site at my table at the Shotgun, tasting the wine, hearing the band, and blowing my horn. I'm celibrating (freedom of speech). I'm not permitting prophets of doom to wipe every smile away. Life is a Cabaret, old chum, Come to the Cabaret.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 8:22:01 PM

"If that’s freedom of speech, then I think I might remove myself to some foreign destination where I can be presented despotism at face value rather than suffer the ignorant hypocrisy of those that would, in the same breath, claim you a defender of free speech and employ the term “raghead”."

I look forward to seeing Alec Baldwin as your opening act. I understand China and North Korea have excellent prison vacation packages available through CAA travel outlets. Unlike we ignorant hyporcrits (hypogrits?), they tend to be very upfront with the steel bar in the front teeth, if you know what I mean.

I hear the Dim Sum is excellent.

ps What do you think of Al Dimeola's guitar work?

Posted by: Plato's StepChild | 2006-02-16 8:26:54 PM

I support anybody who wants to print those cartoons. 2 reasons. One is for people to see exactly what kind of a middle east mentality exists to put the world one published cartoon away from a nulcear war if Iran gets the bomb. Two is that it becomes even more imperative for the western world to understand that Iran should be prevented from acquiring any WMD. It is indeed a seriously sick and twisted leadership mentality when 1.2 billion people can be so easily orchestrated to get so aroused over a mere cartoon.
Apparently the incredible amount of benevolence by the western world to the Islamic nations during their tsunami and earthquake disasters means nothing to these allegedly religious people.
Clearly these cartoons have been used by the Islamic supremicists (they keep repeating 1.2 billion) to push their religious agendas in the western nations. They want special rules because they consider themselves to be special people with special wants and needs. Its the old formula, create tension thru violence and then bargain/intimidate western govts to gain advantages in western countries.
Apparently the thought that there are millions of us who want freedom FROM religion has never crossed the minds of the Elmasrys of the world. Don't bother us with any religion. Practise your own quietly and be happy.

'The chief source of happiness for some people consists entirely of making other people unhappy'.

Posted by: rockyt | 2006-02-16 8:27:58 PM


I thought this William Lloyd Garrison link was relevant to the discussion at hand.

Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2006-02-16 8:32:52 PM

Celibrating? Interesting coinage. Is that what priest do when they win the big game?

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-16 8:34:17 PM

M. Good explains that he disabled his comments because people left "thinly veiled threats".

I guess that would explain his touchiness regarding those, including Ezra, obviously, who have a lot more "sack", as the kids say.

While Ezra shows by his actions that he will not be cowed by threats, M. Good chooses to close shop and boards up the windows. No wonder M. Good thinks that disobeying Islamists, the Syrian government, etc is "moronic".

As for his invitation for Ezra to debate him, I would pay good money to see it, although I'm not usually a fan of blood sports.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-02-16 8:39:10 PM

>Good points, Dan? Were you dropped on your head as a child? You accused the Muslim world of being ‘less moral’ than the Western world. You know what that’s called? It’s called bigotry, and I’ll not have it here. Take your horseshit and go elsewhere. Seriously - fuck off.<

In one sentence you called a man a bigot, by being a bigot! Did you fall off the stage one to many times? Experimenting in the drug culture a bit perhaps? As has been proven by the Hollywood ideal, celebrity is no guarantee of a fair and balanced mind. In fact it seems to be the opposite.

As far as letting the bashing begin in earnest, you left yourself so wide open a blind man could hit you.

Instead of bashing the troops overseas why don't you do the right thing and go do a concert for them. I'm sure they would appreciate it, but you might want to leave your political views at the door. Or maybe not, why don't you go tell the brave men and women over there what you really think instead of sitting behind a keyboard sniping at them.

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-02-16 8:42:07 PM

In the sense, truewest, that in Websters 3rd, definition (1) of celibacy is: "The state of not having a spouse : Single life," I'm certainly celibrating that (not that anyone else should); I'm married to the ship, Captain, and I'm quite happy with her trim. After sailing the seas of anthropology, and after the Shotgun cabaret, I leave my table ashore and skip back to my pilot bunk whistling...

What do you do with a drunken sailor?
What do you do with a drunken sailor?
What do you do with a drunken sailor?
Earlie in the morning.

Next day, back on the water with sails trim, I ponder the best part of that cabaret: Mr. Levant's aria to freedom of thought, belief, speech, and expression.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 9:05:32 PM

Well, excuse me for interrupting your pissing contest, boys!

It seems that Western Standard readers come from the school of thought that prefers its freedoms to include freedom of public displays of hatred. Fortunately most Canadians prefer a more civil approach to life.

Posted by: An Easterner | 2006-02-16 9:10:45 PM

Webster? The same Webster who set out to create an expurgated version of the Bible? Figures that he'd do whatever he could to avoid mentioning S-E-X when talking about celibacy. Sorry, celibracy.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-16 9:12:51 PM

Webster was a man who I didn't mention. Webster's 3rd is a dictionary which I did. Truewest knew that, but since he is completely devastated by my arguments, charm, and wit, he's stuttering out spelling corrections and disconnected semantics in a feeble attempt to draw attention away from the important contributions Mr. Levant has made to Canada on the topics at hand.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 9:20:56 PM

"freedom of public displays of hatred."

Just this evening we were digitally photographed running with scissors in our hands. Call me Edward, please.

Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2006-02-16 9:36:52 PM

I just tested the thread on the "Tale of Two Images" post and it seems to be working fine.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2006-02-16 9:42:45 PM

Ezra and Kevin,

If you haven't already checked out the Islamic Supreme Council's website, please do so.

There are a number of eye-catching headlines, among them: Canada Should Pull Out of Afghanistan, and get this - Mr. Bush There is no Radical Islam!

Posted by: Matthew Good is an empty-headed C-list rocker | 2006-02-16 9:46:48 PM

So let me get this straight, M.Good - you don't disagree with publishing the cartoons. You just wish Ezra wouldn't talk about it, and not make money selling The Western Standard. Or, not make money on this particular issue. I think. As someone who makes a living by singing songs for money, you sound a mite hypocritical. Or simply confused.

Or perhaps it comes down to this - you simply hate people on the right side of the political spectrum. With you being an artist who depends on freedom of speech, there's simply no other explanation to your criticism of Mr. Levant. The fact that you twist yourself into pretzel logic just to lay a hate on Ezra betrays your ideological blindness.

When it comes down to it, you guys aren't much different. You're both independent small businessmen, trying to make a living in industries dominated by corporate giants. The only difference I see is that Ezra doesn't take for granted the fact that he can only do what he does because he lives in a free country. Try making a living (and staying out of jail) playing alt-rock in Iran...

Posted by: NCF TO | 2006-02-16 9:47:56 PM

Ezra, I thought you had more taste than that. Matthew Good sucks donkey dicks.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-02-16 9:52:25 PM

Well, I give you charm and wit.
Your arguments, on the other hand, leave me unmoved. Ezra (or as we Seinfeld fans prefer, Newman) hasn't advanced the cause of freedom of the press in any way.
His right to print the cartoons was never in question - never, not for a minute. And when he did print them, Calgary muslims (from what I saw, about five of them), those deadly radicals, went so far as to...demand an apology. And when none was forthcoming they...filed a complaint with the human rights tribunal. Oh, those nefarious heathens!
Given that Ezra used to work at law firm that launched a lawsuit against the University of B.C. on behalf of an Anglican grad student who was upset that someone has joked on a class listserve about yearning for the days when they used to stone Christians, in the process using a 1930s statute designed to fight the Klan, I'm not sure his footing on the free speech high ground is secure or his motives for running these cartoons beyond question.

But hey, lionize away. You're hardly alone. Well, except at the Cabaret. Somehow, I don't think many of the people here are big Kander/Ebb fans. And I'm pretty sure they don't like Bob Fosse.

NCF TO: At risk of putting words in Matt Good's mouth, I think his position is similar to mine. Nobody question the RIGHT to print the cartoons. He just thinks it was a terrible idea and done for all the wrong reasons. Why is that hard to understand?

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-16 9:53:15 PM

Yeah, you both suck donkey dicks.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-02-16 9:57:38 PM

I fail to see, truewest, how failing to apologize for the exercising of a fundamental freedom per clause 2 of the charter constitutes a claim for human rights violations.

On the other hand, if Mr. Levant had prevented someone else from exercising their fundamental freedoms, I can see how there might be a claim.

But Mr. Levant and the Western Standard have done the opposite. They have thrown open the doors for all to speak, each to stand or fall as challenged by all, right here at the Shotgun.

Fortunately, on this matter the Western Standard has become Canada's "Speakers' Corner". Free civilizations have speakers' corners, with all that implies. Authoritarian civilizations don't.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 10:13:22 PM

That's section 2(b) of the Charter. And no, failing to apologize probably doesn't give grounds for a successful human rights complaint. But like the courthouse door, the HRT door is open to all. Many can file, few succeed.

As for your point on speakers corners, I agree wholeheartedly that the ability to express opinions and share information, no matter how ill-founded, is essential to a free society. No argument there. Part of that, however, is the right to criticize the message being disseminated and to question the motives of the speaker. Which is precisely what I (and Mr. Good) are doing. Nothing inconsistent with 2(b) there.

Mr. Roark,
If I'm not mistaken, those are hoofprints on your thighs. And what's that stuff dripping from your chin? Oh, never mind.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-16 10:30:09 PM

I mentioned clause 2 broadly, truewest, to deliberately include 2(c) freedom of peaceful assembly, and 2(d) freedom of association, which are integral to the Shotgun's role as a volitional speakers' corner in a free society.

Everybody should take note. Clause 2 of the charter defines these as fundamental freedoms. The rest of the charter is about rights, but the rights are not listed as fundamental.

So how can rights trump fundamental freedoms?

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 10:57:53 PM

I think M. Good disabling comments say it all. If you're going to dish it, you should be able to take it.

Goods' self-righteous leftist condescension oozes the usual tired leftist assumptions - the most offensive being the assumption of inherent correctness. He drops "right-wing vernacular" as though that is inherently evil (and we all immediately get that - right?).

Attacking Ezra for taking a bold and needed stand on a crucial issue is easy. What is harder is being willing to take the fall-out. Mathews disabled comments whereas Ezra exposed himself to every manner of abuse in here, without clicking "disable" and ducking under the desk.

Liberal posers notoriously affect humility and man-of-the-people familiarity while cultivating egos to beat the band (no pun intended). They feel secure in the knowledge that liberal "club Canada" will provide them with credibility because they hold values thought of as "cool". A lot of self-indulgent posers ride on this, and would never dream of stepping out from the herd and doing anything to rock the status quo.

The irony is that despite the fact that Ezra may be a self-described D-list publisher with conservative credentials, he is a lot more edgy and radical than Mathew Good.

Its also ironical that someone in the entertainment field should take shots at a publisher for grandstanding. When did it become a bad thing to grab the attention of the public via promotional strategies?

Posted by: Aidan Maconachy | 2006-02-16 11:04:48 PM

Again, that's SECTION 2 (at the risk of being pedantic, I'm sure that you would prefer to get the terms right.)
And no, everybody should NOT take note of the fact that s.2 is headed "fundamental freedoms" while the rest of the Charter uses the words "rights". It's a basic rule of statutory interpretation that headings do not form part of the statute. It's also trite law that the freedoms and rights all stand on a equal footing. None is greater than the others.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-16 11:20:59 PM

A handful of might is worth a bagful of right.

Ask the Muslim world.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-02-16 11:36:56 PM

Clause 2 says, literally: "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and (d) freedom of association."

So you see, truewest, fundamental is not just mentioned in the heading, it is explicitly stated in the text of the clause. And, as a matter of fact, it is not stated in other clauses. This must lead us to believe that the word fundamental was used in clause 2 on purpose, per its meanings as: a fundamental irreducible constituent of a whole, a fundamental principle or underlying concept, and a broad and basic rule or truth.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-16 11:52:54 PM

I know this is a favourite hobby horse of yours, but trust me on this -- one right or freedom in the charter doesn't trump another -- they're all equal. You can bury yourself to your ears in the dictionary and you still won't change the jurisprudence.
In any case, your reading neatly ignores s.1 of the Charter
1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

So no, they're not irreducible. Sorry.

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-17 12:08:18 AM

I remember watching Matt Good perform in Edmonton a few years back. His "political commentary" consisted mainly of holding up G.I. Joe dolls and rolling his eyes, counting on his audience filling in the holes in the routine and the gaps in his logic. His little gal-pal Melissa auf Der Mar was the subject of a little rant I wrote into the Globe and Mail, and altered version of which I link below just in case Matt wanders by here again.


And maybe he can hope to answer the question: When will the "artistic media" come close to representing the diversity of views present in the general population making up their fanbase?

Posted by: Feynman and Coulter's Love Child | 2006-02-17 12:09:38 AM

Still trying to get that screed published, FACLC? Awwww, c'mon Ezra - surely, you've to editors there who could make this readable. Surely, since you're better than the MSM, you can help poor FACLC?

Posted by: truewest | 2006-02-17 12:15:41 AM

I'm sorry that they're not irreducible too, truewest. I'm glad you agree with me. Perhaps if we work together we can achieve a society where freedoms and responsibilities trump rights and priviledges.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-02-17 12:18:24 AM

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