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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Comics for Freedom Rally

You may have heard of Toronto-based comic Guy Earle. His response to a lesbian heckler was deemed so unfunny as to be possibly sufficiently offensive to warrant a Human Rights Tribunal hearing in British Columbia.

A comedian. On trial. In Canada. I'm not making this up.

Of course, Ezra Levant is all over this. He's been busy shining a light on the dark underbelly of Canada's Human Rights Tribunals/Commission/Inquisition/Debacle. And Guy Earle sounds like a guy who won't take this lying down. The Toronto comedy scene appears to be lining up to support Earle, and you can too. If you're going to be in Toronto this weekend, go drop $20 and get a good laugh at the government's expense by attending the Comics for Freedom rally:

Guyrbg

Here's Guy explaining his predicament, the situation, and why he's being taken before a Human Rights Tribunal (not safe for work, crass, and definitely "not funny" according to our bureaucrat humour police):

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on July 15, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink

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Comments

I really don't think that Guy's comments towards these two women had anything to do with his act. Being a comedian does not exempt you from hate speech. Guy's rant was a pointed attack sgainst these two women. It started because Guy did not believe that these women had the right to kiss in public-because they were gay. He started the altercation because of his discriminatory attitude. I like jokes-and even offensive ones. But Guy was not joking. These women called him out on his bigotry and Guy responded by attacking them.

Human rights tribunal? I'm not sure. But Guy is no hero. He is no champion of free speech. Why can't people see that?

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-15 12:59:21 PM


I believe he'll lick this rap.

Posted by: set you free | 2008-07-15 1:34:07 PM


I don't know the details, Nina, except for what Guy has said. But I do think that we have reason to draw an inference, and make a judgment call, on the basis of the fact that the club Guy was an emcee for has a positive reputation amongst the gay and lesbian community in that area. They highlight gay and lesbian comics, and have been mentioned several times as gay-friendly.

That makes me think that they would be protective of that reputation, and that they would do some due diligence in picking a comic that wouldn't ruin it.

For those reasons, I believe the woman charging him is probably in the wrong, and Guy is probably in the right. That Guy responded to a heckler the way comics always do. Which is brutally vicious. (Ezra links to George Carlin responding to a heckler. Go check that out on YouTube. Carlin was no saint, but he was no hater either).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-07-15 1:47:44 PM


>"These women called him out on his bigotry and Guy responded by attacking them.

Human rights tribunal? I'm not sure. But Guy is no hero. He is no champion of free speech. Why can't people see that?

Nina | 15-Jul-08 12:59:21 PM

Misandrists calling a man a bigot.
That's supposed to be funny right?

Nina, if you're not sure this shouldn't be in front of the BCHRC, and it shouldn't, you really shouldn't wonder why Guy Earle is a champion of free speech.

Clue-stick:
The militant lesbian bigots MADE Guy Earle a champion of free speech when the ratted him to the Nanny State BCHRC!

How's that for irony?

Posted by: Speller | 2008-07-15 1:55:19 PM


It sounds to me like this....comedian cracks joke....audience members heckle..comedian responds..hecklers cry fowl becuase it became to much for them to handle. Sounds like the arguments I break up between my 7 and 4 year olds. What a waste of time for the BCHRC.

Posted by: maya | 2008-07-15 2:09:58 PM


We are constantly being told in the feminist and state-sponsored propaganda on intimate partner violence that saying hurtful things is never an excuse for a man to assault a woman.

So why weren't these women charged with assault for throwing their drinks in his face? Isn't assault the more serious offence here?

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2008-07-15 3:34:45 PM


These women did not start the altercation. Guy did. He started it by hassling the women for kissing in public-something he probably would not have done if they were straight. He was discriminating against them on the basis of their lifestyle and they called him out on it. Then he began his homophobic attack.

I don't know all the details of the situation. However, I don't think his rant had anything to do with 'art' or comic license. He is not someone to put on any kind of pedestal, that's for sure.

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-16 5:17:16 AM


To Speller:

Misandrists? Militant lesbian bigots? How do you know that they are militant and hate men? Maybe they were pissed off that Guy took them to task for kissing in public. It seems like you are inferring that all lesbians hate men. Just because they didn't like that Guy hassled them doesn't mean that they hate men. Sounds like you may have some prejudices yourself.

I am not sure if this should go to a human rights tribunal. However, it seems like the only rights many people are interested in protecting are those of White, heterosexual males. Human rights tribunals were set up to protect the freedoms of those NOT PART OF THE DOMINANT CULTURE. Is what Guy did a relatively minor thing? Probably. But his discriminatory attitude (even though he may not be aware of it himself) reflects the views of many in society. It is in an atmosphere of conscious or unconscious bigotry that the freedoms and rights of groups on the margins can be compromised.

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-16 5:53:22 AM


From Nina:
"These women did not start the altercation. Guy did. He started it by hassling the women for kissing in public-something he probably would not have done if they were straight. He was discriminating against them on the basis of their lifestyle and they called him out on it. Then he began his homophobic attack." - Posted by: Nina | 16-Jul-08 5:17:16 AM

I have read several accounts of this incident and none of them match what Nina says here. Every account I read says the women started it by heckling him and being disruptive of the show.

Nina, is every other published article in every new outlet on this incident wrong or are you deliberately lying to try to slant public opinion? Are you one of the women in the complaint trying to revise your story?

Regardless, would even *that* be a violation of human rights? What a joke! I would expect a comedian to mock a hetero-couple for kissing in the front row and that wouldn't be a surprise and it wouldn't be a violation of their human rights. Why two different sets of rules?

If the BCHRC has nothing better to do they should be disbanded.

Posted by: L | 2008-07-16 7:59:27 AM


>"However, it seems like the only rights many people are interested in protecting are those of White, heterosexual males. Human rights tribunals were set up to protect the freedoms of those NOT PART OF THE DOMINANT CULTURE."
Nina | 16-Jul-08 5:53:22 AM

The idea that white heterosexual males are protected, let alone dominant, is utter rubbish.

White heterosexual males have been widely discriminated against, without penalty, for 30+ years now.
Even the RCMP are discriminating against white heterosexual males when hiring.

Human rights tribunals were, ostensibly, set up to protect the rights of HUMANS!

That you think, Nina, that white heterosexual males aren't human enough to deserve to be protected by a Human Rights Commission, when discriminated against, is outright bigotry.

>"It seems like you are inferring that all lesbians hate men."
Nina

Not all lesbians hate men, just most.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-07-16 8:32:43 AM


Hi Speller:

Since when did White males (on the basis of their race and gender) EVER get discriminated against? Seriously, who has the most power, money and privilege in the world? Surely you can't say it's women, Black people, people with disabilities and lesbians.

Persons on the margins (gays, Blacks, women etc.)have been historically discriminated against. This discrimination reverberates today although in more covert forms. Affirmative action was brought into place to counteract the discrimination against minority groups in the workplace, institutions, etc. Not all groups in society have been on equal footing. Some sort of social engineering had to take place in order to counteract institutional racism, sexism etc. There are some White males (not all) who view affirmative action as a threat to their power and hegemony.

And are you the authoritative knower of who hates who? How do you know that most lesbians hate men?

I realize that many will disagree with my view. I am not one of the women making the complaint. Just someone commenting on an issue of public interest. What's wrong with that? All proponents of freedom of speech should be elated!

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-16 9:53:45 AM


Nina,
Being a hetero white male, I have personally been discriminated against on many occasions.

While you may imagine hetero white males to be some sort of monolithic group with a secret handshake and access from birth to some huge pool of wealth and power, the fact remains that we are basically disconnected individuals who have to make our own way in the world like everyone else.

It is true that some individual hetero white males are powerful, moneyed, and priviledged.

It is also true that in the past some individuals who were homos, non-whites, and females were discriminated against as individuals, because of characteristics evidenced by their groups, by other individuals, some of which were hetero white males, but not exclusively hetero white males were doing the discriminating.

Does that make a case for institutionalized discrimination today against individual hetero white males who may merit a job position or seat at an academy of learning?
NO.

Most lesbians, especially the dykes who comprise about 50% of that "special" group, hate men.
They have a definite agenda and hating men is a driving motive of that agenda.
Dykes want to be men, affecting mannish modes of dress and pose, but aren't accepted by men.
This causes deep seated resentment on the part of dykes who also see men as competition for female companionship.

Conversely, homo men don't hate women, they just like men sexually.

I realize that you may disagree with my view. I'm just someone commenting on an issue of public interest. What's wrong with that?
As a pretended proponent of freedom of speech, you Nina, should be elated!*
8oP

*(of course I don't believe you propose free speech protection for hetero white males any more than you think other "human rights", like equal hiring or education opportunities, should be protected for individuals who comprise that group)


Posted by: Speller | 2008-07-16 10:32:22 AM


I am not against White male individuals. I do question Whiteness and maleness as a social construction based on power and privilege. No, not all White men have power and privilege. But they don't have to experience their gender or race as an impediment to their goals. I am pointing out a fact. I am not saying that White straight men are 'bad.'

Sure I believe that people should be hired based on ability. Companies/institutions that specifically hire minority groups are not discriminating against White men, although it may seem that way. Affirmative action is a way to ensure that there is limited covert discrimination in the workplace. It would be lovely if companies/institutions never discriminated against anyone. But they HAVE and they DO. Hopefully, once there is enough cultural diversity in the i.e. RCMP then there will be no need for affirmative action.

And your generalization about lesbians (where did you come up with the 50 percent statistic?) speaks to your stereotypical view of a group of individuals.

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-16 11:02:31 AM


>"Affirmative action was brought into place to counteract the discrimination against minority groups in the workplace, institutions, etc. Not all groups in society have been on equal footing. Some sort of social engineering had to take place in order to counteract institutional racism, sexism etc."
Nina | 16-Jul-08 9:53:45 AM

>"No, not all White men have power and privilege. But they don't have to experience their gender or race as an impediment to their goals."
Nina | 16-Jul-08 11:02:31 AM

Affirmative action IS discrimination and DOES act as an impediment to the goals of white males.
It doesn't just seem that way, it IS that way.

Your claim, Nina, that you believe people should be hired on merit is proved false by your support of affirmative action quota hiring discrimination.

>"Hopefully, once there is enough cultural diversity in the i.e. RCMP then there will be no need for affirmative action."
Nina | 16-Jul-08 11:02:31 AM

Yeah, sure, as if RCMP officers are immortal and never retire or need to be replaced.
But what happens if they do?

The dead or retired RCMP Constable can only be replaced by an individual that fits the exact same minority profile or a least ANYONE who isn't a white male?

Affirmative action is discrimination and it is a form of discrimination that will NEVER END if the premises for it's existence are accepted as morally superior to hiring on the basis of merit alone.

In addition, those people who receive preference on the basis of affirmative action will NEVER be EQUAL to white males because they haven't merited it or will be perceived as not having merited it but were hired on the basis of their skin colour or because they squat to pee.


>"And your generalization about lesbians (where did you come up with the 50 percent statistic?) speaks to your stereotypical view of a group of individuals."
Nina

So what?
Stereotypes are neither intrinsically a bad thing nor are they necessarily inaccurate.

It is only when institutional policy discriminates on the basis of stereotypes, such as refusing to hire superior white males for a job, that stereotyping is bad.

My individual regard of stereotype is my opinion which, as you pretended elation to earlier Nina, I was entitled to.


Posted by: Speller | 2008-07-16 11:47:40 AM


A couple points interest me. First, Guy is being compared to one of the great artistic geniuses of all time, George Carlin. For some reason, no one is comparing his outburst to that of Michael Richards. Richards didn't point to Carlin as precedent for his behavior. Richards apologized. Guy might, too.

Why do supporters of Guy Earle compare him to Carlin? Carlin was very outspoken when people linked their names and their trite crap to him. I think Carlin would have come down on Guy Earle as hard as he did on the heckler in the youtube video. In Carlin's rant against a heckler he addressed the heckling itself and didn't attack any marginalized quality of the heckler, not his color, height, weight, sexual orientation, age. He could have. Carlin was vicious but fair.

Canadian Lesbian comedian Maggie Cassella has said that a line needs to be drawn when it comes to comedy targeting marginalized groups.

So in my opinion, as Nina suggests, lines need to be drawn. For me the line is drawn at what constitutes comedy and whether Guy Earle stepped out of the role of comedian. Carlin's attack was beautifully crafted and paced. It was comedy. Guy Earle's attack may have been more personal and hate based, like the one by Michael Richards.

There may be no clear answer. There doesn't have to be an absolute right or wrong.

Posted by: Martin | 2008-07-16 12:08:40 PM


Nina,

From what I've read, Guy's comments were meant as a joke and are not outside the norm of the offensiveness you might expect to hear at a comedy club. But suppose he really was expressing some discriminatory opinion. SO WHAT? That's free speech. Allowing PC speech only is NOT free speech.

Posted by: Bobby | 2008-07-16 12:22:30 PM


>"So in my opinion, as Nina suggests, lines need to be drawn. For me the line is drawn at what constitutes comedy and whether Guy Earle stepped out of the role of comedian."
Martin | 16-Jul-08 12:08:40 PM

So you're against the human right of free speech then, Martin.

Some right-wing fascist arbitrator, chairing the HRC, determining leftist speech to be prohibited speech is just ducky with you, eh Martin?

>"Canadian Lesbian comedian Maggie Cassella has said that a line needs to be drawn when it comes to comedy targeting marginalized groups."
Martin the fascist

So what?
We can't mock diesel dykes now?

Free speech is going to offend somebody.
If it doesn't offend somebody, nobody cares one way or the other about whether is should be free.
(one fish says to another fish, "the water is really beautiful today, eh?"
other fish: "What water?")

Why is it that only people on "the margins" should be protected?

It isn't as if I, a hetero white male, can kick the shit out of some Chinese lesbian who offends me just because I'm not "marginal"?

We either all get equal human rights protection or it's the law of the jungle and the strong man rules.
(that would be me)

Posted by: Speller | 2008-07-16 12:36:51 PM


"So you're against the human right of free speech then, Martin."

It's a human right. Like any other human right it has limits.

"We can't mock diesel dykes now?"

Yes you can. If you're a comedian do it as part of a well-crafted act. Like Carlin did. Not like Michael Richards or Guy Earle did in their outbursts.

"Free speech is going to offend somebody."

Yes. In some cases of slander or danger to the public, there may be a price to pay.

"It isn't as if I, a hetero white male, can kick the shit out of some Chinese lesbian who offends me just because I'm not 'marginal'?"

In the context of comedy you're free to kick the shit out of anyone verbally. Just do it well. If you don't do it well then it becomes a question as to whether you have stepped beyond the line of comedy into the area of verbal assault.

I hope Guy Earle gets his ass kicked by this tribunal. It will make greater demands on the comedians and tighten up the profession. Guy Earle and Michael Richards are not champions of free speech. They're embarrassments, okay? Embarrassments.

Posted by: Martin | 2008-07-16 1:53:19 PM


Martin, do you realize that you are asking the government to police your and my speech, thoughts, and sense of humour?

Read what you have said carefully:
""We can't mock diesel dykes now?"
Yes you can. If you're a comedian do it as part of a well-crafted act. Like Carlin did. Not like Michael Richards or Guy Earle did in their outbursts...
In the context of comedy you're free to kick the shit out of anyone verbally. Just do it well. If you don't do it well then it becomes a question as to whether you have stepped beyond the line of comedy into the area of verbal assault."

Or else what? What if an individual or a comedian steps over your arbitrary line and dips into speech offensive to a minority group?

They go to the tribunal, they answer to the state for their thought-crimes.

Kafka couldn't have designed this dystopia any better.

"It's a human right. Like any other human right it has limits."

If this is what 'balancing rights' is all about, I'll take my natural rights to life, liberty, and property absolute and inalienable, thank you very much.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-07-16 2:11:11 PM


Martin,

Are you saying you want to criminalize certain speech based on the point of view?

So what if someone says something discriminatory about homosexuals because of their religious beliefs? What if someone wants to say something discriminatory about Christians because of their stance on homosexuality? Both could potentially be considered hate speech under the existing legislation. Does that mean we have to ban both the Bible, and any anti-religious speech?

If you think there should be such legislation, then who gets to decide what speech is considered acceptable and which isn't? How do you ensure that there is no bias? If you look at the decisions of the human rights tribunals in Canada in recent times, you'll notice that the tribunals have a clear left-wing bias. I posit that because we're talking about opinions, eliminating bias is impossible by definition.

On the subject of Michael Richards, he slipped up and said something that was racist, in poor taste and not funny, and look what happened: His reputation was damaged, the public lost some respect for him. THAT's the type of punishment for speech that is acceptable, but the government telling you you're not allowed to express certain points of view is not.

Also, you are conflating "hate speech" with slander. Slander is when you are knowingly making a false claim to damage someone's reputation. Truth, fair comment, good faith, or if you can reasonably argue that you are expressing an OPINION, not fact, are all defenses. In any case, it's quite different from what we are talking about here.

Posted by: Bobby | 2008-07-16 2:27:06 PM


Bobby, you're conflating "hate speech" with the sort of speech that the HRCs get involved with. 319(2) of the Criminal Code talks about "communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promot[ing] hatred against any identifiable group," the BC Human Rights Act talks about statements which are "likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt." Notice there need not be anything willful in the second case, only "likely" exposure to hatred or contempt. One is a criminal offense (hate speech), the other is, well, something else.
(See: http://www.westernstandard.ca/website/article.php?id=2724)

Guy Earle is guilty of violating one of the most totalitarian laws on the books.

EDIT: The author of this comment was previously called "Bobby," that was my mistake.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-07-16 2:50:50 PM


>"If this is what balancing rights is all about, I'll take my natural rights to life, liberty, and property absolute and inalienable.
Kalim Kassam | 16-Jul-08 2:11:11 PM

Yeah, me too.

But the way I'll TAKE my natural rights is by smacking down Martin Bormann and his Speech Nazis.

I'll say what I want, where I want, about whom I want and I'll do it as BADLY and CLUMSILY as I care to without interference from fascists like Martin.

Martin can pretend that he is on the side of law and order by referring to slander/libel and "public danger" laws but any thinking person knows that TRUTH is no defence from the point of view that Martin's ilk espouses and truth IS a defence for laws like slander/libel and "public danger".

You, Martin, aren't about defence of law and order, you about attacking other people's ideology and suppressing opposition to your own through force of law just like the Bolsheviks did in the Soviet Union and the Nazis did in their Third Reich.

Guy Earle is a champion of free speech and his smut is beautiful compared to the ugliness of Martin and Nina's totalitarian tyranny.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-07-16 2:54:10 PM


Other Bobby,

Actually I'm aware of the two different laws. I don't necessarily agree with the one defined in the criminal code, although it's certainly not as bad as the human rights code one.

Posted by: Bobby | 2008-07-16 3:16:59 PM


Nina: "Since when did White males (on the basis of their race and gender) EVER get discriminated against?..."

Start with my column on this website called "The Curious Case of Country C." Then gravitate to just about every other column I have posted. Then work your way through the miscellanious discussion threads I have started in the Archives.

Ignorance is no excuse.

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2008-07-16 11:36:56 PM


Wow, you guys are good at arguing your points. It's exhausting keeping up with you! I never said that what Guy did should be subject to a human rights tribunal. I haven't made my mind up about that yet. I don't claim to know the truth or have all the answers. I only have questions.

Yes we have the right to freedom of speech. Don't we also have the right to live in a tolerant society? How do we balance these two rights? Aren't discriminatory public policies rooted in intolerant attitudes? After all, gays have only had the right to marry for a few years now. Yes, restricting freedom is a slippery slope and we don't want to censor public discourse. On the other hand, is total freedom of speech also a slippery slope into speech that incites hatred and violence?
So is it okay that the Heritage Front distribute their racist and anti-semitic pamphlets? This group believes that they know the truth. One person's truth is another person's lie.

Human rights tribunals as they were originally conceived were set up to protect individuals from discrimination. Yes, these women's complaints may be relatively minor. However they had the right to complain about their experience of discrimination. I find it hard to believe that those who staff the tribunal are complete idiots and that there isn't SOME substance to their case.

Again, I don't know if Guy crossed the line into hate speech. I don't claim to know what that line is. I just believe that these women had the right to articulate their experience of discrimination.

I think what really disturbs me about this whole issue is the undercurrent of homophobia that I see on the boards. Some, though not all, supporters of Earle are very quick to condemn those 'militant' and 'dyky' and 'crazy' lesbians. Whether or not what Guy did belongs in a tribunal, I doubt VERY MUCH that he would have all this support if he had made comments of the Michael Richards variety.

To Speller: So are stereotypes intrinsically right and often correct? So is the stereotype of the Black person being lazy and unintelligent correct? Discriminatory policies were rooted in these stereotypes of people. What if you became disabled for some reason? Would you like people to stereotype you as incapable of performing a job etc.?

Also, Speller, you may want to explore the other side of the affirmative action issue. Equity programs as they are intentionally conceived are NOT intended to prevent males or whites from employment opportunities (as in the case of minorities), but to remove structural barriers that have been limiting minority participation.

To sum it all up: I wonder how it is possible to balance freedom of speech with freedom to live in a tolerant society. Both rights are important to me. I don't have the answer. I don't know if Guy crossed the line into hate speech or if his case belongs in a tribunal. I don't know what that line is. However, I do detect an undercurrent of hate and homophobia in his comments and in some comments that support Earle. I think we need to be aware of our own prejudices. I try to be aware of mine.

One thing I do know for sure:

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-17 9:38:33 AM


To continue my last post, and this will be my last post.

One thing I know for sure: If I were a comedienne, I would not want my name aligned with Mr. Earle's. As Martin mentioned, he is an embarassment to the craft. Did his rant serve an aesthetic purpose to the artform? NO. Was his 'freedom of speech' meant to get to a deeper truth? NO. Did he apologize for the remarks as Michael Richards did? No. Should this case go before a human rights tribunal? I don't know. But personally I wouldn't spend a penny to support his legal fees or align myself with Mr. Earle in any way.

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-17 12:33:31 PM


"But personally I wouldn't spend a penny to support his legal fees or align myself with Mr. Earle in any way."


Of course not. You take no principled stand in favour of freedom of speech.

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2008-07-17 5:12:53 PM


Free speech only works when you defend the speech that sickens you as well as what you agree with. A comedian has to have the right to go too far at times on stage.
It's rare these fights are over the things you wish they were but you still have to fight them.
The club should have tossed those drunk women out the second they started heckling and without question when they tossed a glass of water at the host of the show.

Posted by: Ian Boothby | 2008-07-17 7:52:44 PM


To Dr. Grant,

Just like you take no principaled stand on tolerance or social justice in society.

So the Heritage Front and other hate groups can widely distribute their racist and anti-semitic pamphlets then? They can post billboards with swastika's too. If Guy had used the n-word and other racial slurs people would be lining up around the block to go to his benefit show? Freedom of speech..it's all good right?

Again I don't claim to know the line between free speech and hate speech. But I also don't unquestionably trumpet total free speech without thinking about it. People also have the right to live in a tolerant society and not be targeted on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Thank you for enlightening me with your great wisdom.

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-18 7:19:04 AM


Look, I am "black" okay, and I am opposed to HRCs or any other form of tyranny. Stop trying to defend "minority rights." There are no such things as collective rights.

You people want to destroy the businessmen who create jobs, and wish to stifle the individuals who stimulate thought.

You leftists are sickening!!

Posted by: Dare Balogun | 2008-07-18 8:00:54 AM


Nina,

I don't think you can consider a society that doesn't permit views that differ from what is generally considered acceptable to be tolerant. The view that homosexuality is acceptable, natural behavior would have at one point been considered a heretical viewpoint. It's only through free speech that homosexuality was able to become more accepted into mainstream society.

Should the heritage front be able to distribute their propaganda? In short, yes they should. People need to be free to believe whatever they want and exchange these ideas between each other, bad as they may be. I don't think there's any real danger from ideas like neo-Nazism because ideas like these can be countered by speech showing why these ideas are bad, to great effect. This is evidenced by the fact that even in a country that views free speech as more absolute, the U.S., neo-Nazi groups are on the extreme fringe. Besides, it's not like these laws are effective at stopping the dissemination of such propaganda anyway. With the internet, I can be reading neo-Nazi websites in seconds and no one is going to stop me - in fact, I may even learn something from it (although certainly not what those groups would intend).

It's unlikely that anyone is going to put a Swastika on a billboard because advertisers don't want to be associated with Nazism - so there's a simple solution for that one.

Another thing is what if the ideas that are at present near-universally accepted to be bad are in fact good ideas that simply have not gained acceptance? Or what if the bad ideas that were censored do in fact contain a grain of truth?

We need to be free to hear these ideas so that we can evaluate them, and then decide for ourselves if they are good or bad. I don't think that there's anyone in Canada who is qualified to decide FOR ALL OTHER CANADIANS the absolute merits of an opinion.

Posted by: Bobby | 2008-07-18 6:38:25 PM


By the way, I strongly recommend that anyone interested in this issue watch this speech by Christopher Hitchens on the subject. The best speech I know of on the subject:

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2007/03/free_speech_6.html

Posted by: Bobby | 2008-07-18 6:53:48 PM


Wow, if those two women decided to "suck face" in public to create controversy, it worked.

Posted by: glen | 2008-07-18 11:24:45 PM


You seem to be missing the point. These Women were making out and not respecting the show. They brought their sexuality into it. The comic has to respond to two idiots doing something like that. If you don't think a man and woman sliding tongues down each others throats in the front row would not have been commented on then you don't live in reality. The only hating here is two women that couldn't handle the attention they brought on to themselves.

Posted by: Marv | 2008-07-20 8:42:07 AM


You guys are missing my point. I don't believe that this case is human rights tribunal material. I believe in freedom of speech. At the same time I think we are quick to jump on these two women-it's always about the rights of the offender doing the offending. In other words, we are quick to condemn the two women and put Guy on a pedestal. Maybe I'm naive but I bet there is more to this story than Guy is letting on. We shall see how it all pans out.

Posted by: Nina | 2008-07-21 5:13:44 AM


I think the reason people are quick to jump on these women is that they are helping to propagate a system that is stifling free speech in Canada. Indeed this is about defending the rights of the offender, because that's what free speech is. Uncontroversial speech doesn't need defending.

The sad part about this case is that I don't think there is any more to it. This is just what the Canadian human rights commissions are doing these days. There are many other examples of things like this.

Posted by: Bobby | 2008-07-22 8:24:46 AM



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