Daily Archives: December 27, 2014

Shouting Fire in a Korean Theater

The United States of America is possibly the most free nation in the world.  Our first amendment is often referred to as the “Freedom of Speech” amendment because it protects almost all speech – whether direct speech, acts designed to make a statement, or just “art” designed to make a statement.  ie., A photograph of a crucifix in a jar of urine.  Although there is no speech in such a photograph the message it sends (as despicable as it is) is protected by our freedom of speech.  And as much as the photo bothers me personally I think it should be rightfully protected.

The one constraint to the first amendment is the “clear and present danger” notion, which was instituted through the U.S. Supreme Court in 1919 and solidified by the words of Justice Holmes who likened the notion to falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater.  The gist is that any speech causing “clear and present danger” should be outlawed in the court’s opinion.  And in mine.

Smacking Christians in the face by placing their single most important relic in a glass of urine does not violate the “clear and present danger” rule because Christians are unlikely to riot.  In fact, after receiving such a smack in the face they are more likely to turn the other cheek for another good smack as well.  Christians are like whack-a-moles.

But what of putting the Islamic Koran in a bowl of urine?  Would that cause a “clear and present danger” to any person?  I certainly would think so.

Likewise Sony Entertainment Industry has just released a movie with the plot of killing the real, living, ruler of North Korea.  Where is the outcry?  North Korea is a nation with nuclear capability and an itchy trigger finger.  Does anyone in this country see this as clear and present danger?  If not to us then at least to those nations it considers unfriendly in their own back yard?

Considering the “hack” of Sony’s corporate computer system and leak of private information mere hours after their public information release of the movie – shouldn’t someone stand up and say something?

I am.  And I hope you will join me.  Deciding whether North Korea has the actual bite behind their bark is irrelevant.  Sony Entertainment is not the State Department, nor is it involved in any foreign relations.  If it should ever be discovered that all of this hype over hacking and release of sensitive information was just a ploy by Sony itself to promote another stupid-assed movie – then their executives should be put in prison and their corporation razed to the ground.  They are playing footsie with our lives and livelihood.  And you, and I, are trapped in this burning theater.