The First Amendment

Muslim Innocence

Judging purely from the 14 minutes available online, Muslim Innocence – the movie that sparked outrage in Libya and Egypt, leading to the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others – is the cinematic and ethical equivalent of toilet paper. It’s exactly the kind of mess a small minority worships these days. It’s myopic and angry, spewing forth from an ignorant source claiming as loudly as possible to be an expert. It wouldn’t be a shame if it had never been made, but it was, and that’s why it needs protection. The First Amendment isn’t for convenience, and it isn’t for stuff like Lilo and Stitch. It is designed specifically for speech that people get angry about. Because of the violent response to the film by a mob, and partially because it doesn’t have the natural protection of professionalism, there’s a deeply burning gut reaction to get rid of it. One critic even suggested we burn every copy (a comment that, appropriately, is also protected), but while it’s easy to understand that kind of immediate emotional response, it’s also necessary to take a deep breath before re-agreeing that art (no matter how awfully made and no matter the subject) deserves freedom.

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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