Free speech vs. big money spin

Rick Knight (
Wed, 18 Jun 97 09:39:09 CST

I wonder if the founding fathers in declaring the right of free speech
imagined multi-national companies with huge advertising budgets, using
creative minds to find the most superficial yet entertaining methods
to make alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and eating junk food
glamorous, adult, familial, nutritious, etc..? Somehow I doubt that
their vision stretched into our 20th century lifestyle.

Free speech is not an oan all or nothing consideration in my book. It
is leveraged by discernment and the discernment of the collective at
that. And even then, if the decisions of the people are a result of a
smoke and mirrors deception by a charismatic leader (say...Hitler or
Kohmeni), is it true discernment? (I've doubled back on myself...a
hazard of the overly-philosophical <G>).

We tried prohibition in this country and that didn't work. I wouldn't
vote to reinstate such government restriction and would in fact vote
for the legalization of marijuana. BUT, I see why pot is not
legalized after what Corporate America has done with the liquor
industry. Absolute Vodka ads are a stylized pop art form and cleverly
conceived at that.

The only thing these ads are good for are their lampoon-ability.
Recently, in California, the cowboy-like Marlboro men are now on a
billboard with one saying to the other, "Bob, I've got Emphysema."
And there's plenty of suffering for the addicts to alcohol as well.

So, no, with alcohol consumption linked to so much dysfunction, death
and destruction, I don't really associate "free speech" with a
multi-billion dollar industry's ability to exercise it sensibly, with
conscience or any other motive than how much money they can make off
their product.

Free speech to me is like freedom to walk in an urban area. You're
safer from the large fast moving objects in the designated cross
walks, following a sense of order and cooperation. And since most of
us are living in urban centers, perhaps we need to understand that
King George and monarchal threats no longer justify the absolutism we
apply, sometimes against the simplest common sense, to assure its
application. Ostensibly, this is a trigger sentiment to some and I'm
willing to discuss ramifications I haven't considered in an
all/nothing application of the right to say what you want. In most
things in a cooperative democracy, there are limits and not just
yelling "Fire" falsely in crowded theater., ta-ta

Rick "artist not engineer" Knight