Here I thought I was going to have a peaceful weekend and what do I see? A second email notification this week from TechDirt regarding an anonymous user named “Good Prevails” (who might that be, I wonder). Two “comments” were posted on a TechDirt article that covered my case.
The posted comments list the Dash Poet’s out-of-context video clip of me (from Episode 9 of ELI Factor) on an open rant that CLEARLY shows my co-host Robert smiling at me and saying to me it is good to “get it out of your system” and I chuckle back at him. Please note the little text mention of April Brown, author of “Poetic Justice” although she has NOTHING to do with the video and does not appear in the video.
If the point of the video is to prove that I used “potty talk” expressing my anger and frustration (over her antics and shenanigans attacking ELI web accounts), then the video succeeds. I’ve been “found out” that I am not as angelic as I might look (not) and that I am a guy who engages in “potty talk”. That is all that video proves and shows. I might also add that the original episode was not well advertised and that the Dash Poet had to seek it out and CHOOSE to listen to 24-minutes of it including a warning to turn the video off if a viewer didn’t want to be subjected to such language and content before actually getting to that rant.
It’s kind of like someone renting out a Rated-R movie that has a full, upfront warning and disclosure of sex and violence within but then that person complains about the sex and violence depicted in the movie! How ridiculous is that? If someone doesn’t like my “potty talk” when I place adequate warnings UPFRONT, then maybe that person should STOP WATCHING as it was not intended for any specific person. It was a 30-minute “open rant” show and that is how it was described both in and outside the video!
While some of this sound like a retread of portions of my prior commentaries, I am writing to illustrate that the recent TechDirt comment is part of an ongoing, intertwining saga that goes back to 2012 and 2013 but recently rekindled on January 7, 2015 as a result of April Brown’s recent book marketing efforts of “Poetic Justice”. The Dash Poet continues her “smear-and-shame” and “revenge and payback” campaign against me for my public support of April. She continues to try to discredit me using what nuggets she finds. By doing that, she then hopes to also discredit April through our mutual friendship. The Dash Poet has certainly done her part in trying to “marry” April to me to discredit her.
I have already said that I know I am not the most likeable guy in the world because when I complain, rant, and speak out, I can be obnoxious, politically-incorrect, and not very “gentlemanly”. If I consciously know all this, why then do I put myself at such “risk” and INTENTIONALLY engage in such “outrageous” talk KNOWING that it might paint me in an unfavorable light? Am I delusional, psychotic, or insane? Some might say, yes.
The First Amendment permits many forms of “outrageous” speech and it has been supported many times by the U.S. Supreme Court. What good is the First Amendment as a “weapon of change” and “tool of free speech” if the only speech used are those that are politically-correct, polite, socially-acceptable, and non-offensive? Imagine living in countries like China and the Middle East where that is the ONLY kinds of speech allowed. Nothing disagreeable or controversial is allowed and its citizens are oppressed from every speaking out or showing anger or outrage.
I know that by my being a bit outrageous, obnoxious, and melodramatic on-camera and in my writings, it gets people’s attention. It also makes it a bit more memorable, stimulating, and perhaps entertaining. Sometimes that is what is required to powerfully and memorably communicate your points as to what you stand for.
Insisting that people be civil, politically-correct and using sanitized speech is one way your adversary attempts to limit you and control the larger dialog. Having dealt with smarter and better-trained lawyers as adversaries, they insist on civil and legal dialog because that is what works for them and on “their turf”. However, the First Amendment allows for many forms of dialog and speech which I use as much of the full spectrum as I can to make my points.
Two important essays to read about how civility is used as way to control conversations (especially by those who stand to gain the most by it) are “Civility, Outrage” and “Closing Thoughts on Civility” written by Elizabeth Bruenig. I believe anyone who believes in the First Amendment and free speech need to read what she says. I have no connection to her or share her political positions. I simply find her two essays on Civility insightful, on-point, and well-written. They eloquently explain my points on “being civil” that most people don’t ever think about. Certainly, using civility has its pros and cons. Most people see the pro side but fewer see the con side until they realize it can be used as a weapon against true free speech.
Having said all that, I make no apologies for pushing the boundaries of the First Amendment. It is too soon to say whether I will win my appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court but I am quite certain that CONTEXT will be part of the conversation both now and in the future. Until a decision is made, it appears that the Dash Poet is going to try to discredit me and convince everyone how terrible I am for exercising my right to record an R-rated 30-minute rant video show by taking a highly-selective 60-second clip of me. It is a pretty desperate move.
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