Police State 2000.
July 10, 2000 1:36 AM   Subscribe

Police State 2000. "What makes you think you can edit content?" the federal judge asked city officials. "Isn't that classic censorship and prior restraint?"
posted by owillis (24 comments total)


so the federal judge had some sense.
posted by dominic at 2:05 AM on July 10, 2000

You know, I care for freedom and speech and all that sorta stuff, you know? But, eminem is one person I wouldn't mind being censored/stoped.
posted by tiaka at 4:48 AM on July 10, 2000

It starts with Eminem, then it spreads to the rest of us. You have to defend the fringe for the good of the majority.
posted by owillis at 6:06 AM on July 10, 2000

My personal beliefs in censorship protect some seedy characters, but personally I do prefer the rappers of today from the pillowcaseheads of yesteryear. Although, I don't see much difference between burning crosses on lawns as opposed to aiming guns in the faces of one's fellow man. They're both intimidation tactics bringing about similar results.

Just out of curiosity, in the drugstore scene on the video, is the guy behind the counter white? ..Just checking.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:13 AM on July 10, 2000

It's as important to me that Eminem has the right to be a pathetic, repellent little toad as that I have the right to say that he's a pathetic, repellent little toad.
posted by harmful at 6:13 AM on July 10, 2000

"It starts with Eminem, then it spreads to the rest of us."

No it doesn't. It starts with Eminem, then we don't have to be subjected to his bullshit, then he fades away. And we're all better for it.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2000

It starts with Eminem, then we don't have to be subjected to his bullshit, then he fades away. And we're all better for it.

Personally, I haven't been overwhelmed with Eminem bullshit, but maybe I live a sheltered life. y6y6y6 and tiaka, why do you care what Eminem does and says? Do you think he's a danger to other people? Do you think he influences impressionable individuals to be dangerous? Or do you just think he's annoying and offensive?

If it's the latter, I assume you also support censorship of Britney Spears, N'Sync and their ilk as well?
posted by daveadams at 8:50 AM on July 10, 2000

pop culture must be stopped!
posted by starduck at 9:14 AM on July 10, 2000

Eminem a danger to other people? Can't imagine.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:00 AM on July 10, 2000

These are probably the same people who attacked Marilyn Manson back when he was the parent-baiting flavor of the month. It's pathetic. Eminem is an obnoxious, hateful f*cker but I would defend his right to free speech as much as any other artist. If we let them shut up Eminem, it'll establish a precedent that art they don't like can be shut down. Would you support something like this if they were trying to silence Rage Against the Machine?
(Not that I'm thrilled about Rage Against the Machine-- how real can their anti-corporate message be when they're put out by Sony?)
posted by wiremommy at 10:02 AM on July 10, 2000

"it'll establish a precedent that art they don't like can be shut down."

Art? This is art?

"Bitch I'ma kill you! You don't wanna fuck with me
Girls neither - you ain't nuttin but a slut to me"

I'm okay with drawing the line here. If Detroit wants to ban this asswipe from performing - more power to them.

I'm not saying he shouldn't put out CDs. I don't have a problem with that. But if a city doesn't want him performing I don't have a problem with them shutting him down either.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:10 PM on July 10, 2000

So you think that the government should have the right to control speech AND assembly based on it's content? To bring the hammer down on Eminem you won't mind giving up your own rights to say whatever it is you want, in whatever group you want, no matter how unpopular?
posted by captaincursor at 2:43 PM on July 10, 2000

Yep. You already can't do that. Free speech is not an absolute.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:48 PM on July 10, 2000

America deserves eminem as much as it does the politicians it votes in power. Say what you want about them, they are our creation. When the "love" culture ran out of steam, something else came to take it's place, but it's never a good idea to try and gag these trends. It gives them more energy and more anger and that's going to feed right back into the fans.

You can't fight the wave, but you can wait and find the right one to ride.
posted by john at 2:53 PM on July 10, 2000

All censorship and rigorous police action does is cause animosity and create a perfect environment for people to become martyrs for any cause. Copkilling? Feeding the stereotypes of men as angry sexstarved lunatics and women as whores? It's shock value for a fast buck. Means nothing and will not stand the test of time.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:46 PM on July 10, 2000

No, wait. atleast, he's not homophobic
posted by tiaka at 6:07 AM on July 11, 2000

The question at hand is, does his 'speech' cross the line into active incitement of people in his presence to violence. If a brawl breaks out at his show, I'd say the answer becomes yes.

If so, then yes, he can be busted for it.

There's a difference between "we should over throw this goverment, they suck" and "there's the governor; shoot him now!" As well there should be.

But, as I've noted before, defending speech that is *palatable* to you doesn't mean much...
posted by baylink at 7:41 AM on July 11, 2000


I think we have given artists free reign in the past and it has set a precendent. Most people seem to be able to separate a song's message from the actual lyrics and from mere entertainment. When Limp bizkit sang "Break shit" at woodstock 9(whatever) and people did exactly that who is to blame? We can all have opinions on the content of the song, but I think its wrong to hold the singers responsible. We are relieving the burden from the listeners and putting a straight-jacket on free expression. Let's try and not forget that the act of violence are the problems and the message at a concert is meant to entertain. In this respect, I do believe that anyone that starts a fight at a concert should be banned from the place.
posted by john at 9:16 AM on July 11, 2000

"The question at hand is, does his 'speech' cross the line into active incitement of people in his presence to violence."

I thought the issue at hand was whether Detroit could ban him from performing. Would that violate his rights?

As far as inciting a riot, I've been to several concerts where the band tried to incite a riot. I one case they succeeded. The show got stopped and several people got beat up. What fun.

I was at a concert two weeks ago where Limp Bizkit tried to start a riot. After hearing about all those people in Germany getting killed at a concert, it wouldn't bother me a little bit if Limp Bizkit got banned from performing.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:33 AM on July 11, 2000

y6y6y6 you have very definite opinions regarding homosexuality, would you give up your right to express them to silence someone who you find repellent?
posted by captaincursor at 8:52 PM on July 11, 2000

That's not what we're talking about. Eminem can say whatever the hell he wants as far as I'm concerned. We're talking about whether Detroit can shut down his concert.

If I was giving a speech in Detroit about whether homosexuality is a sin, and they wanted to shut it down on moral grounds...... Huh? I guess I don't have a problem with that. I trust the democratic process to support free speech and weed out speech that should be banned. I think speech which has the specific purpose of inciting a riot where people will be injured and may die should be banned. I think if a community thinks Eminem's message (misogyny, violence, denial of responsibility) is abhorrent enough, they should be able to ban it.

ZachsMind is right. This type of censorship will make many people seek his work out. And I don't have a problem with that either. I just don't think we are well served by thinking of "free speech" as a monolith of absolute purity. It never has been and we've gotten along just fine.

Cities have been banning concerts for a long time. This is nothing new. And free speech is just fine. I'm arguing for the status quo and you're saying we don't have enough free speech. Whatever.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:59 AM on July 12, 2000

Ok, my answer: I'd say that Detroit could shut down his concert without worrying about prior restraint, if they could clearly show that his performance would constitute incitement to riot...

The other approach would, of course, be: "you're required to have a number of cops for security proportionate to the preceived problems that might break out... and it's not *our* fault none of the cops want to work for you; they're off-duty, we can't force them..."

There are ways to slant it so it's not *strictly* a speech issue, and as long as there is substance to those other ways, they don't bother me.

Yes, I know it's a slippery slope... but if it *really is* just entertainment, why do people need to get beat up over it? He's not saying "this is what I really think, and I have the right to say it in public"; if he did, it would be a fish of another color.
posted by baylink at 9:33 AM on July 12, 2000

So since the criteria as to weather speech and public assembly should be allowed is weather or not it may incite a riot, I take it you are all in favor of cities immediately banning basketball games as basketball has caused more destructive riots lately than concerts.
posted by captaincursor at 9:58 AM on July 12, 2000

I don't know why you want to keep changing the topic, but to address your analogy:

If the players regularly got on the PA system and encouraged everyone in the stadium to charge onto the field, then yes, I think most cities would immediately put a stop to that.

If a player started yelling at the crowd about how women are all sluts and bitches, violence is good, no one should be held accountable, etc., I think that player would get banned from the stadium.

Do you doubt that they would be banned? Do you have a problem with that?
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:42 AM on July 12, 2000

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