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Civic minded dissent?
May 5, 2005 8:15 AM   Subscribe

When this passes for dissent, perhaps we see valid reasons for screening people at public lectures who want to attend for no other reason than to disrupt. People typically attend lectures to hear out and consider the ideas of the designated speaker, not to see attempted assault or to have a riot incited.
posted by dios (140 comments total)

 
I believe the term for this kind of stuff is "infantile leftism." Not that there isn't a lot of infantile rightism is the world, too, but there you go.
posted by jonmc at 8:18 AM on May 5, 2005


Throwing somebody out of a theatre for being disruptive - yes. Screening people before they go in - not so much.

There's a big difference between those two actions.
posted by theinsectsarewaiting at 8:20 AM on May 5, 2005


Seems like a pretty valid question to me. Didn't they ask Scalia something similar a month ago?

Perhaps this is the only way to actually irk conservatives - keep bringing up the butt sex.

On the other hand, what were they thinking? Ann Coulter at UT? That's like inviting Ted Nugent to speak at a PETA convention. Of course the shit's gonna hit the fan. Hell, I bet she was counting on it.
posted by fungible at 8:27 AM on May 5, 2005


People typically attend lectures to hear out and consider the ideas of the designated speaker

corroborative data on that please.
posted by quonsar at 8:27 AM on May 5, 2005


Dios, the DNC was not a lecture and everyone who went there was screened, it's not like it was an open-to-the-public event. Also, it was in 2000. There was a more recent DNC that had much less civil unrest. Screening people at political events and speeches is a significantly more controversial tactic than screening people at a book talk or other event that takes place in a semi-private venue. Even so, people get kicked out when they're disruptive. The system works. What is the problem?

I would love to know why you think the tag LatentSexualAttraction is appropriate for this post.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 AM on May 5, 2005


I dunno, it sort of reminds me of the good old days of the Yippies. Not that I was around then, but at least these protestors have a sense of history. I think Abbie Hoffman would approve of making lewd gestures at Ann Coulter. And did you have to go all the way back to 2000 to find evidence of someone throwing rocks in protest? It seems like there should be more recent examples that might not make it seem like you had to go hunting for one.
posted by goatdog at 8:30 AM on May 5, 2005


Or you could use Ann Coulter's own words:

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

I suspect that Ann Coulter thrives on people being disruptive at her speeches. It is unlikely she would be such a prominent figure if controversy didn't follow her. Now she can go on talk shows and give sound bites about the "liberal traitors" and make comparisons between liberals and terrorists.

I don't advocate disrupting for disruptions sake, both players in this particular game seem to enjoy the circus they create.
posted by jonah at 8:30 AM on May 5, 2005


I'm trying to be outraged about this, but I can't stop laughing.
posted by ColdChef at 8:30 AM on May 5, 2005


exactly, theinsectsarewaiting, exactly. And you as well, jonmc. I'm feeling rather agreeable tonight.

And if you're wondering, the infantile "protester" in question saw Ann Coulter speak and interrupted with the question (I paraphrase:) "Why do all those conservative men fuck their wives in the ass?"

Got that from Fark, which--being Fark--gave the kid the HERO tag. Ann Coulter loves the stuff, though, liberal anger is her bread and butter. Let's not forget that she says some quite stupid and offensive things herself. Actually, virtually everything she says is stupid and offensive.
posted by zardoz at 8:31 AM on May 5, 2005


I'd go to a Coulter lecture with the hope of seeing someone cream her with a pie.

Then again, I'd go to a Jesse Jackson lecture with the same hope. ;-P
posted by mischief at 8:32 AM on May 5, 2005


I'm not in the U.S., so I don't really know, but from the things I've seen linked here, I thought she was/is kind of a joke/satire person anyway (kind of like Howard Stern). Like a performance piece kind of thing.

Is she supposed to be serious? And so serious that she is actually "invited" to speak at universities for anything other than a joke?
posted by taz at 8:32 AM on May 5, 2005


When this passes for dissent

Riiiiiiight... because heckling Ann Coulter is equivalent to personally threatening our elected officials. Great stab at equivalency there, dios. Bogus as usual.
posted by soyjoy at 8:33 AM on May 5, 2005


I believe the term for this kind of stuff is "infantile leftism." Not that there isn't a lot of infantile rightism is the world, too, but there you go.

I believe the term for that kind of statement is "pointing out someones politics when 'infantile' would have worked just as well."

By your own admission, the political information is unnecessary. I guess you were just trying to make sure to highlight people on the left as babies, right?
posted by thanotopsis at 8:33 AM on May 5, 2005


Way to grind your axe there, dios. Seems to me like a lame months-late response to those damn paranoid lefties... A piece of ancient newsfilter and two skimpy thesmokinggun.com links about "al-pieda" - bolstered by preachy text in the FPP saying "see? see? these guys were disruptive so all potential protestors must be dangerous too!" - doesn't a good post make. Sorry, man, try harder next time.

[And assault? Not pies! Dear God, anything but _pies!_]
posted by ubersturm at 8:34 AM on May 5, 2005


what parent in their right mind brings a kid to hear ann coulter?! jaysus.
posted by whatnot at 8:34 AM on May 5, 2005


No goatdog, I included the 2000 listing to show that this isn't just a problem with Republican speakers. People went to hear Rage and hear Clinton speak. There is no reason for their time to be ruined by whatever group decided to crash Clinton's speech for their selfish political reasons.

quonsar, I don't need to corroborative data for common sense. ;)
posted by dios at 8:35 AM on May 5, 2005


what parent in their right mind brings a kid to hear ann coulter?! jaysus.

A parent in their right mind, I guess. Far right. Bleeding gums right.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:36 AM on May 5, 2005


taz:

Yes, it's a joke. But conservatives, being unable to understand humor, take her seriously.

As far as I know, Ann Coulter has never had anything relevant to say about american politics other then her insane hatred of all things liberal (she has on many occasions voiced her desire to kill them outright).

I don't see how "ass fucking" is more offensive then wanting to blow up the NYT building, but there you go.
posted by delmoi at 8:37 AM on May 5, 2005


I think Abbie Hoffman would approve of making lewd gestures at Ann Coulter.

Abbie would've managed to be funny while doing it.

That said Ann Coulter and this nitwit deserve eachother. But quite frankly, the relationship between Coulter and the more asinine elements of the left is symbiotic at this point. They exist merely to become enraged at eachother.

I guess you were just trying to make sure to highlight people on the left as babies, right?

Actually, no. Although, in this particular case, the infantile person was indeed a leftist, I was making the point that infantile behavior in regards to politics tends to undermine one's cause.

Did I put that unctuously enough for you, sir?
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on May 5, 2005


So... did she answer the question, or what? As much as I despise the broad, the thought of her contemplating buhsekz gives me a semi.
posted by davelog at 8:40 AM on May 5, 2005


dios lives in an altered reality where people attend ann coulter lectures in order to consider her ideas. nuff said.
posted by quonsar at 8:40 AM on May 5, 2005


If "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building" is what passes for reasonable cultural analysis and critique, then yeah, I suppose asking about ass-fucking is what passes for dissent.
posted by aaronetc at 8:40 AM on May 5, 2005


This incident was also mentioned here as it was linked from rabble. Article written by someone else in the audience.
posted by madokachan at 8:41 AM on May 5, 2005


I pointed to the twitching, puckered thread."See this?"

Metafilter nodded eagerly.

"I want you to wreck it."
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:42 AM on May 5, 2005


People typically attend lectures to hear out and consider the ideas of the designated speaker

Nobody is attending an Ann Coulter lecture to "hear out and consider the ideas of the designated speaker". They go for the same reasons people attend a Jerry Springer taping, and it warrants the same amount of respect.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:42 AM on May 5, 2005


abbie hoffman lived in an altered reailty where people attended woodstock to foster revolution. pete townsend set him straight on that one.
posted by quonsar at 8:43 AM on May 5, 2005


The pie thing seems to be a sort of trend. Not that the Right is completely innocent.

Personally, I think pie in the face is a fairly appropriate commentary on the politics of someone who accuses anybody to her left of treason.
posted by graymouser at 8:43 AM on May 5, 2005


Who cares about children being present to hear an obsecnity? It is a college campus if I'm not mistaken. Furthermore, while some municipalities have laws against swearing in front of children (and women), there is nothing necessarily immoral or depraved about referring to sex as fucking.

Kids are not usually offended or damaged when someone refers to sex as fucking in their presence. Only adults afraid of letting children learn about fucking are offended.
posted by mistersquid at 8:46 AM on May 5, 2005


"I don't advocate disrupting for disruptions sake, both players in this particular game seem to enjoy the circus they create."

Amen to that. There is a reason Ann is so nauseating and it's entirely intentional. If she wasn't, people might start to notice her poor writing and debating skills. Bad press is still press and no one knows that better than Ann...well, maybe Howard Stern too.
posted by j.p. Hung at 8:47 AM on May 5, 2005


abbie hoffman lived in an altered reailty where people attended woodstock to foster revolution. pete townsend set him straight on that one.

Townshend was definitely right to kick Abbie's ass that day, but I still have a soft spot for the crazy fuck.

The pie in the face I approve of. It has style. The linked incident just makes legitamite and amusing Coulter detractors look retarded.
posted by jonmc at 8:48 AM on May 5, 2005


Oh well. Chalk this thread up as an inability to overcome partisanship to talk about something on a respectful level. People disrupting Ward Churchill when a lecture is set up for him is wrong. He has the right to speak his ideas. The same goes for Ann Coulter. But I guess this discussion is stalled by people not being able to get passed the content censorship level. Was it Voltaire who said, "I may disagree with what you say in which case I will defend to the death other people's right to try to prevent you from saying it"?
posted by dios at 8:49 AM on May 5, 2005


woh, that rabble.ca site rocks, thanks :)
posted by By The Grace of God at 8:51 AM on May 5, 2005


I believe the term for this kind of stuff is "infantile leftism."

Mind saying if the "infantile leftism" us hu-mans refer to as "speaking" merits getting arrested?

Agree with him or not, there's less of an argument to arrest this kid for "incitement" than there is for calling child services on whoever brought their ten-year-old to see Ann Coulter. ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 AM on May 5, 2005


Left, right? Wrong. These terms are meaningless.

Liberal, conservative? Without further qualification (eg. Social/Fiscal/etc... liberal or conservative) these terms are just as meaningless.

In fact, they're not just meaningless they're dangerous. They've been so deformed so profoundly, through overuse, that their only purpose these days is to paint a picture of a black and white, right or wrong, us against them world. Useful if you seek nothing more than personal gain through personal attacks, but terribly harmful when trying to have an actual discussion.

/end rant

As for the guy being infantile? Absolutely. It's just dumb. And according to the article, he then fled from the podium while making lewd gestures. That's just weak!

Then again, it's not much different than Ms. Coulter saying something like: "We know who the homicidal maniacs are.They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." in a national publication.

Politics are, and perhaps always have been. an infantile battleground. Actions like this are par for the course on all sides.
posted by C.Batt at 8:54 AM on May 5, 2005


How does someone asking about ass-fucking infringe on Coulter's right to say anything? Or attempt to prevent her saying it? What is this, the fucking Bizarro-universe? You're citing that quote in order to argue that protesters should be prevented from saying things?
posted by aaronetc at 8:54 AM on May 5, 2005


Man. I totally thought Ann Coulter was basically supposed to be a comedian.

So that whole "Invade them and force them to be Christians" thing wasn't a joke? Really?
posted by taz at 8:55 AM on May 5, 2005


If only we could all get along.... oh and coulter could suffer a really horrible painful death. I'm not typically one to wish such things on other people but if you replace her use of the word liberal with the word jew it gives a whole new meaning to most of her diatribes.
posted by sourbrew at 8:57 AM on May 5, 2005


Shorter Dios: Republican loyalty oaths are necessary because an unruly Arab said fuck to Ann Coulter.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:58 AM on May 5, 2005


Dios,

As I read it, he didn't disrupt her speech. He asked a rude
question during the Q&A, and he was booed. This used to happen on campus back in the stone age when Ann and I were in college together. (And she and her pals at her little Review were not unknown to mix it up a little themselves).

So, no, this guy didn't deserve to be arrested. He should be excoriated in editorials and exposed as a little punk. And I suspect the judge will laugh the charge out of court. If we're going to start charging people for speech crimes, Ms. Coulter would be one of the first in the docket -- she's a hate speech factory. And an expert on the subject she was asked about.

S.
posted by Slagman at 8:58 AM on May 5, 2005


Just because right wing talk show hosts are surfing this tempest in a teapot doesn't make it news. It doesn't make a very good soapbox either. And certainly not the best of the web. Michael Moore gets this stuff all the time, and like Coulter, thrives on it, relies on it to reinforce the notoreity which fuels their publicity machine. Ann coulter has said many inciteful things, especially against Muslims. The protestor is apparently Muslim. Sow the wind and you shall reap the whirlwind.
posted by Rumple at 9:04 AM on May 5, 2005


You're citing that quote in order to argue that protesters should be prevented from saying things?
posted by aaronetc at 8:54 AM PST on May 5


Of course not. There is a time and place for protesting. People should make their political views known. But when an event is set up to let one person speak, then that is not the time or place for disruptions intended to minimize the person's freedom of speech. Ask hard questions during designated answer questions, thats fine--at least your are engaging at the level of ideas. But intentionally causing disruptions is an attempt to silence the effects of someone else's speech is not proper protest. If you want to call her stupid, then book the room following her presentation to present a conflicting view... kind of like the out-of-party does during the State of the Union. The person speaking has the right to get one's ideas out. To not grant that shows that some of you have a very pale respect for the First Amendment.

Some group at the school paid money to bring Coulter there, regardless of what you think about her. Some people attended it to hear what she had to say.

By trying to be disruptive, people are trying to prevent other people from presenting or engaging in free speech.

Slagman: no, he was trying to be disruptive. That was his only goal. He had to be arrested, so it worked.
posted by dios at 9:05 AM on May 5, 2005


Mind saying if the "infantile leftism" us hu-mans refer to as "speaking" ...

He spoke and said something (IMHO) infantile. My saying so makes me non-human? Interesting.


merits getting arrested?

Arrested? Nah. Just throw him out of the theater.
posted by jonmc at 9:05 AM on May 5, 2005


Anyone who would bring a 10-yr-old to hear Ann Coulter should be arrested for child endangering. The kid could easily be hit by the shrapnel when her spleen eventually explodes.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:06 AM on May 5, 2005


dios, as long as you defend to the death my right to make the speaker look foolish and ask very very uncomfortable questions. If that's "being disruptive," then perhaps Coulter is a bit too much of a pansy. I, for one, have an inalienable right to make public speakers squirm without fear of arrest.

Ann Coulter (or George Bush, for that matter) has no inalieable right to fae an audience made up entirely of questioners who ask things like, "If you could present Jesus with the flag of a soldier who had sacrificed his life to protect America in Iraq, what would you tell him?"

With both Antonin Scalia and Coulter having been asked, I, for one, look forward to more public figures facing questions about anal sex. We should be able to ask political commentators about anal sex without interference. Even if there's a little profanity involved. It's not, after all, illegal.
posted by deanc at 9:09 AM on May 5, 2005


As to why anyone would actually want to hear the dizzy bitch speak, well, that's beyond me.
posted by clevershark at 9:09 AM on May 5, 2005


The thing I like about Metafilter is that in every dipshit post there's a comment that makes it worth reading. Thanks, PinkStainlessTail.
posted by furiousthought at 9:13 AM on May 5, 2005


Apparently, dios, you're willing to defend the right of the speaker to free speech, but not the right of those who disagree. Note that even obnoxious tactics like pie-throwing or asking pointed and offensive questions don't _prevent_ a speaker from speaking. They're obnoxious, and attention-getting, but the speaker can still make their point. More importantly, not every protester throws pies or questions the speaker's sexual practices. The problem is, of course, that you can't always tell who'll end up behaving in an infantile manner and who will disagree in a more adult manner [signs, asking serious questions during a Q&A, etc.] Realistically, you can only deal with obnoxious disruptions when they happen, because if you try to pre-screen people, you'll inevitably end up screening out reasonable people [presumably those who, unfortunately for them, look like they don't support the speaker] and probably missing people who _will_ cause trouble. You end up limiting peoples' freedoms without even the certainty of giving the speaker an uninterrupted speech.

Moreover, Voltaire didn't say "I'll defend to your death your right to speak uninterrupted in front of an audience that's been purged of those who would disagree with you most vociferously." Indeed, that kind of qualification rather contradicts the spirit of what the man was actually said.
posted by ubersturm at 9:13 AM on May 5, 2005


Oh well. Chalk this thread up as an inability to overcome partisanship to talk about something on a respectful level.

Oh god, how perfectly Coulter-esque. Honestly, you can tell the truth- did you have that written before anyone even commented? I bet you did.

Declaring "Here's why you're wrong" as "inability to overcome partisanship" is a sign of your own cowardice. For someone pretending to be so concerned about "trying to prevent other people from presenting or engaging in free speech" you certainly are a little chickenshit when presented with exactly that.

Sheesh. "Radical liberals" used to be eco-terrorists and the SLA. Now you think people who say "fuck" and dress up in paper-maiche costumes should go in the slammer. God, when did right-wingers become such goddamn pussies?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:13 AM on May 5, 2005


He should have gotten up and asked her why she wished to incite people to murder, as she has repeatedly done.
posted by jb at 9:16 AM on May 5, 2005


That would have been the mature and far more effective thing to have done.
posted by jb at 9:16 AM on May 5, 2005


"The person speaking has the right to get one's ideas out. To not grant that shows that some of you have a very pale respect for the First Amendment."

Then people listening have an equal FA right to talk, do they not? If you want to say that Coulter had her right as an invited guest to speak, then FA considerations don't apply any more. But saying that being at the podium grants more imperative FA rights is nonsense.

This, I believe, isn't a FA issue, since she was invited to be there and the organizers/owners of the venue have the right to limit what the audience says. She's still a whackjob, however. The FA limits the power of government to suppress speech, not private concerns. If someone wants to invite Coulter to speak and screen questions; well, it's heavy-handed, but there you go.

FWIW, what the guy did was infantile, but not deserving of arrest - THAT was more an infringement of his rights than anything he said to Coulter. If I had been him I would have brought up her nonsense about Canada sending troops to Vietnam and reminded her about the slapdown she got over that.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:17 AM on May 5, 2005


Moreover, Voltaire didn't say "I'll defend to your death your right to speak uninterrupted in front of an audience that's been purged of those who would disagree with you most vociferously."

Wait a minute, just the other day we had a thread that included a few people decrying admittedly infantile interruptions to speech, calling for sanctions and punishment, even.

Where are those folks in this thread? I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.
posted by jonmc at 9:18 AM on May 5, 2005


Supposedly, Mr. Raj has a blog, but I can't find it. btw, Daily Texan Article, Daily Texan Opinion Column.
posted by whatnot at 9:20 AM on May 5, 2005


He should have gotten up and asked her why she wished to incite people to murder, as she has repeatedly done.

Agreed. And he should've done so in a calm and dignified manner. It would've put Coulter on the spot and placed the onus on her. But this guy's young and immature, so he'd rather do something "outrageous," than something effective.

I'm not arguing legalities here. I'm arguing efficacy.
posted by jonmc at 9:21 AM on May 5, 2005


Frankly the guy should have stood outside the entrance taking pictures of people going into the lecture. I'm not sure how many people would actually want it known that they willingly attended an Ann Coulter hate-fest.
posted by clevershark at 9:24 AM on May 5, 2005


the guy had very bad manners, but the question is valid -- if you're against "teh fags" because the Book of Leviticus told you that sodomy is bad, and if you break everybody's balls with the "sanctity of marriage" routine, well, it's interesting to know your opinion about a husband who only has anal sex with his wife.
the Scalia question, however rude, is legitimate. no anal sex for the "sodomy = hell" contigent, sorry.
me, I am very much in favor of anal sex. but then, I take the Book of Leviticus with a pound of salt.
posted by matteo at 9:28 AM on May 5, 2005


I organized a lecture series in grad. school, mostly English and history types, and it was interesting see the occasional sparring that went on, typically when an older, more established, and often more conservative scholar had to field questions from younger, more progressive ones. It was usually pretty neat, but sometimes the rhetoric got overheated and someone went home in a huff. It was discourse at its best, with an occasional moment of bad form (Harold Bloom got around potential hard-feelings by not _allowing_ questions after his talk, which was pretty novel. And assinine.)

That said, Ann Coulter is a caricature of political thought, and I hope more pies and sodomy jokes go her way. As has been mentioned, she thrives on this stuff--it makes her (and dios) feel more entitled to their martyr-complexes.
posted by bardic at 9:33 AM on May 5, 2005


I agree with jb. That is what should have been done. jonmc is right about the efficacy of it. And Dipsomaniac is right about the FA analysis---I did not intend to mention the FA; I was speaking more to the general concept of free speech and accidentally conflated the two in that sentence.

The Q&A period is the time to present your question to the speaker if you want to engage the speaker to get their viewpoint on your question. The Q&A period is not the time to make *your* speech. People didn't come there to hear *you*. It is equally wrong to try to disrupt Ward Churchill or to ask Michael Moore questions about torch-burgers. This continued desire to interrupt and disrupt by dissenters is an effort to silence the speaker. The goal of it is to create such a disruption that the message of the speaker can't be presented. That is trying to silence someone. It is not engaging the speaker on the level of ideas or letting them get theirs out. If a dissenter wants to present their counterargument, then they should set up a counterargument lecture to follow hers. That is civil discourse.
posted by dios at 9:35 AM on May 5, 2005


Ask hard questions during designated answer (sessions), thats fine

Right. Because so many of the conservative right-wing christian crowd regularly schedule appearances in which they allow people to ask non-preplanned questions. Our president doesn't do it, why should his hangers-on? The speeches are to spew their own version of reality to crowds willing to reflect that reality back upon them.

God, when did right-wingers become such goddamn pussies?

Probably about the same time that the left-wingers largely became spineless bastards too afraid for their political futures to actually come up with a decent counteroffensive. You don't need to be that forceful if your enemy is an invertebrate.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:38 AM on May 5, 2005


dios, we have free speech, and people are allowed to ask questions.

Go move to Iran if you want something else. Enough of this unAmerican shit. You don't like the first Amendment? Too damn bad.
posted by amberglow at 9:38 AM on May 5, 2005


"Radical liberals" used to be eco-terrorists and the SLA. Now you think people who say "fuck" and dress up in paper-maiche costumes should go in the slammer. God, when did right-wingers become such goddamn pussies?

More to the point, when did left-wingers become such pussies? Profane questions about anal sex? The SLA would have burst in, guns blazing, kidnapped Ann Coulter, and then six months later Coulter re-emerge as the leading revolutionary spokeswoman calling for the end of capitalism, the destruction of the imperialist state, and for the release of Mumia while she robbed banks in order to "stick it to the man."

The Q&A period is not the time to make *your* speech.

dios, you, clearly, have not been to enough academic conferences.
posted by deanc at 9:39 AM on May 5, 2005


He asked a rude question during the Q&A, and he was booed.

What are these facts you speak of?

It's far more inciteful to say he interrupted her. So let's just stick with that story.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:42 AM on May 5, 2005


jonmc -- "a few people" ... "where are those folks" ... "hypocrisy"

Do you have anyone particular in mind? Because, really, a vague, blanket accusation of hypocrisy is kind of meaningless. Who knows where "those folks" are? I mean, this thread has only been up for less than an hour and a half, maybe they have other things to do.
posted by aaronetc at 9:43 AM on May 5, 2005


civil discouse???? with Ann Coulter??? wtf?
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:48 AM on May 5, 2005


I'm a UT student who actually attended this event, mostly to see if Ann was as hot in real life as she is on TV (she is) and whether she spits out as much venom as is reputed (she doesn't...it's even worse). I was more shocked by the number of supporters in the room (my guess is it was more than 50%) than the actions of a few angry and infantile protestors. Not surprisingly, most liberals (and some moderate conservatives) who asked intelligent questions were quickly shot down by Coulter with ad hominem attacks...she didn't answer questions (or would retort with stupid jokes) where it was convenient. It was all a big show, and people attending the event should have known it. In my opinion, Ann pretty much proved her point about whiny liberals with the combination of clueless protestors and her controlled cool. So sad.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 9:50 AM on May 5, 2005


aaronetc: read warbaby and klangklangston's comments in the latter third of that thread. They're basically taking the same stance as dios, only it's their political enemies, they want to silence. And yeah, I'll admit that in both cases the speech involved was silly and infantile, but there you go.
posted by jonmc at 9:51 AM on May 5, 2005


dios writes "It is equally wrong to try to disrupt Ward Churchill or to ask Michael Moore questions about torch-burgers."

The moment you start standing up for people who embarass Michael Moore publicly, will be an interesting one indeed! Somehow I don't think we'll see that day anytime soon.

It is fun to finally know where you put up the ideological barrier separating permissible free speech from non-permissible free speech though.
posted by clevershark at 9:51 AM on May 5, 2005


At least he didn't have a puppet with him. Well, beyond Div on his PA shirt.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:52 AM on May 5, 2005


This guy shouldn't have been arrested. I think that's pretty clear.

He may have been acting like an asshole, but what do you expect? Coulter has dragged honest intelligent debate into the gutter, and can't possibly expect respect from people she hates as much as she does.

The culture war in the States is getting worse every day, and until both sides decide to stop screaming at each other we are only going to see more stuff like this.
posted by Rusty Iron at 9:53 AM on May 5, 2005


I think that people who advocate killing whole groups of people because of what they think should themselves be killed.
posted by maggiemaggie at 9:53 AM on May 5, 2005


Wow. That came out completely wrong... what I meant to say of course is that the day dios starts speaking out AGAINST people who try and embarass Michael Moore it will be an interesting day indeed.

I really need to stop myself from responding to these American politics threads. Or indeed dios's comments in general.
posted by clevershark at 9:57 AM on May 5, 2005


I think that people who advocate killing whole groups of people because of what they think should themselves be killed.

So you think that people who think that people should be killed becouse of the way they think, they should be killed for thinking that?

So this is your suicide note?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:58 AM on May 5, 2005


The culture war in the States is getting worse every day,

Actually, aside from a small but very public segment of the population, the Culture War is largely a myth.

So this is your suicide note?

Steve, turn on your sarcasm detector, dude.
posted by jonmc at 9:59 AM on May 5, 2005


seriously though - what did she expect from austin, texas?
posted by klik99 at 9:59 AM on May 5, 2005


jonmc, turn on yours dude!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:01 AM on May 5, 2005


Making this a first amendment issue is kind of silly (just like it was here). Someone was a jackass. It wasn't very funny. End of story.

That said, it's hard to have sympathy for someone who says the things Ann Coulter says. She can screen the attendees of her speeches if she wants....and so can, oh, the KKK. People on extremes always attract harsh criticism. That doesn't mean EVERY event needs to be screened.

However, linking an article about the DNC was unnecessary and partisan, as was the LatentSexualAttraction tag, and basically destroyed any merit this post may have had.
posted by scarymonsterrrr at 10:06 AM on May 5, 2005


The absolute worst thing that could happen to Coulter is for people to ignore her. She's intentionally inflammatory, talks out her ass (See this? I want you to wreck it! Hahahahaha) and exists for no reason save to irritate.

I bet she creams herself when someone disrupts one of her "speeches".
posted by fenriq at 10:07 AM on May 5, 2005


Oh, and my school (in Boston, right-wing capital of the world that it is) had a speaker recently whose presentation was entitled "The Benefits of American Imperialism," and a few people were talking about confronting him during Q&A....let's hope my classmates were more mature.
posted by scarymonsterrrr at 10:08 AM on May 5, 2005


me, I am very much in favor of anal sex. but then, I take the Book of Leviticus with a pound of salt.

matteo, you owe me a keyboard.

I think one reason that the "dissent" at more recent national conventions has been more "civil," has to do with the prolifiration of "free-speech zones." These zones marginalize speech so as to neuter it completely, and then they wonder why the people are apathetic...
posted by schyler523 at 10:08 AM on May 5, 2005


dios, are you being willfully stupid?

There's a world of difference between a) pre-screening attendees b) attendees who ask impertinent or embarrassing questions and c) attendees who attempt to prevent speech through violence.

I took a lot of heat from the left in the Pied Pat Buchanan thread for supporting Pat's right to speak being physically accosted.

But that has nothing to do with a non-violent questioner who asks questions you'd prefer not to hear.

There's an unfortunate trend, on both the Right and the Left to re-label speech they disagree with as non-speech, so that they can claim free speech principles don't apply. Our own Mefite warbaby has been doing it from the Left, now you're doing it from the Right.

On the web, the related trick is to claim anything that makes you uncomfortable is "trolling". It happens on DU and on DailyKos -- I know, I'm argued against it there too -- and I'm sure it happens on Little Green Footballs and Freep too.

Wake up and smell the First Amendment, dios.


And credit where credit is due: to my great surprise, Steve_at_Linnwood points out a logical fallacy and cogently replies to it. Since I frankly expected less of Steve, I feel obligated to publicly state that he deserves credit for rising above ad hominem. Good catch, Steve.
posted by orthogonality at 10:12 AM on May 5, 2005


I took a lot of heat from the left in the Pied Pat Buchanan thread for supporting Pat's right to speak without being physically accosted.

I think this is what ortho meant.
posted by schyler523 at 10:15 AM on May 5, 2005


It is truly a shameful day for Metafilter when we can get 81 posts into a discussion of these profoundly thought-provoking links and yet not a single one has taken into account the real victims here: the innocent conservatives who would simply like to fuck their wives in the ass in private - as is their right in most states - without having their good names associated with the likes of Ann Coulter.

I applaud dios for bringing attention to the terrible prejudices that conservative sodomites continue to suffer even in this supposedly enlightened age.
posted by gompa at 10:17 AM on May 5, 2005


It's also fun how dios equates physical assault, riots, and... asking a question.

Perhaps everyone who goes to these speeches should have their mouths stapled shut for the occasion. It'd certainly provide interesting visuals.
posted by clevershark at 10:24 AM on May 5, 2005


Dios is the judge of legitimate questions. No matter how others such as myself might wonder about Ann's opinions on ass fucking our queries are not to be allowed because Dios (and apparently the police) have decided that Ann Coulter's opinions on ass fucking are none of our business.

It is a sad day in America when my questions about ass fucking are so easily ignored. We need more questions about ass fucking from our leaders and the pawns they use to support themselves.
posted by filchyboy at 10:27 AM on May 5, 2005


Perhaps the gentleman in question meant to ask Coulter for any tips or advice she could impart to him about having anal sex? People just don't ask for enough sex advice from proto-political figures. They have such knowledge that's just not getting disseminated!
posted by clevershark at 10:29 AM on May 5, 2005


Oh and I must second the above comment: I too am very in favor of ass fucking. If you haven't tried it you really should. And anyone who speaks on the subject should of course be asked about their experiences with ass fucking. How else is the listener to know if they are speaking from experience or are simply talking out their ass.

I would have preferred Scalia answered the question though. Hopefully within the not too distant future someone will ask George Bush about his ass fucking proclivities.
posted by filchyboy at 10:34 AM on May 5, 2005


I think that people who advocate killing whole groups of people other than the group of people who advocate killing themselves because of what they think should kill themselves.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:36 AM on May 5, 2005


delmoi writes : Yes, it's a joke. But conservatives, being unable to understand humor, take her seriously.

You know, this illustrates perfectly a point that I have been trying to make for a while. This country suffers from a terrible irony gap. On the one hand, we have the conservatives who have no idea how utterly ironic/kitch their actions are. On the other hand, we have legions of hipsters/snarky bloggers who see ONLY irony, and see it everywhere.

A little balance, please?
posted by afroblanca at 10:36 AM on May 5, 2005


filchyboy, I think that should have been Jeff Gannon, I mean, he had the experience and the access. Instead, he followed the script given him.

Besides, we're all well experienced at ass fucking now, we're going on, what, five plus years of it by ShrubCo now.
posted by fenriq at 10:37 AM on May 5, 2005


schyler523 writes "I think this is what ortho meant."

Indeed. Thanks, I you one. Owe. ;)
posted by orthogonality at 10:44 AM on May 5, 2005


It was pretty clear to me that Raj was aiming to be disruptive (though it seemed he asked Coulter the question unprepared and in a rage, after Coulter had said some pretty offensive and homophobic things just seconds previous) . The entire group of protesters had been given several warnings during Coulter's rant, er, speech....so they knew the consequences of their actions. Although he certainly did not deserve to be arrested (will charges be dropped?), he did deserve to be escorted from the room for being an annoying idiot.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 10:45 AM on May 5, 2005


afroblanca: If i stop being sarcastic, my outrage flies out of control. At this point, irony and sarcasm are the only things keeping me sane (so far.)

All is fair in love and [culture] war.
posted by schyler523 at 10:51 AM on May 5, 2005


Clearly anyone who truly wanted to disrupt an event could never figure out a way around the screening process. We all know how impossible it is to evade even airport security, or the NORAD air cover that blankets United States airspace so what possible harm could screening do? Someone getting past a static iterative system by finding a flaw in the humans overseeing it would be as silly as someone who was not a legitimate journalist being authorized to be in the White House press room through a similar process. The static unvarying nature of the system makes it such that no one could figure out how to beat it. Don't you understand? These screening processes are foolproof! You can't lie on them, you can't evade them. They work perfectly all the time.
Therefore there is no reason not to use them. Only for security reasons and to promote the smooth flow of information, they could not possibly be perverted for use in disenfranchising others of their so-called "constitutional" "right" to "dissent" (must be one of those obscure amendments) and certainly not for political purposes or for packing a house with supporters to stage some sort of 'town hall' like event. That would never happen. We need only trust those in the moral superiority of those in authority.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:54 AM on May 5, 2005


It was pretty clear to me that Raj was aiming to be disruptive (though it seemed he asked Coulter the question unprepared and in a rage, after Coulter had said some pretty offensive and homophobic things just seconds previous) . The entire group of protesters had been given several warnings during Coulter's rant, er, speech....so they knew the consequences of their actions. Although he certainly did not deserve to be arrested (will charges be dropped?), he did deserve to be escorted from the room for being an annoying idiot.

It's not disruptive to talk--he wasn't threatening her nor anyone in the room, nor was he shouting "fire". He was well within his rights as an American, and in no way should have been arrested, nor escorted from the room. And he didn't yell or interrupt--he waited for the Q&A period too.

It's sad that so many don't know what our rights are.
posted by amberglow at 10:56 AM on May 5, 2005


amberglow: Um, I was there so I certainly have a different perspective...he was part of a group of people who were consistently disruptive and interruptive during the speech, and was specifically indicated as one of the disruptors. The rules were clearly stated prior to the speech and the Q&A sessions, indicating that disruption would not be tolerated and questions could be cut off at any point. I also believe it is the policy of the people who put on the event to ask people to leave when necessary. I hate Ann Coulter as much as the rest of you, but the organizers of the talk certainly were within their rights to set the rules...whether it was an arrestable offense is a different matter althogether. He was well within his rights as an American to say what he wanted, but as an event attendee he was under the rules of the house (as stupid as they may be). Nevertheless, I think the charges will be dropped, because they are ridiculous....thankfully, he has already been offered legal representation from various activist groups.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 11:06 AM on May 5, 2005


Perhaps the time has come to demand that academic institutions NOT bring idiot shit stirrers like Coulter on to campus for these events? She does nothing but disrupt discourse and pull it down into the gutter.

But I do love the image of the kid running back to his chair and pantomiming masturbating the whole way, that was a nice touch!

But he definitely shouldn't have been arrested, maybe they should have forced him to sit through three hours of uncut Coulter clips? Nah, that is the very definition of cruel and unusual.
posted by fenriq at 11:10 AM on May 5, 2005


...he was part of a group of people who were consistently disruptive and interruptive during the speech, and was specifically indicated as one of the disruptors.

Then the entire group should have been escorted out (altho even that would have infringed on their free speech rights). You're allowed to heckle at a public event, even if the rules of the event or the organizers say otherwise.
posted by amberglow at 11:20 AM on May 5, 2005


Ann Coulter owes those people part of her speaking fee--she relies on them.
posted by amberglow at 11:22 AM on May 5, 2005


me, I am very much in favor of anal sex.

that doesn't surprise me. what is it with italians and anal sex? for example, italian porn is much more butt-centric than any other. I don't get it.

I think we should discuss this issue instead of the ass post at hand.
posted by mr.marx at 11:24 AM on May 5, 2005


When this passes as an FPP...

And jonmc: I realize that reading is difficult, even painful for you. But please try. Until then, don't attempt to represent my views on free speech.
(And calling a pie an assault? God, conservatives are whiny smears.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:28 AM on May 5, 2005



posted by fenriq at 11:29 AM on May 5, 2005


ch3ch2oh writes "Um, I was there so I certainly have a different perspective"
...and then...
"I hate Ann Coulter as much as the rest of you"

OK... so why were you there then? Something doesn't quite jibe here.
posted by clevershark at 11:38 AM on May 5, 2005


And jonmc: I realize that reading is difficult, even painful for you.

But condescension comes naturally to you, I see.
posted by jonmc at 11:39 AM on May 5, 2005


amberglow: There was no need to escort the rest of the group out, because they all jumped up and left as soon as he was arrested.

clevershark: I was at the event because my student fees paid part of the $30,000 for her stupid ass to be there, and I was getting my money's worth. And I was curious. There were plenty of liberals there who didn't make asses of themselves. Some asked good questions, and were shot down or ignored.
posted by ch3ch2oh at 11:52 AM on May 5, 2005


Look, whether or not he should have been escorted out is pretty much not the issue. The issue here is that this thread conflates whether a disruptive speaker at an even is cause to screen people because they MIGHT be disruptive

I think it's pretty clear that denying access to someone who might disagree with you qualifies as prior restraint. Here's a nice article about prior restraint for those who aren't familiar:

Article

And to paraphrase Walter Sobchak, prior retraint has been roundly rejected by the supreme court.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:53 AM on May 5, 2005


Jonmc: Yeah, actually. When you manage to attribute a view to me that I don't hold, despite a very explicit notice of the views that I do hold, I believe I'm entitled to be a bit contemptuous of your ability to comprehend text on a screen. But I can type in smaller words if you like.
posted by klangklangston at 11:53 AM on May 5, 2005


But I can type in smaller words if you like.

vocabulary != clarity. Half the time, I can't figure out what veiw you're espousing. If I got you wrong, sorry.
posted by jonmc at 12:07 PM on May 5, 2005


Now, if he'd spit tobacco juice in Ann Coulter's face, well...
posted by FormlessOne at 12:10 PM on May 5, 2005


Isn't e-spousing when you marry someone over the internets that you've never met?
posted by fenriq at 12:11 PM on May 5, 2005


It's a new paradigm of matrimony!
posted by klangklangston at 12:24 PM on May 5, 2005


(And jon, read the comment I linked to. Really, I'd expect you to be able to make out my position pretty clearly from it.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:28 PM on May 5, 2005


Ann Coulter continues to be a living, breathing straw man. Ignore her and she will go away.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:35 PM on May 5, 2005


Now, what is it with people taking children to see Ann Coulter? Aren't they aware of the psychological and social dangers they are exposing their children to? Why aren't the Social Services taking action against this, warning these parents or even taking the children away?
posted by nkyad at 12:43 PM on May 5, 2005


Whatnot: " Supposedly, Mr. Raj has a blog, but I can't find it."

Perhaps it's this one?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:57 PM on May 5, 2005


ch3ch2oh wrote: Um, I was there so I certainly have a different perspective...

But you also wrote that you thought Coulter was hot, which seriously calls into question your credibility as an eyewitness.
posted by gigawhat? at 1:13 PM on May 5, 2005


I was at the event because my student fees paid part of the $30,000 for her stupid ass to be there, and I was getting my money's worth. And I was curious
I'm curious too. Has "Miss Right Wing" lectured at the UTA before this time?

Because I'm finding her scary for the fact she follows the Bush's rather than being with them as the Bush daughter graduated from the University last year. Then Miss Rightly Oh has yet to even have had a phone call conversation with the Person her fame arose from.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:16 PM on May 5, 2005


Enquiring minds want to know:

Does Ann masturbate stallions as well as Fearless Leader?

And does Ann prefer her sinful sex (not married!) in the ass best?

When did you first notice your manliness, Ann?

If you had a choice between sleeping with Laura or Dubya, which would you choose Ann?

Does it bother you that a dark skinned (swarthy) woman has referred to Dubya as "my husband" Ann?
posted by nofundy at 1:26 PM on May 5, 2005


nkyad writes " Now, what is it with people taking children to see Ann Coulter?"

I imagine that the KKK would be more than willing to provide its members with kiddie-sized robes too.
posted by clevershark at 2:45 PM on May 5, 2005


Ann Coulter scares me because her adam's apple is bigger than mine.
posted by clevershark at 2:47 PM on May 5, 2005


what is it with italians and anal sex? for example, italian porn is much more butt-centric than any other. I don't get it.
I think we should discuss this issue instead of the ass post at hand.


I agree, it is more interesting a topic than dios' ungodly (pun intended) post.
I see your point -- I tend to believe that butt-loving people all over the world do have a problem with American Porn's artificial-EE-cup-size-breast obsession. I mean, it's simply odd to see whippet-thin women with toned thin legs and no hips sport 34DDD artificial breasts -- that's a body type many men do not find attractive, I think. it's great if a woman gets a breast augmentation if she'd like to be bigger in a weight-proportionate way. American porn is just excessive.
look, I've read Jenna Jameson's autobiographe and there are pictures of her back when she was a lovely young woman with natural B-cup breasts -- getting bigger and bigger made her increasingly unnatural-looking and plain weird.

me, I find a natural woman -- regardless of her weight or body shape -- much more beautiful than your average US porn actress. so that's a kind of revenge of butt-loving people, I guess. yay for curvy hips, yay for womanly bodies (I find the American obsession with painfully thin women dangerous and unhealthy -- fast metabolism is great, boderline anorexia induced by the dominant culture just sucks). down with the US-stripper look.
and once porn pays more attention to butts, I guess the number of anal scenes is going to increase exponentially

does it answer your question?

and what about Swedish porn, mr. marx? very little anal?
posted by matteo at 2:52 PM on May 5, 2005


and now, if only Japanese Mefites would explain to us the reason of the whole bukkake craze...
posted by matteo at 2:55 PM on May 5, 2005


Well, the student in question has written an open letter, avaliable here:
http://www.poormojo.org/pmjadaily/archives/003161.html

"The title of the Daily Texan front-page story covering Ms. Coulter's speech was "Arrest Made at Coulter Speech." You could also have caught it on CBS or in the Austin-American Statesman. The general idea is that some jackass made a scene, and Ann Coulter was also there.

I am Ajai Raj, and I am a jackass."


Whether you agree with Raj, Coulter, or neither, it's refreshing to see something almost everyone ccan actually laugh about. The 'Lege? If it weren't so sad, that would be worth a laugh too.
posted by ShawnStruck at 3:00 PM on May 5, 2005


Re: the poormojo link:
I have a newfound respect for Raj and his self-deprecation, though he's still an idiot for letting Ann win that round. Not that any of her supporters would give a shit either way. But his cause certainly lost the respect of some of the more moderate conservatives (who, by the way, Coulter treated with equal disdain during the q&a).
posted by ch3ch2oh at 3:17 PM on May 5, 2005


and once porn pays more attention to butts, I guess the number of anal scenes is going to increase exponentially.

You don't watch much smut do you?

Anal is huge and has hit the mainstream. From far too many hours spent 'researching' trends in pornograpy I can state, without equivocation or fear of contradiction, that anal is the new girl-on-girl.
posted by cedar at 3:23 PM on May 5, 2005


"Anal is huge" is just genius
posted by matteo at 3:38 PM on May 5, 2005


Anal-DVDA 08!
posted by Balisong at 3:46 PM on May 5, 2005


Metafilter: It's when the left- and right-wingers became such goddamn pussies.
posted by jonp72 at 4:32 PM on May 5, 2005


Anil is huge, and a lot of bloggers are jealous.
posted by wendell at 4:36 PM on May 5, 2005


Metafilter: Anal is huge
posted by clevershark at 4:38 PM on May 5, 2005


Where are those folks in this thread? I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

Sorry, was busy doing other stuff.

The kid is an asshole and a childish one at that. But he's got every right to ask about butt-sex. And then they've got every right to kick him out for it, since he was doing it to be disruptive (in a place where his behavior is disruptive, as opposed to the open college quad). Criminal charges are ridiculous, the prosecutor should be shot.

Happy?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 4:43 PM on May 5, 2005


wendell wins.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:47 PM on May 5, 2005


Somebody explain me please how

1. HOW making an out of context question is "disruptive" ? Who forces the person to answer instead of ignoring the question and going ahead ?

2. WHAT are 10 years old doing at a speech of one person who's unquestionably promoting passive-aggressive hate toward political groups.

3. WHY is the guy being arrested for making some sexual reference yet nobody is arresting Coulter for exposing childrens to her figure ? Kids are known to take example in behavior and train-of-tought of adults and she's giving a very bad example imho.

WHY WHY WHY do you still keep giving that woman attention, she's a professional agitator ..exactly like trolls attention must NOT be given to the person, but description of the fallacy of the message should be offered instead. The more you hit her the bigger she becomes and that goes perfectly well with the martyr trip some pseudoreligious wakos enjoy.
posted by elpapacito at 4:52 PM on May 5, 2005


Why am I not surprised a dios thread turns into an exploration of anal sex?
posted by AlexReynolds at 5:35 PM on May 5, 2005


1. HOW making an out of context question is "disruptive" ?

The question is borderline on its own (if you can't see why asking about anal sex at a public event might be a little sketchy then please feel free to let us know how you feel about it), but I'd let it stand. It the combination the masterbation gestures for the rest of the speech that I have the problem with. Neither one on its own is a "problem", but together they show that he wasn't interested in dialogue as much as being as ass.

That said, the right remedy is kicking him out so that others can enjoy the speech. An arrest is just ridiculous unless there's something more that I don't know about.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 5:54 PM on May 5, 2005



The Q&A period is the time to present your question to the speaker if you want to engage the speaker to get their viewpoint on your question. The Q&A period is not the time to make *your* speech


What? Where? In your perfect world? At the local Shriner's meeting or 4H Club, I'd say that's par for the course. But at a freakin' Ann Couter session....you're saying Q&A is simply a time for harmless, anticipated questions that allow the speaker to reiterate his/her philosophy with no danger of dissenting opinion? Ann Coulter shouldn't expect anyone to make a political point in asking her a question?

Are you out of your mind, dios?

Hell, walk down to your local City Hall for the town meeting, even there you'll find plenty of speechifying within the questions. Ann Coulter isn't against liberals trying to make her squirm, she depends on it. And she's good at it, depending on your definition, by deflecting any valid question with jokes and insults.

Yeah this kid's "question" was over the top, but it seems that's the only way to get to an already over the top speaker like Coulter.
posted by zardoz at 6:01 PM on May 5, 2005


Anal sex? Of course, a college kid is going to ask about anal sex. Them whippersnappers prob'ly think they invented it too...
posted by jonp72 at 6:25 PM on May 5, 2005


Them whippersnappers prob'ly think they invented it too...

I was having anal sex back when they were nothing but a bottle of Boone's Farm and a pair of crossed fingers...
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 6:30 PM on May 5, 2005


biotic baking brigade
posted by warbaby at 10:02 PM on May 5, 2005


and what about Swedish porn, mr. marx? very little anal?

well, it's got its fair share of rectal rampage, but nowhere near the italian stuff. I guess we are today where your guys were 15 years ago.
but stay away from swedish porn. it's really awful.
posted by mr.marx at 7:04 AM on May 6, 2005


well, it's got its fair share of rectal rampage

Wow, I gotta check that out sometime. You know of any other good national porn that wouldn't get jen upset?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 3:24 PM on May 11, 2005


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