The Fonz watches American Idol

I watched the last night’s American Idol results show. This season has been awful, with none of the captivating competition of the second season. The only battles this year have been how mean Randy can be and which contestant will suck the least each week. The only true description for this season is simple to explain: it’s boring.

What I find most interesting is that so many of the contestants are young and people are shocked that the competition is so bad. Just because someone is 16-years-old does not guarantee that the person can’t stun everyone, but emotional depth comes with experience. I’m generalizing without meaning to disparage, but the proof is obvious in this season’s performances. American Idol has spiraled to the level of satisfaction I would derive from watching a beauty pageant filled with 7-year-olds competing in a swimsuit competition.

Yet, I’m a fan of John Stevens, JSIV to the cool kids. While I liked Amy Adams, of the 12 contestants, JSIV is the most interesting. He’s young, so his talent is raw. He doesn’t appear comfortable showing his personality. He’s a block of wood during the dance numbers. But his voice is unique among the current competition and the notion of pop music that it portrays. There is a hidden variety and JSIV fills that. He’s interesting.

Unfortunately, the judges didn’t explain it that way. Simon did say as much early in the competition, but he offered criticism for most of the 7 weeks that JSIV performed. Paula was typically wishy-washy on voicing her opinion, but at least she wasn’t cruel. Randy doesn’t warrant an explanation, since he seemed to enjoy being mean. However, to his credit, Simon was right; JSIV took the criticism like a man. While Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia Barrino spewed attitude every time someone disagreed with them, JSIV accepted the verdicts with class and dignity. No one could expect more.

With that in mind, I’m dismayed by all the hatred being directed at JSIV. I don’t understand the unceasing need to attack his talent and to openly mock him. Ok, I do understand it, but I don’t agree with it. As a redhead who sings with a different style, it’s not surprising that he’s mocked. It’s the hatred that dismays me.

With the harsh criticism this season, I was amused last night. JSIV was voted off, so I’d hoped the reaction would be a sense of relief from everyone. The only relief was on JSIV’s face. Everyone else was busy wailing like little babies who’ve just been poked in the eye. I could only laugh at the hypocritical nonsense. Perhaps the lemmings will enjoy what they’ve molded for themselves. For me, I had the striking joy of watching American Idol Jump the Shark.

In late May, someone please give me a heads-up on who wins, since I won’t be watching anymore this season. I might even care when someone tells me.

A sliver of my genius

I didn’t feel like writing about Blender’s 50 Worst Songs Ever when it first came out. Even though it is the “definitive” list, I didn’t care. It’s self-serving publicity for magazine editors earned by taking broad shots at obvious targets done only to allow them to brag about how much cooler they are than the rest of us simpletons. I have no use for that and don’t generally wish to give any credence to that ploy. Yet, with the arrival of this article from about the shelf-life of American Idol contestants, I must write about it to make that connection with evidence I found in the articles. Consider this:

The Idol stage, however, has a trapdoor. [Clay] Aiken, in the lead with 2.5 million albums sold, “probably won’t have a lasting and meaningful career,” [Blender editor Craig] Marks says. “Kelly has juice left, but none of them will be around much longer, and they don’t necessarily deserve to be.”

Even a brief observation of Blender magazine shows that they wouldn’t be receptive to the American Idol “formula”. What exactly is the point in having Mr. Marks comment on the projected length of Clay Aiken’s career? I can only assume that it’s to show me what the “cool kids” know. I apologize for missing that memo in “How to be kewl like everybody else 101”, but I think this is poor journalism. It’s equivalent to newspapers and magazines that have non-country music fans review country music.

A source should have an affinity for the topic, or at least an objective viewpoint. This way, the music can be judged within the context of its niche. I’m not promoting formulaic music, but there is no “right” or “wrong” genre. Like what you like and enjoy it.

However, when looking at talent, can we blame the talent scouts instead of the fans? Continuing on in the article, there is this nugget:

Kim Buie, a talent scout for the Lost Highway label, agrees that Idol’s fruits are perishable.

“There’s no greater platform in this country than TV,” she says. “Viewers get involved in these kids’ lives and see their strengths and weaknesses week to week. The exposure absolutely helps in the launch of a record.

“Is the success long-term? Ask me again in five years. My guess is probably not. These singers deal in pop music of the moment. They’re told what to record and with whom. Long-term success is more complex. You grow into yourself; you have a point of view. Singing well isn’t enough.”

Coming from a talent scout at Lost Highway, that’s an interesting quote. Lost Highway is the “rebel” label that supports offbeat, less commercial music. They had Kim Richey on the label, but dropped her. She’s an amazing singer/songwriter who records great albums, so I can only assume it’s because her records weren’t selling well enough. Which leads to the conclusion that music is a business. Stunning.

Yet, that doesn’t stop the incessant ranking of what’s cool and hip. Continuing on with the American Idol theme, consider this assessment of three former contestants.

Clay Aiken

Sales: A. Airplay: B-. Artistic merit: C+. Celebrity Value: B. Overall: B

R.J. Helton

Sales: C. Airplay: C-. Artistic merit: B-. Celebrity value: C-. Overall: C+

Josh Gracin

Sales: N/A. Airplay: B-. Artistic merit: C+. Celebrity value: C+, Overall: C+

This is silly. Talent-wise, it’s impossible for me to comprehend that someone believes R.J. Helton has more “artistic merit” than Clay Aiken. Forget whether or not you prefer their music; for this discussion, it’s irrelevant. Clay Aiken has more raw talent and potential for the future than R.J. Helton could hope to dream about. Clay Aiken has a future to shape with his voice. If he needs to improve his song selection and reduce his cheese factor, that’s what his second album is for. And his third.

The word we’re looking for is “career”. As Ms. Buie said: “Long-term success is more complex.” It comes from musicians willing to change and grow. Who knows if Clay Aiken will… But he shouldn’t be counted out because he became famous on American Idol.

Consider Hanson‘s career. They were labeled a “boy band” because they were kids, they released a pop record (Middle of Nowhere), and that was the label in 1997. Slap the “boy band” label on them and there’s no thinking needed. When they have success, chalk it up to crazy little 13-year-old girls and smirk when they end up in drug rehab. It’s too bad they didn’t follow the script.

While Middle of Nowhere is a brilliant pop record, their second album, This Time Around is a stunning, raw rock record. They matured and it showed in their music. Yet, the album didn’t sell. Maybe it was the “boy band” label, maybe not. Whatever the reason, I’m sure there was some pre-conceived notion about them that hurt sales. But that doesn’t change the album.

Yesterday, they released their latest album, called Underneath. This is an amazing album. It’s a tremendous step forward in craft, both musically and lyrically. I’m glad I didn’t dismiss them because they’re not kewwwwwl. Growth is fun to watch.

Since that’s not cool to discuss in hip circles and making fun of people is acceptable, we have the list of “50 Worst Songs Ever”. Here’s the list of Blender’s “Bottom of the Barrel”:

1. “We Built This City” – Starship (1985)
2. “Achy Breaky Heart” – Billy Ray Cyrus (1992)
3. “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” – Wang Chung (1986)
4. “Rollin'” – Limpbizkit (2000)
5. “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice (1990)
6. “The Heart of Rock & Roll” – Huey Lewis & The News (1984)
7. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” – Bobby McFerrin (1988)
8. “Party All the Time” – Eddie Murphy (1985)
9. “American Life” – Madonna (2003)
10. “Ebony and Ivory” – Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder (1982

I don’t like all of those songs, but the worst songs ever? Doubtful. Just like you, I now need to load up “Party All the Time” and blare it at full volume. These songs are not going to save the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re not valid. Music can be good without being serious. In this context, my definition of “good” is “fun”. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying fun music.

There is a caveat for a song to make the list, as Blender editor Craig Marks explains:

Each dud had to be a hit to make the hit list. Though Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy got in, such novelties as Macarena and Who Let the Dogs Out, which by design are cheesy, were nixed. The jury also whittled down the bulk of “rotten, excruciatingly bad low-hanging fruit from the ’70s,” Marks says.

However, so that there’s no confusion over what we’re supposed to think, there’s this:

Starship’s 1985 anthem, the runaway No. 1 stinker, “seems to inspire the most virulent feelings of outrage,” editor Craig Marks says. “It purports to be anti-commercial but reeks of ’80s corporate-rock commercialism. It’s a real reflection of what practically killed rock music in the ’80s.”

The list may contain a diversity of songs, but most of the “worst” songs are from the 80’s and very early 90’s. Blender believes it knows exactly how to define good rock music. I suspect they whittle this down to a simple maxim: rock music paused with the end of Led Zeppelin and un-paused with the arrival of Nirvana. Ridiculous.

Finally, to make sure that everyone understands the truth, there’s this wonderful nugget of open-minded insight:

To accommodate coming horrors, the list can’t be considered definitive. Noting that Clay Aiken’s Invisible landed at No. 11, Marks predicts that “as soon as the American Idol season is finished, there will be a new entry.”

Lists like this are stupid. But we can all agree that “Achy Breaky Heart” is the worst song ever.

Not my America

According to this article, the “New Mexico Republican Central Committee has voted to censure the Sandoval County clerk, who issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples.” Here are a few details of the censure:

Dunlap issued 66 same-sex marriage licenses on February 20th before the sheriff, acting on instructions from the state attorney general stepped in and shut down her office.

At the time, Dunlap said she feared a lawsuit if she did not grant the licenses to gay couples. The county attorney in a legal opinion to Dunlap after San Francisco began allowing gays to marry said that denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples in New Mexico was against the state constitution.

A judge issued a temporary restraining order to prevent Dunlap from issuing any more same-sex licenses and the case is currently before the courts.

Not everyone agreed with the censure. I’m not willing to shout Barry Bitzer’s name from the roof of my building, announcing him to be the savior of the Republican Party, but he deserves some credit for common sense. This is his reasoning for being the lone dissenter against the censure:

“I’m afraid this will be played as a gay issue and not a good government issue,” he told the committee.

I’m not trying to play party politics for the ultimate point I’m going to make here. I’m not a fan of the rhetoric of the Democratic Party. I only “support” them because I disagree with them less. That’s an unfortunate reflection on the state of American politics. But I must point this out… from the party of “inclusion”, there’s this gem:

“We need to make clear we don’t support her actions, we don’t support her now and we will never support her in the future,” said former Rio Rancho City Councilor Lonnie Clayton. “The perception is that our silence is consent.”

No need to remain open-minded. What good would that do?

As everyone knows, I’ve written extensively on the same-sex marriage debate. Obviously, I want to persuade people to agree with me. I feel I’ve represented my side well. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine. If I’ve made you think about the debate in something other than just a knee-jerk “I don’t support it,” that’s great. Differing opinions makes this world an interesting place.

With that in mind, I hope that I don’t need to persuade anyone to the correct opinion about this rationale for the censure:

“Other than assassination, all we can do is censure her,” said committee chairman Richard Gibbs.

Assassination? Assassination? Assassination! I’m at a loss, but that quote speaks for itself. Which country is this?

Two-for-one entry

I never commented on The Apprentice while it aired, but I was addicted. I’m “proud” of myself for picking Bill halfway through the series. I’m “proud” of myself for picking why Mr. Trump chose Bill over Kwame. (It’s not a real source of pride on either point. It’s a tv show, so it doesn’t really matter. Unless it’s Alias. Then it matters more than anything else.)

At the time that Kwame was fired, I didn’t think much more about his future. But it’s no surprise that he’s receiving offers for employment. He’s a qualified businessman (from what I can tell from an edited, weekly television show) with a good education and impressive professional experience. So there’s little mystery that he would get offers. As this article states:

The real game has just begun for “The Apprentice” runner-up Kwame Jackson. Any regret over losing a job with Donald Trump to competitor Bill Rancic was quickly salved by a rush of offers and by Jackson’s own ambitions to make the most of his reality TV fame.

“This was basically a chance to have NBC pay for a 15-episode Kwame commercial in a business environment,” Jackson said of “The Apprentice.”

Ignoring the third person reference to himself, that’s exactly what it was, with the added benefit that NBC knew to edit it well. NBC is not going to humiliate Donald Trump by portraying Kwame Jackson as an incompetent. So it was an ideal situation for him. And losing may not be worse than winning:

Being No. 2 is turning out to be as much a problem for Jackson as it was for “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, who has outsold winner Ruben Studdard.

“My theme is, ‘Don’t cry for me, Argentina,” said Jackson, 30, a Wall Street investment manager before “The Apprentice.”

All the exposure with the bonus of leaving his options open? Sounds like a deal to me.

Now that I’ve made my point, I’d like to roll in the mud for a moment. I’m basing my opinion on the same editing tactics that NBC used to make Kwame Jackson look good, but I despised Omarosa’s “antics”. She appeared fake and a miserable bore. I suspect it would’ve been a challenge to edit her into such a ridiculous character if she didn’t provide enough evidence.

For that reason, Kwame surprised me when he picked her for his team. I screamed at the tv when he didn’t fire her from his team during his final assignment (managing the Jessica Simpson concert).

Even the antics of Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, whose scheming may have cost Jackson the top prize – a $250,000, yearlong job with Trump – is something he shrugs off.

During Jackson’s final “Apprentice” test, staging a concert with Jessica Simpson (news), Manigault-Stallworth flubbed transportation for the pop singer and appeared to fib about it.

Does Jackson think she lied to him?

“There’s no ‘think’ about it. It’s 100 percent on the tape. There’s no need to think about it. It’s like watching Rodney King get beat: How did the bruise happen?” he said.

I wish I’d thought of that line.

Get up and go

Ummmmm… Guess what happened last night? I know this will shock everyone, but I got trapped in the bathroom again.

Really, this is getting ridiculous. Because it’s been a little while, I thought I was past the point of relapse. As you may remember from the second time this happened, it was only three days after the first occurrence. This time, I managed to evade capture for 8 days since incident number three.

I’m amazed that this continues to happen. Questions mount without explanation… Why am I shutting the door when I have the master bedroom in my house? How do I become so disoriented in such a short span of time? What is behind this debacle?

After being snared for the third time, I wake up and mentally talk to myself when I get up in the night. Where am I? What time is it? Questions like that. It’s helped, until last night.

My only memory is standing in my bathroom during the night, with no clue where I was. Granted this is an improvement because I was on my feet. Unlike the past, my first was “Unbelievable. I’m trapped. Again!”. At least some part of me has a clue that I need to defend myself from my incoherent sleepy adventures.

When I realized that I was trapped again, I determined to figure out where I was. My bathroom is tiny, so even though I shouldn’t get trapped, I should at least be able to decipher my location within the confined space with little trouble. Last night, I hit a bonus on my first attempt.

There are two towel racks in my bathroom, but one set of screws holding one of the towel racks came loose. The hole was worn out to a size larger than the screw, so the hook fell off, with the bar sliding after it. That left this in my wall:

I had no idea how I was going to fix this.

My plan is to fix it, but I’ve been very slow for two reasons. First, the Phillies are on TV this week. Second, I’ve never fixed a wall before. From this mini-home-improvement, I’ve learned the joy of spackle. So this is what that side of the towel rack looks like now:

I've spackled this thing three times.  Because it's fun.

But I digress. That leaves one part of the towel rack still attached to the wall. When I was standing in the bathroom and knew that I was trapped again, I determined to figure out where I was. With a little luck, I leaned back and the towel hook poked my in the spine.

Eureka! The door was on my left. I reached out my hand and found the knob immediately. Opening the door, I escaped and went back to bed. My only thought was that I had a savior, which allowed me to write this today. Here it is:

Maybe I shouldn't finish fixing the towel rack...

My towel rack may have saved my life. Procrastination rocks!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

In my new role as business owner, I’m managing my actions differently. For example, I have to account for my own invoicing and payroll taxes. Money coming in, money going out. It’s wonderful. However, I didn’t realize the extent to which I’d be adapting to new situations.

As a part of my contract, my client must provide a desk, telephone, and computer. Since I’ve been at this client before, I had a set expectation of what my desk situation would be. Possibly bunched up with others, maybe even sharing a cubicle with someone. A little certainty in running a business is nice. Hahahahahahahahaha.

Instead, I was put in a different building, a long walk from my co-workers. Here’s the view from my desk, in order – on my left, in front, on my right, and behind:

I like columns.

It's very airy.

There are also a few tiny “houses” around, such as this:

This is a conference room.

As you may have guessed, I’m in an atrium. This is not an accident of space. I’m on the second floor, with no view into the first floor. This wonderful design pleased me greatly, until I sneezed the first time. The sound echoed around the atrium so that everyone on the second floor knew I’d sneezed. When I dropped my pen on the desk, same thing. So a little adjustment was necessary.

My normal speaking voice “carries well”. Fine, I’ll admit it… on the occasions when I talk, I’m loud. But I didn’t know realizes that I’d have to adjust to avoid a nice case of skin cancer. Take a look at my cubicle at lunch time:

That's the floor, with my desk and the trash can shadowed by the sun.

Imagine what that does to my forehead. And what is the source of this? Take a look:

The black hole sucks out my productivity from 11:30 until 2:45.

I should be an architect. Without a degree in architecture, I could’ve designed this building with more intelligence. It’s not easy being superior.

Written by Loger Moore?

Scanning the internet this afternoon, I came across this article from It covers typical business news, which in this case means the following:

After 14 years inside Misys in Europe, Rudi Pecker has been elevated to the financial technology company’s Singapore office, to become head of Asia Pacific sales.

That’s straight journalism… just the facts. That wouldn’t be worth mentioning if they hadn’t sold the article with the best headline possible. Guess what they wrote…

Misys gives Pecker head job

I wonder if life will imitate art for that gentleman…

Future ratings grabber

I’m pitching a new reality show to Fox Television. It’s a synthesis of Iron Chef and G4’s Arena, with a twist of Playing It Straight for good measure. There might even be some Lord of the Rings trilogy marathon action. Oooooh, boy!

The title of this unprecedented reality ratings bonanza? Wait for it… Ok, here it is: When Good CuddleFeasts Go Bad. Bam! Zock! Pow!

Not to be perceived as an amatuer by the Fox Television executives, I already have my proof of concept. Take a look at one amazing frame of the show:

I'm not telling what this is.  You'll have to watch the show to find out.

Now imagine a full hour of that every week! With 43 minutes of show per hour at 30 frames per second, that’s 77,400 frames of glorious joy. Can you imagine 77,399 other frames as spectacular as the one above? So can I!

Compromise isn’t censorship

Wal-Mart is the first retailer to sell the RCA ClearPlay dvd player. Built into the dvd player, ClearPlay software offers the following exciting benefits:

ClearPlay works with the regular DVDs that you already rent or purchase from your local stores. When you put a movie in a ClearPlay enabled DVD player, you can enjoy the show — without needing to worry about the occasional R or PG-13 content. It’s as if you had super-fast fingers and were able to punch remote control buttons fast and accurately enough to skip and mute certain content, but still maintain the movie’s continuity and entertainment value!

Wowie! That’s awesome! Now parents need not be bothered with monitoring what their children watch. It’s MovieNanny&trade!

All sarcasm aside, I don’t have a problem with this software or how it “modifies” movies. It’s a filter that leaves the movie whole, which should be obvious to all but the most obtuse critics of ClearPlay. A dvd player can’t hack up a dvd to leave only the “non-offensive” parts. Anyone who wishes to not see or hear objectionable material may use a dvd player with this software to make viewing simple. There is definitely a niche for this.

I think this next quote from Michael Medved is simplistic and utopian, but it explains a little bit about the audience interested in this type of technology:

“Movie fans who have been worried about excesses in violence, sexuality, and language can now enjoy their favorite films with a sense of security and satisfaction.”

For example, in its analysis of About a Boy, ClearPlay has found offensive material. The original version contains moderate Blood & Gore, moderate Sex/Nudity, heavy Profanity, and minor violence. The filtered ClearPlay version contains minor Blood & Gore, minor Sex/Nudity, no Profanity, and minor violence.

I’m not sure which movie they watched for the Sex/Nudity component, but I don’t think it was the About a Boy starring Hugh Grant. However, I don’t have the same sensibilities as others, so I’m willing to consider that I’m “immune” to a moderate abundance of Sex/Nudity. I’m not sure about the moderate Blood & Gore, either, but I’m willing to consider that some people don’t want to see a kid get beaten up, even if it’s necessary to move the story along.

As for Profanity, I fully agree that it’s pervasive throughout the movie. However, it’s important in this movie to have profanity. Real people swear. When writing a character, the writer’s goal is to make that character real. Thus, movie characters swear. When Will says “Fuck” in response to a statement by Marcus, it shows Will’s sense of being overwhelmed better than “I’m overwhelmed”. Marcus acknowledged that he didn’t know why Will swore, but it made him feel better. Someone had understood him. Filtering it out detracts from the movie, which gets back to the concept of parenting versus a government/corporate provided content nanny.

Of course, this technology will sell. Despite my opinion, people want it, and they will get it. Being America, there is, of course, another side.

This article explains the legal brouhaha that’s erupted because of the software. I don’t see a compelling justification for legal action because of ClearPlay’s software, but it’s happening:

…Clearplay and its rivals face a challenge from the other direction.

A Hollywood consortium, including some of Tinseltown’s top directors, has sued Clearplay and others, arguing that they are abusing the films’ artistic integrity.

By producing – without permission – altered versions of intellectual property, censors are effectively pirating directors’ and studios’ work, the lawsuit argues.

Clearplay hopes to escape through a loophole: instead of making new versions of films, it argues, its technology is simply another way of playing the existing movie – no more an abuse than a viewer fast-forwarding a tape in his own home.

That last sentence doesn’t explain a loophole. It explains a clear answer to why legal efforts to stop this are silly. There is no legal basis for stopping this. ClearPlay is not altering the source material. The copyrighted source is never touched, so none of the author’s rights as the creator of the work are infringed. The only arguments for attacking it are philosophical.

If people are buying a movie, then watch a filtered version, the director still wins. She can continue making the movie that she envisions, while more people see it than would have originally. Through maintaining her artistic vision, she can perhaps enlighten those viewers about her idea of creativity and free expression. Who loses?

Since America is pre-occupied with “objectionable content” issues this year, I’ll leave it to the British to have the appropriate response to our hysteria:

American cinephiles will soon be able to enjoy their movies without sex, violence, swearing – indeed, without any of the interesting bits.

That’s tongue-in-cheek, but it’s representative of reality. Beyond the instances where sex, violence, swearing, and drug use are necessary for a story, humans are interested in those topics. Not all humans, but enough that there is an industry for it. Right or wrong, it will continue. But there are legitimate ways to “please everyone” while not infringing upon anyone’s free speech. Imagine that…

Words are free, jails are not

Even though The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is associated with his university, I love the concept of this organization. From its website:

The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression is a unique organization, devoted solely to the defense of free expression in all its forms. While its charge is sharply focused, the Center’s mission is broad. It is as concerned with the musician as with the mass media, with the painter as with the publisher, and as much with the sculptor as the editor.

Every year, the Center awards the Jefferson Muzzles, which it describes as follows:

Announced on or near April 13 — the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson — the Jefferson Muzzles are awarded as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment. Because the importance and value of free expression extend far beyond the First Amendment’s limit on government censorship, acts of private censorship are not spared consideration for the dubious honor of receiving a Muzzle.

Announced today, the 2004 winners are:

Judge Miriam Goldman Gedarbaum

The U.S. Department of Defense

The United States Secret Service

The Albemarle County (VA) School Board

Baseball Hall of Fame President Dale Petroskey

CBS Television

The University of New Orleans Administration

The Administration of Dearborn High School (Michigan)

The South Carolina House of Representatives

The Parks and Recreation Division of Broward County (Florida)

Jeff Webster of Soldotna, Alaska, and the Unnamed Arsonist of Harrisonburg, Virginia

The Arizona State License Commission

The Pilot Point (Texas) Police Department

I don’t make a distinction about which speech or ideas should be free. Say whatever is on your mind. Believe what you want. Synthesize what others have to say. Enjoy the freedom to say as much or as little as you wish. Make a statement, then immediately realize that you believe something else.

With censorship rampant in America, it’s important to remember that progress only comes about through the free expression of ideas. That shouldn’t be stopped by anyone. Anyone who regularly reads will understand that I admire this 1962 statement from the late Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black:

“My view is, without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, that freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they have or the views they express or the words they speak or write.”

Taking a little twist on an old bumper sticker cliche, I contribute propose this: Know censorship, Know oppression. No censorship, no oppression.