June 1999
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Angry Dan's Column


Senators and morons and punks, oh my!


by Daniel Strohl


So I'm stuck this month again defending freedom of expression against a variety of morons and punks.

First, I got a reply from Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) about my letter to Sen. Voinovich (see last month's column). It, of course, was a form letter which detailed his involvement in Senate Joint Resolution 14, which if passes Congress and is ratified by enough of the states, will become the anti-flag burning amendment. The letter then went on to say, "An Amendment [sic] is needed to protect the flag because the Supreme Court has ruled a law to prohibit flag desecration is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. Thus, a constitutional amendment is the only way to protect the flag."

?

Do we really have senators arguing this poorly? I mean, beyond the simple rhetorical mistake DeWine makes (Isn't an amendment still a law? Wouldn't the new amendment violate the first?), isn't there some other way to protect that damned symbol than by constitutional amendment?

So I've drawn two conclusions from DeWine's letter: I'm voting for Jerry Springer in the Ohio senatorial race, and society is too fascinated with symbolism.

My second defense of freedom of expression must come after reading about Oliver Stone's trip to Amite, Louisiana to defend Natural Born Killers. I guess some convenience store clerk there got shot after a couple of hick anarchists watched NBK a few times and now the clerk's family is blaming Stone for it all.

This is idiocy. Directors, along with any other type of artist, should not have this specter of a lawsuit hanging over their heads anytime they create something. JFK once said, "Society should set free an artist to create whatever he pleases."

I never really considered what that meant until now.

Last month's column

Dan's first comment on flag burning

Has Dan made you angry?


If so, feel free to click on the image to the right and let him know just how wrong he is.


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