Thursday, June 26, 2014

That Darn First Amendment!

An on-line petition drive is trying to force the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and the organizers of the Waterfest concert series to cancel Ted Nugent's appearance at the Leach Amphitheater July 26th.  The petition is the work of former Department of Corrections Supervisor Mark Bye of Schofield and Kevin Kratsch of Oshkosh.  They are liberals who don't like what Ted Nugent has to say about President Obama and other liberals.  And because they don't like what he has to say, they don't believe you should be allowed to hear him say (or sing) anything.

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I think Ted Nugent is a talentless, two-bit hack who is cultivating an image to play up to what has always been a fringe fan base.  "The Nuge" is a redneck, playing redneck music for rednecks to listen to while they drink their cheap beer.  And when he comes to the Leach next month, the rednecks will have a great time while Ted exercises his First Amendment right to express himself (within the commonly held standards of public decency). 

Will he make jokes about the President?  Probably.  Will he sing misogynistic songs about women and sex?  Guaranteed.  And is any of that illegal?  Absolutely not.  And are the fine people of Oshkosh being forced to attend that concert, to sing along to the songs and to laugh at the crude humor?  No they are not.

That is a little thing we like to call "freedom".  Liberals like Mark Bye and Kevin Kratch aren't real big on "freedom"--they prefer to tell people what is and isn't "acceptable speech" nowadays.  For instance, protesters who threaten Governor Scott Walker and Republican members of the Legislature are "standing up for the people" and are hailed as "heroes".  Those who question the policies of President Obama are "threats to the country" and "racists" who need to be silenced by any means necessary.

George Carlin in his famous "Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television" routine had my all-time favorite line when it came to hearing things that "offend" you.  "There are two dials on the radio.  One turns it off--and the other changes the channel!"  So Mark Bye (whom I doubt was ever going to drive to Oshkosh for a concert anyway) and Kevin Kratch can exercise their freedom to stay at home while the Motor City Madman puts on his show for what will likely be the biggest crowd at Waterfest this year.  And the people who pony up the money to attend can exercise their freedom to be audibly assaulted by low-brow humor and poorly-played guitar riffs.

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