Movies, Bob Dole, Paul, & I

Bruce Norbeck MadTom at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Jun 11 23:46:29 MDT 1995

        Paul Keating, & others:
>Well, gosh Bruce, why not attack me with some cynicism that writes my
opinion off as rhetoric.
        Rest assured, Paul, that when you, or anyone else, writes the
kind of post I responded to, I shall blow it off as meaningless rhet-
oric. I am astounded that I have to say this, but: if you've something
to say to me, have the courtesy to direct it at me, by name, rather than
simply making inferences. I find inferences objectionable, at best.
>Do such attacks provide some ulterior satisfaction?
        I don't know, Paul. Did your statements, target un-named, pro-
vide you with satisfaction? Considering that the clear inference of your
statements meant they could only have been directed at me, I found them
to be no more than a personal attack, contributing nothing at all to the
discussion at hand.
>What are your motives, and why attack in this manner at this time?
>There appear to be valid questions of timing and motives here.
        Darn right there are. Dennis & were discussing Bob Doles speech
& whether politics played a large role in his timing & motives. Then,
you decide to step in & demand that we return to the substance of the
discussion at hand; you inferred that my statements were "infecting" cy-
berspace & this list in particular. & you wonder why I took umbrage?
>If you WERE discussing the topic at hand, then you had no need to com-
>ment about my opinion in the manner you chose.
        Sure, Paul. Your posting was directed at me in all but name, as
I was the only one questioning Dole's timing & motives & the accuracy of
his statements. I think I've every right to demand that you refrain from
doing so, & that, at the very least, you try to add soemthing to the to-
pic without resorting to personal attacks.
>On the other hand, if the shoe fits . . . .
        Hope you like those Nikes, Paul.
>|        Once you have something to say on the subject, I'd appreciate
>|hearing it.
>I do have something to say:  I don't need some pseudo-cyber-policeman
>telling me that "once you have something to say . . . ."
        Apparently, you do, because you didn't decide to say anything
substantial on the issue until after I took you to task for it.
>You have a delete key, and, I hope, are old enough to use it.
        If I had, I'd have never read your posting. But, since I've
never considered your postings inherently objectionable before, I have
never chosen to automatically delete them.
        The second half of the above sentence doesn't deserve a reply.
>Now, like-treatment being out of the way,
        We haven't gotten into like treatment, Paul. I'd rather not get
into like treatment. If you'd like to, I'll just use the delete key from
now on. So far, your actions on this issue, toward me, have been rude &
uncalled for. When I refer to you as "infecting this list", & refuse to
even have the decency to call you by name, you may then feel justified
in treating me like a petulant child.
>Timing, motives, and accuracy of assessment of certain films are irre-
        Baloney. Anytime a politician, especially one who's a serious
candidate for the Presidency, makes a speech, his timing, motives, & ac-
curacy are open to question. Particularly the accuracy of his assess-
ments. I'm astonished to read these words coming from you. I've no doubt
the same standard would not be applied to Clinton.
>What if the discussions on this list turned to questioning the timing,
>motives, and accuracy of your posts?
        They have in the past, & they will again. If the comments are
warranted, I'll back off & shut up; I've done it before, & will do it
again if proven wrong. You know this, so bringing it up is a straw man.
>You may have discovered the true meaning of life and want to spread the
>word. Truly those discussions on motives, &c., could not add any intel-
>ligence to what you have to say, no matter what their source.
        If I went about the world telling everyong that the meaning of
life was to give Bruce total & complete control over everyones life, be-
cause only I know how best to solve problems, then you may bet that my
timing, motives, & accuracy of assessment would be legitimate targets
for questioning.
        An extreme example, but fitting.
>You say you agree with Senator Dole's main point. Can you explain why
>without refering to the Senator, his allegedly questionable timing, and
>his alleged motives?
        I have long believed that the entertainment industry needs to do
a better job of policing itself. I believe that personal responsibility
means being responsible for the products you make & sell. I believe that
free markets can't exist if everyone in the market is concerned only
with the profits they make -- people need to be concerned about the
health & security of those markets, as well. I firmly believe that,
while the First Amendment keeps Congress & the lower governments from
censoring freedom of speech, it doesn't apply to private corporations;
they are free to censor, or not censor, as they wish. In the best in-
terests of their markets health & security, they should be a little more
careful about what they put out.
        Of corse, there should be no statute requiring them to do so.
The free market is the only censor suitable for a free country. That, I
believe, was Dole's main point -- that the people of this country need
to hold the entertainment industry responsible for it's actions, & voice
their displeasure with their pocketbooks.
        Since I agree with his main point, I see nothing wrong at all
with asking why he wasn't a little more careful in his research, or a
little more consistent in his criticisms.
>Other questions: Is it a question of responsibility, and whose re-
>sponsibility is it?
        It is the responsibility of both the producers of the product, &
the consumers of the product. Parenting should not consist of sitting
the kids down in front of the tube for hours on end, or sending them off
to the movies without knowing what they're going to see, or buying them
records without knowing what they're listening to. Doing otherwise is
>If the person(s) responsible do not exercise the responsibility, should
>that irresponsibility be regulated by some entity?
        In the case of the producers, the entity that regulates lack of
responsibility is the free market -- or, it should be. Irresponsible
producers who produce defective &/or harmful products will find that no-
one will buy their product anymore. As a perfect example, I can cite one
of the bands Dole mentioned -- 2 Live Crew, who haven't even been on the
scen for a couple years now.
        In the case of the parents, the question is a lot stickier. Are
parents who raise their children irresponsibly to be held liable for the
criminal actions of their off-spring? I don't think so, but only because
I believe the responsibility for the criminal act lies, ultimately, with
the person who committed it. Just because your parents put you in front
of the electronic baby-sitter & forgot about you doesn't mean you have a
right to commit ccrimes & blame your actions on them.
        Others may disagree with me here, & will provide good arguments
in support of their disagreement.
>Is there a morale standard, and, if so, who/what sets it?
        I would have to say that the society itself sets it; the com-
munity as a whole. But this raises nasty questions -- for example, the
subject of abortion. Just because large segments of society believe it
to be okay, doesn't mean I have to agree with them. Of course, I've no
right to stop them, save through legislation. The same goes for the en-
tertainment industry, except for one small thing called the 1st Amend-
>Is morality something that is set by democratic process?
        No. Morals, in many ways, are universal -- most cultures DO have
similar standards of right & wrong. Nazism was installed through the
democratic process, more or less; that didn't make it right.
>Where did this thing called morality come from, anyway?
        The standard answer would be, "religious beliefs". But I know
atheists who are perfectly moral people, so I don't think the standard
answer is sufficient. I get my morals from my religious belefs, but
that's me.
>The list of questions is endless. Not one of those questions the in-
>tegrity or motives of anyone.
        That does not mean that questioning someones motives & timing is
wrong. You may continue to insist otherwise.
Libertarian, pagan, pot-smoker, patriot -- DON'T TREAD ON ME!
madtom at

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