Monday, March 31, 2008

The First Amendment is sort of overrated

So maybe you know about this thing called the First Amendment, it's pretty big in the U.S. these days. Seems like you can hardly walk into a Starbucks without hearing someone say "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press" and then their compatriots are all like "aye." And Paul Burns is into that stuff too - you know, the whole "Constitutionality" thing. But...let's not get crazy with it, okay?

Sure, there are some obvious forms of speech that have to be protected. Like, if you want to get on your LiveJournal and say "mood: lazy" and put up an icon of a cat with a sailor hat on its head and little stars around the edges, clearly that sort of thing cannot be - er - abridged. The same goes for all instances of the bicycle wheel as a mode of expression. But let's be honest. We've all had times in our lives where we've experienced the freedom of someone's speech and thought: we don't need that.

Proposed Exceptions to the First Amendment

1. Koans. Q. What is the sound of one hand clapping? A. How about if I demonstrate by slapping you in the face.

2. The novel Finnegans Wake. "Him belly no belong sollow mole pigeon. Ally bully. Fu Li's gulpa." Really, Mr. Joyce? Are you quite sure about that?

3. The use of more than two consecutive exclamation points. Disclaimer: exclamation points followed by the number "1" may lead to the modification of further amendments.

4. The umlaut. Seriöusly.

There may be more. Voters, be on the lookout!

Anyway - we can get this thing changed for the better, but it'll take some doing. Three-fourths of the states have to approve it? It's like they're trying to make this process hard.

Well, if you happen to be a state - you know what to do!


Finnegans Wake said...

As we there are where are we are we there from tomtittot to teetootomtotalitarian. Tea tea too oo.

Anonymous said...

Umlauts can't help it if you can't pronounce them. They are older than some other letters we use and are necessary to denote the sounds they represent phonetically.

Spinal Tap said...

Yëäh! Whät shë säïd!