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Housewitz! Some people are evil

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050810/...uschwitz_video

This would quite possible be one of the most offensive things Ive ever read...

The one part that sparked serious thought was this sentence....

"The Simon Wiesenthal Center's European office denounced the video as "outrageous," saying it goes "beyond the bounds of freedom of expression to an unprecedented level of obscenity."

I am all for freedom of expression in all facets of human life.... Art, literature, film, political opinion.... it is a precious part of our "western" culture that people in other countries do not have....

But how far is too far?

Discuss.

b.
"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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"The world is all that is the case"
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post #2 of 21
Boo Hoo, let me get a tissue to wipe the tear I wept.
post #3 of 21
Incredibly offensive and in horribly bad taste... but not at all beyond what should be within the bounds of free expression. Offensiveness is one of the last things one should try to legislate against.
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #4 of 21
Quote:
But how far is too far?

The whole principle of free speech and expression is based upon the rule that one tolerates the speech and expression with which one doesn't agree with.

Frankly, I don't really give a shit.
There is a lot more horrible stuff going on right now and nobody says anything about that!
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
OK, I am really using the Housewitz story as a starting point to my question.

I agree that freedom of speech and expression is, or at least should be a universal right.

But how far is too far in relation to personal/artistic/etc expression. Take the short film shown recently in Australia where a group of people tortured, killed and dismembered a stray cat in the name of "art".... is this too far? Most people would say yes it is, but the artist defended the film as a work of art... and anyway, animals get slaughtered every day for food, clothing etc.

Limits are set on what people can do within the law of their own country and culture... do current laws within most countries put a marker as to how far freedom of expression can go before it is deemed anti-social or to the detriment of the population as a whole?

Im just wanting to know where people stand in relation to this...

So how far is too far for you?
"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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post #6 of 21
Stupid? yes
Bad taste? Yes
But "illegalize" it? No
We cannot legislate from hurt feelings. The society should not have such control over the action of the individual. Or else we should also ban all cowboy-indian movies, "Black hawk down" and a lot of other artistic expressions.

The cat movie is different. A cat was hurt because someone wanted to shoot the film. So if we think killing a cat in that manner is something that should stay illegal then perhaps it could be argued that the film in itself should be illegal. I guess its the same reasoning that are used against child pornography: Since the goal is the film and the mean is illegal (child molesting) then we should also make the goal illegal.

We had a case here where an artist was exhibiting goldfish in blenders. The blenders were live and if someone pushed the button you would have instant fish soup. Well of course someone DID push the button on one of the blenders. People wanted to ban the exhibition but I didn´t really hear any good reason for it: The fish is not aware of anything, can´t really feel pain and it died the fastest death a fish will ever experience. Compare it to the slow death of fish caught on sea. Now if it should be illegal to blend live fish then the exhibition should have been illegal too because the only reason to have the fish in the blenders was to have the exhibition.
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post #7 of 21
I wonder who made it?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
Stupid? yes
Bad taste? Yes
But "illegalize" it? No
We cannot legislate from hurt feelings. The society should not have such control over the action of the individual. Or else we should also ban all cowboy-indian movies, "Black hawk down" and a lot of other artistic expressions.

I agree with you on that... "hurt feelings" is totally subjective, in essense, a personal thing for one or a group of people.....

Im more interested in the statement I quoted in my first post....

Quote:
Originally posted by benjamin_r
"The Simon Wiesenthal Center's European office denounced the video as "outrageous," saying it goes "beyond the bounds of freedom of expression to an unprecedented level of obscenity."

"Beyond the bounds of freem of expression" is the bit I find interesting. Who can set a limit to the bounds of freedom of expression.... I can see boundarys in conjunction with what is legal and illegal... but even these differ from country to country.....

Do we accept this freedom until someone is murdered or phyically hurt by the expression... or is there a step before this... Could Mental anguish of a surviour of Auschwitz (which could lead to a more physical problem) caused by the Housewitz movie be deemed as cause for exceeding the bounds of freedom of expression bu the film makers?

To clarify, Im all for Freedom of Expression and free speech.... Im just curious as to what this boundary the Simon Wiesenthal Center's European office refers too and if one even exists.

Thanks for your posts

b.
"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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post #9 of 21
Dude. . .

Mel Brooks made an inane musical out of the Spanish inquisition. Just wait 500 years and there will be plenty more of this kind of thing related to the Nazis. I don't see it so much as "awful" as it is "ahead of its time."
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post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Mel Brooks made an inane musical out of the Spanish inquisition.

And the Nazis......
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Splinemodel
Dude. . .

Mel Brooks made an inane musical out of the Spanish inquisition. Just wait 500 years and there will be plenty more of this kind of thing related to the Nazis. I don't see it so much as "awful" as it is "ahead of its time."

Yeah, but Mel is above all ethical and moral judgements.... the man is a genuis!
"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
And to clarify again, the Auschwwitz story just prompted the question...

While I found it obscene, Im not that hung up about it....

The question of Freedom of Expression and its "boundaries", if it has any, is my concern.

b.
"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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"The world is all that is the case"
~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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post #13 of 21
I always thought "boundaries" applied to hate literature.

Besides, the use of the word "boundaries" seems more like a public relations statement as opposed to quoting some case law, so it is kind of meaningless.

While the idea for this video is goofy, I wouldn't say it promotes hatred. Merely taking a tragedy having fun with it. Someone once said humor is tragedy over time (or something like that).

Kind of like Bart Simpson getting a Hindenburg cheque book that flips to show the destruction - bet they couldn't get away with that a month after the thing went up in flames.

I bet these folks would have a problem with The Onion newspaper as well.
post #14 of 21
I find it necessary to be pretty much an absolutist on free speech issues, because as soon as you agree to place limits on speech based on someone's notion of "beyond the bounds" or "completely outrageous" you've pretty much given away the store.

Yes, making a rave out of Auschwitz is grotesque and suggests at least ignorance if not out right viciousness on the part of anyone who would think to do such a thing.

But we very obviously live in a world where the exact same characterization can be and is made about calling Bush a blood thirsty shit head.

If I am to protect my right to say the latter I am obliged to defend someone's right to say the former.

And, before anyone goes after me for my liberal hypocrisy, this certainly does mean that I am opposed to "hate speech" statutes. I like my haters shooting their mouths off so I can keep track of them and everybody can get a clear idea of exactly what they think.

I think the left in America could do itself a huge favor by dropping support for speech codes of any sort, allowing them to take the high ground in talking about the Bush admins penchant for punishing and silencing its critics, and clearing differentiating themselves from the rights fondness for fulminating against the "outrageous" "beyond the bounds" critics of Bush's policies (and their clear desire to have the freedom to impose sanctions).

I am less settled on protections for "incitement to action", as in the case of anti-abortion terrorists who opine that God would really appreciate it if a baby killer doctor got his just reward and then going on to publicize the home address and telephone number of said physician.
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post #15 of 21
Quote:
I am less settled on protections for "incitement to action", as in the case of anti-abortion terrorists who opine that God would really appreciate it if a baby killer doctor got his just reward and then going on to publicize the home address and telephone number of said physician.

As long as his address and telephone are public information, then it should be inconsistent with the rest of your opinion as stated.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
As long as his address and telephone are public information, then it should be inconsistent with the rest of your opinion as stated.

No because an authority giving information like that will potentially give someone the idea that he asks someone to do "something" to the doctor. And there would be no other reason for the person to give that information that idea.
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
As long as his address and telephone are public information, then it should be inconsistent with the rest of your opinion as stated.

Well, if you're like most people, your name and address are "public information". Shit, I could probably ferret it out given a little time.

So are you saying that you would defend my right to put up a web page, post your name, picture, address and phone number, list anything you've done (in so far as I could discover such doings) that might be a hot button issue for America's legions of half-crazed true believers of various stripes and then assert that any real true believer worth his or her salt should get on the next plane to your hometown and kill you?

Or, to couch the principle involved in less personally threatening terms, say i have a website that features my favorite notion, "everybody should rob a bank". Now, that may earn me the increased scrutiny of certain regulatory entities, but pretty clearly is within my free speech rights. "Banks are bad, justice is served when they are robbed, really, you should try it, we have to teach the banking industry a lesson, etc.", all good.

But what if I go from there to "everybody should rob a bank, but somebody should immediately rob First National Savings and Loan at Fourth and Main. There is a 15 minute gap between security guard shifts, starting a 3:35 in the afternoon, and they take in the local big box retailer receipts on Fridays. Oh, and God hates that bank."

If you don't like the religious incentive, substitute "the bank is run by child molesters" and tie your web site to a network of angry, grieving parents of molested children. Or maybe a network of people with a demonstrated animosity to banks and the banking system and a history of low level vandalism against same (although perhaps not as yet having graduated to full on bank robber).

Now, clearly this speech is not just an incitement, but made in the full expectation that someone will commit this crime. It is deliberately pitched at a population most likely to commit this crime. In fact, a reasonable person might conclude that such a web site might well increase the likelihood that that very crime would be committed. Not "crime" in the abstract, as in "video games increase crime" but a specific crime against a specific target.

Is this protected speech? Or does cross the line into "action", and criminal action at that?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
for America's legions of half-crazed true believers

Legions of half-crazed true believers?

I'm not sure I even buy dozens. At least in terms of those that could/would/might be incited to violence anyway.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
So are you saying that you would defend my right to put up a web page, post your name, picture, address and phone number, list anything you've done (in so far as I could discover such doings) that might be a hot button issue for America's legions of half-crazed true believers of various stripes and then assert that any real true believer worth his or her salt should get on the next plane to your hometown and kill you?

All I can say is, BRING IT ON! Just make sure you got enough body bags.

Quote:
In fact, a reasonable person might conclude that such a web site might well increase the likelihood that that very crime would be committed.

Define "reasonable" and then define "might well increase" in absolute terms and then we'll argue.
post #20 of 21
link to the "housewitz" video being discussed:
http://www.geenstijl.nl/paginas/hw/h...bezoekers.html

taken from the disclaimer: "We do not like the content, we strongly disapprove of the message. We think it is important to keep this flash file on line as part of our discussion"
post #21 of 21
Sick, twisted, offensive, idiotic, revolting, but not an incitement to act. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
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