Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Comedy and Free Speech or Kiddie Porn? Either Way, Plea Bargains Suck!

April 13th, 2011

The Youtube comedian/jokester, Evan Emory, who edited his video to make it appear he was singing a sexually-suggestive song to a group of young school children agreed to a plea bargain whereby he will serve a sentence of a sixty day jail-term (among other things). The said individual pleaded ‘no contest’ to "unlawful posting of an Internet message with aggravating circumstances” – according to the Village Voice. Apparently the young man/comic agreed to the plea bargain to avoid any possibility of a conviction of "manufacturing child pornography."

Clearly, the young man and video jokester didn’t think his joke through to any possible conclusion – especially how the video might be perceived/received by any of the young children’s parents, let alone how it might be perceived by a prosecutor or judge. If my child had been highlighted in the video, I also probably would have been perturbed. Nevertheless, in this day and age, it would seem nearly anyone would agree to spend a month [or so] in jail [to appease any upset parents or bureaucrats] before they would risk being labeled and nationally listed as a ‘sex offender’ – assuming they ever wanted another job.

What is of issue here, in my opinion, is this matter highlights how the plea bargain process seems improper. Maybe this matter should have been heard to clarify what speech is illegal and what is not – regardless of what is improper or in poor taste or what jokes of what subject should be avoided. Of course, such a hearing/trial would have meant a considerable increase in workload for all the legal entities and personnel involved.

Then again, what probably prevented this matter from being heard is the apparent and often improper nature of mandatory type of sentencing, particularly so concerning any national blacklists – such as any National Bad Drivers List, No-Fly List (unless the individual is a verified terrorist) and dare I say it, any sex-offenders list (because it can apparently blacklist for life any such simplistic comedian-wanna-be, for one example).

It would seem mandatory sentencing or labeling should only apply to violent criminals, in my opinion, if at all. Sentencing guidelines would appear as a better alternative. It would seem that any honest and competent judge could distinguish those that should be removed from society and incarcerated and those for whom such a sentence of incarceration may not be warranted. However, of course, not all judges are fair, honest, and competent – as history has shown us time and time again throughout the land.

I mean, regardless of all else, maybe this matter should have been heard/tried to clarify what is Free speech and what is not. Such a clarification appears as necessary for some, obviously. This Youtube comedian was not intending to make child pornography, in my opinion, he was merely attempting to make a [poor or improper] joke. However, any mandatory sentencing and blacklisting of this Youtube comedian likely also would have been improper. (Be aware, I don’t know the individual personally.)

As a result of no clarification of legal speech in this matter, would any viewer of the joke Youtube video also be guilty of watching child pornography? Are/Were any news/media outlets then providing child pornography by allowing anyone to view the video on their websites or broadcasts? Was Youtube guilty of posting child pornography when it allowed the posting of this video to its massive website?

As with any legal ambiguity, by this plea bargain, Freedom of Speech has essentially been weakened as to what Free Speech is legal or illegal – again, as such a clarification appears as necessary for some and, in the end, such a legal clarification could help all. Is the Village Voice breaking the Law by providing the video for viewing – which it chose not to do by the link below? I don’t profess to have or know the answer for dealing with pedophiles and I wish such individuals were not ever among the free and decent peoples of the world, of course. However, when one is talking about Freedom of Speech without any violent intentions, well…. Maybe, at a minimum, our tax dollars would be better spent by not putting misguided and simple-minded comedians in jail for jokes – regardless of the inappropriate nature of the joke.


YouTube Kid Gets 60 Days in Jail For Sex Joke Song
By Joe Coscarelli, Wed., Apr. 13 2011 @ 5:13PM

On the other hand, for reference on my position on such matters, I have also previously posted:
Should We Execute Violent Sex Offenders Regardless of the Degree of Murder? Body of Missing Female High School Student is Recovered

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Baby Boomer Generation: The End-All Hypocrites for the Ages?

During the late 1960’s, the Baby Boomer generation essentially began its rise to power while preaching Freedom of expression and non-materialistic ‘peace and love’ for all of mankind. As this generation now begins to retire/accelerates its retirement from the workforce, to the next generation the Baby Boomers pass the reigns of a society which seems consistently to care only for profit and political power and a civilization which is teetering on the brink of worldwide fascism – and arguably more so than ever before. As such, will the majority of the Baby Boomer generation justifiably be known to history as consummate hypocrites? Obviously, some Baby Boomers seem to have been true to their youthful ideals as there has been an increase of charitable organizations and charitable contributions during the last fifty-plus years. Nevertheless, did the Baby Boomers – as a whole – help to solidify and compound the potentially self-centered inclinations of the world’s populace, did they make the world a better place, or did they have no significant effect either way on the current state of human nature?

In the end, will this generation be remembered for helping or hurting the peoples of the world? Of course, the entire legacy of the Baby Boomer generation has yet to be written, so ultimately, time will tell.

AVT (April, 2011)

PS. I speak/write here in generalities, of course.

PSS. The Baby Boomer generation is generally accepted as those who were born after World War II and prior to 1970 – more or less. The actual/exact birth-years of those who are classified as ‘Baby Boomers’ is dependent on whose book or definition is cited/referenced. Regardless, ‘Baby Boomers’ are generally considered to be those who are born between 1945 and 1968-ish.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Season 10, American Idol: I’m ‘Idoling,’ But… (And Other Idol Info.)

April 6th, 2011

I’ve been enjoying the latest season of “American Idol” - the reality television show and singing contest (now in its tenth season). I have also enjoyed the new line-up of celebrity judges this year as well.

So…, I’ve been idoling again this season. But, ya’ know wha’….? The show kind’a seems to need a brash ‘Simon Cowell’ type of judge, in my humble opinion.

Not that praise for the current contestants is necessarily not warranted, but the Season 10 celebrity judges (Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson) seemingly have been too nice and lavishing too much adoration on the contestants - again, in my opinion. Besides, the presence of a cranky and condescending Simon–Cowell–type of judge was probably better for the ultimate success of the contestants as his criticism managed to better keep the likely star-struck contestants grounded in the real world (so to speak). Furthermore, a never-happy type of judge adds the additional zest of more drama to the show as the audience always waits to hear what the cranky judge has to say about the contestant’s performances. :)


PS. As a side note concerning the American Idol Show, I thought I had heard that the contestants had moved out of the Idol Mansion/residence as a result of unearthly and haunting spirits in the house. Now it appears that maybe what I heard had some validity to it:
'Ghost' Investigators -- Cast Away from 'Idol' Mansion

For additional Idol ‘dirt,’ see:

'idoling,' see: