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GogoGirl
Apr 16th, 2003, 07:38 PM
I just love this article and Tim Robbins.


"YOU GO TIM"


http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0416-01.htm


Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...'
Transcript of the speech given by actor Tim Robbins to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2003.

TIM ROBBINS: Thank you. And thanks for the invitation. I had originally been asked here to talk about the war and our current political situation, but I have instead chosen to hijack this opportunity and talk about baseball and show business. (Laughter.) Just kidding. Sort of.

I can't tell you how moved I have been at the overwhelming support I have received from newspapers throughout the country in these past few days. I hold no illusions that all of these journalists agree with me on my views against the war. While the journalists' outrage at the cancellation of our appearance in Cooperstown is not about my views, it is about my right to express these views. I am extremely grateful that there are those of you out there still with a fierce belief in constitutionally guaranteed rights. We need you, the press, now more than ever. This is a crucial moment for all of us.

For all of the ugliness and tragedy of 9-11, there was a brief period afterward where I held a great hope, in the midst of the tears and shocked faces of New Yorkers, in the midst of the lethal air we breathed as we worked at Ground Zero, in the midst of my children's terror at being so close to this crime against humanity, in the midst of all this, I held on to a glimmer of hope in the naive assumption that something good could come out of it.


Actor Tim Robbins speaks about his anti-war stance at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday, April 15, 2003. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

I imagined our leaders seizing upon this moment of unity in America, this moment when no one wanted to talk about Democrat versus Republican, white versus black, or any of the other ridiculous divisions that dominate our public discourse. I imagined our leaders going on television telling the citizens that although we all want to be at Ground Zero, we can't, but there is work that is needed to be done all over America. Our help is needed at community centers to tutor children, to teach them to read. Our work is needed at old-age homes to visit the lonely and infirmed; in gutted neighborhoods to rebuild housing and clean up parks, and convert abandoned lots to baseball fields. I imagined leadership that would take this incredible energy, this generosity of spirit and create a new unity in America born out of the chaos and tragedy of 9/11, a new unity that would send a message to terrorists everywhere: If you attack us, we will become stronger, cleaner, better educated, and more unified. You will strengthen our commitment to justice and democracy by your inhumane attacks on us. Like a Phoenix out of the fire, we will be reborn.

And then came the speech: You are either with us or against us. And the bombing began. And the old paradigm was restored as our leader encouraged us to show our patriotism by shopping and by volunteering to join groups that would turn in their neighbor for any suspicious behavior.

In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred. Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state.

This past weekend, Susan and I and the three kids went to Florida for a family reunion of sorts. Amidst the alcohol and the dancing, sugar-rushing children, there was, of course, talk of the war. And the most frightening thing about the weekend was the amount of times we were thanked for speaking out against the war because that individual speaking thought it unsafe to do so in their own community, in their own life. Keep talking, they said; I haven't been able to open my mouth.

A relative tells me that a history teacher tells his 11-year-old son, my nephew, that Susan Sarandon is endangering the troops by her opposition to the war. Another teacher in a different school asks our niece if we are coming to the school play. They're not welcome here, said the molder of young minds.

Another relative tells me of a school board decision to cancel a civics event that was proposing to have a moment of silence for those who have died in the war because the students were including dead Iraqi civilians in their silent prayer.

A teacher in another nephew's school is fired for wearing a T- shirt with a peace sign on it. And a friend of the family tells of listening to the radio down South as the talk radio host calls for the murder of a prominent anti-war activist. Death threats have appeared on other prominent anti-war activists' doorsteps for their views. Relatives of ours have received threatening e-mails and phone calls. And my 13-year-old boy, who has done nothing to anybody, has recently been embarrassed and humiliated by a sadistic creep who writes -- or, rather, scratches his column with his fingernails in dirt.

Susan and I have been listed as traitors, as supporters of Saddam, and various other epithets by the Aussie gossip rags masquerading as newspapers, and by their fair and balanced electronic media cousins, 19th Century Fox. (Laughter.) Apologies to Gore Vidal. (Applause.)

Two weeks ago, the United Way canceled Susan's appearance at a conference on women's leadership. And both of us last week were told that both we and the First Amendment were not welcome at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

A famous middle-aged rock-and-roller called me last week to thank me for speaking out against the war, only to go on to tell me that he could not speak himself because he fears repercussions from Clear Channel. "They promote our concert appearances," he said. "They own most of the stations that play our music. I can't come out against this war."

And here in Washington, Helen Thomas finds herself banished to the back of the room and uncalled on after asking Ari Fleischer whether our showing prisoners of war at Guantanamo Bay on television violated the Geneva Convention.

A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in talk radio and Clear Channel and Cooperstown. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.

Every day, the air waves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear.

I am sick of hearing about Hollywood being against this war. Hollywood's heavy hitters, the real power brokers and cover-of-the- magazine stars, have been largely silent on this issue. But Hollywood, the concept, has always been a popular target.

I remember when the Columbine High School shootings happened. President Clinton criticized Hollywood for contributing to this terrible tragedy -- this, as we were dropping bombs over Kosovo. Could the violent actions of our leaders contribute somewhat to the violent fantasies of our teenagers? Or is it all just Hollywood and rock and roll?

I remember reading at the time that one of the shooters had tried to enlist to fight the real war a week before he acted out his war in real life at Columbine. I talked about this in the press at the time. And curiously, no one accused me of being unpatriotic for criticizing Clinton. In fact, the same radio patriots that call us traitors today engaged in daily personal attacks on their president during the war in Kosovo.

Today, prominent politicians who have decried violence in movies -- the "Blame Hollywooders," if you will -- recently voted to give our current president the power to unleash real violence in our current war. They want us to stop the fictional violence but are okay with the real kind.

And these same people that tolerate the real violence of war don't want to see the result of it on the nightly news. Unlike the rest of the world, our news coverage of this war remains sanitized, without a glimpse of the blood and gore inflicted upon our soldiers or the women and children in Iraq. Violence as a concept, an abstraction -- it's very strange.

As we applaud the hard-edged realism of the opening battle scene of "Saving Private Ryan," we cringe at the thought of seeing the same on the nightly news. We are told it would be pornographic. We want no part of reality in real life. We demand that war be painstakingly realized on the screen, but that war remain imagined and conceptualized in real life.

And in the midst of all this madness, where is the political opposition? Where have all the Democrats gone? Long time passing, long time ago. (Applause.) With apologies to Robert Byrd, I have to say it is pretty embarrassing to live in a country where a five-foot- one comedian has more guts than most politicians. (Applause.) We need leaders, not pragmatists that cower before the spin zones of former entertainment journalists. We need leaders who can understand the Constitution, congressman who don't in a moment of fear abdicate their most important power, the right to declare war to the executive branch. And, please, can we please stop the congressional sing-a- longs? (Laughter.)

In this time when a citizenry applauds the liberation of a country as it lives in fear of its own freedom, when an administration official releases an attack ad questioning the patriotism of a legless Vietnam veteran running for Congress, when people all over the country fear reprisal if they use their right to free speech, it is time to get angry. It is time to get fierce. And it doesn't take much to shift the tide. My 11-year-old nephew, mentioned earlier, a shy kid who never talks in class, stood up to his history teacher who was questioning Susan's patriotism. "That's my aunt you're talking about. Stop it." And the stunned teacher backtracks and began stammering compliments in embarrassment.

Sportswriters across the country reacted with such overwhelming fury at the Hall of Fame that the president of the Hall admitted he made a mistake and Major League Baseball disavowed any connection to the actions of the Hall's president. A bully can be stopped, and so can a mob. It takes one person with the courage and a resolute voice.

The journalists in this country can battle back at those who would rewrite our Constitution in Patriot Act II, or "Patriot, The Sequel," as we would call it in Hollywood. We are counting on you to star in that movie. Journalists can insist that they not be used as publicists by this administration. (Applause.) The next White House correspondent to be called on by Ari Fleischer should defer their question to the back of the room, to the banished journalist du jour. (Applause.) And any instance of intimidation to free speech should be battled against. Any acquiescence or intimidation at this point will only lead to more intimidation. You have, whether you like it or not, an awesome responsibility and an awesome power: the fate of discourse, the health of this republic is in your hands, whether you write on the left or the right. This is your time, and the destiny you have chosen.

We lay the continuance of our democracy on your desks, and count on your pens to be mightier. Millions are watching and waiting in mute frustration and hope - hoping for someone to defend the spirit and letter of our Constitution, and to defy the intimidation that is visited upon us daily in the name of national security and warped notions of patriotism.

Our ability to disagree, and our inherent right to question our leaders and criticize their actions define who we are. To allow those rights to be taken away out of fear, to punish people for their beliefs, to limit access in the news media to differing opinions is to acknowledge our democracy's defeat. These are challenging times. There is a wave of hate that seeks to divide us -- right and left, pro-war and anti-war. In the name of my 11-year-old nephew, and all the other unreported victims of this hostile and unproductive environment of fear, let us try to find our common ground as a nation. Let us celebrate this grand and glorious experiment that has survived for 227 years. To do so we must honor and fight vigilantly for the things that unite us -- like freedom, the First Amendment and, yes, baseball. (Applause.)

###

Zummi
Apr 16th, 2003, 08:29 PM
Thanks for posting this, GogoGirl!

Tim Robbins :worship: :worship:

Zummi
Apr 16th, 2003, 08:31 PM
For those unfamiliar with the Baseball Hall of Fame flap, this link might be hepful:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030428&s=robbins

doloresc
Apr 17th, 2003, 12:57 PM
Thanks for posting this, GogoGirl!

Tim Robbins :worship: :worship:

i second that! :worship:

robbins is so on target:

I imagined our leaders going on television telling the citizens that although we all want to be at Ground Zero, we can't, but there is work that is needed to be done all over America. Our help is needed at community centers to tutor children, to teach them to read. Our work is needed at old-age homes to visit the lonely and infirmed; in gutted neighborhoods to rebuild housing and clean up parks, and convert abandoned lots to baseball fields.

i keep waiting for a president to take care of these local problems but it hasn't happened yet. :sad:

Sam L
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:03 PM
He's more concerned with "saving Iraqi lives" and transforming Middle east. It's the same story here in Australia. But believe me, come election times they will do those things doloresc, but only makeup. Very sad :sad:

Gogogirl thanks for the article :)

doloresc
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:24 PM
He's more concerned with "saving Iraqi lives" and transforming Middle east. It's the same story here in Australia. But believe me, come election times they will do those things doloresc, but only makeup. Very sad :sad:

Gogogirl thanks for the article :)

thanks, sam. it's not that i don't have compassion for non-americans but let's not mince words: the united states is a mess! our own citizens are feeling more disenfranchised than ever but our national leaders aren't showing any genuine concern...until, as you said, election time rolls around and they're out kissing inner city babies again.

yes, thank you gogo girl.

rand
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:36 PM
that's what you get when you live in a country where you have to choose between right and more right..... I'm not particularly left-wing, but it's one of the good thing we have here that it EXISTS, so the right-wing also has to pay attention to what the people needs....

Zummi
Apr 18th, 2003, 03:57 AM
The wonderful Anna Quindlen's recent column in "Newsweek" is another good one:

The Sounds of Silence

April 21 issue — Last month a United Way chapter in Florida disinvited the actress Susan Sarandon from a fund-raising luncheon at which she’d agreed to speak. This was scarcely surprising. Many charities are happy to use celebrities to attract donors to their events, but they like them to be as decorative and inoffensive as the flower centerpieces. And with war looming, the Oscar-winning actress, who has been outspokenly liberal on a variety of social issues and consistently critical of the invasion of Iraq, must have suddenly seemed akin to a cactus.

It was an early salvo in the difficult and painful war here at home. The rules of engagement were clear. If you had early doubts about the use of American power in Iraq, you should sit down and shut up because you might imperil the eventual result. If you continued to have doubts about our foreign policy while the war was ongoing, you should sit down and shut up because you were giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

And, trust me, if you still have doubts about the wisdom of unilateral action now, you should sit down and shut up because we won.

Never mind if you are asking yourself why a nation we were told was lousy with chemical and biological weapons never used them during a punishing bombardment. Never mind if you are asking yourself why the oft-invoked but never factually supported ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda didn’t lead to the predicted terrorist attacks in the United States.

Sit down, you’re rocking the boat.

The bright side of this is that it offers a valuable lesson in American history. Each time the United States becomes imperial it betrays the very keystone upon which its greatness rests. It suppresses dissent and suggests that national interest is more important than free speech. In the wake of its primacy after World War II, this became so pernicious that lives were ruined, not only by Communist Party membership, but also by thirdhand suggestions of it. Only a decade that put the lid on discourse as tightly as the ’50s did could have exploded into the free association of the ’60s.

The division between those who support the Iraqi war and those who do not has become an unbridgeable ravine of accusation and name-calling, as fraught an issue as this country has had since it first discovered abortion. The greatness of America is almost unrecognizable in the resulting maelstrom. Its most basic principles are mangled, when, in places like Albany, N.Y., a man is arrested at a mall for wearing a T shirt with the Biblical legend PEACE ON EARTH on the front and the musical legend GIVE PEACE A CHANCE on the back. (The mall has a policy that bans patrons from wearing clothing “with slogans that may incite a disturbance.” Let’s hope no one ever comes in with a shirt that reads FREE BEER IN THE FOOD COURT.)

The all-purpose accusation against dissenters is that they are “unpatriotic,” which is deeply ironic since those first patriots are celebrated for rebelling against government policies they considered wrong. Children learn of the greatness of those who spoke out against the policies of George III, then hear vilified those who do not agree with George W. How confusing. Almost as confusing as seeing your parents glued to “Access Hollywood” and then hearing them complain they can’t understand why celebrities believe anyone would pay attention to anything they have to say.

If the free exchange of ideas is temporarily suspended in the interest of “supporting our troops” (as though all soldiers are also of one mind about foreign policy), then what is the gift we bring to the Iraqi people? Old Navy fleece? Stuffed-crust pizza? Much of what we have to export as a nation is similarly transient, except for this: the right to elect leaders, to watch what they do through the vehicle of a free press, and then, if we choose, to damn them for doing it, in coffeehouses, at home, from the steps of the courthouse or the statehouse, in private and in public, too. If there is any justification for an imperial America, it is because this is the jewel in its crown.

Last week the war at home continued unabated; the president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a former Reagan assistant press secretary, canceled an anniversary screening of the film “Bull Durham” because it stars Sarandon and her equally uncompliant companion, Tim Robbins. In a letter, he made the incendiary, baseless and, given his past life, clearly partisan accusation that the failure of the two actors to go along with a policy they cannot support puts American soldiers in harm’s way.

“May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.” A line from Robbins’s irate reply to the baseball guy? Nah, it’s Eisenhower at a time when the Constitution was mutilated by McCarthy and his minions, and dissent and subversion were constantly confused. And so it is in our time. If, in the shadow of the unilateralist power niche the United States will occupy in the foreseeable future, its citizens are pressured by their government, their communities and their neighbors to speak with one cautious voice, we will have saved Iraq and damned ourselves. In a democratic society, the only treason is silence.

Halardfan
Apr 18th, 2003, 10:42 AM
A great speech...I think Tim should run for president. Funny how the more talented actors and actresses tend to be liberal, while the no-talents (Chuck Norris, Arnie) tend to lean conservative. :)

As I have said before, our primary American news outlet here in Britain is Fox News, on which I can see all of the things to which Robbins refers...the way dissent is stepped on, the way GW is built up to be this glorious leader, the contempt that is shown for nations which don't meekly follow the US government...

Robbins own fine movie, 'Bob Roberts', is an excellent critique of the American right.

Car Key Boi
Apr 18th, 2003, 11:18 AM
wtf?? a "great speech" and that moron should run for Prez??

yuo're a student tard, right?

Robbins is a Hollywood leftytard and he has a nerve to say that his First Amendment right to free speech was compromised when his drivel is picked up by every wire service, newspaper, TV blah

in spite of that fact, the fucktard piss & moans about not having enough access to the media saying, "To allow those rights to be taken away out of fear, to punish people for their beliefs, to limit access in the news media to differing opinions is to acknowledge our democracy's defeat"

wtf does he want? A constitutional right to have his drivel applauded and worshiped across the world?

and what about his long-time attention-whore gurlfriend Susan Sarandon? theres a site called stopDrLaura.com and this attention whore wrote a piece in which she said "I'm totally against wasting the airwaves to giving visibility to a person who is clearly in dire need of compassion, education, and a good shrink herself"

do yuo think Tim ever read that?

hollywood leftytards, i shit on them

- Car Key Boi

Helen Lawson
Apr 18th, 2003, 01:42 PM
Their free speech is intact. They just do not like the consequences because it might cost them popularity and money. Free speech does not include being able to express any opinion you want and not suffer financially or lose popularity over it. Their views are not shared by many Americans and many American are angry at them. Big deal. No one is stifling their ability to talk.

For instance, I really dislike Neely O'Hara, but she is, I hate to admit this, well liked on Broadway and very popular in her own right. Sure, I might kick her out of one of my shows and bad mouth her to industry insiders as a boozing, unprofessional doll-fiend married to a homosexual and belongs in a straightjacket, but if I go public with my views on Neely, then people/audiences might boycott my shows, not want me to be a Tony Award presenter, or not endorse their products. It is the price of expressing your opinion. I do not want my ticket sales and income to go down, so I keep my contempt for Neely non-public. No one is "stifling" my free speech, certainly not the government. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon can continue to express any opinion they like about the war, but it is not a violation of "free speech" when they are uninvited to events and some members of the public decide they do not like them anymore and do not want to see their films!

~ The Leopard ~
Apr 18th, 2003, 02:07 PM
Their free speech is intact. They just do not like the consequences because it might cost them popularity and money. Free speech does not include being able to express any opinion you want and not suffer financially or lose popularity over it. Their views are not shared by many Americans and many American are angry at them. Big deal. No one is stifling their ability to talk.

<big snip>

No one is "stifling" my free speech, certainly not the government. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon can continue to express any opinion they like about the war, but it is not a violation of "free speech" when they are uninvited to events and some members of the public decide they do not like them anymore and do not want to see their films!


Great post. I'm pretty much convinced by this...their free speech is not being stifled. Not exactly. Everything you say is true. In fact, it's a bit hard to take when someone who has access to the press club and gets his speech disseminated to a vast audience all over the world whines that his free speech is being stifled.

But do you honestly believe that there is no problem at all? From here, on the other side of the Pacific, a lot of these anecdotes are adding to suggest to me that there is a problem, even if it is not strictly a free speech problem.

The way it looks to me, a lot of people just do not want to tolerate opinions that they disagree with in relation to the war. Maybe those opinions are not being suppressed by the government, but an atmosphere in which it can come to be considered reasonable to boycott people, rescind invitations, etc, etc, because of their political views can come to seem like a witch hunt. It is a kind of political correctness of the Right just as unsavoury as the political correctness of the Left. In some cases, it's been said that people who have spoken up against the war have even been subjected to death threats or attacks on their property.

I can't tell from here how common this is, but if the impression being created is true then we are seeing an intolerance of dissenting opinion in American society which may be almost as bad as a threat to free speech in the strict sense.

You can't rebut that charge by saying that Robbins and so on still have their freedom of speech. Yes, they do. Yes, they seem confused about the issue by framing it as a freedom of speech issue...and it really does seem pompous when they get on their high horse about constitutional rights, etc.

However, this mood of intolerance, however it is labeled or mislabeled, either exists in the US or it doesn't (or it does to some degree). If you day it doesn't exist, let's hear your basis for saying that, rather than just shooting down the essentially peripheral claim that it is a free speech issue.

If it does exist, surely you don't defend it? There may be little that can be done about it, since people are not breaking the law (except those issuing death threats etc). But it can still be recognised and challenged socially...including on this board.

So what is it? Let's address the substance. Does this kind of intolerance really permeate American society at the moment or not, coz, if it does, there is a point of substance beneath the blather of Robbins and others.

Helen Lawson
Apr 18th, 2003, 02:35 PM
I see their point, it seems some people have really overreacted to them and their views. They are certainly not alone in being against the war and the President. I would not call them traitors, though I do not feel bad that there is a backlash (if you can call it that, it seems pretty minor what has "happened" to them) against them. While I do not agree with what they are saying, who cares what they are saying. I hate this "woe is me" attitude of some of these celebrities, like, ooh, I expressed my views to the public and now some people are mad at me and now I was disinvited to the charity party, boo hoo. That is the risk they take. They need to get thicker skins (like me, I'm a barracuda) or shut up. If they presented their views in a manner that was a little less over-the-top rhetoric/tania/symbionese liberation army fashion, people might not be so mad.

Zummi
Apr 18th, 2003, 03:49 PM
I have no idea or example of Tim or Susan presenting views that were "over-the-top rhetoric/tania/symbionese liberation army fashion". Everything they have said has been said with reason and logic, backed by facts. They may be many things but one thing they're certainly not is uninformed.

Downplaying the significance of the United Way appearance, fine. But how do you justify cancelling a Baseball Hall of Fame event just b/c the President of the HOF, a former Reagan assistant press secretary, thought they were dangerous to the troops?? The reasoning behind that mode of thought I will never get...

And freedom of speech does "NOT" cover making death threats or attacking someone's home just b/c they express a view different from your own.

And they are not complaining b/c people disagree with them. Most of the celebrities fully expect that people will disagree and will voice those disagreements. What most of them object to is being branded as "Saddam-lovers" or "not supportive of the troops" or "unpatriotic" just b/c they disagree with the government on this "war". If anyone even bothered to listen to what Martin Sheen said about the reaction to his anti-war stance, they would not have been so quick to generalize & stereotype. Or then maybe not... But he said he fully expected the consequences of his stance but did wonder why it was seen as "unpatriotic" or "unAmerican".

What's so funny about this whole thing is that the same people who thought it was perfectly acceptable to pillory & pound on President Clinton for 8 years and were very vocally against the war in Kosovo - remember Trent Lott's doozy "We can support our troops without supporting the President" - these same people now have no such tolerance for anyone espousing views like they once did.

Helen Lawson
Apr 18th, 2003, 04:11 PM
I just love this article and Tim Robbins.


"YOU GO TIM"


http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0416-01.htm


Published on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 by CommonDreams.org

'A Chill Wind is Blowing in This Nation...'

[cut]


Actor Tim Robbins speaks about his anti-war stance at the National Press Club in Washington Tuesday, April 15, 2003. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

[cut]

And then came the speech: You are either with us or against us. And the bombing began. And the old paradigm was restored as our leader encouraged us to show our patriotism by shopping and by volunteering to join groups that would turn in their neighbor for any suspicious behavior.

In the 19 months since 9-11, we have seen our democracy compromised by fear and hatred. Basic inalienable rights, due process, the sanctity of the home have been quickly compromised in a climate of fear. A unified American public has grown bitterly divided, and a world population that had profound sympathy and support for us has grown contemptuous and distrustful, viewing us as we once viewed the Soviet Union, as a rogue state.

[cut]



Susan and I have been listed as traitors, as supporters of Saddam, and various other epithets by the Aussie gossip rags masquerading as newspapers, and by their fair and balanced electronic media cousins, 19th Century Fox. (Laughter.) Apologies to Gore Vidal. (Applause.)

[cut]


A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies in talk radio and Clear Channel and Cooperstown. If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.

Every day, the air waves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent. And the public, like so many relatives and friends that I saw this weekend, sit in mute opposition and fear.

[cut]

I remember when the Columbine High School shootings happened. President Clinton criticized Hollywood for contributing to this terrible tragedy -- this, as we were dropping bombs over Kosovo. Could the violent actions of our leaders contribute somewhat to the violent fantasies of our teenagers? Or is it all just Hollywood and rock and roll?

[cut]


And these same people that tolerate the real violence of war don't want to see the result of it on the nightly news. Unlike the rest of the world, our news coverage of this war remains sanitized, without a glimpse of the blood and gore inflicted upon our soldiers or the women and children in Iraq. Violence as a concept, an abstraction -- it's very strange.

As we applaud the hard-edged realism of the opening battle scene of "Saving Private Ryan," we cringe at the thought of seeing the same on the nightly news. We are told it would be pornographic. We want no part of reality in real life. We demand that war be painstakingly realized on the screen, but that war remain imagined and conceptualized in real life.

And in the midst of all this madness, where is the political opposition? Where have all the Democrats gone? Long time passing, long time ago. (Applause.) With apologies to Robert Byrd, I have to say it is pretty embarrassing to live in a country where a five-foot- one comedian has more guts than most politicians. (Applause.) We need leaders, not pragmatists that cower before the spin zones of former entertainment journalists. We need leaders who can understand the Constitution, congressman who don't in a moment of fear abdicate their most important power, the right to declare war to the executive branch. And, please, can we please stop the congressional sing-a- longs? (Laughter.)

In this time when a citizenry applauds the liberation of a country as it lives in fear of its own freedom, when an administration official releases an attack ad questioning the patriotism of a legless Vietnam veteran running for Congress, when people all over the country fear reprisal if they use their right to free speech, it is time to get angry. It is time to get fierce. And it doesn't take much to shift the tide. My 11-year-old nephew, mentioned earlier, a shy kid who never talks in class, stood up to his history teacher who was questioning Susan's patriotism. "That's my aunt you're talking about. Stop it." And the stunned teacher backtracks and began stammering compliments in embarrassment.

Sportswriters across the country reacted with such overwhelming fury at the Hall of Fame that the president of the Hall admitted he made a mistake and Major League Baseball disavowed any connection to the actions of the Hall's president. A bully can be stopped, and so can a mob. It takes one person with the courage and a resolute voice.

The journalists in this country can battle back at those who would rewrite our Constitution in Patriot Act II, or "Patriot, The Sequel," as we would call it in Hollywood. We are counting on you to star in that movie. Journalists can insist that they not be used as publicists by this administration. (Applause.) The next White House correspondent to be called on by Ari Fleischer should defer their question to the back of the room, to the banished journalist du jour. (Applause.) And any instance of intimidation to free speech should be battled against. Any acquiescence or intimidation at this point will only lead to more intimidation. You have, whether you like it or not, an awesome responsibility and an awesome power: the fate of discourse, the health of this republic is in your hands, whether you write on the left or the right. This is your time, and the destiny you have chosen.

We lay the continuance of our democracy on your desks, and count on your pens to be mightier. Millions are watching and waiting in mute frustration and hope - hoping for someone to defend the spirit and letter of our Constitution, and to defy the intimidation that is visited upon us daily in the name of national security and warped notions of patriotism.

Our ability to disagree, and our inherent right to question our leaders and criticize their actions define who we are. To allow those rights to be taken away out of fear, to punish people for their beliefs, to limit access in the news media to differing opinions is to acknowledge our democracy's defeat. These are challenging times. There is a wave of hate that seeks to divide us -- right and left, pro-war and anti-war. In the name of my 11-year-old nephew, and all the other unreported victims of this hostile and unproductive environment of fear, let us try to find our common ground as a nation. Let us celebrate this grand and glorious experiment that has survived for 227 years. To do so we must honor and fight vigilantly for the things that unite us -- like freedom, the First Amendment and, yes, baseball. (Applause.)

###


Come on, that is tania/symbionese liberation army stuff right there, and I did not have to look far. Political conspiracies, sanitized news, politicians do not know what is constitutional, secret messages in air waves, scores of people too scared to speak out. Please!

It is only the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is not different than the charity event. Believe me, if Robbins and Saradon were in charge of some function they would uninvite hawks and others. They are just angry it happened to them and they are angry that the current President has few ties to Hollywood and does not care what their views are. If he and Saradon want to give themselves persecuted Christ complexes, then that is their business but I do not have to buy it. Again, I think people have overreacted to their views, but given their history of screwing up the Academy Awards in the past (they made some bizarre speech as presenters at least once) and generally being vocal about some unpopular views, they have born the brunt of many "celebrity haters/blamers" perhaps wrongly. But I do find it funny that they cannot take it, now they are playing the martyred victims!

~ The Leopard ~
Apr 18th, 2003, 04:23 PM
Hmmmm, I'm getting the impression that there is a fair bit of nasty intolerance around though, HL, and you're not really denying this.

I've seen a fair bit from the Left in my time as well. It cuts both ways, at different times and in different places. I bet there are university faculties even in the US where no one dares express a pro-war view if they want tenure/to pass that exam/whatever. But that doesn't make it justifiable for people with anti-war views to find themselves treated intolerantly.

Rollo
Apr 18th, 2003, 04:41 PM
jouissant-you're a great writer.

Is there "intolerance" in the US? I would say yes, but a lot of it has to do with circumstances. In war lives are at stake. Tolerance is a wonderful concept but when reality hits home (people perceived as helping "the enemy" when a wife-husband, son-daughter is involved) it's a totally different ball game. I know people with mixed fellings about the war who won't criticize it in public because friends and family have friends and family fighting in Iraq. That's self-censorship. It also shows a level of sensitivity towards others once a war-peace decision was made.

Individuals had a lot more sympathy for war protesters BEFORE the war started, but once war began war protesters only hurt their own cause. This is something the Peter Arnett's and Tim Robbins' types just don't get.

Times of stress alwys test cicvil rights, but democracy is alive and well. If Mr. Busch is unpopular he will be ousted in 2004

No one is shutting up people who disagree with them. The first amendment guarentees freedom of speech-not an audience.

As for the Baseball Hall of Fame-I agree it's a pity. We don't know the details however. If Tim were there to talk about Bull Durham and baseball
it's a real shame. I suspect though that the Hall of Fame thought Tim would use the event as a excuse to launch into his political views. In that case I can't blame them for canceling.

Helen Lawson
Apr 18th, 2003, 04:53 PM
There is a certain intolerance against the anti-war celebrities. Some of it is understandable as rollo points out, some of it is out of line, to me. But the intolerance is nothing like Robbins is making it out to be. The world should know that a violent lynchmob is not stalking Robbins and Sarandon. They are blowing the "backlash" against them way out of proportion, either to feed these persecuted Christ complexes they seem to be giving themselves, or to keep themselves and their views in the media. This is my opinion.

And supporters of the war get criticized also. Once Neely dig a USO gig for Vietnam, which I have to give her credit for, as much as I hate her. She had loads of "beatniks" and other "hippies" protesting outside her house in Malibu. When she got back from the USO tour, she could barely get past the front gates and the pharmacy delivery man and the liquor delivery man could not even get in to deliver her red ones and booze. You have not seen a 4'10" seething godzilla's vengeance until you have seen Neely without dolls or booze for a few hours. She went out in the front lawn and started shooting a shot gun at the protesters. Sure, she got some bad publicity and it earned her another stint in the nuthouse, but it did put her life at risk with the protesters!

Hidden Stillness
Apr 18th, 2003, 10:31 PM
Wow, this was a great speech. I know that C-SPAN carried it, but I didn't watch it. You can watch it again Sat. at 8PM Eastern, or order videos from C-SPAN, though. This current era is so weird, like an updated replay of the '50s, with corporate blacklists, Red-baiting, and censorship. Does society never move forward? Whatever the most vicious and underhanded rich pricks want, that is what happens, and anyone who tries to complain about the attacks on the innocent, is beaten down--just like on this website.
A couple of important points: The question that a lot of people have brought up, about where the vocal opposition to all this is. Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, the great media-watch group, put out a media advisory on April 3rd, "Some Critical Media Voices Face Censorship," covering just some of the latest examples, one of which was Phil Donahue. You'll recall they pretended that ratings were the cause of the very sudden, just before the war, cancellation of that show. Now--surprise, surprise--an internal memo leaked to All Your TV website tells the real story: Apparently, MSNBC--bold! fearless!--felt that Donahue would be a "difficult public face in a time of war....He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives," and warned that the show could be "a home for the liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." Another MSNBC executive sent another memo, also leaked (quoting now from the FAIR report), "suggested that it would be 'unlikely' that Donahue could be used by MSNBC to 'reinvent itself' and 'cross-pollinate our programming' with the 'anticipated larger audience who will tune in during a time of war' by linking pundits to war coverage, 'particularly given his public stance on the advisability of the war effort.' " (Reminds me of the time, 7 or 8 years ago, when a weather caster in Kansas, I think it was, predicted rain on the day of an outdoor meeting of Rush Limbaugh assholes, if you remember that twat. The weathercaster was ordered to say that the weather would be great and to come out to this thing, by "local" Fox station execs, refused because it was, like, not true--and was fired!) This is why people fear media mergers and total ownership of all outlets by so few corporations--these fascists censor the real population, then lie about them, and they can't answer. It is naive to think that corporate-employed reporters will somehow start blowing the whistle on this. If they tried, they would be gone immediately and, Soviet-like, no one else would ever refer to them. Peter Arnett was silenced for stating what several Generals in the Army stated: that the invasion was badly planned, too few troops, and now the total looting and growing hatred of American troops, for not stopping it, proves it. Oh, I forgot--Yay, yay, wave the flag and cut Veterans benefits, as Republicans just did. Whatever. Many people have also mentioned, including Al Gore in a wonderful statement almost totally censored by the corporate Republicans--I mean the free, unbiased media--the selfish, stupid way Drunk Rich Boy messed up a glorious opportunity to raise the Sept. 11th attacks to a higher level, of renewed public service, as Kennedy and Johnson did during the '60s. It was handed to this asshole, and lost. The archconservative corporate world exercises an every day vise-grip of cersorship unlike anything that ever existed here, because antitrust laws are never followed anymore, and I don't know how this will be broken. This corporate media is chilling, with its refusal to ask the obvious: With all the cheering of the comically "macho-hostile" Rumsfeld, no one ever asks how Saddam Hussein got to be such a murderous threat, anyway. After the genocide of Kurds in Iraq during the 1980s, Congress passed overwhelmingly a bill to cut off and heavily sanction Saddam Hussein. It was killed by Reagan, and no penalties ever resulted from this barbarous violation. In fact, a Reagan administration official even went to Iraq to personally increase the amount of military aid the U.S. would provide--weapons("of mass destruction"? Uh-oh!) and money--thus shoving the faces of the victims right in the crap, like "good" capitalists. Who was this devil? Rumsfeld. Can you imagine the archcon media outcry, if this had been Clinton? Clinton, by the way, spent several years trying to increase efforts to find and stop Osama bin Laden--remember Osama bin Laden? terrorist? connected to 9/11?--and was defeated by Republicans in Congress for it, the ones who never supported Clinton on anything. They're probably all off somewhere "praying" and waving flags now. (A quick note, by the way: A quote by Robbins, "Long time passing, long time ago," was from the great anti-war song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?")
Also, great post by Anna Quindlen, Zummi: at least they haven't gotten to her--yet.

Car Key Boi
Apr 18th, 2003, 10:49 PM
Fat Fuck Michael Moron Moore had no business highjacking the Oscars just so that he can rant his drivel and the same applies to Tim Robbins

the same also applies to a pro-wartard actor/director or any other wacko with a cause be it, anti-abortion, pro-abortion, car keyers calling for keying to be legalized, whatever

*JR*
Apr 18th, 2003, 10:50 PM
Wanna talk about the Baseball Hall of Fame? Let's talk about the player-manager of the Chicago White Stockings (later White Sox) in the late 1800's, a fellow named Cap Anson. Surprising as some may find this, there WERE blacks in the National League (Amereican League was organized later), though the fans weren't always so happy. (No, there WASN'T a team in Indian Wells)! :eek: Anyway, Cap got the "color line" establisahed, made the Hall of Fame, and is in it to this day. No black Hall of Famers (to their shame, IMO) ever said "remove him or remove me/us". Keep in mind, this is NOT "thought control" I advocate, ala "Ye shall have loved, or else"; rather that it was that Mr. Anson "built the fence" that did not let other citizens compete. (End of sermon).

~ The Leopard ~
Apr 19th, 2003, 01:31 AM
I feel some ambivalence about aspects of this. I was turned right off by Moore's performance at the Oscar's and can understand people wanting to avoid a similar performance from Robbins. Also, I'm unimpressed by the rich middle-aged rocker who is too scared to speak up for fear of losing sales or contracts or whatever. Whoever it is has so much money that he need never work or make money again (this would be true of anyone who meets the description). So what is he scared of? He'll never be destitute.

OTOH, the stories of ordinary people feeling silenced, kids being picked on/brainwashed, death threats being made etc, etc, still leave me with the impression that there is a fair bit in what Robbins is saying, even if it's not how I'd put it myself. There's a sense I'm getting that a lot of right-wing political correctness is going on.

I can only report my impressions from what the American posters are saying, of course.

Funnily enough, teachers in Australia are very unionised and almost invariably left-wing. My fear here is that kids would be picked on if they were pro-war. But it's not acceptable either way.

Car Key Boi
Apr 19th, 2003, 01:48 AM
Funnily enough, teachers in Australia are very unionised and almost invariably left-wing. My fear here is that kids would be picked on if they were pro-war. But it's not acceptable either way.

dude, it's the same in the US - i posted the following about 4 weeks ago:






Lefty PCTards who piss & moan about propaganda are HIPPOcrites

about a month ago i saw a pic in my local paper of a bunch of very yuong skool kids all of them holding "No war for oil!" signs

how did that happen?

i can tell yuo, it was their lefty SELF-RIGHTOUS CONDESCENDING PCFUCKTARD school teacher who's responsible for them standing in the skool yard holding those signs

did the school teacher tell the kids all the pro & anti-war issues and arguments? of course not, they're only 10 years old

and yet, fucks like her have the audacity to piss & moan at the pro-war Bois who run FOX, ABC blah

what that skool teacher did, is tantamount to brainwashing, and that's fucking dispicable, taking advantage of 10 year olds and twisting their minds before they've been allowed to fully develop

- Car Key Boi

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"this so-called peace movement cannot even justify their own name"
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Mar 30th, 2003, 03:24 AM
Post #2

Rebecca
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Joined: Sep 2001
Location: Munchkin Land Sure they are hypocrites. Just like the people like Topshotta who make you right winged guys look bad

The world is full of hypocrites, and they all fight with each other

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Mar 30th, 2003, 04:41 AM
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Car Key Boi
Senior Member



Joined: Nov 2002
Location: a parking lot near yuo thing is Rebecca, even an emotional pro-war wacko like Topshotta wouldn't stoop so low as to try to brainwash 10 year olds to accept his pro-war stance

and the anti-war PCteachertards are not stopping at the little kiddies, they're doing the same thing to the Student Tards

- Car Key Boi

College to apologize to Bush for professor
By Lou Marano
From the Life & Mind Desk
Published 3/7/2003 10:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- The president of a California college is sending a letter to President Bush apologizing for an instructor who gave students extra credit for writing anti-war missives to the White House.

Citrus College President Louis E. Zellers wrote that Professor Rosalyn Kahn "did abuse her authority" in assigning students in her Speech 106 class to write letters to Bush protesting the possible war with Iraq.

"Students were clear in their understanding that they would only receive credit if they wrote 'protest' letters," Zellers said in a letter of thanks to FIRE -- the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education -- a Philadelphia-based campus watchdog group.

FIRE's Chief Executive Officer, Thor L. Halvorssen, praised the school. "When fully informed of a frightening violation of freedom of conscience, the college administration responded swiftly and boldly to restore liberty and to undo the harm already done," he said.

Citrus is a two-year community college in Glendora, Calif., in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in eastern Los Angeles County. Kahn's Speech 106 class is a required course.

Kahn made a similar assignment with state Sen. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, as the intended recipient. "Again, all students understood that they would only receive extra credit if they wrote letters expressing a specific political agenda," Zellers wrote.

Halvorssen said that Kahn collected the letters from the class and personally delivered them to Scott. "The senator's office told FIRE that the letters were not solicited," he said.

Zellers called Kahn's assignment "an injustice" that ought not to have happened. "I am sending a letter of apology to Senator Jack Scott, explaining the illegitimate nature of the assignment and requesting that all letters associated with the assignment be retracted," the college president wrote to FIRE.

Efforts to reach Kahn Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Samuel Lee, associate dean for Language Arts and Foreign Languages, told United Press International that he already had taken action before being contacted by FIRE but that the details and perspectives FIRE provided helped him to form his thoughts more clearly. "I'm thankful to them, actually, for that," he said.

Lee said on Feb. 27 he spent an hour with two students -- including Chris Stevens, who contacted FIRE and requested its assistance -- "listening to their complaints about this instructor." The next day Lee asked Kahn if there was any truth to the allegation that she gave students extra credit assignments to serve her personal agenda. "I was able to confirm with her that that did take place," Lee said.

The dean said on Tuesday he sent Kahn a detailed e-mail, with copies to the students, saying the practice had to stop and must be set right. All students in the class were given the chance to resubmit letters expressing any political opinion they might have and receive credit for them. Lee said Kahn was instructed to apologize to students "and a number of other actions we wanted her to take."

Lee said FIRE's fax on Tuesday provided him with details, and other complaints, of which he had been unaware. "They also sort of lit a fire under my butt, saying: 'Hey! This is very serious. We're not satisfied with what we've seen of your response yet."

On Thursday Lee gave Kahn the day off and met with the class for more than an hour. He asked the students "a list of very specific questions" about the allegations. "I was able to verify that these two assignments were given, and it was essentially the way the student (Stevens) and FIRE were portraying it."

Lee said after hearing what the class had to say, he publicly apologized to the students on behalf of the college for what he views as an abuse of power.

Lee told UPI that he promised students a written account of their grades to date so they can make any disputes known before marks are assigned.

Stevens was heartened by the outcome. "In three days, FIRE undid four awful weeks of abusive power," he told the foundation. "I'm so grateful to FIRE for coming to our rescue."

The nonprofit describes itself as "devoted to free speech, individual liberty, religious freedom, the rights of conscience, legal equality, due process, and academic freedom on our nation's campuses." It was founded in 1999 by University of Pennsylvania historian Alan Charles Kors and Boston civil rights attorney Harvey A. Silverglate.

Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International

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Mar 30th, 2003, 01:47 PM
Post #4

Car Key Boi
Senior Member



Joined: Nov 2002
Location: a parking lot near yuo can yuo imagine the outrage from the peacetards if the teacher told the students to write letters of support to Bush

- Car Key Boi

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~ The Leopard ~
Apr 19th, 2003, 03:09 AM
Well, maybe it goes both ways, given the anecdote Robbins told, which no one has refuted. Neither way is acceptable.

GogoGirl
Apr 19th, 2003, 06:22 PM
I loved what Tim wrote because we all should be able to voice our concerns. It didn't bother me so much that his invitation was revoked by the baseball hall of fame. The thing I agreed w/him about the most is that - I already see a lot of our freedoms being destroyed w/this administration - and there will be more to come. This admin. stresses that they want to bring democracy and freedom to the Middle East - but in trying to do so - should ours be eroded in the process?

Another thing that bugs the 'ell out of me is the fact that terriorism will continue to grow because of and in spite of the Iraq war - and with what else the admin. may be planning to do in the Middle East. I live near Washington D.C. - and I am fearful that there will be a bomb dropped on us. The terrorists will go for this area - NY & CA first. Although - I read recently that someone is threatening to wipe out Hawaii first.

If some don't see that terrorism will increase in the US - then I don't know what will convince some. There are many rouge countries that will be supplied w/nuclear weapons before too long - that is if they don't have them already. This is a real problem and concern these days. No one knows exactly who has the capability to do us harm - yet - we all know how much we are hated all around the world. And the hate is growing stronger every day. We are definitely now in harms way.

I could go on - but many of the things I would like to comment on are too complex, and I don't have words nor the time to write a thesis on my feelings and thoughts about the many - many issues that are now in place.

Needless to say - God knows all of our hearts and is the final Judge.

Below is an updated article on the Tim/Susan issue.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/04/18/sports1635EDT0293.DTL


Hall president apologizes for not calling actors before canceling 'Bull Durham' event

BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer Friday, April 18, 2003


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(04-18) 22:46 PDT (AP) --

Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon got their apology from the baseball Hall of Fame president, sort of.

Dale Petroskey admitted Friday he made a mistake, saying he should've called the actors last week before canceling a "Bull Durham" celebration because of their anti-war stance.

In an open letter to the 28,000 people who called or sent a letter or e-mail to the Hall, Petroskey blamed himself for bringing politics into the shrine.

"I inadvertently did exactly what I was trying to avoid," the former Reagan administration official wrote. "With the advantage of hindsight, it is clear I should have handled the matter differently.

"I am sorry I didn't pick up the phone to have a discussion with Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon rather than sending them a letter."

Petroskey made no mention of whether he still believed the decision to scrap the event was the right one. This latest letter was faxed to Robbins and Sarandon before it was posted on the Hall's Web site.

"Because Petroskey's actions resulted in a bipartisan, nationwide affirmation of free speech and the First Amendment, he has inadvertently done us all a favor," Robbins responded in a statement.

"I appreciate Petroskey's non-apology apology and his realization of the perils of paper trails."

Robbins explained his final remark by pointing out that Petroskey invited White House spokesman Ari Fleischer to speak at a Hall event last year.

In a release promoting the visit, Petroskey wrote: "We are thrilled to welcome him to Cooperstown and hear his perspective on life in the White House and the current political scene which, of course, includes the war on terrorism."

Petroskey was traveling Friday and unavailable for comment.

Robbins and Sarandon were scheduled to appear April 26-27 in Cooperstown, N.Y., to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the popular baseball movie. Instead, Petroskey surprised the co-stars last week with a letter sent via Federal Express, telling them he'd called off the festivities because they'd criticized the war in Iraq.

"Politics has no place in the Hall of Fame," Petroskey wrote Friday. "There was a chance of politics being injected into the Hall during these sensitive times, and I made a decision to not take that chance."

A day after Petroskey's decision became public April 9, the Hall received 5,000 e-mails, both pro and con. Overall, the Hall of Fame said sentiment was running slightly against the stance.

Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton supported the decision and said, "I think Petroskey articulated it perfectly."

"The events of the past week show us all that the game burns brighter than ever and continues to stir passions in many people," Petroskey wrote.

Petroskey, a former White House assistant press secretary under President Reagan, said in his original letter to Robbins and Sarandon that their recent comments "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger."

Robbins and Sarandon, his longtime partner, have been active in peace rallies to protest the war in Iraq. Robbins said he "dismayed" by the decision and responded with a letter to Petroskey, telling him: "You belong with the cowards and ideologues in a hall of infamy and shame."

The Hall's stance resulted in another cancellation. Author Roger Kahn, whose "Boys of Summer" is considered among the best baseball books ever, called off his August appearance to speak at the Hall in protest.

The "Bull Durham" celebration, planned months in advance, also was to feature actor Robert Wuhl and writer-director Ron Shelton. In the 1988 film, Robbins plays an up-and-coming minor league pitcher and Sarandon plays a fan who helps him focus his erratic talent. Kevin Costner also stars.

*JR*
Apr 19th, 2003, 07:09 PM
i can tell yuo, it was their lefty SELF-RIGHTOUS CONDESCENDING PCFUCKTARD school teacher who's responsible for them standing in the skool yard holding those signs

Wow, 4 adjectives B4 fucktard! :eek: NEway, Vietnam era lyric (from "For What It's Worth" by the Buffalo Springfield, one of the precursors to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young): "What a field day for the heat - a thous - and people in the street - singing songs and a carrying signs - mostly say Hooo-ray for - our side..." :p