Bearded Thoughts | Appropriate Venues

By Gryphon MacThoy

What constitutes an appropriate venue for the exercise of free speech? The old scooter everyone rides is that it’s illegal to shout FIRE!!! in a theater, unless there is a real fire.

Is graffiti, whether it’s what anyone would consider art or merely the defacement of property, an exercise in free speech? What of the right of a property owner to not have their pretty clean wall covered in words they don’t support? And the cost to clean it up?

I have Different Criteria for what constitutes a valid exercise of Free Speech and an Appropriate Venue for the exercise thereof. Take the example above:

1: what day?
2: why, specifically?
3: and, while I support the right to anonymity, why so anonymous with this message? Who are you?

The above defacement of public property is not a valid exercise of Free Speech, any more than scrawling FUCK on a sidewalk is. And the favorite answer I get about this from folks who suppose this sort of thing should just be accepted is that “It is free speech because I spoke and I am still free.” In other words, “I got away with it”, which is the same justification for polluting rivers and the air and so on and on and on.

Here’s an idea Mr/Ms Free Speaker:

Make A Poster.
Make Copies.
Hang Them Up With Tape.

Got money for markers? Especially those big thick smelly ones? You can copy some posters and get some scotch tape and…



Incomplete nonsensical scrawls that the average person cannot act upon should they so choose do not constitute Free Speech.

Also, this:

Cleaning it up almost makes it worse.

Back to the old scooter about shouting FIRE in a theater.
Imma ride that flaming scooter until the day I die. You abuse a right, you will lose that right.

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