Thursday, July 9, 2015


The original image is so iconic that it is immediately recognizable and so open to reuse and reinterpretation. It gets used in advertising around Memorial Day and Veterans Day. It's been on posters, stamps, memorabilia, sold and resold for 70 years.

I got an email from a friend this morning with an article about the gay pride parody of the Iwo Jima flag raising. If you haven't seen it, here it is.

He was offended by it. For reasons having to do with having served in the Marine Corps and identifying with the incredible sacrifice of those who fought on Iwo Jima and what the image has meant to generations of Marines and the the country.

I'm not saying he's wrong to be offended. I am saying that there's nothing to be done about it. Free speech and free expression are so important that my support for this artist's rights to express himself in just about any way he wants is absolute.

I do not think that this artist, or anyone who has not served in combat, can understand what the fighting on Iwo Jima really was like for the men who fought there. That doesn't change my views on his right to use the image. All of us are free to speak, make art, and otherwise express ourselves in ways that we choose.

Let's go one further. My support for this other artist's rights to express himself in just about any way he wants is absolute, too.

We can't have it any other way. If you start censoring things because someone is offended, there is no place to stop, because someone is always offended. One of the freedoms those Marines were defending in WWII was the right to free speech. It's up to us to decide if we are willing to defend it, too.


Glen Filthie said...

And THAT is precisely the thinking that is going to lose you the culture war, ASM. Your motives are great, honourable and even admirable; but you need to look at who the queers are working for. They are the useful fools of men that fully intend to wipe their arses with your constitution, regulate your freedom to speak and disarm you. So many people are so clueless in this regard that it's heart breaking because it seems to be more important to you to lose like a gentleman than sink to a level of dirty pool needed to win.

The queers will go after the churches first. They will sue preachers and pastors that speak out against the gay agenda; and the liberal lickspittles in the judiciary will go galloping along. (Apparently there is a difference between forcing Christians to bake cakes for lesbians and forcing black people to pick cotton). After the church is muzzled they will go after any public speaker that crosses them - even stand up comics. Up here in Canada queers apparently have the power to tell us which jokes are funny. Look for your hate laws to become the tools of your oppression.

After their political enemies are silenced with trench lawfare it will be open season. They will need to push gay sex education of course - at ELEMENTARY schoolers. Don't believe me? That is what they did with the Toronto District School Board. We were all supposed to act surprised when a few pedos surfaced in the midst of that; just as we are supposed to act surprised when they display erratic and antisocial behaviour in the workplace.

I have to laugh - we hired a lesbo a couple years back, and being a hatey homophobe I told the boss he was an idiot because he would only have to fire it in a couple months. It was so precious: "Shut your hole, Filthie! I can fire you for talking like that!!!" The women also got huffy and pronounced me a homophobic bigot beneath contempt.

Six months later, 'Danny' was fighting with the truckers and playing grab-ass with the office women! I was reamed again for saying 'Told ya so!' and lectured that 'Danny's' reprehensible behaviour had NOTHING at all to do with her homosexuality! I could be FIRED for talking like that!!! I told the boss to pull my other finger because it had bells on it, HAR HAR HAR!

All I'm saying is that you defend the rights and freedoms of sexual degenerates that are going to do their level best to undermine yours...and I don't see anything noble about it.

Old NFO said...

That bottom one will have the left screaming... And your point is well made. But every Marine I know is looking for the person that did the rainbow.

abnormalist said...

@Old NFO,

I'm from the mythical "left" and I'm not screaming....

Freedom of speech needs to be absolute, wither you are a pastor preaching love/forgiveness, or an ISIS member preaching hate and intolerance...

Freedom aint pretty, and it aint popular speech that needs protection.