By Mark Frauenfelder at 11:54 am Thu, Sep 16, 2010
Jacob "Dude, You Have No Quran" Isom was autotuned. Original here. (Via The Daily Wh.at)
Wake me up when the Autotune fad goes away.
So if I wanted to burn a flag, and some right-wing skateboarder snatched it, I suppose he would be a hero too? I disapprove of your wanting to burn the Qur’an, but I will defend to the death your right to burn it.
“I don’t approve of your burning books in front of the Reichstag, and I will defend to the death my right to watch you drink your own Kool-Aid four years later.”
I had no idea it was still 1989 in Amarillo. Thanks, BB, for fixing that for me.
I love a meme you can dance to.
wow!!! this is an awesome song!!!
no really…this is a cool song!
Wake me up when the “wake me up when…” meme ends.
Seriously though, pretty groovy meme.
Such an American way to solve the burning the Quran problem. Yoink!
… Ok fine … great … he did something good but did he have to look like that? What is it with the hipsters?
he’s not a hipster…he’s just a dude who like to cook Pizza.
He’s a hipster?
Between 1985’s rattail and 1981’s mom-glasses and 1977’s mustache and my old man’s wifebeater-tank-tan, I thought he was…
Well, something else.
Amarillo is pretty proud of Jake right now. Just because I think it needs to be said, and this is nothing against Jake, who I used to work with, have hung out with, and smoked with (what, you’re surprised? The big story on Gawker is he wants to get in High Time) there were 6 people with their hands on the grill and the lighter was already gone. But I love that Jake put such a humorous close to the redneck BBQ we had going on at the park. Very proud of Amarillo in general right now!
I think he’s awesome and this is hilarious.
He’s a ninja on his skateboard.
The antidote to “bad” speech (e.g., burning the Qur’an) is not less speech (e.g., snatching up the Qur’an), but more speech. People cheering about “freedom of religion” while stamping out “freedom of speech” are forgetting this principle and acting in short-sighted ways that will eventually bring harm to their rights.
In what universe is burning a subset of speech?
In what universe is burning a subset of speech?”
Erm – this one. It’s actually part of “sybolic speech” – actions designed to convey a statement. This statement generally has to be political in order to pass the test. There are also restrictions on symbolic speech. Just because an action is symbolic speech doesn’t mean it gets a pass from sensible limitations. You can’t just burn stuff wherever you want to regardless of civil statutes. Similarly, you can’t murder someone and claim it’s protected under the First Amendment as symbolic speech.
I’m quite aware that it’s protected by law in the US. That doesn’t impact the fact that equating burning with speech is an artifact of playing philosophical Twister.
The United States Supreme Court is rather well-known for its tendency to flex the law to the outer reaches of credulity. But I don’t think recent decisions on symbolic speech come close to the ridiculousness of some of the rest of its First Amendment jurisprudence.
Boy howdy. Citizens United, anyone?
As for the First Amendment… I remember back in 1980 I had a copy of Starlog (I think… it may have been CFQ or even Fangoria) that had an editorial on its back cover. Most of the cover was taken up by a photo of a couple of Iranian militants (or maybe their sympathizers; I was ten at the time) taking out the garbage having wrapped it in an American flag. The caption at the top read “Never Again,” and there was an editorial paragraph decrying how the Iranians had gone way too far by taking American diplomats as hostages, but had really pushed things over the edge by desecrating Old Glory in such ignominious fashion. (Betsy Ross would be ashamed to see how her creation turns out to be far leakier than even the cheapest Hefty bag.) Anyone else remember seeing that image/editorial?
In retrospect it seems a little bit odd that such a First Amendment issue–while depicting an act carried out by people, and in a country, to whom our Constitution’s First Amendment does not really apply–would be editorialized thus by a magazine like Starlog (or CFQ or Fango). Somehow it seems like it would have been more of a Sports Illustrated thing. Or Reader’s Digest.
this universe. symbolic acts (including flag burning) are considered speech under the first amendment and are protected. or at least that’s what the supreme court thinks. (Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397, U.S. v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310). Similarly, burning a holy book is protected speech as well.
i’d be scared if it ever came to a point where freedom of speech referred only to language.
Very recent jurisprudence, and hardly uncontroversial…in cases arising from anti-war protests, which are very very different in spirit from book-burning.
To quote a German poet (a waring already once ignored, at what cost!) of the mid-nineteenth Century:
When books are burned in the end people will be burned too.
Um. This universe.
Burning stuff is and has been speech since roughly the dawn of human civilization (and likely even before that). Flag burning, picture burning, offerings, clothes burning, holy book burning, and even burning oneself are all pretty time honored and powerful methods of expression. It is one of the more powerful fuck yous and has been used to destroy symbols since before recorded history. The reason why everyone was pissed about the Quran is because it is such an extremely powerful form of speech.
I am pretty solidly against book burning, and I consider holy book burning to be a pretty ugly and hateful act, especially when it is done by bigoted douche bags. That said, they have as much right to burn a Quran as an anti-war activist has to burn an American flag, and the 1st amendment without a doubt backs them up.
Freedom of speech is fucking pointless if it only works when you agree or the speech isn’t TOO nasty. Freedom of speech has to protect racist Nazi assholes as much as it protects anti-war activist. As soon as someone gets to decide what is “appropriate” speech, we are utterly fucked. The real test of freedom of speech is when someone is saying something you really hate in a way that you loath. If freedom of speech protection survives in those places, you have the real deal and it will be there to protect you when what you say is offensive or unpopular to others.
Of course, all of that said I grinned when I saw that the hippie stole the book.
Aren’t you raising the freedom of expression to the status of an unquestionable absolute?
Ought you not to adduce some evidence that such has been of some benefit to people?
For I just don’t accept that speech promoting hatred of any group identifiable by race, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion, has any social benefit nor does such have any benefit to individuals, sufficient to be deserving of Constitutional protection.
The exercise of an immoderate freedom may have no utility: why ought such irresponsibility be protected?
Or to put it another way, why ought this faith -for without evidence, that is all that such a belief is – in the usefulness of hateful speech be permitted to have the visible and real effect of depriving minority groups of their security?
Ugly Canuck, I can not think of a single instance in history where an absolute right to the freedom of speech has resulted in any real notable social ills. However, instances of the suppression of speech immediately proceeding or happening during some sort of horror are legion. A society that allows for an absolute right to the freedom of expression is far less likely to commit horrors upon their population than a society that has twisted speech into a privilege dispensed by the political elite.
Certainly, hateful speech accompanies most horrors, but it occurs at the same time that those speaking against it are brutally silenced. It is pretty fucking hard to image a Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, or Rwandan genocide executing their respective horrors in an environment where freedom of expression is held is still held as an absolute right.
The ‘dangers’ of freedom of expression are nil compared to the horrors that are perpetrated when attempting to silence minority groups. I will pretty happily accept a few asshole religious psychopaths burning holy books if it means that government soldiers can’t go crush the skull of anti-war hippies for ‘hatefully’ burning a flag.
Minor and petty abuse of freedom of expression is a fuck-ton better than the horrors you open yourself up for when you decide to delegate what is ‘proper’ speech to a political authority.
Put another way, would you rather live in a world where a crazy nut job can burn a Quran, or would you rather live in a world where Bush and a Republican congress have the right to ban ‘hateful’ (as they define it) speech? Personally, I’ll take leaving the lone flat earth Nazi to his ranting and burnings LONG before I let a religious nut like Bush or (god-fucking-forbid) Palin decide what is ‘hateful’ and non-productive speech.
If nothing else, an absolute freedom of expression is a pretty canary in the coal mine for when a government is going to get evil. Like I said, it is basically impossible to imagine the horrors of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia which doesn’t first involve a brutal suppression of someone’s speech. So long as your absolute right to the freedom of expression is intact, it is pretty damn unlikely any grievous horrors are being inflicted upon the population.
Well, I cannot help but distinguish “protests” directed AT a minority , and those directed AT the government, or AT the majority.
That said, our Canadian Constitution names “Peace, order and good government” as our goal in its opening phrases, and our rights, most of them anyway, are subject to reasonable limits prescribed by Law: so there are strong legal, historical and cultural differences between our two nations – presuming that you are an American, that is.
Here’s the text of the US First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The expansion of “speech” to “expression” is clearly a judicial addition, or extrapolation – and a laudable one.
My problem with these “protests” is with their specific content, AND their apparent target – who they seem to be directed at – which is not the government, or the majority, but a identifiable minority within your society. They seem not to aim at any government reform, or laudable political end, but to demonstrate the evil of the other. Pro-war, calculated to offend, and to provoke a response from those they seek to offend – what other goal could they reasonably be said to have? What is the “message”?
IMHO, it is much less like “anti-war” , “anti-government oppression”, speech, and much more like “KKK rally “, “freedom to insult your neighbours” speech, to my ears. Akin to burning crosses, actually. Rotten stuff, in other words.
I suppose you Americans will go about countering whatever hate may be hidden in these “protests” in your own way, though. So… I urge all of you guys to support the ACLU.
Now people keep talking about freedom of speech, but I’d like to know why no one is talking about property rights. So guy owns Quran and sets out to burn said Quran only to have it stolen by a topless hippie. Does the Quran still count as the property of the would-be burner? Or did he negate his claim on it when he set out to destroy it? Could the hippie actually be guilty of theft?
On the other hand if the intension to destroy the Quran caused it to stop being the bigot’s property then the hippie was himself engaging in “symbolic speech.”
…I’ve just given my self a headache.
I am pretty solidly against book burning, and I consider holy book burning to be a pretty ugly and hateful act
I consider chopping down living trees for the purpose of printing vast quantities of useless, dated fairy-tales to be a pretty ugly and hateful act.
Question: Is deleting a copy of a religious text the same a destroying a printed version? Isn’t the argument against burning inanimate objects just as preposterous as any argument for preserving bits on an HDD? (Not trolling… just thinking out loud)
I snuck up behind him and wiped his partition. Dude, you have no partition!
Clearly, the paper isn’t the issue, nor even the words on said paper. I’ll happily delete a book, but find burning a book to be distasteful. The reason for this is that destroying a book is a symbolic act. It isn’t the fact that a book just got burned that makes the act ugly, it is the powerful symbolism that you are implying with it. Being a lover of knowledge and a pro-speech guy, book burning is almost always distasteful to me because when people burn books, it is generally in protest of one of those things. I could careless if a bunch of old rotten books are shoveled into an incinerator in the process of normal trash disposal.
Put another way, I am cool with fire. I like bonfires. I like big bonfires. I think dousing a big pole with branches sticking off of it with gas and lighting it would be cool. I would however find it pretty un-fucking-cool to burn a big pole that is in the shape of a cross because it is a symbolic act that shows support for the KKK, not because a tree just got its ass kicked by fire. In the same way, deleting a copy of the Quran makes me shrug, but I consider publicly burning a copy just to be an asshole to be a dick move.
“In what universe is burning a subset of speech?”
Obvious troll is obvious.
Assumption non-questioning commenter is not questioning assumptions.
Jerkball readership are jerkballing?
Anon, aeryn, highlyverbal: No one cares how smart you think you are.
Is it on purpose that this guy looks exactly like David Koresh?
F the begrudgers, auto-tuning is awesome! This video was hilarious.
I hope this Jacob dude gets some royalties for this.
Bah. In the above, “warning” not a “waring”.
I think qur’an burning is legally protected free speech, but I have to admit that when Jacob Isom just took the qur’an away, I felt like he was saying pretty loudly that the qur’an burners don’t speak for everyone. I’m not really sure it holds up to rigorous examination, but I feel like both points of view were adequately communicated in this symbolic exchange.
The Law (and “rights”) is one thing, moral is another. Jakob did the only right thing by snatching this quran. He most surely saved lives by doing so (my hat off to the rest of the protesters as well ofc).
It is free speech, which is why the government didn’t do anything about it. No debate there. But it is shitty, so this dude stepped in. I don’t think anyone is saying the government should ban it (at least I hope not!).
this little clip makes me really want to visit the US & find all the cool ppl. & maybe make fun of some bigots while i’m there
this little clip makes me really want to visit the US & find all the cool ppl. & maybe make fun of some bigots while i’m there
I’m in favor of some kind of cool person exchange program between countries, so that each area of the world can see that each other area of the world isn’t just filled with bigoted idiots. :-)
Dude, Where’s My Quran?
I love this guy! And the arguments here are hi-larious! This guy is such a perfect antithesis to Terry Jones it’s past belief! I LOVE THIS GUY!
Who invited the wet blanket brigade? Teh internets iz serious biz.
I disagree, and challenge you to a hackneyed political philosophy debate on the matter!
Obviously the commenters mean freedom of expression. Any first amendment discussion usually gets boiled down to the phrase freedom of speech. It’s common enough parlance that your nit-pick seems to me a bit undignified. There are other words I could use, but I can’t say them here… I mean write them here of course.
That was like 1 1/2 minutes too long. Tell your joke and get out. Don’t repeat it 50 times…
You say burning a book is symbolic speech? I say stealing a book about to be burnt is symbolic speech too.
I’m still waiting to see a ‘One Man, One Book’ tea bagger video. Bonus: The book is on fire.
Allah’s sweat socks, the humorless hairsplitting goes on and on! It’s not as if OBAMA took away the damn book. As for Jacob’s appearance, well…I live in Amarillo mostly because it’s not humid but also because when the end of the world comes it’ll come to Amarillo twenty years after it hits San Francisco and New York. Or, to put it another way: I may not live longer but it’ll SEEM longer.
RE: The Freedom of Speech and Expression
The Constitution protects against abuses by (and only by) the government. The government made no move to intercede in this case, so any talk of Freedom of Speech is not valid. The would-be book burner could press charges, but the charge wouldn’t be “Violation of my 1st Amendment rights,” it’d be petty theft.
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