January 5, 2010

“Crude Parodies Which No-One Has A Right To Erase:” Camille Paglia

“There are very few instances where speech properly falls under government scrutiny, and those involve either fraudulent representations in business contracts or disturbances of the peace, such as shouting “fire” in a crowded theater or disrupting residential neighborhoods or campuses by noisy late-night reveling. In the latter, if offensive epithets are used, it is not the content of the worlds that is punishable but the fact that anything at all is shouted at that hour. Epithets and stereotypes are not fraudulent in a commercial sense; they are crudely distorted or parodistic versions of a substratum of historical truth or perception, which no-one, however well-meaning, has a right to erase.”

Camille Paglia: Vamps and Tramps (New York: Random House, 1994).

Pp 50-51

Filed under: Features,Irreproachable Quotes
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editor @ 12:44 pm

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