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DAVIDSON: Pushing the Envelope of Vulgarity for Publicity & Profit

What we do individually and how we behave impacts society.

Jeff Davidson

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Some groups in America were founded on a noble purpose – to preserve the rights of the individual. What happens, however, when preserving the rights of the individual contributes to the erosion of society? Under the guise of free speech and individual rights, some organizations defend those who keep pushing the envelope of crassness and vulgarity for publicity and profit.

What if tens of thousands of budding songwriters begin to emulate the worst of rap videos? What if everyone decides to create horrific, violent, titillating, misogynistic videos? What if everyone sports tattoos on their arms, backs, and shoulders, or wears nose rings, eyebrow rings, and nipple rings? Such behavior doesn’t clog our roadways, and is a matter of individual choice, so what harm does it cause to society?

Emergency Room Emergencies

Trending: Another Local Reporter Stops Mid-Broadcast to Inform Station She Is Taking Them Down

Aside from the health aspects of body piercings (data indicate a sizable number of participants experience serious infection and hepatitis), they pose problems of safety to both the individual indulging in the behavior and to others nearby. What happens when such rings catch on clothes, switches, buttons, and technological gadgets?

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As a society, do we accept visitors to hospital emergency rooms on Saturday nights whose body piercings have resulted in serious health conditions? Since taxpayer dollars fund healthcare services for many, including expensive emergency room visits, the negative health impacts of certain behaviors incur a direct cost to all citizens.

We pay social costs as well when crudity is broadcast to us and to our children.
In our evermore interconnected existence, individual choices have vast impacts on others. Vulgar public speech and potentially health-damaging body piercings go beyond the realm of acceptable free speech. Do talk show guests discussing topics like leniency for incest and infidelity, understand the ramifications of their behavior? What if everyone they know did what they suggest? Would relationships break down? Would families fracture? Within a single generation, would all of society break down?

We Each Impact One Another

The notion of expanding what we do, and surmising what effect it would have if it were socially pervasive behavior, yields a hands-on realization: What we do and how we behave is important. So is what our neighbors do and how they behave.

In many respects, the more densely populated your town, the more vital it is to recognize that your behavior does impact those around you. If you live in a suburban setting, where farm animals are otherwise few and far between, but choose to house a rooster in your backyard, your choice most definitely impacts people all around you.

Perhaps a neighbor gets off the late shift at 2 a.m. and needs to be sound asleep… while you bird starts crowing at 5:30 a.m. every morning. The zoning laws of your town might state that it’s legal for you to house a rooster in your backyard. As such, is exercising your right conducive to harmonious relations with your neighbors?

Welcome to My Opinion

Suppose you feel strongly about an issue and post signs facing the street in your living room window. As you become more vigilant, you place a sign on your porch. Later, you place some signs on your lawn. Perhaps you’ve adorned your car bumper stickers with highly politicized messages.

The above actions likely are within your legal rights. Is your free expression, however, undermining the peace and tranquility in your otherwise quiet neighborhood? Suppose you’re a Democrat and your signs rankle neighborhood Republicans. Suppose the opposite is true. Do you not have other forums in which to express yourself?

What if your neighbor across the street is perturbed by your partisan display and responds in kind with his own set of banners, signs, and bumper stickers? Have the two of you improved the neighborhood? What if everyone in the neighborhood starts up? How long will it be before signs disappear as opposing neighbors start pilfering from each other?

Without Forethought

Because you have a right to express yourself, in this manner or in that, doesn’t mean you ought to or that it’s advisable. Free expression, without regard to context and greater ramifications, can undermine a neighborhood, as it can undermine a society.

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Enormous Confederate Carving Subject of Renewed Debate

Will Stone Mountain be vanquished by an army of virtue signalers?

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Over the course of the last several years, and with a vast acceleration in 2020, municipalities around the nation have been removing, renaming, and re-dedicating a number of Confederate monuments now deemed offensive in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Not everyone is a fan of the move, however, with opponents often suggesting that this is a revision of history, and that these men were also American soldiers, in a way. Now, one of the largest Confederate monuments in the world, the carving on the side of Stone Mountain in Georgia, is facing renewed calls for removal. Crowds are growing larger at the monthly meetings of the Georgia board considering what to do about the giant carving of Confederacy leaders in Stone Mountain. But officials seem no closer to an answer. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association decided to make a few changes last month, but they weren’t enough to placate people who want the monument removed. A museum exhibit will tell the story of the carving, as well as the site’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan. But having to make those decisions could increase the volume and the pressure on the board, NPR reports. Critics have pointed out that the carving is a modern piece, and not a relic of a bygone era. “Where we go from there?” asked the board’s chairman, the Rev. Abraham Mosley. “I don’t know.” Putting the site in a Georgia context seems like a challenge. None of the three men—Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and Confederacy President Jefferson Davis—was from the area, and no battles were fought there. As a piece of history, it’s not that historic, having been completed in 1972. The monument sits within Stone Mountain Park, an amusement park of sorts, that has lost a number…

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Russia Continues Harassment of American Military Just 35 Miles Off US Coast

That’s a little too close for comfort.

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When it comes to dealing with Russia, much of the US policy is straightforward, and likely on account of the fact that the Kremlin has been pulling the same, silly stunts for decades now. In fact, it’s getting a little stale. Russia loves to use her military as a nuisance to the United States, posing danger at times, certainly, but most often just being undeniably annoying. This week was no exception. Russia’s defense ministry has announced it sunk an aircraft carrier just 35 miles off the coast of Hawaii in a huge war games exercise that has alarmed the US. At least 20 Russian warships, submarines, and support vessels, flanked by 20 fighter jets, are taking part in the exercises – the biggest since the Cold War. Russia says that they are 300 miles off the coast of Hawaii, yet unconfirmed satellite images from June 19 appear to show them much closer – within 35 miles of the U.S. state. The moves have forced the US military into action. Twice this month – on June 14 and 18 – the U.S. scrambled F-22s from Hawaii in response to Russian bomber flights. Neither time did the bombers enter the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) perimeter, and so they were not intercepted. On June 17 the Navy admitted that the USS Carl Vinson and her strike group were operating near Hawaii, without revealing when they had arrived, or why. It has been only a few days since Russian President Vladimir Putin met with US President Joe Biden in Geneva, in a meeting that both men seemed to suggest was a success. This latest Kremlin aggression begs to differ.

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