Joe Scarborough goes after "extremist" Quentin Tarantino
Continuing his assault on the First Amendment on Tuesday, Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough said that “middle ground” in the debate over limiting gun rights in the Second Amendment, had to include censorship of violent movies and video games. Attacking Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino specifically, Scarborough dismissed him as an "extremist" who made "the most violent movies imaginable, that he sells to teenage boys, for the most part."
Noting that what he called "some leftists" had criticized his Monday statement, wherein the former US Congressman blamed a "toxic brew" of Hollywood-peddled violence and militarized arsenals of privately-owned firearms for repeated mass shooting incidents in the USA, Scarborough responded:
“I actually got some leftists going how dare he talk about infringing on First Amendment rights. I’m sitting here going: Put the mirror up man! We’re all going to have to meet in the middle here, to save our children. Leftists. Extreme right-wingers. Everybody’s going to have to realize that the old rules don’t apply anymore.”
Scarborough then focused on Tarantino, who had defended his movies this week, as he prepares for the premiere of his much-anticipated latest film, Django Unchained!
"Quentan Tarantino said something extraordinarily callous yesterday. Here’s a guy who’s made just millions and millions of dollars, producing the most violent movies imagineable, that he sells to teenage boys, for the most part. Young men. And he’s going “these things happen, I’m not gonna cancel anything”. And he’s still going to promote this [i.e. Django Unchained]...you know everybody’s going to have to give. Everybody’s going to have to realize that their extreme ideologies…"While Scarborough did not finish the thought, it was evident from this and other statements he has made this week, that Scarborough considers works of art and entertainment that contain violence to be "extremist".
Exactly why there should be a compromise on limiting guns in American society, that is based upon the undemonstrated premise that there is a threat from the First Amendment and its impact on our culture that is analogous to that posed by the Second Amendment, Scarborough did not say.
Tarantino's comments on Tuesday, where he acknowledged the horror of the Newtown school shooting, but defended his work nevertheless, were defiant against any suggestion that violent works of art should be blamed for society's failure to protect children:
“It’s just a horrible tragedy, I mean, you know, uh, what are you going to say about it? It’s horrible. But, even at the same time, no I don’t think it has anything to do with that. But you know, this has gone back all the way to Shakespeare’s days. All right? When there’s violence in the street, the cry becomes blame the playmakers [i.e., the playwrights]. And you know I think that’s a very facile argument to pin on something that’s so real-life tragedy.”
While some may dispute the notion that Kill Bill, for example, is comparable to Hamlet, the point Tarantino is making is valid, as Shakespeare's plays were so controversial regarding their explicit depictions of sexual content and violence, that one self-appointed protector of the tender ears of women and children, Thomas Bowdler, produced what he called a "family edition" of Shakespeare, edited to remove what Bowdler considered Shakespeare's excesses or extremism.
As noted in an earlier posting, it is evident that conservatives and some alleged liberals as well, are aiming to craft a gun control compromise that indicts art as being just as responsible for the deaths of twenty children in Newtown as the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle. It is reasonable that all people who value true freedom, of imagination instead of deadly force, should now stand up to denounce the idiocy of these First Amendment haters.