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The SHUT UP! Movement

by David Dvorkin

Okay, so it's not really a movement. It's a just an idea. But a boy can dream.

I had a vision recently. It was so beautiful.

In this vision, this dream of a sweeter, lovelier, far better world, a rightwing wacko of some kind - religious nut, political freakazoid, take your pick - was giving a speech, spittle flying, foam on his jowls, the press cowed and broadcasting his rantings as though he were an actual human being and an important one at that, when a group of real Americans filed silently into the back of the room and held up signs that all bore the same legend:


In this (no doubt impossible) dream, the wacko's rantings trailed into silence and he stared pop eyed at the signs, astonished, scarcely believing that anyone in modern America had grown enough spine to confront him.

The attending media prostitutes turned slowly to see what he was staring at.

The cameras focused on the signs and the brave patriots holding them.

And America shook off the nightmare imposed on it by a mendacious Supreme Court in December 2000, opened its eyes, asked itself, "Jesus Fucking Christ, why have we been letting these scumball, sleazebag halfwits push us around?" And, lo, America threw out the man-shaped piles of horse manure that had been stinking up the halls of power, and peace, prosperity, happiness, and reasonably liberal politics reigned once again in the land.

And then I woke up.

Freedom of Speech

Yes, yes, of course. Even the bastards who stole their way into power over America by means of crooked voting machines should be allowed to speak their piece.

No, of course we shouldn't, say, turn off their microphones and surgically remove their larynxes.

(But allow me to pause for a moment to daydream, a smile upon my face. . . .) (Okay. That's enough. I'm a responsible citizen again.)

Nor should we shout them down or pressure news outlets not to report on their absurd babblings. We'll leave such tactics to them.

Although we should insist - very loudly - that the media analyze the nonsensical mouthings of the rightwing and the fundamentalists, that the press point out their distortions of history and their lies and their hypocrisy, that journalists give at least equal time to the left.

I say "at least" because it would take years of news coverage with a pro-leftwing bias to make up for the outrageous right-leaning tilt of the media over the last few years. This is not a tilt that began when the reprehensible George W. Bush ran for president. I remember it beginning during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. No, no, it would be wrong, wrong, wrong, so very, very, terribly wrong to put duct tape over their mouths.

Sign of the Times

A silent protest, though, is another matter.

Something simple. No extravagance or flamboyance needed. Just a network of dedicated patriots, distributed across the land, ready, whenever some anti-American creep shows up to talk, to stand silently in the back of the room, holding up large signs that read


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