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Monday, February 20, 2006

Sloggers for Christ

Posted by on February 20 at 8:32 AM

I’m up in Canada for a week. I’m snowboarding—a sport I recently took up to please my boyfriend. I’m okay at it, meaning I can get down the hill without falling on my ass more than once or twice, but there’s a good reason why this isn’t sport that many people take up in their mid-30s. It’s hard on the knees, elbows, back, ankles, and butt. But, hey, I can just about keep up with my seven year-old now, so… it’s all good.

We shared the mountain last night with an outfit called “Snowboarders for Christ,” which held a little competition. Didn’t watch it, but no doubt there was a lot of pointing up at the sky after snowboarders landed difficult tricks.

Still looking for a silver lining in the Cartoon Jihad nonsense? (The bounty on the cartoonists’ heads has passed $11 million.) Here it is: Mohammed’s mobs of religious nuts rioting about a bunch of cartoons are making Jesus’ mobs of religious nuts seem positively harmless by comparison. I used to be irked when, minding my own business, I came into contact with things like “Snowboarders for Christ.” Now I think, “Hey, could be worse.”

So the riots have made me more tolerant, not less. Weird, huh?

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mid-30s? what about early 40s?

Indeed! Let the record show that Daniel Keenan Savage was born Oct. 7, 1964.

So I always thought from his articles, etc that he was 33 or something, and I thought "you guys can't be right, where's that date from?"

Then I went to Wikipedia and it says that Dan used to call himself "Keenan Hollahan". Lol! What?

Well, Keenan Hollahan was the name I directed plays under—my stage name (staging name?). My middle name is actually Keenan, and it's my paternal grandmother's maiden name. My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Hollahan. Presto: Irish-to-the-tenth-power stage name. Nothing suspicious about that.

As for my disputed age: I said that snowboarding wasn't a sport that many people took up in their 30s, which is true. I didn't say that I took it up in my 30s, did I?

And I apologize for the missing "a." Senility, you know.

Speaking of tolerance, some asshole historian in Austria just got sentenced to three years in prison for down-playing the holocaust. Freedom of speach anyone?

3 years? He'll be able to deny it ever happened.

Haha, that's funny Bill. Uh but seriously-- Europe's restriction on speech related to the Holocaust is extraordinary. I can sympathize with the desire to restrict speech regarding the Holocaust, but isn't that why a blanket protection of speech exists? To protect it even when doing so seems despicable?

Honestly, I had no idea how insane their restriction in this regard was until the whole cartoon brouhaha.


Most of these countries don't have anything like the First Amendment, in terms of its lengthy history and centuries of court decisions defining its boundaries. And they have such a recent history of fascism that they believe the tradeoff between free speech and preventing some demagogue from coming to power is worth it. These laws were also, I believe, passed in part as a form of that post-war atonement/admission of atrocities trend.

I wouldn't want any such thing banned in the States (someone denying slavery, for instance) but Europe is different. And remember: Hitler, Mussolini, et al: elected leaders, not usurpers.

Glancer, restrictions on Holocaust denial aren't so insane in the context of events from European history, namely, the Holocaust.

It would be very easy for me to violate U.S. restrictions on speech if I were to write in a certain way about pedophilia, for example, or advocating the violent overthrow of the Bush administration. I promise you I could be so vulgar or offensive as to get myself thrown in prison for my words.

There is no "blanket protection of speech." Every social contract owes its very existence to compromise. You can disagree with legal sanctions against Holocaust denial (and who wouldn't at least wrestle with it a bit?), but that doesn't make them insane.

I believe that the laws against Holocause denial are idiotic. Fight speech with speech, not bans.

I wouldn't wrestle for a moment with legal sanctions against holocaust denial. Would you? If so, I'd hate to be a member of your kingdom.

Of course, Europe is a different slice of pie, but it's still disheartening when ANY western society fails to aggressively pursue a radical freedom of speech.

What Dan says about fighting speech with speech. A brilliant cliche.

I mean-- I wouldn't wrestle with NOT wrestling with them. I mean-- no way should there be sanctions on opinion, or even lying about something that's provably false. Reminds me of going to war against a feeling...

And anyway what does throwing this guy in prison accomplish? All it does is fuel the anger of neo-nazis world wide. Wouldn't we be better off to just ignore idiot cartoonists and idiot historians and leave it at that?

What I want to know? Why did this mope go to Austria? Stay at home in the UK, scheiskopf.

I just googled it:
"Dan Savage, 48, is currently the editor of an alternative weekly in Seattle, WA."
So apparently he started snowboarding in the Nixon administration.

no way should there be sanctions on opinion, or even lying about something that's provably false

So, to be consistent, would you advocate for eliminating existing legislation covering libel, slander, defamation, perjury or sedition? What about copyright law, or the notion of intellectual property? Does it make any difference where monopolies on information exist? Does it make any difference whether the liar is an individual, a corporation, or a government?

Justice and liberty are opposing ideals. I wouldn't want to live in any kingdom where one always trumps the other.

Uh... 48? Nope. My birthdate is 10.07.64... which makes me 41—a youthful, snowboarding 41, but just 41.

Sorry Dan, just having fun. Nice to see you responded so quickly though!

Aren't you passed the age of doing something to please your boyfriend?

Grab some of Betty F's work, may she rest in peace, and raise your consciousness!

I'm constantly doing things to please my boyfriend—and he's constantly doing things to please me. And none of it gets scrutinized under the lens of gender roles, expectations, or paranoia. It's the secret of our success.

Dan, are you and the family moving back into Seattle, or are you just starting a Trump-like real estate dynasty? Noticed your recent property acquisition in the city...those royalties must be sweet!

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