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Gacked from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

The great people at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) have a new video out this week recapping one of their most prominent victories over censorship in Academia — prominent because this case found a ready-made constituency of activists for individual rights. Fans of Firefly rushed to defend University of Wisconsin Professor James Miller after he was accused by campus police of creating a threatening environment by hanging a Firefly poster on his office door, a case in which FIRE prevailed. The video interviews Neil Gaiman and delivers a serious message:



Kudos to Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin for coming to Professor Miller’s defense, and especially to my fellow fans of Firefly and Serenity, but the serious point made in this video is that free speech should always have a constituency. Still, I do love Neil Gaiman's point here:

"There are people you do not want to upset in the world. And big groups of people you don’t want to upset would obviously include the politically disenfranchised who feel they have nothing to lose. And those that feel that the time has come for revolution. Then out on the edges beyond any of those are science fiction and fantasy fans whose favorite show has been cancelled in an untimely way."

FYI, FIRE has a contest for the most creative tweets promoting this new video, with $500 in prizes for the winners.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
ithiliana
Dec. 28th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
*boggles*
omg, that's...that's......a FIREFLY poster? Threatening people?

I mean..............

*goes to read more*



eldritchhobbit
Dec. 28th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Re: *boggles*
This was seriously crazy. When he replaced it with a poster against fascism, they considered that a threat, too. ::headdesk::
ithiliana
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
I am also thrilled to hear about FIRE!

*goes to link and post*

eldritchhobbit
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks for posting about it!
ithiliana
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
one of my colleagues in political science who studied radical revolutionary politics in South and Latin America took some flack for years because of a poster of Che Guevera on her office door.......but at least nobody tried to force her to take it down.
eldritchhobbit
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
but at least nobody tried to force her to take it down.

That's good to hear! Tolerance doesn't require agreement, it just requires... well, tolerance. ;)
mecurtin
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
... I don't understand how a Firefly poster can create a threatening environment. Explain?
eldritchhobbit
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
I know, right? The details are just as ridiculous as you might expect. Here's the story. The video above also explains what happened, FYI.

Edited at 2011-12-28 08:48 pm (UTC)
muntahz
Dec. 28th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
I shared this!
So insanely stupid!
Did you watch the video about the 5 worst cases with whichFIRE has had to deal? Interesting.
eldritchhobbit
Dec. 30th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing it!

I watched that: very interesting indeed. Amazing what's happening on campuses.
alivion
Dec. 28th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
The world is ending in flames of stupidity!

If I was that professor, I'd have taken down the Firefly poster and replaced it with some Shakespeare quotes; the dirtiest, most violent Shakespeare quotes I could find.
You can always counter any negative ideas about shows or movies or books by throwing Shakespeare at his most base at the problem.

Edited at 2011-12-29 03:07 am (UTC)
eldritchhobbit
Dec. 30th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Flames of stupidity, indeed!

You can always counter any negative ideas about shows or movies or books by throwing Shakespeare at his most base at the problem.

LOL! Excellent strategy. :D
belleferret
Dec. 28th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Great video!

Yeah, don't mess with us SciFi/Fantasy fans!!!
eldritchhobbit
Dec. 30th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Isn't it just? You said it.
Abbie [wordpress.com]
Dec. 29th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
I love the last quote of the clip.
eldritchhobbit
Dec. 30th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Me, too!

Hope you're having a great holiday. Happy 2012!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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