In 1962, a movie theater in Ohio screened a French film called Les Amants, which contained a risque sex scene.
And, simply for showing the movie, the theater’s manager was arrested and convicted of violating Ohio’s obscenity laws.
The manager appealed his conviction, and the case made it all the way to the US Supreme Court.
Fortunately for the theater manager, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor. And the case famously gave rise to Justice Potter Stewart’s standard for obscenity:
“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be obscene”, he wrote, “But I know it when I see it.”
That same standard of “I know it when I see it” applies to a lot of things when you think about it.
For example, it’s difficult to nail down a precise definition for mental incompetence. But I know when I see it— like when the President of the United States sticks his arm out to shake hands with thin air, then bumbles around stage like a lost puppy.
Similarly, we all know crazy when we see it.
For example, when AOC cackles about Socialism, Bernie Sanders praises Cuba, the media calls flaming riots “mostly peaceful”, and Nancy Pelosi makes a tiny circle with her thumb and index finger to pronounce that a multi-trillion dollar spending bill will “cost nothing”… we all know that’s crazy. We know it when we see it.
The crazies have been out recently howling against Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter.
The woke mob (on Twitter, of course) is outraged that a billionaire will be in control of a social media company.
Curiously they had no problem when billionaire Jack Dorsey was in control of Twitter. Or when Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was one of the largest shareholders.
It’s perfectly fine for them that billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to own Facebook, and billionaire Jeff Bezos to buy the Washington Post.
(Furthermore, no one has bothered to explain why it is so bad for billionaires to control media platforms. Are poor people the only ones qualified to own companies?)
Ironically, all Elon wants is to provide a free and open platform; Musk even said that he hopes even his “worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”
But that’s not good enough for the woke mob, including Robert Reich— former US Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton.
Reich recently published a letter entitled, “Elon Musk’s vision for the internet is dangerous nonsense.”
Think about that: free speech is dangerous, and it is nonsense.
Reich absurdly claimed “Musk has long advocated a libertarian vision of an ‘uncontrolled’ internet. That’s also the dream of every dictator, strongman and demagogue.”
Come again? Free speech and an open Internet is literally the opposite of what dictators want.
Reich even wrote that Vladimir Putin share’s Musk’s vision for transparency. Putin. A guy who built a kill-switch into Russia’s Internet infrastructure to make sure he can censor anything.
Now, crazy is difficult to define… but we know it when we see it. And Robert Reich’s comments are obviously crazy.
(The Guardian must have realized that they had published the musings of a crazy person, and they later toned down Reich’s article. But thanks to Web Archive, Reich’s original craziness did not disappear down the memory hole of the Internet.
Reich is far from alone.
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski once mused that Elon’s growing social media influence was dangerous, because “he could actually control exactly what people think. And that is our job.”
Yes, she said that out loud (you can watch the clip for yourself): it’s HER damn job to control how people think. Bow down to your intellectual overlord!!
Once again, we know crazy when we see it. And Mika Brezezinksi is obviously crazy.
These crazies have monopolized public discourse and relentlessly waged cultural jihad on western civilization for several years.
And when they took control of the US federal government in 2020, the crazies truly thought that they had won.
It was from this arrogance that they felt confident enough to take off the gloves and unleash their full crazy show.
This is what we’ve been watching for the past two years— a full blown circus orgy of crazy. We know crazy when we see it, and we see it every day.
These crazies were put in charge of the economy, public health, criminal justice, education, and more. And the results have clearly been disastrous.
Now they’re coming up with lame excuses for their failures, like calling inflation the “Putin price hike”, as if voters are gullible enough to believe such obvious crazy talk.
We the People may be dumb… but we’re not stupid. And we know crazy when we see it.
Frankly this is why Elon’s Twitter deal is so important: as a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist”, he wants to give crazy people an open platform to be seen and heard.
Let the crazies talk. Everyone needs to see it for themselves.
Honestly there’s virtually no upside for him in this deal. Even if Twitter somehow becomes a smashing success, it’s not like his life is going to improve.
So he’s taking a huge financial risk and sacrificing a great deal of time from his other companies, and from his family.
And for what? To make Twitter less shitty, and to give all the crazies on all sides a way to showcase their insanity for the world to see.
There’s an old saying that, in a truly free market, “the cure for high prices is high prices.”
In other words, when, say, oil prices spike, the free market compels companies to explore for more oil, drill more, and produce more. The high prices create a profit incentive for more production.
Eventually those high prices encourage so much production that the market becomes oversupplied… and prices fall. So high prices cure high prices.
Similarly, the cure for crazy is crazy.
Give the crazies a platform, let them keep talking, and watch the disaster unfold.
The more they say, the more they discredit and embarrass themselves, and the weaker they become.
It’s one of the most important reasons why free speech should prevail. No wonder they’re against it.
Want more articles like this? Sign up here to receive Simon Black’s letters to your email.