First Amendment Sword by James Jaeger
With regard to my earlier post entitled Violence in Movies Study it looks like some of what I have discussed is actually coming about right now.
What I am referring to was reported on the front page of the International Edition of The Hollywood Reporter of March 9-15, 1999. To wit:
"'Killers' suit won't die" ... The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a lawsuit against Warner Bros., its parent Time Warner Inc. and Oliver Stone, allowing a case against them to proceed in lower court."
This suit is being brought because of an alleged copycat shooting by a movie called NATURAL BORN KILLERS, such movie a farce on the media in general where Oliver Stone is actually, correctly, making fun of the media and its obsession with the exploitation of violence.
It is sad, however, that Oliver Stone is the wrong target, as he is one of the few in Hollywood that have had the guts to speak up on this issue - and the lower IQ people in Society, of course miss his point. (And this comment is not aimed at the parents who are bringing the suit except that I will say, their target should actually be the studio, not Oliver Stone as Oliver was actually exercising HIS right as a Filmmaker to make a movie about the violence in the media - a movie he felt would illustrate, ad absurdum, how far askew the media has gone. It is ironic that HE is being now attacked for the very thing that he was saying is wrong, however it IS commendable that Warner Bros. DID allowed him to MAKE this movie - even though their motive was probably the commercial and political exploitation of violence.)
Nevertheless, what is happening in Hollywood is the usual: The business camp in the film community is, in the name of the creative camp, yapping that their First Amendment rights take priority over everything, including the negative effects of irresponsible corporate "speech" and their long-term contributions to creating an environment where violence is an assumed way of life. In other words, it is continually okay for movie studios' product to reinforce such way of life no matter how many kids shoot their teachers or how enturbulated the environment becomes.
Here's the problem with their thinking: the framers of our Constitution (existing prior to the invention of mass-cinema), meant for the First Amendment to be applied to PEOPLE -- not ARTIFICIAL ENTITIES (such as corporations, foundations, trusts) or groups of entities (such as industries or governments).
People (that spiritually-animated protoplasm that has evolved sentience over the past 4.6 billion years), have First Amendment rights - not derivative entities, such as movie studios - which are corporations. There is no transitive property of equality whereby, if people have rights, then these same rights are transferable to other entities. In other words the equation: People = Partnerships = Corporations = First Amendment Rights is invalid.
Corporations are ARTIFICIAL creations of the state. They are NOT the same as PEOPLE. People are not corporations, even if there is only one stockholder. Corporations do NOT have the First Amendment right - only flesh and blood People have it - only the entity known, in legal jargon, as a "Natural Person" has it.
And this is not something that I, as a Person, like you, have to get ANY permission from any government to say. Governments on Earth, and anywhere else, do NOT have ANY jurisdiction in these matters. Therefore, even if some lawyer made a "law" some where saying that corporations have the First Amendment right - that law is not in any way valid - because that "law" is not operating in the jurisdistion of Human rights, which transcend all products or considerations of governments.
Remember, govenments are all johnny-come lately inventions, many do not even out last a song. Our own government is a very recent invention and it seems as if it is working, provided the ideals it was founded upon are not misconstrued or twisted by those who prefer cartels and socialism.
Corporations, and their owners, only ASSUME that they have the First Amendment right because they involve people as part of their operations and machinations.
These machines which are driven by a board of directors, each board member able to hide his natural person's point of view (hence "speech") under the diluted sentience of all the voting Human members of that board, act very similar to bulldozers - they plow over what ever comes in their way simply to "increase shareholder value" - the basic product of a corporate CEO charged with carrying out the will of his board of directors. There is no individual "speaking" here. Only a mechanism. There is no individual First Amendment rights involved here. A bulldozer does not have First Amendment rights, and neither does a Corporation - just another type of Human-driven machine.
Thus corporations are not speaking entities with a viewpoint in the same sense as a person. And as evidence in substantiation of this, corporations often state that "the views expressed on this show do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the studio, TV station, its board of directors, stockholders or the corporation" (a disclaimer anyone can observe for themselves on the tail credits of various media presentations, although not usually on features). Yet if you look at the tail credits of every movie made by a studio, you will see a title similar to the following: "Copyright 1999 by Warner Bros., Inc. All Rights Reserved" What this boils down to is: the artificial entity, the Corporation, owns the content, movie, however it is not responsible for the viewpoint being promulgated by that content or movie. "Let's have our cake and eat it too," they sleeze!
Ultimately our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom are telling us: Keep it simple stupid. People have First Amendment rights; other things do not.
A movie is not made by a single person. A movie is made by many, many people grouped into a movie-making machine called a studio which is organized as a corporation. It takes about five hundred people (all EMPLOYED by the corporate machine) to create a movie. Therefore the entity that creates the movie, such NOT being a Natural Person, but one only EMPLOYING THE SERVICES OF NATURAL PERSONS AS ONE OF ITS RESOURCES - does NOT have the First Amendment rights which our Founding Fathers intended to be simply bestowed upon ACTUAL flesh and blood, sentient, people. We the People... not We the Corporations....
YOU AND I AS PEOPLE, SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SPEAK UP AND SAY WHATEVER WE WANT. And you and I should have the right to go on TV, write in a newspaper or be in a movie and say what we want, as a PERSON, stating a VIEWPOINT. If we represent the EXPRESS and specific viewpoint of many PEOPLE, as does the law, one PERSON should have the right to state that "viewpoint" on behalf of the others and be protected under the First Amendment (provided that that bunch of people does not try to legislate-way basic Human rights, such as the right of free speech by a Natural Person). If a bunch of executives, writers, producers and financiers on PBS want to get together and make a documentary under the corporate structure and state a viewpoint - fine - let them state that viewpoint - but I don't want to see them weenie out with a disclaimer at the end of the show saying that the material presented herein does not necessarily reflect the view of the stockholders and management. Why should they be made judgement-proof when it is THEY who are beneficial owners? If they see fit to allow their corporate entity to SCREAM II fire in movie theaters, then they should be fat and sueable like the rest when they damage the PEOPLE who OWN the actual First Amendment rights. I.e., no more cake for the FF's .....
An ACTOR standing on a movie set "speaking" (under a contractual legal obligation to perform) a line from a screenplay is different from a PERSON standing on a movie set speaking what THEY want to say as a sentient being who has formulated their own opinions of reality and desires to share these with others. Such a Natural Person is, and should be, protected under the First Amendment. But that actor, who is simply reading canned lines from a screenplay, an instrument which has been highly processed and massaged by scores of "Writers-for-Hire", W-2 producers and studio executives (all EMPLOYED by the corporation) should not be so protected. In fact such movie-making machines should be responsible for the negative effects SPEWED OUT by their studio/distributors (violent movies) just as the tobacco companies should be responsible for the negative effects SPEWED OUT by their machines, (cigarettes) and just as the old factory in CIVIL ACTION was responsible for the negative effects it SPEWED OUT (poison) into the public's water supply.
When the studios continuously SPEW OUT violence-oriented movies into the impressionable minds of our youth - they are not PROTECTED by the wisdom of our Founding Father's creation set forth for People - please.
So as we have now learned in Free Speech 101, living People ALONE (not corps) have the right to speak up and say what they want. This is you and I exercising our First Amendment right - such right granted by the Supreme Being, not, as the United Nation's perverted (Rockefeller-saturated) charter would have you believe, granted by some socialistic state. There is no chilling effect as long as we have this God-given right and so long as the corporate machines we have created, are under our control and are not allowed to bulldoze over people - in essence creating VERY chilling effects - that of cold corpses in teacher-like graves. That's where the CHILLING EFFECT is - as the 21 studio bosses and their lap-dog lawyers/stars like to yap about under the guise of First Amendment rights.
Thus, in summary: a corporation - that artificial CREATURE of the state - that huge and non-homogeneous ENTITY (comprised of material assets, intangibles, gigabytes, conveyor belts, and last and most dispensable, as the passage of labor-flight-NAFTA proves, EMPLOYEES) is a non-feeling, non-responsive machine that is used to facilitate production and allocate the right to draw on cash flow - in other words delineate ownership through the issue of securities.
These machines, these corporations, these studio/distributors - do NOT own the First Amendment right - even though they are trying to - along with everything else. Thus, the movie studios and producers that use it to justify bombing the public with "free speech" (and a movie is NOT speech, it's only "canned speech") are not protected by the First Amendment - especially when their output on the electromagnetic spectrum is deleterious to the public's mental health.
Resolved to the level of physics, what we have, in essence, is symbols of artificially-created entities, preserved on processed dead trees (i.e., paper) and stored in some filing cabinet in a Secretary of State's office (also known as movie studios) employing human resources and capital to emanate a continuous, non-agreed upon, broadband electromagnetic phenomena (in the form of pictures and sounds) to LIVE human beings by means of PUBLIC AIR WAYS, among other things, over long periods of time such that these emanations are, or seem to be, causing, or abetting, cultural changes in our population - many of these changes being negative, as claimed by the current suit being brought against Warner Bros. and as speculated in my proposed study on violence.
It takes hundreds, if not thousands of Natural Persons stuffed into uncomfortable, ill-fitting posts in a Corporation to make a movie. Far from all of these people agree or endorse the "free speech" that such Corporation (such studio) is emanating therefore this artificial entity has no common mind and is therefore NOT within the jurisdiction of a right. Thus the doctrine of free speech cannot apply to other than a person, speaking as a person, for that person, by that person and from that person.
Bluntly: Movie Studios (which are NOT Natural Persons) are NOT protected by the First Amendment and never will be - especially when they do damage to the civilization. These artificial entities must be accountable for the portion of the public's electromagnetic spectrum that they use to promulgate sound and picture which has an adverse effect on the population - especially children who are still establishing their construction of reality and ethical conduct.
Here, right from the Reporter article itself, is the standard, canned-line the movie studios' executives, lawyers and directors use to justify the continued exploitation of the movie-going public with their violence-oriented programming: "We are disappointed that the Supreme Court has declined to grant review at this stage in the case...(said attorney Jack Weiss who represents Time Warner, Warner Bros. and Stone)...We will continue to defend vigorously the constitutional rights of artists and directors* to express their creative ideas without fear of liability."
(Gee, I guess he must be referring to the kind of liability whereby all the mad mothers across America (and the World) get sick and tired of their children being continuously altered by the violence-oriented product being SPEWED OUT by the studio/distributors.)
The lower court will serve the public's best interest if it allows the Brothers Warner to serve as a precedent that it is not okay for the producers of violence-oriented programming to go unchecked and it is not okay for them to have the gall of hiding behind the First Amendment, in an act of Hollywood-ish business-as-usual.
*And BTW, notice, as usual, how Weiss USES the artists and directors to serve his corporate, slave master, ends. Let us never forget that these are the same artists and directors (that are sooo important for Time Warner to preserve the rights of) that almost always get screwed out of their net profit participation. (See another major class action suit against Warner being brought by the Estate of Garrison, et al over ANOTHER Oliver Stone movie called JFK. That Oliver!). What is really going on here is a) the studios could care less about the artists and directors and their QUOTE First Amendment rights and b) it is really the publicly-held corporate entity known as Time-Warner that the concern is about - trying to mis-apply the rights and freedoms reserved for People to itself so it can continue to exploit the public.
And lastly, Warner is not the exclusive bad guy here, all of the studios/distributors are equal in this. Warner just gets picked on because plaintiffs think they are the industry's keystone studio - and they are.
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