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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Intellectual freedom in Canada: Unbelievably, comedian Guy Earle still on trial

Here's another example of the malignity of "human rights"commissions in Canada - charging a comedian. As Blazing Cat Fur writes,
Monday, February 01, 2010

Guy Earle v. Complete Societal Breakdown

Comic Guy Earle v. Hatchet Faced Hecklers... er Lesbo CryBabies is scheduled for the BCHRT March 29 2010

A message from Guy Earle -Persecuted Comic:

"Did ya hear the one about the BCHRC Chair that ignored the Canadian Supreme Court? Well, apparently, even though the S.C. has quashed the process that has been brought against me, the BC Human Rights Commission has decided to proceed with the original tribunal?!! At great expense (and suffering), I went to Vancouver last year for the tribunal. My lawyer had the process QUASHED, so I came back East to get back to work... Well, we are still a-go for March 29, 2010. So, I was a little premature in thinking there is justice in this world. Fans of freedom, we are not out of this mess yet! (More on link)
No indeed, you are not, Guy, unfortunately.

This was an interesting situation for me because I am not the sort of person likely to be spotted at late night comedy clubs. I expect that everyone there has had as much drink as is good for them - and more - and that lots of silly and offensive stuff will be said. So, if that bothers you, stay home and read or write letters, as I do.

Every society needs safety valves - where people just let off steam. If we try to be nicey nicey all the time, we will all go off our rockers. Late night comedy - absent violence, crime, or public disorder - is one of those valves. So some people, who shouldn't have been there if they didn't expect to be offended, showed up - and later complained to the BC Human Rights Tribunal because they were ... offended.

Huh? That's like me going to the kiddie rides at the Exhibition and complaining because everyone there seemed to be under ten years old.

If offense wasn't what those people were paying for, they were in the wrong venue!

I helped raise money for Earle, and wrote him a letter of support. (More links here.)

I hope this is the case that gets the Tribunal abolished. Maybe too much to hope for just now, but not ultimately. Wait till this type of thing goes viral and all kinds of people are trying to cash in at their neighbours' expense, claiming to be "offended" by something or other.

One reason Canada has a low violence rate is that we have taken a laid back approach to stuff like Earle's comedy.

As Mark Steyn tried to explain to the Ontario legislature (Queen's Park), in societies where you can't just shout "The king is a fink!", people react by blowing things up instead. Most people only want the right to shout that the king is a fink; then they go home and sleep it off, and then go to work.

Mark Steyn thinks Earle might be hurting his case by too much accommodation of people who should just be stoutly resisted. We'll see. What rights has Earle anyway under the Tribunal? Is this really a "case" - in the English Common Law sense?

Hat tip: Blazing Cat Fur

Here's the stalwart radio host Rob Breakenridge on the subject, including a podcast with Earle.

Hat tip: Franklin Carter at the Book and Periodical Council's Freedom of Expression Committee

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