On Freedom of Expression

Fini FiniTOOBZ! says
December 29th, 2006 at 5:28 pm*

raven @ 154

Men without hats, look at your hands!

Safety Dance

This song inspired my first action as a political activist. I was in 6th grade when this song came out and just absolutely loved it. Everytime it came on the radio or MTV the volume would go to 12 and my mom would roll her eyes.

Anyway, the PTO (I was in Catholic school, we didnt belong to the PTA) had a special meeting to discuss this new cultural emergency sweeping the school that was causing a big stir with some of the more conservative parents. The Safety Dance they felt was code for either A) premarital sex or B) drug abuse or C) all of the above and Had To Be Stopped At All Cost.

My mom being the wonderful open minded person that she is knew I loved the song, caught wind of this meeting she was supposed to go to and asked me point blank what the deal was with the song. I explained to her that it was a song loosely based on a Canadian folk song and that the duo singing it were from Canada and there was nothing sinister to it.

I in turn got so livid they were having a special meeting I spent the next half hour ranting and raving so much mom decided to take me to the meeting and make them listen to me. I also called up everyone in my class I had phone numbers for to tell them what was going on and 10 of my classmates made their parents bring them to the meeting to support me. It ended up being my first victory in the defense of free speech/artistic expression and I love sharing this story whenever I can.

UPDATE

What I forgot to mention in my story earlier though, was the backlash I suffered from my teachers and the principal for my activism was not pretty. For about two months I got busted for every thing slightly out of order or perceived to be against direction from authority. My gym teacher, a fantastic human being named Mr. Fox was the only one who gave me a break.

It was worth it though because I was not very well liked by my classmates prior to this incident because of being the fat kid/object of daily ridicule. When everybody saw what I went through with the teachers I didn’t have to deal with so many fat jokes or stupid shit after that all the way through 8th grade. Now that I think of it and have told the whole story here, this was kind of a defining moment in my young life.

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