Drop the bomb
Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham
I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m speaking into a live microphone at a public event, you know, it’s just hard to resist the temptation to drop an f-bomb here and there.
Good news – next time I’m in Norfolk, I can drop as many f-bombs into live mikes as I want and not have to worry about getting arrested.
“Norfolk’s attorneys are to be commended for moving swiftly to have the case dismissed,” said Kent Willis, the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, which was preparing a legal defense for rapper Raymond “Roots” Riley after an incident at the Bayou Boogaloo in Norfolk last month, “but this incident should not have happened in the first place. Frankly, we believe Riley is owed an apology.”
Riley was removed from the stage and charged after introducing a band member as “the best f’g drummer I’ve ever played with” and later singing a song containing the lyric “what the f-.”
OK, so to be clear, he didn’t actually say “f’g” and “f-.” He spoke the entirety of the bad words that my momma would smack me upside the head for today if I spelled them out in this column, and she’s a foot shorter than me and doesn’t train in MMA four nights a week.
And I have to mention, it was strange reading the press release that I got from the ACLU on this. It shocked me a little – more than a little – to see the words spelled out. And I’m saying this, and I want to make it clear that I’m no prude. I can outprofane your average sailor when the moment is right and not bat an eye. Get me talking Duke basketball, for example, or about my favorite radio talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh.
And I was a huge fan of the late comedian George Carlin, whose “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” included several other words that would earn me a bop on the head from moms were I to even hint at them in this space.
Which is to say, as much as you’ll never see me writing about my “favorite f’g drummer” and that sort of thing, I dunno, should I fear that I might be arrested if I did, or if I let something slip in a casual conversation that offends somebody who then feels compelled to call a police officer to throw the weight of the government down upon me?
“Whether or not Riley’s words were artfully chosen or appropriate for the venue is a matter of individual taste and even a legitimate topic for public debate. But festival officials should not have stopped the performance, and the police certainly had no grounds whatsoever to charge him with a crime. That’s censorship, pure and simple, and it’s the kind of government action we fear most in this country,” Willis said, and I concur.
I mean, seriously. Get the government off our f’g backs. My sentiments exactly.