John Cougar Mellencamp badly needs a lesson in civics and the Bill of Rights:
“I don’t think people fought and gave their lives so that some guy can sit in his bedroom and be mean. I don’t think that’s what freedom of speech is,” he continued. “Freedom of speech is really about assembly — for us to collectively have an idea. We want to get our point of view out so we can assemble and I can appoint you to be the spokesman. That’s freedom of speech — to be able to collectively speak for a sector of people. But somehow it’s turned into ‘I can be an asshole whenever I feel like, say whatever I like, be disrespectful to people and not be courteous.’ It’s not good for our society. Not being courteous is not really freedom of speech. …
I was about to say Mellencamp had been asleep during Civics, but now I wonder if he wasn't stoned; the twisted-reality meter for this is off the dial.
For John and celebrities suffering from similar cases of chronic ignorance, may I recommend a very good book? Have a dictionary handy, some of the words are more than two syllables long and might be a bit tough. You might also want to start with the First Amendment itself:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I could go on and on about how boneheaded and stupid Mellencamp's remarks were and how frightening it is to think people might be influenced by his fascist interpretation of freedom of speech, but I'll let his colleague Alice Cooper sum things up:
"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons."