University of Wisconsin retreats from censorship

posted at 2:05 pm on October 5, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Readers probably recall that I am a big fan of the short-lived series Firefly, as well as its excellent film continuation Serenity.  I’m also a big fan of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which has fought speech codes that restrict both students and faculty on college campuses for years.  Both express values of free speech and individual rights, but I didn’t expect there ever to be a connection between the two.  However, when a University of Wisconsin campus took action against a theater professor for hanging a Firefly poster in his office, FIRE and Firefly stars Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion swung into action — and won:

Under pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), national media, and actors Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, the University of Wisconsin-Stout (Stout) has reversed its censorship of theater professor James Miller’s poster featuring a line from Fillion’s character in Joss Whedon’s television series Firefly. Campus police had threatened Miller with criminal disorderly conduct charges, and he was reported to the “threat assessment team.” After Stout censored his second poster, which stated, “Warning: Fascism,” Miller came to FIRE for help.

“FIRE is pleased that UW-Stout has decided to abandon its previous position and reopen the door to free speech and common sense on its campus,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “This victory would not have been possible without the outpouring of support from people across the country on news sites, blogs, and social media. FIRE would especially like to thank Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Neil Gaiman, and my fellow Firefly fans.”

So what did Miller post that was so dangerous that he needed a “threat assessment” from the university?  The poster showed Fillion in a pose with a quote from an episode of Firefly:

Baldwin — a friend of mine — wrote a lengthy response to UWS’ absurdity at Big Hollywood yesterday (along with his co-writer Liberty Chick), explaining that the context of the quote actually means something quite different than the hysterics presumed:

Dr. Miller sent the administration the relevant clip from Firefly’s pilot episode Serenity. The context of the quote is an homage to fair play and a code of honor that obviously prefers non-violence.

This is precisely the issue with freedom of speech; words are subjective and can be interpreted differently by separate individuals. Sometimes this is done unintentionally, sometimes with malice, which is why the act of deciding what’s NOT free speech is ripe for abuse. The UWS administration’s stated desire to “promote a campus environment that is free from threats of any kind—both direct and implied” may be well-meaning, but its meaning amounts to nothing. How does one set a universal standard to determine what is an implied threat or in what context speech may “refer to violence and/or harm”? As Dr. Miller pointed out in his email response to police chief Lisa Walter, would this also apply to “a poster from Hamlet? Or a news clipping about Hockey players that commit violent murder?”

But the story got even more absurd. After being ordered to take down the Firefly poster, Miller replaced it with this:

That brought an escalation from UWS:

On September 16, Stout Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter notified Miller that she had removed the poster because it “refer[s] to killing.” After Miller replied, “respect my first amendment rights,” Walter wrote that “the poster can be interpreted as a threat.” Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges of “disorderly conduct” if he posted any similar poster.

In response to Walter’s censorship, Miller placed a new poster on his office door on the 16th. The poster read, “Warning: Fascism” and mocked, “Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets.”

Astoundingly, Walter escalated the absurdity. On September 20, she wrote that this poster, too, had been censored as a “threat” because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death.” She added that Stout’s “threat assessment team” had made the decision. College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Raymond Hayes then scheduled a meeting with Miller about “the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team.”

Well, Adam found a bit of irony in the target selection (pardon the pun) of UWS and Walter.  You see, during the debate over the Scott Walker bill that limited collective bargaining for most public employee unions to wages only, this poster was seen on campus without any attempt to consider it a specific threat:

After FIRE, Fillion, and Adam got involved, UWS Chancellor Charles Sorensen reversed Walter’s decision, declaring that Miller’s poster didn’t constitute a threat or a disruption.  Furthermore, Sorensen will now stage workshops and forums on the application of the First Amendment on campuses.  That’s a significant step in the right direction, and one that would not have happened without the public pressure from FIRE, Fillion, and Adam.

I asked Adam for a reaction to the decision:

I am heartened and encouraged by the outpouring of support from the “Firefly/Serenity” community. It remains a tragic multi-generational crime that Leftism’s educational malpractices have so perverted our nation’s educational system that it becomes necessary for an American university to convene training seminars on the First Amendment. God bless FIRE and free thinkers everywhere for shining their lights.

Adam also sent this quote from Nathan Fillion:

“There are times we must try hard to find meaning. I understand that. I don’t understand when we try hard to find malice.”

Congratulations.  It’s good to see the Browncoats win one — in real life.

Update:  I neglected to mention the excellent Liberty Chick as a co-writer on the BH post.  I’ve added that above.  Great work!

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Good to hear…rational thinking folk would assume this was the only logical conclusion, but unfortunately the people who do things like this are neither rational nor logical.

Bob's Kid on October 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM

…had been censored as a “threat” because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death.” She added that Stout’s “threat assessment team” had made the decision.

So I take it the history section in the library has been pretty much cleaned out by the faculty fascists. Wouldn’t want anybody to learn that fascists have committed violence before.

forest on October 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

You can’t stop the signal.

Pcoop on October 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Kill the bill? What hypocrites. Go Browncoats!

liberty0 on October 5, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I’m a little disturbed that this kind of violation of the Bill of Rights could even take place. Then again it’s happened several times before.

Good to hear this got stamped out.

Black Yoshi on October 5, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Furthermore, Sorensen will now stage workshops and forums on the application of the First Amendment on campuses. That’s a significant step in the right direction, and one that would not have happened without the public pressure from FIRE, Fillion, and Adam.

How sad that this is necessary at universities.

I asked Adam for a reaction to the decision:
I am heartened and encouraged by the outpouring of support from the “Firefly/Serenity” community. It remains a tragic multi-generational crime that Leftism’s educational malpractices have so perverted our nation’s educational system that it becomes necessary for an American university to convene training seminars on the First Amendment. God bless FIRE and free thinkers everywhere for shining their lights.

Indeed

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I loved that show. I don’t know about Nathan Fillion, but Adam Baldwin is a conservative and writes on Big Hollywood occasionally. That is a Breitbart site if you are not aware of it.

jeffn21 on October 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

So can I wear my flag pin in school now?

Badger40 on October 5, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Love me some Nathan
:)

Good job!

cmsinaz on October 5, 2011 at 2:19 PM

How many of these people at the University are liberals being bitten by their own ideology?

capejasmine on October 5, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Glad they didn’t leave that man behind.

Rufus on October 5, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Indeed

Schadenfreude on October 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

What is really sad is that people are so unbelievably stupid they cannot read it for themselves freely.
They have to have someone intepret it for them?
I know WTF it means.
But people are so easily led.

Badger40 on October 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM

This is really beginning to damage my calm!

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I applaud Baldwin for not only being awesome, but also that he lit up Twitter with requests that UWS and lefties explain themselves. He repeatedly posted the story as an assault on free speech, and got Fillion to get on board immediately. Browncoats win! Can’t stop the signal, indeed.

pookysgirl on October 5, 2011 at 2:22 PM

The hero of Canton! The man they call Jaaaaaayne!

Doughboy on October 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

The least-discussed but most important issue in the country, to my mind. The American university used to be a sanctuary for open, free and challenging speech — where young people felt safe to experiment with ideas and debate within a citadel of tolerance. It has become the LAST place for free speech, the place where it is most threatened and those who atrempt to exercise it must be the MOST cautious. This grotesque corruption of an ideal is another of the Left’s great gifts to America, the result of a decades-long and determined imposition of orthodoxy toward social transformation. The American university is now home to the most radical and thuggish speech-police, allied with the most spineless administrative colluders. A “liberal arts college president” is a position and term now pretty much synonymous with Vichy collaborator.

Thank God for FIRE, a truly great outfit (founded by a couple of former Harvard grads). Along with the Students for Academic Freedom (a Horowitz-sponsored organization), they are at the front lines of this battle.

rrpjr on October 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

I hate these people.

Blake on October 5, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Great win…The biggest problem with the left is their constant efforts to twist all salutations into some form of this famous quote..

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

In this case all speech is equal but some is to be forbidden.

JIMV on October 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Note that FIRE is non-partisan and defends first amendment rights regardless of the point of view being stifled. FIRE has defended free speech rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, same-sex marriage proponents, same-sex marriage opponents, pro-Zionists, anti-Zionists, pro-military, anti-war, etc.

aunursa on October 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM

The American university used to be a sanctuary for open, free and challenging speech — where young people felt safe to experiment with ideas and debate within a citadel of tolerance.
rrpjr on October 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

That was a looooong time ago.
All the communists, CPUSA, etc. filled up all the academic position, just like they did in the media, Hollywood, and the environmental movement.
Their mission is to implement progressivism AKA socialism AKA communism by any means they can.
And if it takes a lifetime of subterfuge & lies, so be it.
They are on a mission!

Badger40 on October 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Is there a FIRE equivalent for high schools? If not, there needs to be!

parteagirl on October 5, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I just knew there was a reason to get that Shepard Farley poster.

/

Caststeel on October 5, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Makes you wonder if Adam Baldwin and Joss Weiden (who’s work I’m a big fan of but who’s politics can get a bit….annoying) ever had any interesting political discussions during the filming of “Firefly” and “Serenity”.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Firefly – never seen it, liked the clip.

peski on October 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Makes you wonder if Adam Baldwin and Joss Weiden (who’s work I’m a big fan of but who’s politics can get a bit….annoying) ever had any interesting political discussions during the filming of “Firefly” and “Serenity”.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Whedon’s worked with plenty of Republicans and conservatives. Sarah Michelle Gellar is rumored to be a right-winger as was Emma Caulfield(Anya on Buffy). Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if her newfound devotion to the capitalist system in Season 5 was written in deliberately because of her real-life politics.

Doughboy on October 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Now if we could just get Vanderbilt University to guarantee freedom of religion & association…

theblackcommenter on October 5, 2011 at 2:35 PM

The American university used to be a sanctuary for open, free and challenging speech — where young people felt safe to experiment with ideas and debate within a citadel of tolerance.
rrpjr on October 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

If you’re referring to “the 60′s”, I beg to differ. It was a-holes similar to these, although probably better organized, who’s “experiments with ideas” made universities what they are today. “Liberal Fascism” has a full chapter or more devoted to the topic.

peski on October 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM

My girls had a Serenity party and served Chinese food, lol.

Love this quote:

“There are times we must try hard to find meaning. I understand that. I don’t understand when we try hard to find malice.”

Fallon on October 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Whedon’s worked with plenty of Republicans and conservatives. Sarah Michelle Gellar is rumored to be a right-winger as was Emma Caulfield(Anya on Buffy). Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if her newfound devotion to the capitalist system in Season 5 was written in deliberately because of her real-life politics.

Doughboy on October 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

I’m a huge fan of his work. I didn’t say that I hated all of his politics but I get annoyed by some of them. Remember the white-guilt, oh-look-what-we-did-to-the-poor-idians episode of Buffy? Thankfully his atheism doesn’t hit you over the head in his shows.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:37 PM

“…explaining that the context of the quote actually means something quite different than the hysterics presumed.”

“Presumed Hysterics” is a new BA degree offered in universities all across the land…

Seven Percent Solution on October 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Browncoats 1, Brownshirts 0

Christien on October 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Anyoen else disappointed when it was revealed that the very cute, innocent-looking-and-acting Kaylee turned otu to be a massive slut who had no calms about ****ing a guy who’s name she didn’t knwo and even in front of another guy, who she never even met?

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Shiney!

29Victor on October 5, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Shut your goram mouth!

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I’m a huge fan of his work. I didn’t say that I hated all of his politics but I get annoyed by some of them. Remember the white-guilt, oh-look-what-we-did-to-the-poor-idians episode of Buffy? Thankfully his atheism doesn’t hit you over the head in his shows.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Yeah, but Spike told Willow to shut the hell about her guilt complex later in that episode(I think it was entitled “Pangs”). So Whedon at least paid lip service to both sides so as to not make it sound like the script was penned by Howard Zinn.

As for his atheism, there was a surprising amount of attention paid to things like heaven, the afterlife, and souls on both Buffy and Angel considering he doesn’t believe in God.

Doughboy on October 5, 2011 at 2:45 PM

And dammit, I wish they’d bring this show back. It’s not like it’s not possible.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:45 PM

As for his atheism, there was a surprising amount of attention paid to things like heaven, the afterlife, and souls on both Buffy and Angel considering he doesn’t believe in God.

I know. Remember, I said that he didn’t hit you over the head with his atheism.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:46 PM

As my friends and I used to say “When in doubt, go to Stout”. Imagine a party school, but dumber, and in the middle of nowhere. And the parties are boring.

strictnein on October 5, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Yeah, but Spike told Willow to shut the hell about her guilt complex later in that episode(I think it was entitled “Pangs”). So Whedon at least paid lip service to both sides so as to not make it sound like the script was penned by Howard Zinn.

The key there is that it was Spike that said it. Evil Spike (he is my favorite character, however). Plus it was nothing but a cutaway. Then it was back to “Look what we did to the poor indians……hundreds of years ago…..but are somehow still guilty about what we did to teh pooooor indians”.

Again, don’t take this as bashing Joss Weiden. I’m a HUGE fan of his. I’m stoked that he’s directing The Avengers and I really wish he would have been the one to direct Wonder Woman as originally intended. He barely ever brings his politics into his shows. I just found that particular episode to be really, really annoying.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Firefly – never seen it, liked the clip.

peski on October 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Well you should probably do something about that. Hulu+ has the complete series (Hulu- only lets you watch 5 :( ), it would be worth signing up for the free week trial to see them though. Netflix streaming also has the full series.

Oh, and there’s also a feature film that was created after the series ended. It’s called “Serenity” (same name as the pilot 2-hour episode, not sure why) and not available on Hulu – but it is available on Netflix streaming.

29Victor on October 5, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Is it too much to hope that they include a Reading for Context session in their 1st Amendment seminar?

Read the quote people. Obviously the only threat even implied is toward someone armed and threatening. And since the campus is no doubt a weapons free zone then there is no threat. Or are you saying even weapon wielding people should feel safe and secure in your environment?

Lily on October 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

I know. Remember, I said that he didn’t hit you over the head with his atheism.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Yeah, Joss knows how to please his audience without pandering or preaching. The same cannot be said of Marti “Satan” Noxon. She ruined Buffy when she was handed the reins in Seasons 6 and 7. Season 6 was like a damn afterschool special with the drug and r@pe metaphors.

BTW, I didn’t realize Jenji Kohan, the showrunner of Weeds, is the sister-in-law of Satan Noxon. Weeds is another show that started out ok and then became really over-the-top with its political and social agenda. Must run in the family.

Doughboy on October 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

So full of WIN, I may just have to break out my Blu-Rays tonight to savor.. :)

itzWicks on October 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM

“Jayne’s a GIRLS name…”

mojo on October 5, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Ed, please tell Adam and Nathan that we appreciate their efforts and their craft – their work in Firefly (and elsewhere) was wonderful.

Midas on October 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

“Jayne’s a GIRLS name…”
mojo on October 5, 2011 at 2:57 PM

“The human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.”

29Victor on October 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

liberals = reavers

revolutionismyname on October 5, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Educational institutions today are not interested in promoting the concept of thinking for one’s self. They are interested in indoctrination and conformity. They profess to honor the 1st Amendment, yet go out of their way to restrict it when it appears to threaten them. The “threat” being nothing more than an opposing point of view.

GarandFan on October 5, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Jayne!
The Man they call Jayne!
He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor,
He stood up to the man and he gave him what for.
Our love for him now, aint hard to explain,
The hero of Canton, the man they call Jayne!

Score one for Mal and Jayne!

jnelchef on October 5, 2011 at 3:26 PM

What’s the back story on this?

It was the chief of the campus police who removed the poster, right? I quote from her email, available on the FIRE site:

We were notified of the existence of the posting, reviewed it and believe that the wording on the poster can be interpreted as a threat by others and/or could cause those that view it to believe that you are willing/able to carry out actions similar to what is listed. This posting can cause others to fear for their safety, thus it was removed.

I am willing to schedule a meeting with you to discuss this further, if you wish. If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct.

Again, respectfully,

Chief Walter

So someone “notified” campus police? Okay. But evidently no one in the administration told her, “It’s offensive. Take it down.” Note that she says that she is willing to schedule a meeting with the professor. She doesn’t say, “If you have any questions about this, take it up with Administrator So-and-So.”

But if she WAS ordered to take it down, by whom?

If it is–or was–university policy that the campus police chief has the authority to make decisions like this one, who wrote the policy?

And if she made that decision all by herself–as she apparently did–someone needs to ask her just who the hell she thinks she is.

It’s clear from her emails that she believes that she had the authority to take down those posters. That’s the scary part.

Owen Glendower on October 5, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I’m glad of the outcome…but good f**king grief…if this is a victory, the war to end college censorship is going to be a long one.

MadisonConservative on October 5, 2011 at 3:31 PM

When I was in college in the early 70′s, a popular bumper sticker among the lefties was “Question Authority.”

The people sporting those bumper stickers then are the ones trying to stifle free speech now. Kind of ironic, no?

iurockhead on October 5, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I know. Remember, I said that he didn’t hit you over the head with his atheism.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I’ve often said that Shepherd Book in Firefly was the best, honest and most accurate Christian character in any TV series or movie in a long time, and what surprises me was that he was created by an athiest.

Whedon got it. He understands what a true Christian should behave. They are not perfect, but strive to be. They have histories that they don’t ignore but actually use to learn from and teach others. They tolerate (in the true sense) but strive not to judge others for their shortcomings. It was a dead on portrayal in every sense of the word.

Pcoop on October 5, 2011 at 3:36 PM

We done the impossible. And that makes us mighty.

Kristamatic on October 5, 2011 at 3:38 PM

I’ve been somewhat of a fan of actor Adam Baldwin ever since I saw the movie ‘My Bodyguard’ in theaters when I was a young man. I say ‘somewhat’ as I had always believed, since I can remember anyway, that nearly all Hollywood celebrities are all debauched reprobates and essentially… human filth. Hollywood in general and the contrived celebrities they manufacture and employ hold far too much sway over our society, especially among our youths, while their one and only claim-to-fame is that they make boatloads of money portraying something and/or someone whom they clearly are not, never have been, and never will be. They are by definition professional liars and impersonators, and quite often cheats and thieves in every sense from their chosen craft to their personal lives. If they’re good at it they are put on high. Still, many people disregard these plain truths and view them as practically being Holy Clerics. As a result, a great many people live their lives vicariously through other non-super human people who make their fortunes being liars, cheats, and thieves (ie: celebrities). Therefore, I do not view and worship celebrities as though they are ‘special’ above the rest of the human race in any way, shape, or form. I am generally loathe to praise any actor or performer for anything other than a performance. Admittedly, I very much enjoy a solidly good movie and other entertainment provided by those very same non-super human professional liars, cheats, and thieves.

Clearly, all of that cannot possibly be the case with each and every actor and performer either. Some ‘celebrities’ are good and dedcent people who are genuinely humble and just happen to be good to very good at their chosen craft. In their personal lives they seek to do good works and the attention whoring is kept at a minimum. Their skills speak for themselves. Those actors and performers I do sometimes admire and I will sometimes catch myself listening to what they have to say when they do sometimes opine on their own time, and regardless of their political affiliations. Unfortunately for them, the ultra-liberal movers and shakers that make Hollywood the den of scum and filth that it is generally frown on such people and sometimes will even seek to ruin their careers… especially if they’re registered as anything other than Democrat.

Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion take a risk being outspoken and integral in this whole affair. I for one am grateful to see Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Fillion taking a stand and being instrumental in this most basic of wrongs made right. There is, without a doubt, good reason why Free speech is addressed in the very first amendment to our US Constitution and is also part of the Bill of Rights. I remain an ardent admirer of actor Adam Baldwin and his work. But now I am a fan of Mr. Baldwin, the human being.

FlatFoot on October 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM

I suppose “Go ahead, make my day” would get you fired regardless of tenure.
Sheesh.

tomg51 on October 5, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Everything goes somewhere… And I go everywhere, you can stop the signal Mal..

Mr. Universe.

Viper1 on October 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

“cant”
duh

Viper1 on October 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

I just got the wife to watch Serenity after seeing all the Firefly episodes on DVD. She really liked it.

fossten on October 5, 2011 at 4:12 PM

“threat assessment team.” sounds so mother land, er

I mean HOME land… yea, that’s better

golfmann on October 5, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Shiny!

Hucklebuck on October 5, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Everything goes somewhere… And I go everywhere, you can stop the signal Mal.

You always bring me the best video.

Hucklebuck on October 5, 2011 at 4:48 PM

This is only a win when the administration has to pay compensation for their idiotic harrassment.

PackerBronco on October 5, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Campus “brown shirts” versus the “Brown Coats”. Go coats!

chickasaw42 on October 5, 2011 at 5:39 PM

This is really beginning to damage my calm!

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM

“People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”

Axe on October 5, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Others have said it above…but it fits and I’m going to say it again!

SHINY!

Thanks, Adam and Nathan (and Neil??)!! Want to see you all at DragonCon next year so I can thank you in person, k??

tickleddragon on October 5, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Firefly – never seen it, liked the clip.

peski on October 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

This is why we think its worth it, why we get weird about it. Things like this:

Mal: But it ain’t all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of flying is? Well, I suppose you do, since you already know what I’m about to say.
River: I do. But I like to hear you say it.
Mal: Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as a turn of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she’s hurtin’ before she keels. Makes her a home.
River: Storm’s getting worse.
Mal: We’ll pass through it soon enough.

Axe on October 5, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Hey, you mentioned Neil Gaiman… How was he involved?

tickleddragon on October 5, 2011 at 6:23 PM

I’m a huge fan of his work. I didn’t say that I hated all of his politics but I get annoyed by some of them. Remember the white-guilt, oh-look-what-we-did-to-the-poor-idians episode of Buffy? Thankfully his atheism doesn’t hit you over the head in his shows.

DethMetalCookieMonst on October 5, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Yeah, but Spike told Willow to shut the hell about her guilt complex later in that episode(I think it was entitled “Pangs”). So Whedon at least paid lip service to both sides so as to not make it sound like the script was penned by Howard Zinn.

As for his atheism, there was a surprising amount of attention paid to things like heaven, the afterlife, and souls on both Buffy and Angel considering he doesn’t believe in God.

Doughboy on October 5, 2011 at 2:45 PM

The guy makes room for me, or tries to. That’s all I’ve ever really asked for. I can handle bad conclusions sometimes. I can’t handle “and anyone who thinks otherwise is a cartoon character and worst than Hitler. Plus, Christians are stupid. And stuff.”

Axe on October 5, 2011 at 6:29 PM

So Castle & Casey teamed up to fight censorship eh? Isn’t sad that we have to have celebrities show up before there’s enough opposition to tyranny to reverse such blatantly unconstitutional infringements of liberty?

Browncoatone on October 5, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Serenity was on SyFy (hate that name) last night. For being so liberal, Joss Whedon’s Firefly sure has a lot of Tea Party-esque themes in it. The good guys fight in a war for their independence (but lose). They mostly just want to be left alone by their government and aren’t asking for handouts. The governnments tries to force their citizens on Miranda (rights??) to be good and end up screwing things up as usual.

Favorite line–Mal: I aim to misbehave.

drflykilla on October 5, 2011 at 6:41 PM

The good professor should expect reprisals for standing up to the campus gestapo.

woodNfish on October 5, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Aren’t mandatory sensitivity meetings one of their favorite games? Turn about is fair play:

Mandatory sensitivity meetings covering the US Constitution and Bill of Rights are in order for every member of Stout’s police force and every member of the Wisconsin university system’s administration.

RJL on October 5, 2011 at 9:06 PM

I aim to misbehave.

Fighton03 on October 5, 2011 at 9:10 PM

“Jayne’s a GIRLS name…”

mojo on October 5, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Oh really. Check out this “Jane’s Defence Weekly” online magazine.

Now if you excuse me, I’ll be in my bunk…..

mechkiller_k on October 5, 2011 at 10:31 PM

“I’ll be in my bunk”

mechkiller_k on October 5, 2011 at 10:45 PM

“threat assessment team.” sounds so mother land, er
I mean HOME land… yea, that’s better

More like “Fatherland”.

drunyan8315 on October 5, 2011 at 11:03 PM

Great timing as I’m watching the entire series on DVD again.

It is a shame that they canceled the show and that the fascists continue to thrive in this great nation.

Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free

;o)

DannoJyd on October 6, 2011 at 12:04 AM