My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Saturday, February 25, 2006

So-called defenders of free speech...

I rarely find the conservative books I want to buy at Chapters/Indigo. Here's another case study.
A friend of mine took his young daughter to visit the famous City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, explaining to her that the place is important because years ago it sold books no other store would — even, perhaps especially, books whose ideas many people found offensive.

So, although my friend is no fan of Ward Churchill, the faux Indian and discredited professor who notoriously called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns," he didn't really mind seeing piles of Churchill's books prominently displayed on a table as he walked in.

However, it did occur to him that perhaps the long-delayed English translation of Oriana Fallaci's new book, "The Force of Reason," might finally be available, and that because Fallaci's militant stance against Islamic militants offends so many people, a store committed to selling banned books would be the perfect place to buy it. So he asked a clerk if the new Fallaci book was in yet.

"No," snapped the clerk. "We don't carry books by fascists."

Now let's just savor the absurd details of this for a minute. City Lights has a long and proud history of supporting banned authors — owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was indicted (and acquitted) for obscenity in 1957 for selling Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," and a photo at the bookstore showed Ferlinghetti proudly posing next to a sign reading "banned books."

Yet his store won't carry, of all people, Fallaci, who is not only being sued in Italy for insulting religion because of her latest book but continues to fight the good fight against those who think that the appropriate response to offensive books and cartoons is violent riots. It's particularly repugnant that someone who fought against actual fascism in World War II should be deemed a fascist by a snotty San Francisco clerk.


Blogger The Friendly Grizzly said...

So? You really expect different? This is San Francisco we are talking about here...

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No," snapped the clerk. "We don't carry books by fascists."
They said that? OMG, there is no bloody WAY I would have let that go. I would have said "I'm sorry, this PAYING CUSTOMER, didn't ask for your insignificant commie opinion. Make like the nice little Stalinst peasant worker and get a manager please so I can promptly speak to them about the level of service they are providing regarding the people they choose to hire.".

L(l)iberals - gotta love the hypocricy.

4:29 PM  
Blogger PGP said...

Its because of the self serving hypocricy of people and institutions like this that you and I are Conservatives!

4:33 PM  
Blogger The Commentator said...

A busboy in a restaurant on a trendy Montreal street once took issue with my wife that she wore a stylish t-shirt emblazoned with the U.S. flag. He aksed if she was not embarrassed for wearing it. Imagine that, I was dropping $70 in their over rated place and I have to hear a political commentary from a know-nothing smart alec on top of it? That clerk brought terrible memories for me. Fallaci a fascist. They have no problem acting out on their ignorance. It's scary.

9:53 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home