Everyone’s favorite e-tabloid, The Drudge Report is broadcasting news of the arrest of a persistent heckler at an Anne Coulter speech at the University of Texas at Austin.
According to Drudge:
THE TEXAN reports: Shouts became so pervasive during the question-and-answer session that Coulter informed the organizers she would no longer take questions if the hecklers were not silenced. For a time, the shouts were considerably lessened, until the issue of gay marriage was broached.
Coulter said she supported the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman on the basis that a good woman civilizes and inspires a man to strive for something better, leading to a question that was met with a stunned silence.
“You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage,” said Ajai Raj, an English sophomore. “How do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but fuck his wife up the ass?”
At this point, campus officers arrested Raj for disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor.
Honestly, I can’t tell you enough about the law and legal reasoning behind “disorderly conduct” to tell you whether I think the university’s actions are justified. But honestly, if I was trying to watch Michael Moore’s movie and some jack ass kept heckling the screen and disturbing me, I wouldn’t cry if the police escorted him out.
Personally, I think part of the problem with this recent spate of ineffectual protesting is that it demonstrates our cultural lack of deference in such a profound way. People don’t seem to know their place and there’s this false sense of democracy that is completely wrong-headed.
Growing up in a Catholic community, I learned very quickly that you respect certain people just because you do. Of course, since I’m a bit contrarian, I was always getting into trouble because I wanted people to earn my respect on a personal level. As I’ve matured, I’ve come to appreciate more and more the need to respect people because of their rank.
By that, I actually do think of society in semi-militaristic tones. A buddy from ASU mentioned every now and then how he missed the organization of the army. He was great because he gave speeches to the ASU ROTC and he was so happy with how the kids treated him. Tim had a sense of his place though. He always referred to professors as either ma’am or sir. Old habits die hard, but I think that it helped him to constantly remember that he is in a hierarchical system and these professors are not his equals, they are his superiors.
That’s what this brat didn’t understand. Frankly, his opinion does not matter as much as Anne Coulter’s opinion. People gathered to listen to her, not to listen to his moans and groans and protests. You don’t have to agree with what Coulter stands for, but you should maintain a sense of decorum for her, because she is a respected public figure. She has a vision and influence that little Raj will never have and what he doesn’t realize is that he’s just another random heckler to Coulter. She deals with little insignificant specs like him all the time. She is important and he is not.
I’m not trying to advocate for complete compliance with all orders or something ridiculous like that. But I do think that we need to have more respect for authority. Just as President Bush should not be called a moronic mass murderer, neither should John Kerry be called a hypocritical, baby-killing, Purple-heart “winning” hippie. These issues should be discussed, but the tone of the discussion is far too crude and idiotic.
When a person’s best retort to the pedestrian line that marriage is between a man and a woman involves fuck and ass, clearly our discourse is shamefully poor.
Respect and deference do not mean total obedience. However, when a respectful and deferent person insults someone in a position of authority, it really means something. That’s what hanging out with Tim, my army pal, really taught me. He would not complain about professors or classes or books no matter how awful they were. The one time he did complain, we all felt justified because if even Tim was ticked, then we were on to something.
I do realize that Coulter herself is known to be highly inflammatory, but there is a crucial difference between her and Raj. She has made a good living being inflammatory and she is paid to do so. As a society, we have decided that her voice is one to be heard and contemplated.
Raj belongs at a hockey game or a football match. His behavior reminds me of a two year old throwing a tantrum at a nice restaurant. It’s despicable and repulsive; moreover, it represents his viewpoint in such a feeble way. In the end, he’s made himself look like a moron and he’s made Anne Coulter look reasonable and comparatively erudite.
The sad thing is that I strongly disagree with Coulter’s position on gay marriage. I feel that gays are treated like second-class citizens and it disgusts me that the political clime of our country supports their continual oppression.
People like Raj make a reasonable argument seem like a freak show circus. He’s screaming to the choir while everyone else looks on in horror.