Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The People vs Larry Flynt

I recently saw Oliver Stone's classic The People vs Larry Flynt. It's the tragic but entertaining and inspiring story of the indefatigable american porn pioneer.

One of the most memorable scenes is a speech by Flynt's lawyer, played by Edward Norton, to a Cincinnati jury:
I am not trying to convince you that you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don't like what Larry Flynt does. But what I do like is that I live in a country where you and I can make that decision for ourselves. I like that I live in a country where I can pick up Hustler magazine, and read it if I want to, or throw it in the garbage can if that's where I think it belongs. Or better yet I can exercise my opinion and not buy it. I like that I have that right. I care about it. And you should care about it too ... Because we live in a free country ... and that is a powerful idea. That's a magnificent way to live. But there is a price for that freedom, which is that sometimes we have to tolerate things that we don't necessarily like.

So go back in that room, where you are free to think whatever you want to think about Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine. But then ask yourselves if you want to make that decision for the rest of us, because the freedom that everyone in this room enjoys is in a very real way in your hands. And if we start throwing up walls against what some of us think is obscene, we may very well wake up one morning and realise that walls have been thrown up in all kinds of places that we never expected, and we can't see anything or do anything. And that's not freedom ... so be careful.
The jury wasn't convinced.

No comments:

Post a Comment