Too Much Freedom?

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Shannon Wheeler's cartoon "Too Much Coffee Man" is a satirical look at, arguably, one of The United States of America's most famous freedoms, however it is also one of the most debated. It depicts our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and the conflicts that arise from this freedom. She illustrates this with two men, neither of whom will back down because of their right to freedom of speech. The two men represent different communities, such as state and local governments, schools and universities, private organizations, students and parents, and the general public that are continuously fighting for their right to free speech. In the cartoon, the two men go back and forth telling each other to "Shut Up" with no end in sight. The cartoon makes it evident that while freedom of speech is a great freedom it needs to be regulated so that people do not abuse the freedom. Luckily, freedom of speech is regulated by The Supreme Court, which is in place to tell a community when it needs to "Shut Up". While Wheeler's cartoon is humorous it is a fairly accurate representation of how people view their freedom of speech. The purpose of this paper is to discuss freedom of speech with respect to different communities. By definition freedom of speech is the freedom for one to say whatever one wants however one wants. In reality this is not the case, as seen in the multiple texts discussing the limits of freedom of speech. During these instances one community's freedom is being limited while the freedom of another community is being protected. Looking at Patti Waldmeir's column "Freedom of Speech and My Right to Silence at Bath Time" this situation becomes apparent. She explains the situation as "either way, it is a question of commercial free speech: advertisers have a right to broadcast their waves, but consumers have a right to refuse to listen" (591). Waldmeir is discussing the banning of commercial telemarketing calls and the formation of the do-not-call registry....
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