Stephen Colbert holding a pitchforkHere, Gentle Reader, is the second “peasants with pitchforks” moment in less than a week.

It seems the town of Enfield has become Connecticut’s crucible of Rightism, a New England microcosm of Kansas in the late ’90s and early ’00s — and more recently, Oklahoma. Last year, ardent Religious Rightists there chose to defy the law of the land and hold the town’s high school graduation in a church. As expected, they were rebuffed in this effort, mainly because of their lies, but they most certainly haven’t given up enforcing Rightism. The town’s Republican mayor recently ordered the Enfield library not to show Michael Moore’s Sicko documentary, as the (Manchester, CT) Journal Inquirer reports (WebCite cached article):

The Enfield Public Library on Wednesday canceled Friday’s screening of filmmaker Michael Moore’s controversial documentary “Sicko” under pressure from most Town Council members and the mayor, who threatened to cut the library’s funding if the film was shown.

Let me state up-front that I’m no fan of Michael Moore. He’s a shameless propagandist, and I despise propaganda; “propaganda” and “dishonesty” all too often are one and the same thing. But honestly … what the fuck? You people can’t tolerate a couple hours of Moore’s extreme Leftism? Really!? Are you that thin-skinned?

What a bunch of fucking whiners!

Enfield’s militant Rightists came up with a list of rationales for their censorship, beginning with “it’s for the children”:

Councilman Patrick Crowley, also a Democrat, said he didn’t think the effort to cancel the screening amounted to censorship, saying the library should be age-appropriate for young children.

“We want it to be a place for relaxation and fun for the kids,” Crowley said.

Yeah. As if any kids who show up are actually going to sit through more than a couple minutes of Sicko.

Then, it was “but this film is too controversial”:

[Mayor Scott R.] Kaupin said the library should steer clear of controversial material like “Sicko.”

My guess is Hizzonner has never seen the movie and thus knows nothing about its “controversy,” except what Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, etc. have told him about it. The curious thing about controversies is that, without actually examining the elements of the controversy, one never knows what the controversy is. Controversies don’t go away if we clamp our eyes shut and plug up our ears.

There were even some who denied this was even censorship at all:

Resident Dominic Alaimo, who is also chairman of the Thompsonville Board of Fire Commissioners, said at Tuesday’s meeting that canceling the screening is not censorship because the film is “available anywhere you want.”

“Censorship does not start from the bottom and work up. Censorship starts in like Red China, Russia,” Alaimo said.

Aha. There you have it. This can’t be censorship, because Enfield is in the US, and censorship only happens in “Red China” and Russia! Why, I’m so glad to have that cleared up! Whew!

The only good part about this particular childish dust-up is that the Rightists in Enfield have learned their lesson from their legal smackdown earlier this year, and have relented — slightly. Rick Green of the Hartford Courant reports Sicko will be screened, after all — as part of a package of “balanced” film screenings. As though a couple hours of Moore being shown in the Enfield library, one time, needs to be “balanced” … when talk-radio and cable news are stuffed to the gills with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of unrelenting, undiluted Rightism. Personally, I think propaganda needs to be “balanced” against rationality and truthful information. Unfortunately there are no critical-thinking movies out there … at least, none that I know of.

Photo credit: (UK) Daily Mail.

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