At Liberty: Friday, April 20, 2012

It's not the First Amendment for nothing. We're highlighting ways
people are using their freedom of expression and other liberties.

It's all starting to make sense! Last year, Fox Business accused the Muppets of spreading socialism... This week, the Massachusetts Republican Party attacked Harry Belafonte, calling his political views "extreme" and "anti-American".... AND HARRY BELAFONTE IS A KNOWN MUPPET SYMPATHIZER.

This weekend, the Brattle Theatre honors Jim Hensen's notorious Reds with a Muppet Madness showing of all their films (good luck getting in--the Brattle has had to turn people away from previous showings like this), and even a sing-along. And May 22 at our Bill of Rights Dinner, the ACLU of Massachusetts will give Harry Belafonte the Roger Baldwin award, our highest honor, for his lifetime of work for justice and equality. - CO

Congratulations to Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer prize earlier this week. Media watcher Dan Kennedy notes that this is the Globe's third Pulitzer for arts coverage in just the last few years. Kennedy says this shows Boston is "a place where intelligent, literate criticism is read and appreciated." What do you think? - CO

Before we celebrate the weekend, we wanted to call your attention to one particularly creative protester who is none too happy about the "naked" scanners the TSA has rolled out with abandon. This gentleman turned up buck naked at the security checkpoint at Portland International Airport, giving TSA the full monty, before they got to see the full monty in x-ray format. Nothing says "hands off" quite like this. - DR

Speaking of the "full monty," the Stoneham Theatre performs The Full Monty, a play adapted from the 1997 comedy about unemployed British millworkers who pose nude to make a little money, through May 6. The theatre advises that the play is "recommended for mature audiences," but let's face it: it isn't people's "mature" side that made "The Full Monty" a hit. - CO

Porn: Fantasy vs. Reality. The Full Monty might be fun and games, but this Saturday, Boston's Hispanic Black Gay Coalition looks at more serious questions in The Raw Reality: Porn & Black and Latino Representation, as part of a "Fantasy vs. Reality" weekend of "events exploring the impact of the gay porn industry on Black and Latino identity, behavior, and representation." - CO

What a drag! The Fierce Forever 9 drag ball takes place April 26 at MIT. - CO

Just when you thought you were safe from the hordes of anime and video game fans roaming the city in wonderfully creative attire -- Boston Comic Con is here to bring the nerdy festivities right back. This Saturday and Sunday, Hynes Convention Center will play host to numerous comics-related vendors, parties, fans and festivities, and the central theme this year is a celebration of Mad Magazine.

Lest you think this is all fluff, take a look at the con's description of Mad:

"Mad Magazine was the equivalent of the Big Bang for American post-war humor. Mad taught people to question authority, to think for themselves, and to laugh at the absurdity and horror of life."

That sounds like a pretty awesome First Amendment endorsement to me. - DR

CO = Christopher Ott, ACLUm Communications Director
DR = Danielle Riendeau, ACLUm Online Communications Coordinator

Freedom is more fun!

What creative, provocative, controversial forms of First Amendment expression--and other fun uses of freedom--are we missing? Tell us now.