Saturday, November 22, 2008

Burmese Comic Jailed For 45 Years

And all for poking a verbal stick in the government's war wound:

A popular comedian active in Burma's democracy movement has been sentenced to 45 years in jail by a Burmese court.

Zarganar was found to have violated the Electronics Act, which regulates electronic communications. He is the latest in a string of opposition activists to be given long jail terms by the military government.

He was detained earlier this year for criticising the government's slow response to Cyclone Nargis in interviews with foreign news groups.

I love the way "democracy" makes it into the descriptive abstract. Anyway, be thankful we don't live under a system that decides to regulate critique of our leaders. At least, not yet. Although, I do believe some in the next congressional session are considering this legislative action, which is suitably named with the same, rope-a-dope glibness that'll fly by those with a Larry King-like grip on the Bill of Rights*. (To his credit, Mr. Obama has lightly opposed this proposal).

And besides, we don't jail our comedians. We incarcerate ourselves by electing them to Minnesota governmental offices.

*In the 1990's, Larry King was debating a potential resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, under the argument "I don't see how anyone can oppose fairness." Sort of like erasing the thirteenth amendment and calling it "Civil Rights Legislation.


aahrens said...

HA! I'm still laughing about that last paragraph - electing commedians to congress! HA!!

Ron Giesecke said...

I don't know if you remember Fred Grandy, who played "Gopher" on the 1970's-1980's show "The Love Boat," but he spent a number of years in congress. He did, however, avoid spectacle. Certain other aspirants will not.