Friday, April 07, 2006

BYU CANCELS FREE SPEECH FORUM................... So We Held It Anyway.


"This is what you'll get. This is what you'll get.
This is what you'll get when you mess with us."
-'Karma Police' by Radiohead


About two weeks ago, I was invited by a Political Science student at Brigham Young University to screen my documentary THIS DIVIDED STATE at a forum on Free Speech and then speak to other students about academic freedom. This invitation came on the heels of some recent student protests over an unjust firing of a faculty member.

Todd Hendricks was abruptly fired from BYU after he spoke out about apparent faults in student elections. BYU decided they didn't like what he said, so they fired him and took away his health insurance. Hendricks' wife will have a baby in June, but she'll do so without the health benefits given by BYU. All because her husband spoke out. So, last Thursday, BYU students held a protest against the Hendricks firing and voiced their concerns about other examples of Free Speech Oppression at BYU.



So, the Political Science students planned to have a Free Speech Forum and screening of THIS DIVIDED STATE this Thursday, April 6th (yesterday) at 6:30pm. A room had been reserved and invitations had been passed out. The university even allowed the Political Science students to set up a booth in the student center where they displayed gigantic posters for THIS DIVIDED STATEand passed out hundreds of flyers. A buzz spread around the school and soon we were expecting maybe even 200 students to show up.

And then at around 1:00pm today, I got a phone call from one of the students saying that he had just been grilled by some Administrative Piggy about my movie being "offensive". This student (who is just 18 and a freshman) then was forced into more meetings and MORE meetings until finally they told him, "You're not doing this tonight. We won't allow it" He called me and told me the bad news. The BYU Karma Police had just pulled the plug on Free Speech. Of course, my reaction was "I'm going to do it anyways. Watch them try to stop me."

So, we show up in the rain at 6:30 and BYU had sent an Administrative Big Brother Henchman to guard the door to the Free Speech room and turn everyone away by telling them to "Go Home". Emboldened by this scary, little stooge, I went outside into the rain and began gathering the masses. I told everyone, "Hey, if you're here for the film, we're going to screen the film in room 132 instead of room 32. There's a scary, little stooge in room 32." While some students left confused and bewildered, others gladly joined us as we descended into the basement classroom.

Sucking on Freeze Peach.


Within minutes, we had filled the little classroom up and then BAM! The two biggest local papers show up with reporters and photographers. You see, I had called them an hour before this and told them "BYU cancelled it, but we're doing it anyways in secret." Everyone settled in and sampled some of the FREEZE PEACH treats that the political science students had made. It was frozen peach juice on tooth picks and the name was just brilliant. After a minute or two, I got access to the video projector, put in the DVD, and then we watched THIS DIVIDED STATE.

Things were going great until right around the half way point went the classroom door suddenly opens! It was the scary, little stooge from Room 132! Busted! ...but wait... he stares at all of us confused...then angry...then...he leaves in a huff. He never returns.

Braving the possible ire of BYU Administration Stooges, a group of BYU students gathered in a basement to watch THIS DIVIDED STATE


Laughter and applause erupt and then the film ends. Credits roll. There's an air of accomplishment in the room. We all shake hands and then answer some questions from the reporters. And then we leave, looking over our shoulders in fear that BYU Karma Police would be after us. Nothing happens. We all go our seperate ways in the cold, rainy night, with grins holding fast on our wet faces.

Read the 2 Newspaper Articles Here:

THE DAILY HERALD:
FILMMAKER MAKES DEBUT, WITHOUT BYU OK

THE DESERET NEWS:
Y PULLS PLUG ON FORUM

12 comments:

Duckie Butters said...

Steven,

I would have loved to have been there, but it's a long drive up to Utah.

I saw your new diary blog deal or whatever it's supposed to be. I thought that was pretty cool.

What's your next project? Is it another documentary or will it be narrative?

Anyway, there weren't many comments over in this neck of the woods and I thought I could help you guys out a little.

Anywho, something I wanted to talk to you about was your "Hot Tub" movie.

I've been partying online with some folks I met on another blog and they all want to see the "Hot Tub" movie real bad. I was wondering if it would be OK to post it somewhere.

Let me know if you have a problem with that. I promise to give it the proper respect it deserves.

Take care Steven.

Your pal,

Duckie Butters

Anonymous said...

HOORAH!

Way to go BYU Students. I don't care whether you agreed or disagreed with the film, I'm proud of you for showing up.

Continue to involve yourselves in politics and the world around you and never give up. Keep working for what you believe in.

John said...

Well done. Those in power seem to prefer a dictaorship over an open democracy. The truth is very dangerous to these people and that is why they must hire thugs to do their dirty work. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the next movie the students at BYU should show is Sophie Scholl - The Final Days
Zeitgeist Films
Drama / Biography / Historical / Foreign (Germany)

In 1943 Munich, a group of college students form The White Rose, a resistance movement dedicated to bringing down the Third Reich. Sophie Scholl was one of the few women members of the Weisse Rose, co-founded by her older brother, Hans Scholl. This small student movement was prompted by the fact that, in spite of propaganda and the fear of retribution if one spoke out, other students at the university had begun to confide that they had witnessed atrocities while at the battle front.

The group began distributing pamphlets denouncing Hitler and the Nazis as they tried to shame citizens into resisting the government. During a daytime clandestine mission with Hans to distribute pamphlets on campus, they were arrested.

Steven Greenstreet said...

Duckie, if you want to show the Hot Tub video then feel free to do so. I could care less. But, just keep in mind, that I will lose all respect for you if you do so. People foaming at the mouth to watch me in a hot tub is just plain sad.

Bryan said...

Steve, did you have any respect for Duckie in the first place?

Duckie Butters said...

Good point Bryan! Thanks for bringing that up. Likely Steven didn't have any respect for me to begin with. Since he doesn't seem to have respect for anyone (including himself) I had decided NOT to post the video on account that Steven might "lose respect for me" However thanks to you Bryan, I will post it without hesitation.

Do either of you know of a good place I could post it?

Thanks a bunch!

Your pal,

Duckie

PS

You never should have made fun of my name 'cause now you will rue the day! YOU WILL RUE THE DAY!

Steven Greenstreet said...

Fuckie,

Actually, I had some respect for you. You'll notice that I let you post comments with you razzing me. I didn't delete them for the most part. I figured you did it all in good fun.

But now that you're stooping to the bottom level of the Obsessive Greenstreet Hating Bloggers, then you've lost all my respect. Go ahead and post the video anywhere you want. I find your kind of behavior (and the behavior of the fake Steven Greenstreet blog) both fascinating and pathetic.

And I actually find it flattering that you're downloading videos of me in a hot tub to your hard drive and then obsessively spreading it around the internet. Thanks for the free press and thanks for your obsessive fanship. It's much appreciated.

Duckie Butters said...

You are very welcome Steven,

The now infamous "Hot Tub" video resides on my hard drive, in a folder named "America's Funniest Internet Videos" along with a bunch of those Chubby Jedi-kid videos.

Take care Steven,

PS

I was just razzin' ya with that "rue the day stuff"

Duckie

PPS

Have you seen "The Devil & Daniel Johnston" yet? You seriously need to check it out.

Butters Fan Club Prez said...

Duckie Butters is a damned genius.

gertie said...

What the hell? 200 people at that thing? Unless you had an ant colony in your pants, I only saw 20 or so.

Steven Greenstreet said...

gertie, the article said "We expected 200 students to show up" to the original, non-BYU-fuck-head, screening.

You should have read it more closely.