Why Is John Cusack Fanning The Flames Of Hatred?

September 2, 2010

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Wow would be my minimalist reaction. I remember growing up watching movies with John Cusack in them. He usually played the role of an outsider but was always kind of a hero. I certainly admired him as an actor. Has he stopped taking his Prozac though?

Please see this story regarding John’s recent Twitter posting:


John Cusack is openly a Liberal in every sense and probably has no appreciation for Fox News. However, I’m starting to wonder if he can even stomach the ultra liberal rants of MSNBC. Based on this latest Twitter posting, I’m more inclined to say that he has seriously fallen off his rocker and he can’t get up.

It’s no secret that I’m a Conservative with several Libertarian views. I have many friends with Liberal views although the majority if my friends share viewpoints that are closer to mine. None of my friends would ever go so far as to write something like this though. Additionally, I would never write this about MSNBC either.

So the questions that comes to mind: Where does free speech come to an end? Where does liability kick in? In other words, at what point does the right of free speech cease or at least become intertwined with liability for the actions of one’s self and others? We all know that free speech is no longer protected if those words incite a riot or are considered “fighting words”. In my opinion this is balancing very close to that exception. Cusack goes so far as to be almost specific in the actions. He hasn’t drawn out a plan, but it’s getting close. Naming specific people (targets) likely would convince many on a jury to find against him.

Consider if I were to post this: “I can no longer stand the liberal rants and view points of the Angry Squirrel. I can no longer stomach his naive and unfounded positions based solely on bleeding heart rhetoric and not fact. We need to have a satanic slaying at his home in Kansas City, KS on 9/11/2010.” OK, this is obviously not true and I would never wish any harm to come to anyone, especially the Squirrel. Now, imagine if anyone actually cared what I said…say I’m Tom Cruise (the head nut job), Will Smith or John Cusack. I would have rock star status, not IT Guy status. The point is, who is going to read a post and act? Probably only someone that was already nuts, but could this be what prompts someone? Should this be protected?

Eminem has dealt with similar issues with his music. There are questions being raised about Eminem’s latest work again (Love the Way You Lie) because of the domestic violence lyrics. I’m a rap/hip hop fan so I personally enjoy the music and don’t think too much about the lyrics. However, there are a number of people that do and some may be swayed by statements such as this. Where do we draw the line?

How about desecrating the flag which is a huge hot button of mine? Should we allow people to urinate on the American flag? How about burning the flag?

Yesterday we saw James Lee take over the Discovery Channel building and hold three people hostages over his extreme beliefs. What if this person was “encouraged” by someone like Eminem or John Cusack? Does that make him any less guilty? Does that reduce the guilt of the actor and impute some of that guilt on the person generating or spawning the idea? Accessories?

If I were the judge hearing these cases, here is how I would rule.

  1. John Cusack would be found not guilty but my ruling would include that this is very close to inciting violence. If his post were any more specific (like mine was about the Squirrel) I think it clearly violates the free speech exceptions and he’s liable for the actions of others if they choose to follow his direction.
  2. Eminem would be found not guilty as well. He doesn’t spell out specific plans or specific people. Will someone tie their girlfriend/wife to the bed and burn the house down because of his song? That is very possible.
  3. The flag. The US Flag should be a protected symbol. It IS a symbol of our Country, our freedom and what our veterans have fought hard to protect. In my opinion this should clearly be an exception to the right to free speech because this WILL incite riots and the words/actions would be deemed fighting words.
  4. James Lee (Had Lee survived) – Sorry, you will be locked up until such time that we can generate enough electricity to kill you…slowly; or until your fellow inmates take their own wrath upon you and your idea to sterilize the people of the world. You’re a disgrace to your family, people sharing your view and you will give people like me less reason to embrace your environmental ideology. Guilt of the accessory or the instigator would depend on what actions/discussions had taken place but there would be a good chance I would see them as guilty too.

I’m interested in other people’s reactions to this. Let me know!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 09:30:32

    I agree with what you’re saying in general, but I’d like to make a couple of distinctions.

    – First, there should be a distinction between a person’s editorial comments and their art. I loosely include music in the same genre as fiction – works that are intended primarly to entertain, not to education. I don’t consider Eminem’s lyrics as an invitation to abuse one’s spouse any more than I consider Forsythe’s Day of the Jackal an invitation to assassinate the president of France. If we start holding song and fiction writers liable, the entire crime fiction genre would be abandoned.

    – Second, there should be a distinction between a direct instigation and a more indirect catalyst. James Lee was “encouraged” by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m going to be pretty surprised if Gore suggested taking hostages in an effort to advance the cause of environmentalists.

    Cusack’s tweet would fail both of these tests. It’s clearly his own comments, and not an artistic expressions. He’s also clearly showing support “am for” the satantic death cult center”. Would he really approve of such a building? Probably not – but he’d be well served to choose his words more wisely.


  2. wanda
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 10:28:01

    I really thought that John Cusack was a level headed individual, with commom sense……guess I was a little mislead! I am so dissapointed in his comments. Not the he cares, but I have been a long time fan. Made sure that I watched anything he was in &/or directed. Today that will cease. These hollywood people need 2 work a lot out in the real world, in places that don’t require fanasy land. I live in a poor rural county and work 5 days (at least) a week in healh care. I witness a lot of things that would blow their minds. The promises Obama made are bogus….The majority of the people I work with actually believed that they &/or someone they loved was going 2 receive a “share the wealth” check from his administration after he got into office. I work my _ss off. I do not mind helping my fellow people, but sometimes they need 2 get off their own _sses and either flip a burger or go back 2 school. I watch people who r on welfare and food stamps buy smokes, liquor/beer, and lottery tickets….??????? I know people who don’t abuse the system. Unfortunately they r few compared 2 most.


  3. Squeaky
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 11:40:33

    Welcome to the site Wanda. Some of my wife’s relatives sound similar to people you know. When BO was running for President all I heard was that “I’m not going to have to pay for my school loans”, “I won’t have to work any longer”, etc. It was like listening to “Peggy the Mooch” (http://bit.ly/2ZLWoA). A few weeks ago I posted several of the expected tax changes including the Bush tax cuts expiring on my Facebook page and they got angry with me. They emailed me and called me a liar. Hopefully they will eventually grow up, but some people just never seem to get there.

    While in college I worked at a grocery store (among other jobs) and saw exactly what you’re talking about. People bringing in food stamps and walking out with the best steak we had followed by cartons of cigarettes.

    I’m glad you read this about John Cusack and now see how he is “off camera”. There are a lot of nuts out there and sometimes it’s really hard to tell who they are. Maintaining one’s image only on camera isn’t as difficult as it is with all of the social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, etc). It’s too easy to let your real self show even if you’re trying to maintain a certain appearance.



  4. kosmo
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 14:24:54

    Eh? Did I miss a promise Obama made to pay off student loans? My understanding was just to push the tax burden a bit more onto the rich than it already is (yes, they already pay a subsantial portion) – not some big cash payout for everyone else.


  5. Squeaky
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:40:21

    Nope, you missed nothing other than the warped thinking of my wife’s step-father’s daughter. She honestly believed that if Obama were to win she wouldn’t have to pay her $600 or $800/month student loans.

    Watch Peggy the mooch when you get home…your eyes will be opened up to how some people actually think. It’s just a little spooky.



  6. Martin Kelly
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:14:27

    It wasn’t just your family Squeeky. There are various sound bites out there of people who thought that the President was going to pay for their houses, student loans, cars and basically everything so they would not have to work.

    On another note, why does anyone care what Cusack has to say? He is just an actor, not an elected politition. If you listen to everything someone says all day long, you will find something stupid or offensive. That is why I avoid Twitter and do not post my every action on Facebook. If his opinions drive you away from watching his work, that is your choice, it does not make him any less of an actor. If, as you point out, he has actually commited a crime, then he should be procescuted. As Kos said, he really should watch what he publishes, his high opinion of himself may get him in trouble.


  7. Angry Squirrel
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:16:26

    well seeing as i don’t live in kansas city, ks it would be hard to burn my house ther 🙂


  8. Squeaky
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 18:46:51

    @Squirrel, you’re a riot bro. I hope to have a beer with you one day.
    @Martin, I’m glad I’m the only one with semi brain dead step in-laws. You’re right, what do we care what actors/singers say? I personally don’t, but they are all over the TV giving their opinion. Sometimes it is hard for me to just close my ears and move on.


  9. kosmo
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 09:33:32

    No wonder politicians get such a bad reputation for broken promises. Not only do they get caught not keeping the promises they actually made, but people are upset because of perceived promises.

    If only there were places on the web where you could check the accuracy of alleged statements …


  10. Zarberg
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 21:23:13

    You say “taking Prozac” like it’s a bad thing or has a horrible stigma attached. I’d be willing to bet at least 1 person you think you know fairly well takes Prozac or a similar drug and you don’t know about it.

    I’ll get off my soapbox about that now. Just happen to have a spouse who was on Prozac for 5 years and was during that time a fully functional, normal in almost every way member of society.


  11. Squeaky
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 22:15:55

    Zarberg, are you seriuos???? Are you a little delicate or what?

    “Has he stopped taking his Prozac though?” is my exact question. Where is the negative stigma in that? Try to not be so paranoid and try to understand two things:

    1. When someone goes off an anti-depressant like Prozac, they act irrantional if they go cold turkey. Yes, I’ve had personal experience with that.
    2. When someone asks if a person is off their meds or asks if they’ve stopped taking their Prozac the person isn’t automatically insinuating that taking an antidepressant is bad.

    Take a moment and reread my statement, do you really read into that question that all psychotic drugs are bad? That I’m saying there is a stigma attached? Stop worrying about my question and start wondering what this freak show is going to do next.

    You want some pads and helmet to put on before you read my next posting? I wouldn’t want you to get hurt.


  12. Wuzafuzz
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 22:32:08

    Actually, there are some sites that purport to track the fulfillment rate of campaign promises. Whether they are accurate or wildly biased depends on the site. Here is one example: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/ The “results” on number 286 made me laugh out loud.


  13. Wuzafuzz
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 23:13:41

    Heck, it IS a bad thing when certain people stop taking their meds! Been there seen that, and it wasn’t pretty. Anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, etc are a good thing when used wisely.

    As for John Cusack: apparently he is another example of an actor for whom scriptwriters created an illusion of intelligence. Hollywood is full of them. Like President Obama, they are at their best when they stick to lines written by others.

    Free speech? It’s true we enjoy enormous freedom of speech, even extending to blatantly offensive expression. Of course freedom is best exercised with a healthy dose of responsibility. Cusack’s childish rant displays a perfect storm of arrogance and ignorance, untempered by personal responsibility. A quick Google search shows Cusack has experienced some recent stalker problems. As a result he should be fully aware of the effect his words and actions may have on unstable admirers. When examined in that light his Twitter posting becomes all the more irresponsible.


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