Taking Our Freedom of Expression Overseas?

by Daniel_Faris on September 30th, 2014

Miley Cyrus is known for a great many things, but “champion of freedom” is probably not going to be added to the list anytime soon.

As reported by Dominican Today, Miley Cyrus apparently set a legal challenge in motion in early September that might have lasting repercussions for artistic expression in the free world.

Then again, it probably won’t. Because it didn't. Let me explain.

The story goes something like this: Miley Cyrus was supposed to play a concert in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, on September 13th. The performance was supposed to be the next stop on her ongoing “Bangerz” tour, but it wasn't meant to be. The National Commission for Public Performances decided that the concert would be at odds with the “morality and customs” of Dominican law.

I have mixed feelings about twerking just like any other American citizen, but I had no idea that Ms. Cyrus’ definition of “art” was actually illegal in certain parts of the world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Miley reacted like many of us probably would: she filed legal papers to get the decision reversed.

So how did it turn out? I have no idea. And I don’t really care. It doesn't appear that she was successful, because I haven’t found an update to the story.

Here’s why her failure to reverse the decision is a very good thing.

When in Rome…

Here’s the bottom line: Americans get understandably hot under the collar when it comes to foreigners pushing their ways of life, laws, and in some circumstances, even their customs, on an unsuspecting American population.

To be blunt, why should we be surprised when other countries behave exactly the same? The thing is, America enjoys a great many freedoms that other countries don’t appreciate, not the least of which is artistic expression.

I’m not saying that Miley Cyrus is wrong for seeking legal action for her specific set of circumstances, but I would definitely agree that the Dominican Republic is well within their rights to insist that visiting foreigners – no matter how famous, wealthy, or entitled they may be back in their native country – abide by the laws of the land. So the Dominican Republic objects to Ms. Cyrus’ onstage antics. That’s fair; plenty of us do. She just needs to learn to live with that decision.

The Legal Precedents

Let’s get something straight: the rights of American citizens to express themselves freely and engage in public artistic endeavors is inalienable and unimpeachable. It’s non-negotiable now and forever.

After all, there are laws governing just about every aspect of artistic expression, including applications in real estate, public gatherings, and online speech. We frequently take them for granted, which is why Ms. Cyrus could be forgiven for assuming that her particular brand of tasteless pop noise would be welcomed with open arms by another country. She can do as she pleases here; why not elsewhere?

But here’s the thing: our laws have no sway on foreign soil, no matter how much we’d like it to be so. The Dominican Republic has every right to keep out visiting American celebrities, just as America has every right to insist that Sharia Law not be practiced over here. Nations are sovereign and complicated things, and our carefully formulated sets of beliefs, laws, and customs are frequently incompatible with those of other countries.

This isn't about isolationism, or even about proclaiming one country’s set of ideologies as superior to another; what it’s about is respecting the right of a foreign country to decide for themselves what morality means to them. America has this down to a science, so we shouldn't be surprised when other countries do the same.

 Filed under: Government, censorship, miley cyrus, freedom of expression

9 Comments

obsrvantlouie: Eh....

The premise of your article was nice but I think you missed the mark. The crux of the issue more successfully could have been "why did the Dominican Republic refuse her performance?". This should've prompted research on your end into at least a supposition as to what is it about Cyrus' actions that conflicts with the morals of another country. Why does it conflict? Should it conflict? Why doesn't it conflict with morals in the states? If it doesn't conflict with morals in the states then why does Cyrus have so many followers? What attracts her followers?

This should have also led you to the research and observations of Mark Dice.

People essentially know that other counties are more or less free based on the laws of the their nation. People think the United States is the land of the free yet your not as free to live off and of the land as you are in other countries so "freedom" is merely perspective.

Why won't the United States stand up for something moral?

Just some professional criticism....nice topic but this isn't huff post...push the envelope a little next time. What do you mean when you said "America has this down to a science" regards to defining morality (mentioned in your closing paragraph)? Who decides this? Who questions this? Why has this been decided and determined down to a science? Is this a good thing?

Tarheel: I think it was your boy (not mine) Dave Icke......

YOUR boy David Icke said, "America is land of the FEE, home of the SLAVE'.

We're trying to fix it. Don't give up hope. Work through your government and whatever other means are necessary. Like Anu77 said, if the govt isn't doing the job, find someone who will. The gov't is part of the system/bigger control system, so at least TRY to use it. I know everyone is deflated but at least try. Give them an opportunity, and if they don't do it, express your displeasure and find someone who'll listen & react. I am working with my elected officials and they are being receptive. I hope the "receptive" becomes RESPONSIVE and I will have even more faith. I think they know how much the people want the ship righted.

obsrvantlouie: Your wasting your time

Working through selected officials....don't hold your breath for them to become responsive. Spreading awareness and educating is the only way to make change. I'm not looking to challenge government like Annu says.....that's not the solution either and he knows it.

Tarheel: Anu77's message is more"Make gov't accountable"

And I fully agree with that. Certainly you must, too.

As I said, WHEN they become responsive I will have more faith in the system.
I have to give them an opportunity to respond. The system isn't my design, but we're stuck with it (at least for now) so I must at least attempt to utilize it.

obsrvantlouie: Disagree

That's like saying 'guns exist therefore I must use then'....you don't have to give guns an opportunity either. The system isn't flawed; it's designed exactly as it was intended- to provide the illusion of choice and freedoms. Allegedly the majority of Americans did not want war with Syria a couple years ago so US creates a new boogeyman to get what they wanted....war with Syria.

How are you going to make accountable corrupted officials who are selected by corrupted corporations and governed by corrupt courts?

No, I do not agree that this government can be made accountable. In fact I don't even agree we have a government (at least we do not have a republic) - what we have is a dictatorship obama has signed more executive orders than all other presidents combined in history. You have no say in the matter and if your local selected official really thinks he has a voice than he doesn't truly understand the type of ruler ship America is controlled by.

The minor victories in government like GMO labeling and repelling of NDAA (only in a few states) is like the carrot at the end of the stick......the double speak in the media and in government these days is embarrassing - we are nearly operating militarily in every continent if not all and waging overt and covert wars calling them air strikes, terrorism or extremist. Dropping a bomb is a fucking war. Aiding Israel genocide of Palestine is a fucking war.

The system is run by psychopathic control freaks dominated by acquisition of materialism and power.

The system is operating exactly as it's intended and there will be no change until PTB decide it's time for 'one world govt' or enough people realize everything and more that I just said and peacefully protest.

Hard to believe all the years you've spent on TC and you still have faith and hope in the system....

Tarheel: The system isnt flawed?

Not flawed? Dude. It's flawed in my eyes but I'm trying it their way until I have another alternative. What I'm saying is I am TRYING to use their existing system. That was my point. I want them to change something so I should try MY system? LOLOWiddat!

I have often said our govt is fascist under a cloak of democracy. We agree on certain points (actually most) but not on others. Your devil's advocate card is misdirected.

You said the system isn't flawed and then condemn me for trying to use it. I'm attempting to hold my reps accountable. I try it their way first. Please don't misconstrue my words or intentions. Furthermore, I'll have some faith in them(not the system) WHEN they respond.

Your personal attacks and misrepresentations of my beliefs and intentions aren't cool. Most people know how I feel about our system-you certainly should by now.

Tarheel: Freedom

Freedom is NEVER simply given by the oppressor.
It must be requested, then demanded by the oppressed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnYz0yW0OCA

obsrvantlouie: No attack

It's semantics....you tend to take things personally, pull your skirt down and take a deep breath; I'm not attacking you. You chimed in on my comment saying to "give them an opportunity" referring to them as government. Now your saying government is fascist under cloak of democracy.....so, you are contradicting yourself by trying to appeal to democratic channels even though you believe it's a fascist government.

The system isn't flawed in the eyes of the persons who create and control it.....they want people to think they can contact local reps and hold hope to make a change. Not going to happen and you are wasting your time.

This is what I have always advised the wise to improve self via education and awareness working within the system as free as possible. Directly Challenging and speaking out against the system lands you next to Bill Cooper and Phil Schneider etc....contrary to what Edi and Annu advise.

Tarheel: Spin doctor

You always get all tangled up in your underwear whenever Edi & Anu77 are about.
Go ahead and vent on me if it makes you feel better. I'm immune to your misinterpretations.
Maybe the satanist got into your head. (LMAO)

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