Maurice Switzer said (no, not Mark Twain or Abe Lincoln), “Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.” This goes double, triple even, for celebrities in Twitter. The platform is a sinister cultural trap to expose the ignorance, stupidity, nastiness and bad judgment of famous people who have no idea just how foolish they are.
Hence the above jaw-dropping tweet by Seth Rogen, an occasionally amusing comic actor with dubious self-awareness. (He allowed himself to be cast as the Green Hornet, for example.)
Just how bad is the tweet? Let us count the ways:
1 A self-described liberal, Rogen does not appear to support the First Amendment, freedom of expression, or books. This means that he doesn’t know what liberalism is.
2. He is, in fact, a progressive. Many progressives, famous ones, don’t believe in the First Amendment. It allows evil conservatives like Dinesh D’Sousa to engage in “hate speech,” that is, speech progressives don’t want anyone to hear.
3. Rogen and his pals often compare conservatives to Nazis. That’s OK, and selling books that make that comparison are fine, because Rogen and his pals think they are Nazis.
4. Amusingly, Nazis were noted for burning books. For Rogen to protest while suggesting that it is inappropriate to let people who choose to purchase the book is a remarkable hybrid of hypocrisy and ignorance.
5. Rogen hasn’t read the book, not that whatever the book argues would justify the case that it should not be sold.
D’Souza is a polemicist scholar, and writes to a conservative or open-minded audience only. His theme that the 21st century left is increasingly adopting the trappings and tactics of fascism is neither novel nor, I think, rebuttable, in view of the increasing ideological indoctrination in our schools and colleges, the partisan news media, the determination to chill dissent and speech from conservatives, and the unethical and anti-democratic conduct of “the resistance,” the Antifa, and Black Lives Matter. There are good arguments to be made against the vilification of the Left by writers and pundits on the Right, but Twitter isn’t the place to make them, and “don’t sell the book” is a fascist response, not an American, responsible or helpful one.
Rogen responded to attacks on his tweet by tweeting back,
“I’m not saying they ban him or imprison him or fire him from whatever his job is. Just surprised they sell his shit next to tubs of yogurt.”
Why would anyone pay attention to what this guy has to say about serious topics?