MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- My son came home from school one time and we got to talking about how his day had gone. I asked him what he had done in music class, and he told me they had talked about some of the old composers and musicians. I was most impressed as I thought how great it was that my son was learning about Beethoven, Bach and the classics. So I asked him who they had talked about. He said, "You know, Dad, the old ones . . . Simon and Garfunkel and the Rolling Stones." We quickly dropped the discussion.
MURFRESSBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- I’ve often talked about printed books versus e-books, and still think there is something better about the printed versions. Sure, I have an e-book reader, but I still prefer turning a real page, rather than pushing a button.
But I also remember from high school, when my favorite English teacher wouldn’t let us read from a paperback version of Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar.” She said only hardbacks were the real versions. And I remember thinking, what difference does it matter which version you read? After all, the words are the same.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS) -- The recent Supreme Court arguments regarding the health care lawsuits have sparked numerous calls for a more open court, specifically real-time, or at a minimum, delayed video coverage. But there is apparently some misunderstanding about what anyone actually can, and can’t do relative to news about the court.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (Burriss) -- I remember back in high school I did a term paper about Julius Caesar. One of the sources I used for information about Caesar’s assassination was William Shakespeare. But, although the Bard was undoubtedly a tremendous poet and writer, I don’t know that his Julius Caesar death scene was all that historically accurate.
Now Apple Computer, The New York Times, American Public Media and National Public Radio, are dealing with a 21st century play that has been passing fiction off as fact.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- One of the continuing questions about free speech asks, “Are lies a protected form of communication?” Within some narrow circumstances involving advertising and defamation, false statements are, in fact, protected.
But notice that false advertising and defamation can lead to direct, immediate harm. Other kinds of lying may be morally wrong, but their harm is generally negligible.