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"Law & Order" Untitled (2000)

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Free Speech and artistic expression

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
24 October 2015

Watching this episode instead of Andres Serrano and the 'Piss Christ' painting that was so controversial, I thought of that failed artist turned house painter who worked in Vienna in the last century, Adolph Hitler. If instead of turning to politics he decided to become a critic of his contemporaries and did what he did to artists and in this case art patron what the world would have missed had he limited the scope of his psychotic rage.

The murder victim is a rich young woman who patronizes budding artists and in this case her largess was directed at Steven Ogg who painted a work showing a woman with no hands. That offended Bruce MacVittie so he kills the victim and slices her hands off in the process.

It's free speech and artistic expression that are at issue here for Sam Waterston and Angie Harmon. Yet the very fact that the painting's offensiveness is being used by the defense as MacVittie's excuse for murder. Of course the hope is that the jury will deadlock finding at least one similarly minded puritan among the twelve.

MacVittie like Hitler was a struggling artist. What if some people had bought one or three of Adolph's works? The mind boggles.

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