From multiple sources, I see that an Illinois high school kid has been arrested, charged with "disorderly conduct," and referred to juvenile court for writing, posting, and distributing a list "ranking" girls in his school:
The list emerged in January and described the girls by explicit, derogatory nicknames and assessed their physical appearance, sexual desirability, sexual activity and other characteristics. It was posted on Facebook and hundreds of copies were printed and distributed at the high school during lunch period, before the school administration intervened.
Let's get one thing straight — this kid is a loathsome pimple on the face of humanity. He's been badly raised and is likely to live badly. High school boys tend towards aggravated dickery in the first degree, but he's raised it to a new level. Of course this is deeply humiliating to the high school girls it targets, who are already in life's most hellish social circle.
But should the government be criminalizing aggravated dickery?
The cops are apparently relying on this:
(a) A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:
(1) Does any act in such unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace;
Yeah, that's not vague and ambiguous and subject to enforcement at government whim.
Look, I can actually see where a "disorderly conduct" theory could be applied in a situation like this consistent with the First Amendment — say if the kid was distributing a flier with the list at school during lunch and it was causing a riot and he kept doing it anyway. But this prosecution amounts to "this kid is an utter turd and we're not letting him get away with it." The problem is that Americans (1) have wildly varying ideas of what it means to be an utter turd and (2) support free speech more in the abstract than in the particular and (3) oppose government getting its nose in our business more in the abstract than in the particular. Do we really want the police arresting teens for being assholes? Do we want them arresting anyone for being assholes? Bear in mind some cops already thing that you're an asshole who should be arrested if you fail to genuflect to them.
Moreover, why criminalize dickery when social sanctions are more effective? Get ten bloggers to name this asshole kid and describe what he did and embed his name in their post titles and tags. Assuming his name isn't too common, his dickery will follow him around until Google crumbles. Feel like asking for a date when you're in college, kid? Hope she doesn't Google. Looking for a job? Hope they don't Google. Character is destiny, you know. Just ask, say, Alex Kochno. Harsh? Maybe. Maybe even harsher than juvie court. But hey, that's the marketplace of ideas. If you want to post a nasty ranking of 50 classmates, then maybe people you haven't met yet should be able to discover easily that you're the sort of person who likes to make nasty rankings of 50 classmates.
The kid's a juvie, so I don't see his name online yet. Maybe it will go public. Aw, little high school bro, you may be in for a rough social life.
Edit: By the way, the list is online. I won't link it. But how about a taste, with the name changed, so you can see what the little darling is like?
24. Fished Faced Gook: [NAME] is the first Asian (Zipper Head) to ever be on the list. But she’s not your typical Gook. She has a nice ass, huge rack, and takes idiot math with coons. So as you can see not all stereotypes are true, though a lot are because I’m pretty sure she reeks of Wasabi sauce. You can also add to her list of uncharacteristic traits the fact that she hangs out with some of the ghettoest girls in the grade, not to mention the smelliest. But besides all that she’s The List’s only and best looking Asian and kudos for being the only Jr. to make [TEAM]
42. Ms. Chokesondick: I don’t know who is dumber. [NAME] or her parents. Lets weigh it out. Her parents adopted a mud blooded wet back and tried to civilize her by giving her the last name [NAME] and also let her play a brutally dangerous sport. Then there is [NAME]. Thinking she can make a difference in the greatest sport ever invented. Not knowing the only time a women should be on the field is during half time doing theatrical dances or asking male players about the cold whether. Or how about for not knowing the simple fact the genital herpes last forever. Well I think [NAME] wins. The only logic I can think of for her pure stupidity is Syphilis. If Syphilis is not treated in its early stages it can lead to insanity. Add that with her already bipolar personality and you once again have Jack Nickelson in the movie “One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s nest”.
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