You know, people, I really sincerely appreciate your tips and calls to action and referrals to people in legal peril and all, but I have to sleep sometime, and so I really can't possibly put up one of my patented scary-ass-obsessively-link-dense-wall-of-text-that-makes-the-Redditors-sneer-tl;dr posts every time somebody is a censorious douchebag. That's especially because censorious douchebaggery seems to be in high season. Let a hundred censorious douchebags bloom! It's Springtime for censorious douchebags! Cry havoc, and let slip the censorious douchebags of war! Bare ruined courts, where late the censorious douchebags whined! You know, it's possible that I'm straying a bit here.
So with my limitations in mind, please accept, with my apologies, three necessarily brief summaries of censorious douchebaggery, all sent by Popehat tipsters:
My Little Kony: Remember that questionable Kony 2012 campaign, a piece of ephemera from a couple of months ago that now makes you go "oh yeah — that thing — with the guy"? Well, having had some bad press already, the Kony 2012 people have shrewdly elected to improve their image by sending a cease and desist letter to a parodist. Somebody will have to look at the parody site and see if it is, indeed, confusingly similar to the actual Kony 2012 campaign. Does it feature a naked guy indecently assaulting cars? (Hat tip — Ryan.)
The First Amendment Is No Barre To Threats: A blogger who writes about fitness wrote an extremely mild critique of a local "barre fitness studio" called Barre Cleveland. ("Barre fitness" is an exercise class making various use of one of those ballet bar things. My wife has tried it. Protip: you're not supposed to refer to it as "the pole.") Barre Cleveland retaliated first with some public relations oddness on Twitter, and then apparently doubled down with a threat to call the police if the blogger didn't take her posts down, on the bizarre theory that her posts suggested she didn't pay. Streisanditude ensued, and soon the internet was cheerfully looking up and publicizing the criminal record of the threatener. Look into a new marketing team, guys. Also, first principles of safety, people: no one has every threatened me with arrest for lying on the couch. (Hat tip: reader Kevin.)
There Are No Fainting Couches In the Park: This New York Times story is very brief, possibly because it is not a trend piece premised on the author's conversations with his or her doorman, aromatherapist, and cocktail party guests. But it suggests that a Cincinnati promoter named Forest Thomer was arrested for "disorderly conduct" for walking up to people and saying "do you want to laugh at the crippled girl?" Further research suggests that the girl in question is in on it:
Bruener, 23, wants to break down the stigma the word “cripple” connotes and engage those who think that, because her body requires her to use a wheelchair she’s mentally deficient.
“They assume I have no common sense,” she said. “There’s a lot of harsh stereotypes against people with disabilities.”
Police claim that Thomer was shouting obscenities. Time will tell, I suppose. But if he is being charged for a (belabored, crass) edgy lead-in to a joke, then it reflects badly on the police. (Hat tip: reader Joshua.) Of course, devotees of speech codes would assert that Bruener is suffering from False Consciousness if she is OK with being referred to that way to make a point.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
- The Power To Generate Crimes Rather Than Merely Investigate Them - June 19th, 2017
- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017
- I write letters - June 1st, 2017