Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Who's on First (Amendment)?

Posted by: spacecog on Buzznet

I'm still recovering from the 4th of July, when Americans of all stripes celebrate their right to set off illegal explosives just outside my window all the damn night. Hey, they’re just expressing themselves, much the way my cat expresses her desire to be fed, again and again in the course of the day, by biting me on the foot. Or the way we at The Reader Sucks express ourselves by saying things like:

Michael Miner is a poopiehead!

Alas, not everyone in the world loves unfettered freedom of expression. This week "Poopiehead" Miner reports, if that’s the word for it, on a first amendment case involving a student newspaper at Governors State University that got shut down by a school administrator who’d demanded to read each issue of the paper before it was printed to make sure it was all okey-dokey with her.

Miner, of course, does a terrible job explaining the messy case, and I ain’t gonna do it myself, so take a look herefor all the gory details. In the meantime, here are the top three stupid things about Miner’s column:

1) Miner thinks – or thinks that we think – that superannuated grad students deserve more free speech than sophomores. "I guess a First Amendment squabble started by student journalists is easy to shrug off," he grouses, before even getting into the details of the case. "Yet Jeni Porche was 28 and Margaret Hosty 33 back in May 2000, when the two graduate students became editors of the Innovator."

2) Free Speech martyrs Porche and Hosty are total passive-aggressive drama queens. The photo that graces Miner’s turd of a column shows the two of them looking forlorn and hapless and put-upon. Hosty – poor thing! -- is wearing carpal tunnel wrist splints, and poses carefully so that both of them are visible. Behind them there’s an AMERICAN FLAG pinned to the wall.

3) Miner is convinced that the young people of today don’t read grown-up newspapers because … their high school newspapers were "trivial [and] vacuous." Yeah, that’s right. It’s not because, say, most grown-up newspapers these days are themselves trivial and vacuous and just plain terrible. Nope. That’s not it. Miner is so convinced of his absurd opinion that he graciously attributes it to unnamed and unquoted "champions of the student press. … Talk to these critics today and they’ll [say] that the failure of high schools to expose students to serious newspapers is one reason they don’t read them."

Of course Miner’s prose is so clotted here that it’s possible he’s complaining only that high school students don’t read high school papers (there’s a shock), but, ah, who the fuck cares. He’s a poopiehead.

Keywords: Michael Miner, Poopiehead, Wrist Splint, Drama Queen, Man Boobs, Penis.


Blogger Phoenix said...

I don't know why I am even bothering to write this comment, considering your writing is grade school level at best.

Anyone who uses the word Poopiehead & expects readers to take them seriously oughta think twice about quitting their day job (if you have one).

4:08 PM  
Blogger spacecog said...

Ah yes, but you DID bother to write. So it is you, not me, who is the poopiehead!

The dance continues.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

LOL - Ok I give you that. I'm a poopiehead... I'm also a hypocrite. I realized this when I attempted to bring to light your necessity to smear people without a basis for your smears. Then, after it was so generously pointed out to me, I realized I did the same thing to you by insinuating that you were not employed. So publicly, and on your blog no less, I admit that I am a hypocrite.

So on to my point. I wondered if you had met either Ms. Porche or Ms. Hosty. And if not, what do you base your descriptions of either woman’s personality on?

Specifically I would like to reference the following comments you made in your blog:

"Free Speech martyrs Porche and Hosty are total passive-aggressive drama queens," and, “Hosty – poor thing! -- is wearing carpal tunnel wrist splints, and poses carefully so that both of them are visible."

Are you aware that it is public record that Ms. Hosty suffered work-related injuries when she was employed helping mentally/physically handicapped kids? Also, do you suffer from carpal tunnel or have done any research on the mechanism of injury or long-term affect of such an injury?

I also found you to be especially disrespectful of the fact that this case has been in the courts for over five years now. I can only speak for the facts I know about Margaret, which are that her master's degree credits were erased by the administration, her father passed away during that time, she has prior injuries which greatly reduce her ability to work and the drain on her both financially and physically has been enormous. To insult someone who is attempting to do what many people won’t, speak up and fight against injustices makes me question your character. Do you do it out of jealousy? Spite? Ignorance? Are you aware that Ms. Hosty has been fighting the legal battle pro se? Do you know the work that goes into preparing all the documentation required by the court and done to the court’s specification?

Tell me, what would you do if this case’s outcome would limit your freedom to blog? Would you be doing something other than ranting on the internet?

Lastly you said, "Behind them there’s an AMERICAN FLAG pinned to the wall."
What I had said in a previously written response was: You're damn right there's an American flag - not only are they fighting for the preservation of our first amendment rights but Margaret has also proudly served in the military. So if anything, I question your contributions to society after having made a statement like that, after paragraphs of insulting insinuations.

I am sure both women are accustomed to attacks on their character; mainly made by the administration at GSU. So, in an honest effort to understand your claims, I encourage you to share further insight on the points I have brought up in the above paragraphs. How familiar are you with the specifics of this case?

2:43 AM  
Blogger spacecog said...

Well, look. The piece wan't about the case but about the Reader's coverage of it; I pointed people to an article that explained the case far better than Miner's column.

As for Hosty and Porche, I suppose I should have said:

"If the photo of them that ran in the Reader is any indication Free Speech martyrs Porche and Hosty are total passive-aggressive drama queens," and, “Hosty – poor thing! -- is wearing carpal tunnel wrist splints, and poses carefully so that both of them are visible."

The flag in the background is hokey and Hosty's carpal tunnel syndrome is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to the issues in the case. I've had RSI troubles of my own and have the wrist splints to prove it; I also have chronic migraines and highly uncooperative bowels and assorted other problems I'm sure you don't want hear about. None of which would be relevant if I were in Hosty's place.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

For the sake of arguing devil's advocate, they may be a symbol of the toll the case has taken. While yes, I agree they may decrease the true message the article was intended to send, I believe she wears the braces most of the time anyway.

An on the topic of the flag - in my opinion it is totally relevant. The flag symbolizes our country, land of liberty, and strikes at the very heart of the breaches made on their constitutional rights by the university.

In any case I can agree to disagree...And not take up anymore of your blog space :)

5:00 AM  
Blogger spiky said...

No problem, he loves it. Anything to bring the topic back around to the poop chute.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Spacecog...

You really ARE a dick!

9:54 PM  
Blogger spacecog said...

I like to think of myself more as a dickWAD.

11:12 PM  
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