Friday, October 03, 2008

good news for geeks

Jack Thompson has been permanently disbarred from practising law in the state of Florida, and I gather that means he'll have a hard time lawyering anywhere else either. To which the world says: about damn time. Thompson described himself in his most recent news release as "nationally and internationally known by virtue of his effective and successful opposition over the last 20 years to the broadcast, marketing, and sale of adult-rated entertainment to children". He also calls himself a 'faith-based activist' and 'Christian lawyer'. (The National Institute on Media and the Family, however, which normally loves this stuff, have told him to please stop mentioning them because he has a 'negative influence' on their reputation and work).

an aside for non-gamers who read here: this is why Hillary Clinton has such a fuck-awful reputation among gamers. There are many gamers who hold as that their one voting metric Anyone But Hillary. I mention this because I've recently seen this universal antipathy gamers have to Clinton cited as evidence of misogyny in gamer culture - ffs, if you want evidence of misogyny in gaming, there is no shortage of it to be found, but a desperate wish for your special lady to never be president ever is not it. To someone who plays a lot of games and doesn't care too much for politics, a desperate wish for your special lady to never be president is a perfectly logical opinion, and telling them they should believe otherwise because she's such a nice woman will just cause them to file you in the 'stupid' folder.

Thompson's got cosy with a fair few politicians over the years, including Rick Santorum and Joe Lieberman, but it's Clinton who fell for it the hardest. It was Clinton who he sucked in to the ridiculous Hot Coffee drama, somehow making her forget that the average gamer is well above voting age and would regard her as absurd for grandstanding over something so petty, and of incredibly poor judgement for listening to Thompson at all.

We can't know what drove Clinton to listen to Thompson. A bit of background vetting alone would've showed him to be way lacking in the reasonable human being department. There is so much batshit it's hard to know where to start, but these three fantastic paragraphs from (yes!) Wikipedia convey the flavour of the man, at least:

In October 2007, Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno sealed court documents submitted by Thompson in the Florida Bar case that depicted "gay sex acts." Thompson's submission prompted U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan on to order Thompson to show cause why his actions should not be filed as a grievance with the court's Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Admissions, Peer Review and Attorney Grievance, but the order was dismissed after Thompson promised not to file any more pornography. [...]

In February 2008, The Florida Supreme Court ordered Thompson to show cause as to why it should not reject future court filings from him unless they are signed by another Florida Bar member. The Florida Supreme Court described his filings as "repetitive, frivolous and insult[ing to] the integrity of the court," particularly one in which Thompson, claiming concern about "the court's inability to comprehend his arguments," filed a motion including images of "swastikas, kangaroos in court, a reproduced dollar bill, cartoon squirrels, Paul Simon, Paul Newman, Ray Charles, a handprint with the word 'slap' written under it, Bar Governor Benedict P. Kuehne, a baby, Ed Bradley, Jack Nicholson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Julius Caesar, monkeys, [and] a house of cards." Thompson claimed that the order "wildly infringes" on his constitutional rights and was "a brazen attempt" to repeal the First Amendment right to petition the government to redress grievances. In response, he sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, referring to the show-cause order as a criminal act done in retaliation for his seeking relief with the court.

On March 20, 2008, the Florida Supreme Court imposed sanctions on Thompson, requiring that any of his future filings in the court be signed by a member of The Florida Bar other than himself. The court noted that Thompson had responded to the show cause order with multiple "rambling, argumentative, and contemptuous" responses that characterized the show cause order as "bizarre" and "idiotic."

But his best moments have been his infamous altercations with Gabe. First, the famous phone call, then the $10000 pwning and subsequent allegation of 'criminal harassment' (second post onward), and finally he accused Penny Arcade of 'collaborating to commit racketeering' with several other gaming websites.

[edit: I totally missed this before, but Thompson's disbarment occurred on Gabe's birthday. Aaaaw.]

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