Policing the Tennessee Interwebs

June 10, 2011

Texas and Arizona have been neck to neck in a fight to both dumb down and destroy the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Now, Tennessee has thrown its hat into the ring, and we are in for a great fight, folks.

The state just passed a law that would make it illegal to distribute images that might “frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress” to someone. Let that sink in for a moment. Any image that is may disturb someone is now illegal. This includes a fine and jail time.

Can you hear the First Amendment dying like Lohan’s career?

This is an update to a current law to makes it illegal to contact someone with the intent of causing emotional harm. Most of you can already see the problem with the logic of the update.

What constitutes a disturbing image to you? Me? I watch a lot of scary movies. Many of them contain gore. Blood and monsters and rusty things in flesh may be gory, but I don’t classify them as emotionally disturbing. How about this?

Bed by *Hoffine on deviantART

Too tame? Maybe, but I have a friend who has a son who is afraid of a duck sock puppet. Putting an image of THAT on the internet is now illegal.

Of course, you could make the argument that law probably means that purposefully transmitting images to a particular person with the intent of causing emotional harm is the punishable offense, not just posing an image ANYONE could find disturbing. That makes a little more sense, but then the question becomes this…

How do you enforce that? How do you figure out intent or police THE INTERNET?

I mean, there are some really sick people out there. Look at this:

Reunited -seriously scary 3 by ~steelgohst on deviantART

And it being Tennessee, I’m going to assume that what they find disturbing is anything that might offend the Right Wing base. See, laws like this are usually passed by people who cannot handle either something that contradicts their point of view or wish to silence the opposition. It’s very Middle East, you know.

If a Christian wishes to never see any demonic images or anything non-Christian, do we prosecute people who display heavy metal covers? Could a radical Muslim ask that images of American military action be taken down because they offend him? Could I, if I moved to Tennessee, ask that no one circulate any images of Glenn Beck since they remind me of the awful damage he has done to this country?

My guess would be “no.”

They might find an image like this intimidating…

Gay Rights by =digitalgrace on deviantART

…But the rest of us would just see something to root for.

The whole “free choice” thing is really the spanner in the works here. And, if you think about, it’s a law that keeps people from being offended. There’s such a thing as libel and death threats which have actual repercussions in the real world, but if you’re not mature enough to see an image and either look away, debate someone over its merit in a battle of wits, or otherwise engage the thing in front of you in any way shape or form, and if your last recourse is asking Big Brother to take the image down for you, you have one of two problems.

You are either so incompetent you cannot operate a web browser, or you have the emotional maturity of a five-year old.

You can’t possibly be a non-tech savvy five-year old. Those don’t exist anymore.

the slender man by ~Kreatur-im-Spiegel on deviantART

Now let’s cleanse that gore and blood with some good ol’ fashioned links. They’re good for ya!

  • I have not watched The Human Centipede, nor do I have any desire to view it at any point in my life. However, the teaser for the sequel does something really smart. It takes all the controversy from the first (the gore, the body horror, and the false claim of medical accuracy) and turns it into a spot that would have made 1950’s horror directors proud. I remember the trailer for Psycho had Hitchcock walking through the Bates residence. Not that I think Human Centipede 2 will be anywhere near Hitchcock’s level, but the trailer’s a nice throwback.
  • In the last gasps of air for Beck’s show, Becky Boy is throwing everything out. He’s warning against the coming Progressive-led Apocalypse and urging his viewers to be like the city of Joplin and not accept any FEMA aid so the government sees we can take care of ourselves… Except Joplin DID accept FEMA aid. It’s like Beck’s not even trying with his lies any more.
  • This… this is perhaps the greatest story of the week. Amidst all the crap going on, I couldn’t stop laughing at this story. it’s a victory for the American people, a victory against banks that think they can take whatever they want, and a true example of poetic justice. See you Monday, kids!