Archive - Jul 2008

July 15th

All For The Cookie

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Memo to William Donohue: HOLY SHIT, YOU'RE DUMB.

As you may recall, yesterday, we recounted the sad tale of Webster Cook, who hankered for a hunk of Jeez and got death threats for not eating his cookie. Despite Cook returning the communion wafer in a Ziploc bag, a fact that seriously fucked with the flow of yesterday's column without changing its informational content in any way, Catholic League president William Donohue has called for his expulsion.

Although now that I think of it, the returning of the wafer raises some FASCINATING theological and theo-political questions. The wafer has been in Cook's mouth. So what happens to it now? Does someone else have to eat it for the transubstantiation to be complete? If so, who gets stuck with that eminently disgusting task? If NOT, then what happens? After all, the outrage over Cook's actions is that he had kidnapped the Body of Christ. It puts that outrage in some pretty stark contrast if, upon receipt of the Ziplocked remains of the Prince of Peace, that said remains are then tossed in a dumpster because they've got college student cooties on them.

It's an important question, in no small part because it's one PZ Myers has not asked. If you're not familiar with PZ Myers, of the blog Pharyngula, he's actually a lot like me, only where I have dick jokes, he has credentials. He actually teaches biology at the University of Minnesota, hates creationists, likes the word "fuckwits", and has a sizable audience. Not that I don't love you all dearly, my snowflake babies, but I link to his blog at my own peril. He's that good. All I can say to keep you coming back is that PZ Myers will never, ever, ever make fun of the guy in line ahead of him at Target, and I will. Tomorrow.

Like me, PZ Myers thought the Webster Cook thing was completely fucking ridiculous, and said so. In doing so, he took the patently genius step of asking people to send him Communion wafers for him to desecrate and post photographic evidence thereof. Which is really, really fucking funny. Maybe funnier than smuggling one out in an asscondom, even. Because Myers has an audience, this came to the attention of the Catholic League, who started a mail-in campaign to get Myers fired. Nice. Their "reasoning"? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The Myers blog can be accessed from the university’s website. The university has a policy statement on this issue which says that the ‘Contents of all electronic pages must be consistent with University of Minnesota policies, local, state and federal laws.’ One of the school’s policies, ‘Code of Conduct,’ says that ‘When dealing with others,’ faculty et al. must be ‘respectful, fair and civil.’ Accordingly, we are contacting the President and the Board of Regents to see what they are going to do about this matter. Because the university is a state institution, we are also contacting the Minnesota legislature."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Donohue is actually arguing that when you put a link to Site B on Site A, the contents of Site B become part and parcel of the contents of Site A. By that reasoning, You Are Dumb has just absorbed Pharyngula, which will come as a great shock to my Web hosting service.

Beyond that, there's an actual, fundamental issue at hand here. The way I see it, if someone makes a living saying shit, like, say, Don Imus or Chris Matthews, when they go and say something like "nappy-headed ho's" or equating "white people" with "regular people", you have an obligation to complain to their employer. Why? Because it's a performance issue. They're being paid to express opinions, therefore the employer has a right to control and approve of what opinions get expressed, in the same way that Apple gets to yell at the factory if they start making iPhones shaped like dongs.

But if someone's paid for something completely different, and their HOBBY is saying shit, then going to their employer and trying to get them fired is fucking unconscionable. It's threatening their livelihood for something unrelated to how they earn that livelihood. It's a dick move, and frankly, it's nowhere near as far removed from the Salman Rushdie fatwa as Donohue would have you believe.