by Christopher Harbin and Zac Papantoniou
At the stroke of midnight on October 25th, Jack Thompson will finally be booted from the guild. Disbarred. For those not in the “know,” Jack Thompson is a conservative, “Christian” activist and formerly-licensed attorney in the state of Florida. Over the years, Thompson has railed against numerous perceived “evils” of the modern era, such as, “nasty” rap lyrics, Howard Stern and most notably, violence in video games.
In certain respects we have to admit that JT’s tenacity and fervor for crusading across the nation, filing lawsuit after lawsuit for the causes he believes in is somewhat admirable; however, it is our opinion that he has no place in being part of a profession that demands… well, professionalism – because even the Florida Supreme Court seems to believe that Jack simply doesn’t have any. Don’t believe us? Read for yourself.
In our limited time around lawyers and law school, there generally appears to be a fair amount of hypocrisy involved in this line of work, but Jack Thompson takes the cake. His email address, affixed to every one of his rambling, offensive, distasteful, poorly-reasoned motions is: amendmentone@[withheld].com.
The mantra of those that believe in the guarantee of free expression provided for by the First Amendment, is that the solution to bad speech is… more speech; not constantly attempting to limit speech. Throughout his years of legal practice, Mr. “Amendmentone” has seemingly attempted to chill any expression he finds religiously or morally offensive (take a look at the first paragraph). Instead of advocating that parents — gasp — take responsibility and PARENT their children, Thompson’s solution has consistently been to move for labeling the speech obscene.
The fact remains that Thompson’s awaiting fate has left us here at the Satyricon with a mixed bag of emotions. We’re not necessarily ecstatic that Jack’s being tossed from our profession (at least in Florida anyway); in fact, we hope Jack keeps on trucking (sort of). Why? Because of his actions throughout the years, whole swaths of people come together to rally against his views, and he has almost single-handedly transformed a whole gaggle of video-gamers into legislation watchers and First Amendment nuts. Thompson has created an atmosphere, in which people love to speak out against his actions, and speak up for their personal freedoms; trust us, more speech is only good for discourse.
So, in parting, thanks for the memories, Jack… Enjoy watching from the sidelines.