Like a sewer. Stinky, smelly, foul, nasty, you know what I mean. Any number of unspeakable things floating around in the gunk. You’ll find trolls and other assorted monsters there, too. They fit right in, but that doesn’t make encountering one anything less than a horrifying experience.
Henry Mayhew, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, wrote about some inhabitants of Victorian-era London who went into the city’s vast system of sewers looking for articles of value- lost rings, coins and other items that would wind up there after being parted from their owners. These brave souls were called “toshers.” While most lived lives that were utterly Hobbesian in quality, a very few were lucky. Terry Pratchett wrote about one such tosher a couple of years ago in his novel “Dodger.”
I think looking for stuff in the sewers of the Internet is the modern day equivalent of toshing. Most days you just come back feeling like taking a long shower with plenty of strong soap near at hand. Every once in a while, though, if you are lucky, you will come up for air holding a prize. Here is just such a treasure from a particularly fetid corner of the bowels of the ‘net- something worth far more than its weight in gold to the right person. Let’s take a look.
As a retired attorney, my ears always perk up when some half-witted clown starts playing with the third rail of the legal system- a court’s sense of its own dignity and importance. When a court issues an order, there is one proper thing to do if you take exception to it- take an appeal. Pointing at the court and laughing at it, especially if you are or could once again become subject to its jurisdiction, is not just poor form. It is like willfully heading through a door marked “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Openly flouting the order, say by making fun at the court’s expense, is even worse. Sooner or later the court will get around to picking up Dr. Thompson’s million pound shithammer and dealing with the offender. Courts take a really dim view institution-wise of people who screw with them.
So a court in, say, Reidsville, North Cackalacky
…oh, so much fun making fun of those shitferbrains people from the South, livin’ in them tornado-magnet mobile homes. Their courts too…
that has just issued harassment protective orders to, say, one Sarah Palmer of said city along with her grandchild
…how stupid, how really, really stupid, how feckless and dumb do you have to be to have a toddler granted an order of protection against you???
is probably going to be very, very unhappy to find out that the person against whom it issued Palmer and her grandchild an order protecting them from further harassment, on learning about the entry of the order, responded by engaging in further harassment.
Now, this isn’t legal advice, it’s just my opinion. Worth what it costs you to read it here, probably wrong, all that. But if I were Sarah Palmer of Reidsville, North Carolina, I’d hike down to the court one more time and fill out new protective order applications for herself and her grandchild. I (remember, we’re talking about what I would do, not what anyone else should do) would attach to the application two things- a copy of the blog post that contained the above-depicted excerpt and a copy of one of the Internet posts by the harasser where he makes it clear that he knows that the court entered the harassment orders. It might take a couple of weeks, service being what it is, but my bet is that the result would be well worth it. I imagine that the court would take a pretty jaundiced view of the harasser’s conduct under the circumstances.
But I wouldn’t let things come to rest there. After the North Carolina court entered its second set of orders I would take them and attach them, along with the first restraining orders and other helpful information, to a nice, succinct letter to the prosecutor in the harasser’s home state responsible for the jurisdiction where the harasser lives. The letter would ask that the harasser would be charged with criminal harassment and prosecuted. That’s the only way this madness is going to be brought to a stop.
Not bad for something found in a sewer, eh? Oh, and if anyone reading this would think I’m writing this about them…well hey, it’s not everyone who gets a court to adjudicate him or her as having harassed a three year old. But don’t let that get you all cocky…pride, after all, goeth before the big fall.