Thursday, May 01, 2008


That's what some English TAs here at ISU are sounding like, while simultaneously bleating "Free speech, free speech!"

Hate to break it to ya, fellas and ladies, but you are completely within your rights to make a moderately amusing video making an ass out of yourselves and putting your employer at legal risk. In return, your employer is completely within its rights to threaten you with termination if you don't take the offending video down. (Facebook group on the subject featuring the offending videos, here. The sanctimonious email writing professor is the most amusing part. Rest assured, George W. Bush and the Patriot Act are invoked.)

And just a word of advice: when you're in the business of teaching students, it's probably not a good idea to post a PUBLIC VIDEO that makes reference to driving them to commit suicide, threatening them with violence, and discussing receiving sexual favors in exchange for grades. But hey, I shouldn't be so harsh...they are English TAs afterall...they're probably just venting all that pent up anger they have from realizing that their only options after getting their B.A. were to become a TA or to work at McDonald's.

The whole thing is summarized in a poem far better than I could ever do here.

UPDATE: Actually went and read through the sanctimonious professor's emails. Couple of the best howlers follow: "Your fear of lawsuits does not trump an individual's right to free speech." Um, actually it does. How about we leave the legal eagling to the Political Science students in the room, Prof?

"It seems to me that you are methodically singling out those involved in the video and subjecting them to as much intimidation as you can. You should be ashamed of yourself. I'm certainly ashamed of you and of your administrative staff for silently supporting your actions.

If anyone is vulnerable to litigation in this business, it's you, Charlie. If you persist in your illegal efforts to muzzle free speech by our T.A.s, someone may hire an attorney to bring charges against you and to represent those T.A.s who have been injured by you. I would happily contribute to the retainer."

If they actually did this, it would amuse me to no end. I give it 10 seconds before the judge throws you all out of his courtroom for being a bunch of morons. Assuming you could find an attorney willing to take a sure fire loser. Oh, and Prof? Civil attorneys don't "bring charges." That's something prosecuting attorneys in criminal court do. The phrase you're looking for here is "sue." As in, "My child committed suicide, so I'm suing the University for several million dollars and am using the video of a TA encouraging his students to commit suicide as evidence of negligence." Is there any way you could make more of an ass out of yourself here? I could send an email to the entire English department detailing the entire exchange. Oh wait, you ALREADY DID THAT.

Idiot. How this man got to be a Professor with his critical thinking skills I'll never know.