Thursday, March 17, 2011

Greetings, Citizen Althouse!

Really, I don't want to turn this blog into a satellite of Ann Althouse, but this deserves a comment or two. It's a threat against Althouse and her husband, Meade, who have been doing excellent work covering the nonsense going on in Madison. Apparently their work hasn't gone unnoticed. Some really sweet language here, which I'm going to excerpt exactly as it is. Does it contain F-bombs? Mais oui:

Do you have any idea where you live? Let us spell it out for you. We understand that you like to eat on the square. You like the Baked Potato at the Old Fashioned, do you? There were five of us in there last Tuesday. You like to eat at Fresco? We're in the Overture eating, serving, cooking, playing, and performing. At least twenty of us have worked for Food Fight. You like to fucking drink at FAIR TRADE do you? At FAIR TRADE? You are citizen-BANNED from Fair Trade. We will Walker you straight out of the place whenever you show up. We are at every coffee shop on State, open to close, all the time. We will hang up wanted posters of you everywhere you like to go. We will picket on public property as close to your house as we can every day. We will harrass the ever loving shit out of you all the time. Campus is OCCUPIED. Statestreet is OCCUPIED. The Square is OCCUPIED. Vilas, Schenk's Corners, Atwood, WillyStreet – Occupied, Occupied, Occupied, Occupied. Did you really think it was all about the Capitol? Fuck the Capitol, we are the CITY.

We are hard-drinking, weed-smoking, rude, obnoxious, auto-didactic, uppity fucking TOWNIES. We know you hate us. We know you hate us because we ruin your imaginary, Men's Magazine, UW Admission's Pamphlet, Madison Magazine, Isthmus Artsvision of our City. You think that our town should be on perpetual vigil just in case you need a little peace and quiet. You think we should go down quiet while Walker economically rapes us because you want to lead a fucking tour group? Sorry babe, not gonna happen. And because you couldn't even show a modicum of fairness, integrity, or neutrality and because you had the iron fucking stones to try to pull this here, on OUR campus, in OUR city, in OUR state in OUR country (and that is about the only reason we have any grudging respect for you), now YOU are a target.

Charming, huh? There's certainly a lot of stupid bravado in this section (trust me, there's a lot more of the snappy patter at the link), and some of it is apparently supposed to funny, maybe in a Gilbert Gottfried sort of way. At one point they claim it will be on "like Donkey Kong," which shows a keen sense of the zeitgeist of what, 1993? So there's a possibility, a remote one, that this is just a bunch of twaddle.

But then there's this: what's especially troublesome is the specificity of the threat. It would appear that the author (or authors) of this manifesto have a pretty good read on where Althouse goes and what she likes to do. That takes the threat to another level.

What's also striking is that people apparently feel no constraints about making threats of this sort, at least in Madison, in 2011. The most disturbing aspect of the events of the last month is the perfidy of the local constabulary, which seems to be all in with the unions. They have, on more than one occasion, let bad elements have the run of things. No matter what you think of Scott Walker's policies, this represents an erosion of the rule of law. If law enforcement, and more importantly the protective duties of the police, become contingent on whether or not you curry favor with them, we're in a very dangerous place.

Althouse and her husband will deal with the threat and, I hope, the threat will turn out to be nothing much. Posting something like this on Scribd is a sign that maybe, just maybe, there wasn't a lot of clear thinking going on. What we need to watch is this: is it now acceptable to threaten and shout down anyone you disagree with in Wisconsin? We have had pretty specific death threats delivered to legislators and now a more generalized threat is given to a private citizen. I sincerely hope that the unionized law enforcement in the Madison area takes this sort of thing even half as seriously as they take their prerogatives.

1 comment:

Night Writer said...

If I were Althouse, the first thing I'd do is head to Free Trade and bring a friend with a Flip cam and see if they'd try to ban me. I'd even sit right at the front counter. Then I'd head over to this little skidmark's commune and see if he wants eff me up while the whole world is watching.