March 6, 2005

Nobody seems to think it all might happen again

Filed under: Uncategorized — tomemos @ 2:19 am

A high school student in Kentucky was arrested for “making terrorist threats,” or as the headline has it, “terroristic threatening.” (Do we really need that many conjugations for “terrorize”?) His terroristic threatening consisted of writing a short story about zombies overrunning a high school.

I’m so tired of this kind of thing that it’s almost not worth complaining about, but there are two things that caught my eye. The first is that the reason he was arrested is that his grandparents found his story and turned it in to the police. His grandparents. Nice going, gramps and granny. I’m sure the story was very scary. Probably some brains were eaten. But might it have been worth it to talk to him, or even to his parents, before bringing John Law in? Or maybe you should just not read his fershlugginer journal? What eighty-year-old wants to know what a sixteen-year-old is thinking?

The other thing that got me was this fantastic quote from the police detective handling the case. (They have a detective investigating a zombie story. An edgy city, Winchester, KY.) “Anytime [sic] you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it’s a felony in the state of Kentucky,” he said with a straight face. This is an officer of the law. This man has been issued a gun. “Matter involving a school or function”–a yearbook? A wedding invitation? Even when we pass over the easy jokes–let’s say that he meant a sinister matter–this is ridiculous. I agree that threats should be punished, but possession? What is that, “possession with the intent to scare”? Kids say unpleasant things sometimes; hell, sometimes I do too. Last year someone was annoying me so much that I told my friends I wanted to drown her. Getting this off my chest made me a calmer person, just like I’m sure writing the story down helped the kid relax about school. Getting arrested, charged with a felony, and made a notorious media figure probably had the opposite effect. We shouldn’t close off the alternatives to violence, especially when dealing with zombie violence.

People talk a lot of shit about political correctness, and in its extreme form PC is annoying. But this is exactly the same thing: people don’t want to be reminded that other people think unpleasant thoughts. And say what you want about the fascists who don’t want you calling women “girls,” none of them ever arrested you for it.

(Thanks to Ashfae for the link.)

* * *

Am very excited that my girlfriend has been accepted at Iowa. She does the lion’s share of awesome stuff in our relationship, which takes the pressure off me somewhat. Of course, I hold out hope that she’ll get into, and attend, Irvine (her first choice anyway, I’m not being a jerk or nothing), but if that doesn’t work going to the oldest and arguably the most prestigious MFA program in the country is not a bad consolation prize. And from my perspective, a Julie three hours away by air and reachable by phone is a far sight better than one on another continent. (Though they are both very nice.)

* * *

One of my professors hired me to help him move. Let me tell you, when you help a book collector move, you’re earning your money. There were boxes of books for every period of literature, in several languages, and on every topic–art, music, movies, taxidermy. (N/j/k.) And then there was a box labelled “Miscellaneous Books.” What book in the world didn’t fit any of the other categories?



  1. i’ve been searching for more info on this story and there are some articles that mention that he didn’t have any english class so this couldn’t have been an assignment (although if he’s a jr. in highschool w/o an english class that in itself is a crime). and he could have written it on his own just for fun. but i have also read some comments that the story isn’t really about zombies at all. but the police, the grandparents and the school won’t say anything else. its set for trial next week. maybe we’ll learn more then. but i hope this guy was just writing a story because if he wasn’t then this is one mroe thing for them to put on their “list”: black trench coats, angst music, violent video games, and zombies! oh my!

    Comment by ariela — March 7, 2005 @ 6:11 am

  2. “Miscellaneous Books” are books on the Miscellaneous Tribe of South America, a fascinating group of primitive pack-rats who spend their free time gathering bottlecaps, single pieces of collector giveaway prize entries, factoids, and other like objects of minutia.

    That isn’t where we get the word ‘miscellaneous’, thought. It’s just a coincidence. Now that i think about it, a pretty astonishing one.


    Comment by Brian — March 22, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

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