Re: Guest Post - E. Messily

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This is the least effective attempt at trolling I've ever seen. Still, I'm sure someone can find something to object to.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:04 AM
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The comments on the CNN thing include some stellar examples of objections.

Everything cannot be made equal no matter how many laws are passed. Made better, perhaps but at what cost? Teaching people they deserve something because of their position in life, such as disability, creates a class apart and one that identifies them as less than others. I don't see that as an improvement


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:13 AM
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As ever, illegal content distribution methods are leagues ahead of legal ones: fan subs for movies, at least, tend to be pretty widely available, but of course you can't use them with Netflix or iTunes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:13 AM
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2: you see, if you somehow were able to watch Matlock on your laptop, it would run your self-esteem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:15 AM
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3: I've heard this! It's kind of baffling to me- do people really take the time to transcribe things on their own? For fun?

I keep meaning to make my computery friends show me how to do it. I'm way behind on True Blood.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:16 AM
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it would run your self-esteem

Damn you, Andy Griffith. Get out of my head!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:17 AM
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5: yep! Into all kinds of unlikely languages, too. It's pretty fun to cue up some Kung Fu movie and realize the Internet has deigned to offer you the option to watch it with Romanian subtitles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:18 AM
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Why isn't there a button on the remote that turns the closed captioning on, other than the button which also mutes the volume?

Also, this sounds like good news.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:19 AM
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Also, on looking at it again, the CNN thing isn't actually about the bill. It's about a different executive order. Whoops.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:22 AM
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8: it varies by television and/or remote. Most (now) have a cc button on the remote in addition to a settings menu for when you want the captions on (always, on mute, never) and which captions you want (there are four channels, C1, C2, T1, T2, that sometimes have different languages (Spanish/English) or different reading levels (adult/young child) depending on the show)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:24 AM
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8: because that is buried somewhere in a setup menu.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:25 AM
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I really wish Jay Smooth would caption his videos.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:32 AM
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12: Yeah, that would be totally def.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:10 AM
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But seriously, he seems thoughtful enough that maybe if you wrote him a note asking about it he'd look into it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:14 AM
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Maybe we could even make it an orange post title kind of thing: everybody write to Jay Smooth and tell him he's an ablist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:15 AM
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I wrote him an email once. No response.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:20 AM
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I wrote to Ted Nugent once and he sent me back a dead badger.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:23 AM
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2: The fun part about bias against the disabled is knowing that if they live long enough, shitheads like that will probably be dependent in one way or another, and then suddenly realize that they do have a moral right to have their Matlock reruns closed captioned.

Reading Eva Kittay did a good job of reminding me that dependency is the norm in human life, not an exception.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:23 AM
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Well, I wrote him a note one time and if he looked into marrying me, I never heard about it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:24 AM
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If I knew you were a fan, I'd have saved the badger for you. But, I've already eaten it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:27 AM
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I bet M-fun and N-fun would make a pretty explosive combination. I'm picturing firing flaming arrows at falling couches, all to a hard rock soundtrack. Plus pie.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:03 AM
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I wrote him an email once. No response.

Try writing him in ALLCAPS.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:03 AM
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My son told me that I had to buy arrows so that I could protect my family from tax collectors. I'm starting to wonder about the role of Robin Hood in the creation of libertarianism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:05 AM
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The Disney Robin Hood? I've never seen it, but I seem to remember some discussion of it somewhere as civil-rights-era Southern white anti-government feeling. So maybe not exactly libertarian, but somewhere in the Tea Party family tree.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:08 AM
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24: The Disney one and my retelling of what I remember of the Errol Flynn one. I've managed to repress the Kevin Costner one and have not seen the new one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:10 AM
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Robin Hood's message had nothing to do with libertarianism. The concept of "steal from the government, give to the rich" has no meaning in a world where the rich are the government.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:13 AM
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We recently re-watched the Kevin Costner one, but it was in the context of this, and so hilarious.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:14 AM
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But man, is it a terrible terrible movie.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:15 AM
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The Disney Robin Hood?

I buy arrows to protect myself from Intellectual Property corporate terrorists.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:16 AM
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26: I suppose. But when the lesson of Robin Hood gets boiled down by somebody without sufficient life experience to know that pouring water in the trash can is not going to make mommy and daddy happy, apparently the message is you need to shoot arrows at the government or you won't have any money left after taxes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:17 AM
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re: 28

Come on! It has Alan Rickman engaged in the traditional full-on Brit-thesp-as-baddie pwning.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:21 AM
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29: I steal intellectual property from the rich and give it to the poor.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:22 AM
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I steal property from intellectuals until they are poor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:33 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:34 AM
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31: Yeah, Alan Rickman is great in it. And, one of the Master Pancake people did a great imitation of him as well.

30: Just tell him that the arrows thing only applies to the British government.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:36 AM
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31: like Dr Strangelove, it gives the impression that some of the American members of the cast weren't aware that some of the British members of the cast weren't taking it entirely seriously.

(As you all know, for the whole of the shoot Slim Pickens was unaware that Dr Strangelove was supposed to be a comedy. He was playing it straight. That's what Slim Pickens playing it straight looks like.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:38 AM
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My favorite Alan Rickman movie.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:38 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:38 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:39 AM
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It's slightly a shame that Rickman doesn't seem to want to do that sort of scenery-eating baddie (after Die Hard, and RH:PoT) anymore.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:42 AM
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40: I realize he isn't a baddie in the end, but I would think that Snape could be described as a scenery-eating something or other.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:43 AM
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38/39: I can't tell if that was intended as a goofy joke or snarky political commentary. I'm hoping the former, but I've too many arguments involving equally specious straw men about why the ADA should be repealed to assume so automatically.

Anyway, if it was a joke, ha ha. if you were (semi)serious, let me know and I'd be happy to argue with you about it!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:46 AM
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re: 41

Yes, I suppose. For a long time that seemed to be Gary Oldman and Rickman et al's modus operandi.

i) turn up
ii) eat the scenery
iii) make heroic Hollywood co-star look like an idiot
iv) collect many pounds.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:46 AM
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In the last scene of HP: HPB, it's a wonder Snape didn't grow a mustache right then and there just so he could twirl it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:46 AM
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42: I'm figuring that's the TOS.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:49 AM
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I realize he isn't a baddie in the end

Geez. Spoil the story for me why don't you?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:21 AM
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The fun part about bias against the disabled is knowing that if they live long enough, shitheads like that will probably be dependent in one way or another

As noted previously.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:24 AM
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Intersting. The Access Board is also overhauling the regs for section 508 of the Rehab Act and section 255 of the Telecomm Act. Some good stuff coming.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:25 AM
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2: The comments on the CNN thing include some stellar examples of objections.

Reminds me of when Glenn Beck was a somewhat less well known loon on CNN and he chose to attack Braille signs on walls.

...but I've got one that drives me out of my mind. I work at Radio City in midtown Manhattan, and up by the doors, you know, like where the -- you know -- the office kitchen is, in Braille, on the wall, it says "kitchen." You'd have to -- a blind person would have to be feeling all of the walls to find "kitchen." Just to piss them off, I'm going to put in Braille on the coffee pot -- I'm going to put, "Pot is hot." Ow!
This is one thing that gets me about Beck and Limbaugh etc., forget their "politics", can Beck not just be stigmatized as the guy that nastily complained about Braille signs?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:38 PM
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24- The latest Ridley Scott Robin Hood seemed to have some weird nods to Tea Partyism. (The whole thing was this confused mess of a pastiche of American historical myth-- the villainous French invaders with a giant black fascist fleur-de-lis, who then echo the landing at Normandy, the martyred father writing some kind of Magna Carta, which seemed like a stand-in for the declaration of independence...)

It is notable how American Robin Hood movies have consistently staged "rob the rich to give to the poor" as "protect people from predatory tax-collectors".


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:07 PM
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1. To me the absolute brilliance of deaf (or maybe Deaf) activists is how they got funding streams set up. I mean, getting a (totally legitimate) surcharge built into the utility bills of virtually every American is just genius. It saves you from all of these perennially exhausting fights with Congress about funding, it saves you from falling prey to the whims of your state governor, it makes the cost well-nigh invisible to your fellow taxpayers...so great.

(Yeah, yeah, I know there are charlatans in this field too. But on the whole, funding set up along these lines works a whole lot better than, say, private philanthropy or government contracts.)

2. Try writing him in ALLCAPS.

Funnily enough, I was just reading a study on a legislator's mail: "Writers frequently used multiple exclamation points, capital letters, bold typeface, and underlining in their letters, akin to shouting on paper. These writers are angry, and they feel that Senator ______ and other elected representatives to do not hear them."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:26 PM
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My kids were arguing about whether Robin Hood was a real person. Kid C thought he wasn't, Kid D insisted he had truly existed. "But he wasn't really a fox."

Captioning and audio-describing everything sounds like an excellent step.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:39 PM
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he wasn't really a fox.

Has she seen Errol Flynn?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:41 PM
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I watched some of that awful BBC Robin Hood last winter on a friend's TV (via Netflix). Not only was it inferior to the Disney version as a narrative, it managed to be less historically accurate, even accounting for the lack of anthropomorphic animals.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:43 PM
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Funnily enough, I was just reading a study on a legislator's mail

Citation needed.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:48 PM
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Citation needed.

Seif, Hinda. "'Tired of Illegals': Immigrant Driver's Licenses, Constituent Letters, and Shifting Restrictionist Discourse in California." In *Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States,* ed. by Monica W. Varsanyi. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:04 PM
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A friend of mine worked on a documentary about furries, and told me that disproportionately many of them trace the earliest stirrings of their fetish back to the Disney Robin Hood fox.

There weren't any lingering effects in my case, but hearing that, I recalled clearly that I wanted to be that Robin Hood.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:06 PM
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Thanks. I'm always curious about what people write to legislators.

There's an idea of reform for mail going the other direction, where official correspondence has to be made public - in order to make it harder for politicians to give the same answer to the same question to different people - but I doubt it will ever catch on. Not sure it would work, anyway. There would probably just be an increase in personal, as opposed to official, letters.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:08 PM
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51- I know relay services and equipment are (partially?) funded by a line on a phone bill, but I don't think this is how any captioning is funded. I could be wrong. I thought networks/content makers were in charge of the captioning, and that one of the reasons mean people hate accessibility was that it is all a bunch of unfunded mandates.

Anyway, if you want really great results from activists, go to the blind. They can earn twice as much per month as anyone with any other disability and still get SSI.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:58 PM
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... Still, I'm sure someone can find something to object to.

Seems like a violation of the First Amendment to me.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:48 PM
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There we go. Keep em coming, Shearer.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:10 PM
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61: I think you need to use ALLCAPS for Shearer too.


Posted by: M/tch m/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 6:10 AM
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60: "Your honor, requiring the defendants to provide this basic public accommodation would violate their First Amendment rights. My clients are actively contemptuous of the deaf and blind, and the manner of their presentation of information is an expression of that contempt, and is thus protected speech."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 6:20 AM
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63

You think that argument is wrong (legally speaking)?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 6:56 AM
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64: If that argument is right, then every action is protected speech and every law is a 1st amendment violation.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:42 AM
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I'm a lawyer and I had the same reaction as Shearer. My understanding is that the FCC has been allowed to regulate the content of over-the-air tv because of the idea that the public owns the airwaves and the frequencies are only licensed to tv stations to benefit the public good. I'm thinking of the Red Lion and Pacifica cases, but it's been awhile. The same does not apply to cable or to the internet.

So, I guess you'd have to argue that this would not be regulating content. Or maybe that's why it's limited to programs that were intended for over-the-air broadcast.


Posted by: tulip | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:40 AM
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So, I guess you'd have to argue that this would not be regulating content.

Well, it's not really, is it? It's saying "you can produce whatever content you like, but it's got to have available subtitles". I'm sure the FCC is allowed to say "you can broadcast what you want, but not at such high power that you render passersby infertile" or "you can't broadcast on these wavelengths, the police need them".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:47 AM
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This really isn't my area, but the Shearer/tulip argument would seem to invalidate the ADA in its entirety: "I wish to express my contempt for wheelchair users by making my restaurant accessible only by steps. You can't compel me to do otherwise, because it's speech."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:56 AM
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I can see an argument that it's a violation of the 9th or 10th amendments, on the basis of the stuff in 66. I don't see how it would be a freedom of speech issue. As 67 says, the content isn't being restricted.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:57 AM
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I'm sure the FCC is allowed to say "you can broadcast what you want, but not at such high power that you render passersby infertile"

Silly ajay, the market can manage such things perfectly well on its own!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:57 AM
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Presumably, too, this argument would work against all the idiots who want to make English an official language... after all, that's certainly a restriction of speech. It might even be a restriction of content if you argue that no translation can ever be entirely faithful, and therefore that there are some concepts that can only be properly expressed in Mexican.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:07 AM
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I looked into this a little bit more, and it turns out that in 2002 the DC Circuit invalidated regulations requiring video description. The case turned on whether the FCC had the statutory authority to promulgate the regulations and not on First Amendment issues, but the Court did hold that the regulations "significantly implicate program content." The case is Motion Picture Association of American v. FCC.

Again, this isn't really my area of expertise, but I did work a little bit on Turner Broadcasting and its progeny, which had to do with whether cable companies and subsequently satellite providers could be required to carry all broadcast stations in a given television market -- the so-called "must-carry" rules. The government (and my clients) ultimately won those cases, but I came away with the impression that the Court's treatment of content-neutrality and compelled speech was not entirely intuitive.

So, yeah, I think this would be vulnerable to a challenge if it applied to non-broadcasters. I mean, it wouldn't be a frivolous argument, but I have no idea how it would turn out.

71: I do think that the First Amendment would be a significant obstacle to any attempt to prevent people from speaking languages other than English. Meyer v. Nebraska is on point and while it was decided under the 14th amendment, I think that is only because it was decided before the doctrine of incorporation of the Bill of Rights against the states was really formalized.


Posted by: tulip | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 1:20 PM
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67

Well, it's not really, is it? It's saying "you can produce whatever content you like, but it's got to have available subtitles". ...

It seems like an obvious burden on speech to me. Like saying you can produce anything you want as long as you translate it into 17 languages.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:31 PM
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73: The videos that are covered by the new law were already required to have captions when they were broadcast for television. Now the captions have to be made available when they're on the internet, too.

I don't really buy the 1st-amendment thing anyway (requiring captions/translations being a violation of free speech), but it seems particularly inapplicable here since the captions already exist and were required by other laws.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-11-10 8:42 AM
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In related tech news, the comments here are also impressively well-informed and thoughtful.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 6:51 AM
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73: it's content-neutral, though. Yes, it makes speech more expensive, but it does that whatever the type of speech. Raising a tax on imported printer's ink would do the same thing, and it wouldn't be a restraint of speech.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 6:58 AM
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Oh no that was the wrong link. (A good article! but not related to technology or deafness). The comments HERE.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 7:06 AM
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76

it's content-neutral, though. Yes, it makes speech more expensive, but it does that whatever the type of speech. Raising a tax on imported printer's ink would do the same thing, and it wouldn't be a restraint of speech.

I don't agree that it is content-neutral. Would a requirement that all newspapers be published in English be content-neutral? How about a requirement for proper punctuation and correct spelling?

And even if it were it might be problematic. General sales or other business taxes applied to media companies are ok, but I suspect a tax specifically targeted at newspapers (like an exorbitant tariff on ink) would be thrown out.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 7:25 AM
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Would a requirement that all newspapers be published in English be content-neutral? How about a requirement for proper punctuation and correct spelling?

How is this an argument refuting that forced subtitles are content-neutral?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 7:28 AM
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"Writers frequently used multiple exclamation points, capital letters, bold typeface, and underlining in their letters, akin to shouting on paper."

This was true long before e-mail, of course. When I interned on the Hill back in the 20th century we got a fair amount of ranting handwritten letters that had not only a lot of ALLCAPS and !!!!! but also triple underlining, arrows, stars, multiple colors of ink, and some mightily attractive drawings.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 7:33 AM
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while it was decided under the 14th amendment

Fortunately, that won't be a problem much longer.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 7:38 AM
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79

How is this an argument refuting that forced subtitles are content-neutral?

Requiring subtitles is requiring the content be in a particular form just like requiring the content to be in English or to be properly punctuated.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 8:49 PM
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