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Rocket Sheep
March 13th, 2005, 03:12 AM
Well, I would've thought zombies were okay... but then so did this high school student who got arrested: Student arrested for terrorist threats (http://www.lex18.com/Global/story.asp?S=2989614&nav=EQlpWjof).

I just condemned a horror story as kiddyporn for portraying highschool girls in a highly titilating way, and now wonder about my knee-jerk reaction. The character bore some resemblance to the writer but the writer horrified himself with the depth of his authorial depravity and if he were locked up because someone read this story as having some bearing on reality, it would be wrong.

I know I don't want to open a spec fic mag and read a story like this but surely the darkest most taboo areas of society deserve exploring, in many ways more than the regular horror topics?

Am I a wimp?

Gregorius_H
March 13th, 2005, 05:28 AM
My first thought when reading that article had something to do with the paranoia that is running rampant through western society, particularly the US of A. I mean... i think I once wrote a story back when I was younger about my school getting taken over by zombies...

(Gregorius hopes the relevant authorities aren't reading this right now...)

...should I be locked up?

"Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony."

The nature of the STORY. It's just a story. A story is a story is a story. If people can be taken to court for their fiction, isn't there serious problems with society? This makes me angry for some reason...

Everyone seems to think that every teenager that falls into the 'creative' or 'artistic' category must therefore be plotting to plunge society into anarchy. Knee-jerk reactions are not good. The darker aspects of the human condition need to be explored, and what better place to do that than within the context of a horror story?

(Gregorius moves into corner, basks in his own rage. Plots planting a bomb beneath his university...)

And on a side note... at this moment I'm watching a TV show that has something to do with a terrorist assasination attempt. Should we prosecute?

Dawnstorm
March 13th, 2005, 05:57 AM
This is the second time I've come across an article about that and I still can't believe that's true. If they thought he was serious (which in itself is quite strange), shouldn't they have locked him up in a *padded* cell, instead of one with bars? How can they possibly believe that a plan of overrunning a highschool with zombies is the plan of a sane person?


I just condemned a horror story as kiddyporn for portraying highschool girls in a highly titilating way, and now wonder about my knee-jerk reaction. The character bore some resemblance to the writer but the writer horrified himself with the depth of his authorial depravity and if he were locked up because someone read this story as having some bearing on reality, it would be wrong.

I know I don't want to open a spec fic mag and read a story like this but surely the darkest most taboo areas of society deserve exploring, in many ways more than the regular horror topics?

Am I a wimp?

Not an easy one, that. There's very little I wouldn't read; things being disturbing is part of what makes writing interesting. Often it's my own reactions that scare me. Sometimes it's the writer's imagination that scares me. But it's good to know your dark side; and better to find out by reading fiction than in an "exceptional" real life situation, I'd say.

It depends on who you hold responsible, in the end. The writer? The publisher? The reader?

Expendable
March 13th, 2005, 06:39 AM
Well, I would've thought zombies were okay... but then so did this high school student who got arrested: Student arrested for terrorist threats (http://www.lex18.com/Global/story.asp?S=2989614&nav=EQlpWjof).

Once again in the name of securing our schools to prevent another Columbine, people have badly over-reacted and its one of the students that has to pay the price.

Let's hope nobody found a black trenchcoat anywhere near this kid.

Someone needs to do a reality check - where is this kid going to get zombies?

What should follow is a bunch of lawsuits, starting with the prosecutor and ending with the school board AND his grandparents.

Saedolin
March 13th, 2005, 09:54 AM
Those in society who believe that whatever an author/songwriter/film-maker produces as work MUST reflect his/her personal beliefs might want to rethink their idea of 'author'.

Surely the job of a good author is to create characters different from himself, and to explore ideas that he has not come accross in real life.

Personally, I'd reccommed that these clever policemen take break from the donuts and have a gander at The Intentional Fallacy by Wimsatt and Beardsley.

If they can make out all the big words, that is...

JRMurdock
March 13th, 2005, 11:19 AM
You're not a wimp, but I must question one thing. How do you feel about all the 'teenage' slasher films? Those go much farther than just being titillating. Do those also make you squirm because of their content (over-sexed teens getting killed?)

This issue is taking things way too far and I agree that his story is very likely being taken out of context. Zombies aren't terrorists. Did they jail everyone who saw Shaun of the dead? Perhaps we should jail the makers of teen wolf. Where does it end? This person made no direct threat to any individual.

Things like this stick in my side. Do we start book burnings in Kentucky next? Do we censor what anyone can consider 'creative fiction'? Where do we stop and take a step back and look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on one minor issue with a microscope?

You'll have to pardon me. I just finished reading 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. I'm down on cencoring anything (or arresting people) that pose an indirect threat and not a direct threat. This person is very different than the gun toters who post on web sites they're going to blow away their classmates. Very different.

ironchef texmex
March 13th, 2005, 12:18 PM
Anybody curious how something like this can happen? I don't know anything other than what I just read, but here's a 'for instance':

Ma and Pa Kettle walk into the police station and show a notebook with a zombie story to officers. They say that they always feared little Johnny was up to something because he listens to Heavy Metal music. They make a lot of bogus connections "he always talks about how much he hates his math teacher" "he hardly has any friends" and say that they're worried about the safety of the students. The officer thinks it's silly, but makes a report just to cover his own backside since school shootings are such a hot-button thing these days. Thus, he passes the incident off to an investigator (remember that, that's going to become a theme).

Next an investigator looks at it, he thinks it's silly, but just on the rare chance that the kid really could be up to something, and knowing what would happen to him if something did happen and someone found out that he had a the suspicious activity report.... What does he do? He lists the "evidence" in affidavit form and sends it off to the judge.... thus passing the buck. Next the judge issues the warrant, this time the buck is going to the grand jury. Now, it's on the local news and parents are calling everyone with a phone to tell them how concerned they are with Johnny the Zombie killer and hey, what's the deal with the press saying that he was only charged with a misdemenor? Doesn't anyone care about our children more than that? So the local PD bumps the charge up to the felony, even though zombie stories don't have much in common with terrorist acts, but who cares, it makes them look responsive, caring, all that stuff, and besides, the DA can always bump it back down anyway. Let them talk to the parents. Buck, Anyone?

See a pattern? The ugly side of bereaucracy is that when you parcel responsibility into small enough pieces everyone has a tendency to dish the hot potatoto someone else. Make a stand for logic and reason? Sounds like trouble. Let somebody else do it.

Oh, and Ex. If Kentucky state law is anything like Texas, you can't sue the prosecutor, or the Judge who issued the warrant, or the grand jury members who rendered the indictment. As for Granny, I doubt her pockets run deep enough to get a lawyer interested.


As for the taboos, it depends on what we're talking about. If I wrote a story in first person detailing a presidential assassination, I'd have the secret service breathing down my neck and I think that's perfectly reasonable. Zombie high school stories? Heck, I didn't even know that was a taboo.

Expendable
March 13th, 2005, 01:41 PM
They're prosecuting a kid for a zombie story.

skwirlinator
March 13th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Just because there is Freedom Of Speech in my country doesn't mean I want to read ever sic thing written. It also mean that I have the right to write any sic thing I want.
Persecuting someone for writing down imagination is downright communistic. How likely is it that zombies would overrun any school? If anything the student should be praised for the creativeness. If there are psycological issues in his life that may be cause for alarm but writing a story should not be. What's next, People being persecuted for drawing and painting? What about harsh music or sic poetry? What about when I think how that pushy boss would look with an axe stuck in his head. Am I a murderer or just imaginative? If I think of making love to my neighbors wife am I an adulterer? Or am I a normal male? So long as I don't act on my impulses I have control over myself. My 'Civilized conditioning' rules my actions. If I were a savage I WOULD act on my imaginations. I am not a savage, but a civillized educated sociable person.
If the authorities were to find an army of zombies massing there may be concern. I just don't think that's going to happen!
Who really cares if I'm a wimp?

ironchef texmex
March 13th, 2005, 02:15 PM
They're prosecuting a kid for a zombie story.


Yup, and the only way he'll ever be able to get revenge is to publish the story..... and write in the prosecuter as the zombie's necrophiliac lover. :eek:

Sorry. Such is life *as he puts Rage Against the Machine album into his cd player*.