The 2020 season finale was a bit late, airing six days into 2021. The writing was bizarre and as if 2020 wasn’t already straining credibility, it jumped the shark at the end. If you want to suspend belief and go along with the plot twists thus far, be my guest. I am going to wait for the book.
I am cautiously optimistic about 2021, and hope I don’t have to eat my words. Given the events of the first two weeks of this year, it would appear that someone said “now I have seen it all” one too many times because the events that have unfolded are nothing if not outrageous.
We have long been disgusted by the rhetoric coming out of our nation’s capital, but January 6, 2021 set a new standard in the city for both shock and tragedy. People broke into the capitol building, committed various crimes, and published pictures and video of the events on social media. While they had the right not to self-incriminate, they lacked the ability.
Those in the videos seem as surprised that they face jailtime and unemployment as the rest of us feel seeing their actions in the first place. I saw a video of a woman crying after being maced while admitting she was in D.C. to take part in a revolution. The revolution will be televised but some of the characters are one dimensional.
The District Court for the Facebook Division handed down a slew of opinions in the following days. Don’t worry if you aren’t licensed there, the justices don’t even have law degrees. Most of the decisions appear to interpret the 1st amendment to the Constitution. Wilbers vs. Acme Company is pretty representative of the cases.
Mr. Wilbers posted a short video of himself stealing a Slurpee™ from a 7-11 on the way to a rally in Washington D.C. As he was running out of the store with the drink, Mr. Wilbers turned around and said “Slurpees are supposed to be cold, this one is Hot!” When video of the theft entered the public domain, Acme Company fired Mr. Wilbers. Wilbers sued for wrongful termination.
In a terse decision, the court of public opinion was outraged that an employee could lose his job just for publishing evidence that he committed a crime. How can someone get fired for what they did on their day off? The court admitted, however, that they lacked jurisdiction to force Acme to rehire Wilbers but said there ought to be a law.
In dissent, an unnamed justice noted that the theft was probably less onerous than the rank stupidity of publishing the evidence to the interwebs. One’s first amendment right to speech is not impaired by an employer who does not want to be associated with audacious idiots.
Wilber is in good company, as several public office holders and more than a few attorneys will be joining him in the unemployment line. Misery may or may not enjoy the company.
Grammar Police vs. Smith: In this case, Ms. Smith was criticized for interchanging the words “capital” and “capitol” when referring to Washington D.C. and the Congress building. I did my best to read the wordy dissertation on grammar that flowed in this one so you wouldn’t have to. Your welcome.
We are anxiously on the lookout for a decision in the matter of Hawley vs. Everybody. In that case, Mr. Hawley is aggrieved by a publisher canceling his book deal following the Senator’s actions before and during the riots in D.C.
Mr. Hawley complains that his 1st amendment rights are being trampled by this action even though he went to Yale law school (which he tells folks at every opportunity) and must have taken a constitutional law course along the way. He even teaches constitutional law, shortened to con law on his resume. As such, one would assume that Mr. Hawley knows that government suppression of speech might be a 1st amendment violation but that is different from a publisher’s refusal to publish a book. The stack of rejection letters from publishers on my desk is proof that it can happen to non-Yale graduates as well.
This matter may be decided outside of a trial. Mr. Hawley has threatened to see the publisher in court, but he has never actually tried a lawsuit so he may have meant on court, proposing a tennis match to settle the matter. Love, the publisher.
Gentle Reader, I try to take a humorous look at the events thus far in 2021 but I do not take them lightly. Witnessing a mob advancing into the nation’s capitol was horrifying. The pictures of the aftermath showing the property destruction inside the People’s House is sickening. If a foreign power had done these things the United States would have responded quickly and with extreme prejudice.
Some of the wrongdoers have already been arrested and other arrests are sure to follow. For those of us watching, the images of the attacks on our country by our countrymen will not soon fade.
How we got here is not quickly explained. I lived through 2020, and all I got to show for it was 2021. I would say things can only get better, but I have been wrong before.
©2021 under analysis llc. under analysis is a nationally syndicated column. Spencer Farris is the founding partner of The S.E. Farris Law Firm in St Louis, Missouri. Happy new year to you all, if 2021 will comply. Comments or criticisms about this column may be sent c/o this newspaper or directly to Under Analysis via email at email@example.com.