Guest Post: When a Joke’s Not A Joke – A view of how humor can hurt

Today I’m welcoming in another guest post on a bit of sensitive topic that, like most sensitive topics, comes from the furries. Yesterday a thoughtless joke was made by someone (thank God not me this time) that hurt a number of people. The joke was regarding the pronouns a person prefers to use for themselves. The writer of that joke later made an apology, and I hope they sincerely take this as a lesson and an opportunity to better themselves and be more aware moving forward.

However, it also sparked a whole “it’s just a joke” thing for a lot of people. Given the current political and social climate, I wanted to say something. But I’m not transgender, and I’m not really a member of a marginalized group, so I have no place to speak to their feelings, emotions, or thoughts.

Instead, I asked for submissions about why the joke was hurtful, because believe it or not, if you’re not a member of the groups affected, or you don’t know many who are, it’s easy to never see past the end of your nose. Lord knows I can’t at times, and I’d like to learn my way around that and let these groups have their voices heard. Hopefully we can have a discussion and foster greater understanding of why the thoughtless things we say are hurtful.

But that’s enough from the fat white law guy. Without further ado, I want to welcome the following post from Z. Tanner,  Ms. Tanner  is a student, poet and writer living in the state of Utah. She is a Non-binary Transperson who is often over-caffeinated, under-slept and has a habit of enjoying a good cup of mead now and then. She also pretends to be a snow leopard on the internet. 

While no one person can speak for an entire community, I find her explanation of why a joke is, in some cases, “not just a joke” enlightening.

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One For The Furry Jury: R.C. Fox and the Amazing Summary Execution

[UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM 11/2/2017]

Alright.  I want to talk about something today, and before I do we need to be really clear:

I’m not defending pedophiles.

I’m not defending pedophiles.

I am not defending pedophiles.

I want that to be really clear, because I’m putting on my lawyer hat to discuss a bit about the R.C. Fox scenario that’s a-brewing on the western side of this lovely Commonwealth. I’m doing this to clear up what seem to be some pretty widely held misconceptions and misrepresentations of the known facts in relation to this. This is pure commentary, coming from someone with a working familiarity with the system and the ability to dispel a few of the misconceptions right off the bat.

And frankly, I’m about to piss some of you off. Because, goddammit, guilty or innocent, every accused person deserves a defense. That’s why I do what I fucking do.

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Dracula: The Deadbeat Client

It’s Monday on Lawyers & Liquor, and the first order of business is “Where’s the second episode of the podcast, asshole?” Well, the answer boils down to “I’m a technological incompetent with little ability to do things without a person holding my hand.” The audio recording of my interview with this episode’s guest, Chad Murray from www.chadtalkslaw.com, came out fucking awful on my end and has forced me to amplify my entire half of it…and of course I didn’t record it as two separate tracks and shit, which would have made sense. So it’s been a painstaking process, but the next episode will be out this Wednesday, so that shit’s at least sorted out finally.

Next, tomorrow’s Halloween, and I fucking love Halloween. It’s the time of year where people get to dress up as terrifying monsters, which for me simply entails wearing my normal daily lawyer get-up, and go passively rob people of their candy through a series of vague threats. “Treat,” the little bastards cry, “or trick.” It warms my soul, what little bit of it remains, to see the next generation getting the hang of armed robbery so goddamn early.

But for lawyers, every day is fucking Halloween, isn’t it? I mean, we all deal with monsters in some capacity in our work, from murderers to child molestors, all the way down to the guy that’s simply not going to pay his bill and put some small company out of business because they’re a fuckin’ skell, right? Right, motherfuckers, right. And, in fiction as in reality, lawyers have represented some horrible fucking monsters, haven’t they?

Like Dracula.

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A Book Review: “Furry Nation” by Joe Strike

So not too long ago I got a reach-out (not a reach-around) from the publicist for a new author with a new book coming out. This has happened before, mainly because a little lady from the Carolinas named Portia Porter once talked me into reviewing her book. Since then, I occasionally get a request from some author or company to give a read to a book and let loose the dogs of war on the piece. The vast majority of them I’ve turned down, simply because I don’t have enough time in the day as it is without paging through somebody’s vanity piece looking for good things to say about it.

So it wasn’t exactly out of the normal when, a bit back, the publisher (or publicist) for another author reached out and asked if I would play Pimp Daddy Boozy to a book about the goddamn furries that pull my strings these days. The book in question was the new survey of the history of the furry fandom, “Furry Nation” by Joe Strike (Yes, that link takes you to the Amazon page where you can buy the sucker). I was, personally, a little taken aback to be asked first to promote the book, but they quickly followed up with an email saying, essentially, “Here’s a review copy, we get that you won’t blindly endorse the book.” So, you know, free book motherfuckers! But more importantly, a free chance to learn a bit more about the furry fandom from someone that’s been hanging around it for longer than a lot of the folks I’ve been dirtying myself up by mingling with.

And guys, I gotta say, it was a pretty good read.

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I’m Gonna Ramble About Drug Court

It’s Tuesday. Monday was yesterday, and yeah, I’m aware there was no post. Shit was happening yesterday. Las Vegas saw a gunman take over 50 lives and damage hundreds, if not thousands, of others. Some guy drove a truck into a crowd in Edmonton over the weekend. The internet was aflame and brightly burning with the cries of the world as everyone tried to make sense of the tragedy.

Except me. I made jokes. When it was stated that the shooter in Las Vegas was a country music fan, I was quick to jump on it with “Except, apparently, for Jason Aldean.”

When a gun manufacturer tweeted that “Prayers were the best armor,” I couldn’t stop myself from saying “Except for our products. They don’t do anything about our products.”

When someone asked, seriously, if they should lie in order to donate blood because they were gay, I answered “Yeah, but not about being gay. Just lie about some random shit. Tell’em you’re the King of Sweden or something.”

This is what I do. I respond to tragedy with humor, because many, many times in the course of my work I get to see human tragedy up close and personal. Yeah, it’s not as visceral as responding to a shooting or a burning building, but when you work with people in trying times you tend to see them get ready to fall apart, or watch their entire world end with a single judgment or court order, and it isn’t pleasant to see that shit day in and day out. The rest of the time? The rest of the time lawyers can be some dark sons of bitches. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, though, because we’re still humans…the humor is a coping mechanism for the horribleness of the world, a way to get through to the next case or the next client after something truly terrible walks through the doors of the office.

But sometimes we just need something good. It’s why lawyers have things like “that one case” where they did something good or saw something awesome happen. It helps us stave off the terrible fucking things that sometimes come through our offices.

So that’s what we’re doing today. We’re gonna talk about a good aspect of the legal system and let people have a little time to recover from the fucked up insanity that has been the past three days.

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