Multiple Things.

Well, first up I’ve just had a haircut. Was surprisingly quick, and fairly painless. I don’t get on with haircuts, as a rule. Unless I know the barber I never have anything to say, and I just sit there gawping at my own reflection and wondering if I’m moving my head too much.

The barber in Hadley was a decent guy, once I got to know him, and Gino in Newport is the only chap I’ve met who knows what I mean when I say “Er, well, a general trim, I guess. Sort of a short-back-and-sides, but short on top as well, and I don’t want a fringe*”.

Also, of course, the hanging about while the queue depletes before your very eyes can be pretty lame, especially if you’ve not got a book. This haircut only took twenty minutes, though, thus getting me to the “really uncomfy feeling of hairs stuck down the back of my collar” even faster than I expected. Whee.

My face has mysteriously become oval**, and my eyes seem to have got bigger. Like I say, I don’t get hair.

On the plus side, I shouldn’t need it cutting again before the Spring, which means it should be able to grow to a nice warmish sort of length before the frosts come, thus providing me with further insulation. Win.

Supreme Court meme:
Sarah Palin has famously (in America, that is, over here we didn’t notice; I got this from zoethe) been asked to list some Supreme Court rulings, and came up with a grand total of One (Roe V. Wade, natch) before descending into silence. This pleases me, because that means I know more about American law than a prospective Vice President of the United States of America***. I can name two Supreme Court rulings, only one of which is Roe V. Wade.

Anyway, there’s now a meme. It goes like this:

Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historical to your blog. Any decision, as long as it’s not Roe v. Wade.

…then there’s some stuff about spreading the fun, but you all know I’m just showing off my dubiously-aquired knowledge.

Anyway, I pick the Only Other Supreme Court Ruling I’ve ever heard of (not bad going, really; I didn’t even hear about the Supreme Court until I was 19 or so).

I pick Hustler Magazine, Inc. V. Falwell.

Background to the ruling is as follows:
– Jerry Falwell is one of those famous TV Fundies.
– Campari is an alcoholic beverage, which in the 1980s ran an ad campaign where famous people “talked about their first time” (drinking Campari. See what they did there?)
– Hustler Magazine is a porno mag, the kind men read “strictly for the photos of the naked women.”

…y’can all see where this is going already, right?

Back in the early 1980s Hustler printed a mock Campari Ad wherein Falwell “talked about his first time.” The clever twist was that it was his first time having sex. With his mother, while they were both drunk on Campari. In an outhouse.****

Falwell wasn’t too pleased about this, and sued for libel, and hurt feelings, and what have you. Very long story short: it went to the Supreme Court in 1988. The Supreme Court had a think and then, by 8 votes to 0, came up with the following ruling:

The creators of parodies of public figures are protected against civil liability by the First Amendment, unless the parody includes false statements of fact made in knowing or reckless disregard of the truth.

Since the Ad in Hustler was listed in that edition’s contents as “Fiction; Ad and Personality Parody,” and since the fake Campari ad said it was a parody, and they didn’t actually think Falwell lost it to his mother whilst drunk on Campari [I’m paraphrasing], the ad wasn’t made in knowing or reckless disregard of the truth, but more in a spirit of fun.

Basically, “It’s OK to say such things about famous people, just as long as you don’t try and pass them off as being actually true.”

Given that Sarah Palin is a prospective Vice President of the United States of America, I’m growing really fond of that ruling… I mean, dinosaurs. Ffs.

Well lunch is nearly over, and I’ve got hairs all down the back of my neck. Guess I’ll leave the post about the N95, and the Answers to the bits of the meme nobody got yet for another time, huh?


*I’ve never worked out what a fringe is for. It spends three months growing into my eyes, gets chopped off, and then starts all over again. Why?

** Still, pudgy, but oval. Less moon-like, anyway, which is a start.

***For a given, and mainly wrong, value of “know,” anyway.

**** I honestly don’t know which bit of that paragraph I find more disturbing.

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