Another email from a reader.
I’m not so much writing this here because I am afraid, but more because I don’t know where else to put this.
I think it’s important that we shatter Carreon’s delusions about the world. He seems to believe that everyone who opposes him is some mindless being connected to The Oatmeal directly, much as everyone who supports him is some mindless (or utterly psychotic in the case of Tara) being connected to him. It’s a basic psychological fallacy to assume that your condition is a general condition of humans.
He does not seem to realize that his actions do violence not only against Matthew Inman, but humanity in general. He is sticking up for the principle that defamation laws should protect people’s reputations from their own actions. He is sticking up for the idea that speech is only OK if it’s attacking the right people or it doesn’t break some subjective barrier that some human is capable of arbitrating.
He and his wife seem to believe that their tastes should be used to determine whether speech is OK or not. Could you imagine a world where that happened, where Mr. Carreon is an arbiter of speech? I could print out pictures of Mr. Carreon, poop on one each day for a month, photograph them, and post them to a blog, and it would be infinitely more tasteful, clever, sane, intelligent, ethical, and lawful than anything he or his wife have said on this matter.
The point of this tirade is not to simply criticize Mr. Carreon’s actions further, as I think he has received enough criticism for the “merits” of his individual actions. The point of this is to point out that Carreon is not simply an enemy of The Oatmeal and his imaginary zombie followers. He is not simply an enemy of some imaginary monolithic consensus on the internet. He is an enemy of mankind, whose actions are a tyrannical abuse of process that, if generally successful, could crush free exchange of ideas at taxpayer expense, allowing any common thug who went to law school to control social change, technological advances, and criticism of unethical government entities or corporations. In fact, legislatures have specifically enacted laws to make such abuses easier to identify and crush early on. Somehow it is a mystery that anyone would oppose his actions.
Does Mr. Carreon respond to the notion that his actions are illegal? From what I have seen, he seems to believe that a number of circumstances here override the rule of law. He seems to imply that The Oatmeal’s “Your Mom” joke directed to his client was so offensive and unethical that it overrides the rule of law, or had some magical power to dehumanize him that clearly incited people to take illegal action against him despite the very strict legal definition of incitement (designed to protect people from lawyers like Carreon). He implies that being angry, donating ten dollars to an art project, and having a law degree makes him the attorney general or otherwise some kind of prosecutor. He implies not only that the government should “protect” people from the possible consequences of their own actions in this matter, but that he, some dude with a law degree far from the influence of voters, should be able to “protect” people from the possible consequences of their own actions. He thinks that the fact that he doesn’t like someone and that they *could* be doing something unethical and/or illegal is evidence that they are and cause to put a restraining order on them (or he is willfully trying to abuse the system, which is quite probable).
Did he admit defeat when a bunch of humiliating briefs pointed out that he had no case? Nope. He claimed victory, asserting that the checks going where they were supposed to go all along was all he ever wanted, despite the fact that he used this frivolous case as a vehicle to get his even more frivolous incitement case to court. This is why I feel the need to crush his delusions of grandeur. The best way to do this would probably be for the courts to award Rule 11 damages on this case, although I’m not sure who should seek them. Unlike Carreon, the people he harasses have lives. Becoming permanently disbarred would probably be good for him. I feel like if anything can make him snap out of this, it’s some condemnation from the judicial system.
Mr. Carreon: You are not above the law, as you seem to believe. You are not Batman. You are some thug with a law degree. Not even Ralph Nader is enough of a nut to support you on this matter (although, were he, that still wouldn’t help your case). By the way, did you get any response from him regarding your request to forward your lawless threats to him? I’d love to read it.
As far as I know Ralph Nader has not gotten back to Mr. Carreon. I doubt many people who have such people seemingly obsessed with them do.