[lit-ideas] Re: What a day! Context is everything

  • From: "Walter C. Okshevsky" <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:23:03 -0230

Since "Context is everything" is as self-contradictory a proposition as
"Propositional content is everything," we may validly conclude that ... oops,
must run. Grades are due within hours. But I'm sure others gathered here
amongst us will be able to provide a valid conclusion to the syllogism.

From the land of blazing sunshine, raspberries in backyards, sandy beaches,
frolicing whales and final exams,

Walter O

Quoting Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

> That the court noted [without citing Robert Paul] 'context is everything' was
> reported elsewhere:
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/jul/27/twitter-joke-trial-high-court
> Personally, I would advise anyone to heed the words of warning from the
> lawyer at the end of the report. Courts need quite some context to accept
> that something was just a joke: certainly those who tried to run a 'just a
> joke' defence, for inciting others to riot on social media, last year
> received short shrift. And in a case some twenty years it was held that while
> not giving your name at all could not be regarded as 'obstructing the police
> in the course of their duty' (where the police asked for it in the course of
> their duty), it was obstruction if you answered 'Micky Mouse' (and your name
> was not Micky Mouse). The High Court did not make clear whether this result
> is because 'Micky Mouse' is a name of extant persons (and so might not
> obviously be a joke) or simply isn't funny enough. The decision was
> criticised by Sir John Smith, which - with a name as common as that - is
> perhaps only to be expected, but remains the law. The appellant should be
>  thankful he used clearly non-serious expression, but even then anyone trying
> the like remains vulnerable to changes in actual terrorist expression: should
> terrorists adopt a bright and breezy tone in their threats ['With some
> aplomb/We have planted a bomb/Act fast/Or you may breath your last'], we may
> find the courts no longer accept there is a way of expressing yourself that
> clearly puts you beyond menacing. All those baddies in superhero movies, who
> express threats as idiotic wisecracks presumably to circumvent the law, take
> note. 
> Donal
> Who found out on Monday he will not be lighting the flame tonight
> London

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