May His Noodly Appendage Land You in Jail (and other tragedies)
PREFACE: The following was written after midnight on Wednesday May 23, but I failed to post it…it gets a little crazy and spiteful, as you’ll see. Then I fell a few days behind in reporting the latest news because of family obligations. While I already know the ultimate outcome, I’m going to post this, and the final two installments of “Murphy’s Law” in chronological order. Due to no one giving a shit (thanks for coming to support me in court, assholes), I have a monopoly on this news, so deal with it. And if you do know the verdict, as a few of you out there do, I’d please ask you to refrain from mentioning it on social media or in the comments. Sorry, but I want people to read these essays, you know? Thanks.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2012, THE YEAR OF OUR LORD — So Judge Eagan says that if I’m sworn in over a can of spaghetti I’ll go to jail for contempt of court. Only real fake religions are allowed. That’s the bad news. The good news is that…there’s no good news.
The persecution wrapped up its incredibly weak case at 2:40 pm. Team Murphy entered a motion for a direct verdict to dismiss all charges. “Double-Dawg” Daire Irwin, as I’ve just now decided to call my second lawyer, told Eagan why:
- Specific to the misdemeanor charge of “disrupting a religious service,” the Buffalo City permit for the NOM-tard event is labeled as a “rally.”
- Not one witness testified that I disrupted anything — all testifying that the NOM-tard event started on time, and went tardtastically.
- The People’s witnesses contradictory each other and physical evidence — I was interviewing unidentified people with the dildo-phone, shaking it at other’s heads — and all at the time I was shooting video from the other side of the street.
- Officer Donovan says she arrested me for calling her and her fellow officers “assholes,” which I didn’t do, but she admits is not illegal.
- The other officer who testified, Paul Sobkowiak, says he saw me doing nothing illegal.
Double-Dawg raised some lesser points and said, “There is no prima facie case.” That’s fancy legal talk for: “This is a fat load of bullshit.” Judge Eagan, who’s proven herself a giant fan of fat loads of bullshit, says the show must go on. And before we even broke out our shovels today, we learned that the only woman juror — a sweet-looking retired teacher and union lady, who’s had experience with someone close to her being falsely accused of a crime — is dead. Or maybe sick. Or just lazy. Something. She’s out, and one of the alternates is in — a younger kid with an almost imperceptible lisp, who thinks civil unions are good enough for teh gayz.
We picked up with our cross examination of Baldy Cop, Paul Sobkowiak. In doing some research last night, I found this photo on the National Organization for Marriage’s Hatebook page:
If you look just below and to the left of the “No standing anytime” sign, you can see Baldy Cop moving into the crowd to remove the counter-demonstrators. Both he and Donovan have testified that I was among the group of four holding signs. Play Where’s Waldo all you want, but I ain’t in this picture. What to ask Sobkowiak was apparent.
“How many times did you wade into the crowd?” asked Fallon.
“One time,” said Baldy Cop (BC).
“Did you remove all the counter-protesters?”
“I believe so.”
Fallon marks the photo into evidence as Defendant’s Exhibit J, and asks BC to describe the photo.
“It’s a picture of the front of City Hall that day.”
“Do you see yourself in that photo?”
“It’s probably me, but I’m not certain.”
Fallon points out that the person in the photo is bald, wearing sunglasses (as was BC that day), and bears an insignia on his right arm that resembles that of the Buffalo Police. He asks again.
“I see someone who resembles me,” said BC. I wanted Fallon to hold up a mirror to see if he’d say the same thing — or bark at the other cop.
“Can you indicate on that photo where you see Mr. Murphy?”
“He was in the crowd…I can’t see him now. Maybe he’s behind somebody.”
Fallon gets BC to reiterate that he saw me doing nothing illegal, nor did he see me causing any kind of trouble, then wraps it up. Assistant District Attorney, and unconscionable tool of casual fascism, Patrick Swanson rises for redirect.
“How tall are you? You’re a pretty big guy,” he says.
“Six, three.” says BC.
“How tall is the defendant?”
“Shorter than me.”
“I have no more questions, Your Honor.”
Brilliant! I’m an Amish vampire midget! Your cameras will NEVAR capture my essence! In the real world, the one which exists outside of this courtroom, I’m 5′ 9″ with shoes on. You can see the heads of little, old ladies in that picture. Hopefully, the jurors will check that out.
The prosecution calls William Gillison, Reverend of the Mount Olive Baptist Church. And I quickly feel guilty for previously calling him a “professional liar.” It’s apparent that the old man’s a professional fool.
“Have you ever met Mr. Murphy?” Swanson opens.
If he’s a preaching conman, his biggest mark is himself. And he had the decency not to lie about me. He never saw me. Ever. Besides the whole wanting to deny homosexuals their equality, and his grating obsession with the phrase “baptized believers,” he seems like a really swell guy. I’ll never get these old black dudes with an aversion to civil rights. At least the NAACP has finally come out for gay rights. And it only took a black president to say it first! Incidentally, it’s NOM’s strategy to keep old black dudes from making the civil rights connection. Whatever. The main reason he was called to the stand is because his name’s on the City permit. As it turns out he didn’t even sign it. Someone else from Mount Olive secured the permit over the phone.
During cross examination, Double-Dawg (DD) tries to open the door to NOM. They organized the multi-city rallies against gay marriage that day. They’re a political nonprofit — a 501 (c)(4). The point is that a few thousand people across New York state simultaneously chanting “Let the people vote!” is not a prayer service, it’s a political event. Court is funny — in the way having a birth defect is funny. And as a dude with club foot (look it up), it’s annoying and painful, but you gotta laugh it off.
You can’t introduce even the most basic fact into the record without the cooperation of the witnesses. So if you have Stevie Wonder on the stand, you can’t let the jury know the sky is blue — and the judge, or at least our judge, will yell at you if you do. The two things she wouldn’t let us discuss at all were the original charges against me, which changed drastically between July 24 and October 6, and that the police erased our camera. Well, Reverend Gillison is our Stevie Wonder. He knows fuck about fuck. He’s heard the acronym NOM, but he has no idea what it stands for, and he keeps pronouncing it “gnome.” Not really understanding the process, he said, “I can look it up.” Sorry, objective facts are not permissible, Rev. He was probably a plus for my case, and we’ll get to GNOME eventually, so I should just calm down.
Next to the stand is Curtis Perry. He was employed as a Mount Olive security guard on July 24. Gillison employs ten security guards, all of whom were on duty that dildo-day, because some militant homos have threatened to redecorate his house.
“Are you employed, Mr. Perry?” asks Swanson.
“I’m good,” Perry says, smiling. After that’s cleared up, Perry lays out that day’s timetable. He arrived at 1 or 1:30 pm. The rally started on time at 1:30. It lasted an hour. Everyone went home.
The rally actually started at 3 pm. OK then!
He says he saw me meandering through the crowd, even toward the podium where the Rev was speaking, camera and dildo-phone in hand. Periodically, he says, I would stop to talk to someone, thrusting the latex member in their faces. How many people did I do this to? Dunno. What did they look like? Dunno. Black or white? Dunno. Man or woman? Dunno.
And the whole time, he’s peering over at me with the pride of some fundie who’s just shot an abortion doctor. It’s devious, and wrong, but that’s what Jesus wants — he imagines.
Why was Perry there? “To keep an eye on pastor.” So he was watching Gillison the whole time? “Yes.” But he also was watching me the whole time? “Yes.” Righto.
Since it’s already late, I have chores to do, and you hate reading, I’m going to give you the abridged version of events henceforth [Wishful thinking - Future Murphy].
The final witness for the prosecution is Roland Cercone. He’s a lawyer, and a deacon at Mount Olive, where he’s been lovin’ the Jesus for nearly 20 years. And I frankly don’t understand — like so much in this case — his motivation for lying. As I’ve reported, I did use the dildo-phone for one approximately 30 second interview. I also took it out of my camera bag for about 15 seconds to pose for this photo, which the ADA had blown up the size of a cow, introduced into evidence during the testimony of Curtis Perry, and left it on a tripod facing the jury for the remainder of the day’s proceedings:
So, yeah, Swanson may be the Littlest Eichmann, but he knows what he’s doing. Hours. This picture “fairly and accurately” depicts the events of that day, according to Perry. And it was staring the jury in the face for hours. Of course, Fallon slapped down Perry a bit by saying that no one else is in the photo, and that I’m posing for a picture, but still. Hours. Why didn’t we do that with a picture of officer Donovan whacking the camera? Got me. Forgive me, readers, for jumping around a little. And forgive me, Paul, Double-Dawg, and Josh, for what I won’t be able to contain before this piece is dead.
But first, the following tangent, brought to you by MurphyCo “MurphyCo: We’re angry as fuck!”
Our country and our media is so ideologically divided that the only kind of objectivity that exists is phony — your Times, your Post. As an example, in January, “The Paper of Record” ran a piece called “Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?” At question was whether or not America’s most important newspaper should quote bullshit verbatim, without comment, or whether they should also report the objective truth. This is a debate. And it shouldn’t be. Journalists are supposed to report the facts, not act as stenographers for shills and propagandists. And in my very few run-ins with the decidedly liberal press that’ll have me — or part of me — my most brutally honest moments die at the editor’s framing-happy hands. “Think of how Republicans will spin this?” goes the generic justification. “I don’t give a fuck!” goes my generic response. I don’t want to win the culture war with Napalm. I want to slug it out. Face to face. Ugly. Raw. Real. Knives — guns!
But you let them make the cuts because you need the money. And you lose a little bit of yourself every time. Guilt. Shame. Little Eichmann, with a side of Yglesias. Jesus, I hate that overwriting, pretentious, no-reporting hack. Where the hell — and it’s triply awful being a liberal. Such overwhelming cowardice. Knives to a gun fight. Napalm everywhere. Both sides. Chaos. Meaningless. Arm wrestling at the end of civilization. You lose.
Christ. Is it finally happening? Have I gone mad? Or am I mad? I’m not a doctor, dammit! Stop asking me these…he’s having a psychotic break with reality — creating a character, a mad man who can say what he likes without repercussions. Do you concur, doctor? I concur. My diagnosis is that that juror was 100% correct. This man is “mentally ill” and “sexually confused.” Hang him!
Or maybe I’m just another no-talent loser. “It’s all politics, man! My shit’s too raw, man. Man, man. Man.” It’s possible. Got to be objective. Two sides of every story. “2+2=5, according to the Heartland Institute. The Truth Vigilantes were not available for comment.”
I should stipulate that none of this applies to Alex Pareene or Charlie Pierce. And some others. But mostly Pierce. People should have to swear to tell the truth over his blog posts. OK.
Roland Motherfucking Cercone. Why lie like that? WHY? What are you getting out of this? You cover the City’s ass, and what do they do for you? What do they do for Mount Olive Baptist? What? Cui boner?
He claims that while he was keeping an eye on this extremely dangerous fellow…
…who’s not at all peacefully mocking homophobes like Michele Bachmann’s gay husband, but is an actual barbarian — a hipster Viking who wants nothing more than to pillage City Hall and skull-fuck Reverend Gillison with his horny helmet, Cercone was also watching me “shake the dildo behind people’s heads and making a goofy face!” He says I was doing this for the Viking’s benefit. And when he, Mr. Cercone, looked at me, I stopped because he “has his limits.” He was about to get “unchristian” on my ass. Although he was wearing sunglasses at the time, so he’s not sure if I got the message. Then I “disappeared.” Poof, motherfucker. That’s some Amish vampire midget shit right there. When I “reappeared,” I was on the other side of the street in Niagara Square, alternately holding the dildo at my groin and sucking latex. Back and forth, as you like. And you like. (More on the Viking in the coming entries.)
“Would it surprise you if if the officers [who were on my side of the street, not 10 feet away from me] testified to not seeing the dildo?” asks DD.
Back to the anger I have for the people who’re supposed to be on my side. I can’t contain it [Told you - Past Murphy]. Fire me, Fallon — while I’m in jail!
The other reason Gillison was called to the stand was to try to prove that the event was clearly labeled “rally” on the permit, which was coordinated by a political nonprofit, was just like any other day in church — even though Mount Olive already had a Sunday mass that day, and the even in question happened on the steps of City Hall. But since the good Rev didn’t actually sign the permit, as stated above, my lawyers were able to keep it from being introduced as evidence. I didn’t know this was the plan, and in my opinion, this was monumentally stupid. Now instead of the jury having access to a file that clearly lists the nature of the event as a “rally,” and not a prayer service, it’s merely our word against theirs. Dildo-Guy McGee vs. Reverend Holy Shit Balls. Who do you believe? Goddamn, I’m angry. But that’s just another day at MurphyCo. “MurphyCo: breeding contempt for society at large since 1978!”
What prayers did the crowd say? He doesn’t remember “perbatim” [sic]! Does it matter?! Double-Dawg did get Reverend Shit Balls to read the word “rally” of off the paper, but will the jury remember — especially after Fallon repeatedly played the wrong one-minute video, which depicts the crowd singing a hymn?! WTF, Fallon?!
We at MurphyCo are mad. We’re mad at ourselves. We’re mad that we’re mad at those trying to help us. Guilt and Napalm all over my Amish vampire midget ass. I barely know what I’m saying at this point…
“…Your Honor, may I direct your attention to the self-referential article entitled ‘Murphy’s Law IX.’ It clearly demonstrates that my client suffered tremendous emotional damage brought on by the stress of false arrest and trial.”
“Yes, yes. That much is clear. I award your client $170,000 in damages!” HOOZAH! [Wishful thinking - Super-Future Murphy.] But, really, beyond this case is a potential payday. Should be, if there’s any justice. Present Murphy will settle for not going to jail.
The “People” rest. And, as mentioned, Judge Eagan refused to send this circus packing. So it would figure that any minimal damage the prosecution may have done should be easily reversed when we start calling witnesses. Maybe I’m just mad with worry, picking nits, and the microbes on those nits, but our first witness made some unfortunate choices.
You know, we all live in our own little bubbles. We’re all constantly confirming our own biases. Conservatives do it in their own way, mostly to justify their ridiculous beliefs. Liberals do it in another way entirely. We surround ourselves with like-mindedness, as do conservatives, but we come out of it thinking that what’s readily apparent to us it readily apparent to all. So it’s not about justifying false beliefs, which we do do sometimes, but that we think basic facts will penetrate the conservative bubble. We’re amendable to new evidence, mostly, and it seems inconceivable to us that some people don’t do that. Napalm!
While I feel that’s generally true, and that truth was reinforced (see what I did there?) by hearing potential jurors say shocking things like “I can’t trust atheists” and “if someone gets arrested, they did something illegal,” I may just be buying time before I bring the hammer down on my BEAST comrade Josh Bunting. It’s a tiny hammer. But still.
And, um, it’s really hard to truly know what one’s own motivations are. And if you got it all figured out, good for you, you’re an incredible fool.
I shouldn’t be too hard on Bunting. We’ve never paid him to write for The BEAST. For like two months, when Crooks & Liars was paying me, I was passing the money straight to him. It sucks because he’s done some good stuff. And I’m still stalling.
Bunting was generally good for my case, corroborating my defense, but he said some really unfortunate things. For one, during cross examination, he said that our interviews were done to “provoke a humorous response.” PROVOKE! Why not “harass a humorous response” or “murder-a-baby humorous response”?! While this is absolutely true, it would’ve been just as true to say, “elicit a humorous response.” Maybe I’m overreacting.
There were some inexplicable, and minor, inconsistencies, which I doubt the jury will pick up on, but his description of our one and only dildo-phone interview was…well, it made me question why Bunting hates me. The WHOLE TRUTH, is that I asked the guy to define marriage, said I couldn’t hear him due to the wind, and asked him to speak into the microphone. He laughed, said it reminded him of a funny story from the Navy, then soon became pretty embarrassed, and told me he wishes no one would do that to my children. Josh called his reaction “disgusted.” That’s it. He didn’t mention the laughter, the Navy, or even have the common sense to use a less damaging word than “disgusted.”
He was operating under the assumption that disgusting people is not against the law. Funny thing about a jury trial is that whatever they say is against the law…is against the law. So one of the “disorderly” charges is obscenity, and here’s my jury full of Churchy motherfuckers. Great. Hopefully, I’m overreacting.
Bunting also said he was thrown off by the giant dildo-phone blow-up. If it threw off Josh, a guy who absolutely knows I’m innocent, imagine what it did to the jury. Hours. This is the prosecution’s entire case. I crossed some invisible line of decency. I don’t know what the fuck they think. I’m inclined to think the brutal facts of this case are penetrating their possible bubbles. I’m not even sure they have bubbles. Maybe they have Napalm…in Fallujah!
I hope I’m overreacting. Overall, Josh’s information should trump the way it was framed. Right? Fuck. Chris Mooney? HELLO?!
But speaking of Blackwater, it was trending the other day on Twitter. Turns out it’s an episode title of “Game of Thrones.” Did you know Peter Dinklage was at the GNOME rally? He was. We met at the semi-annual Amish vampire meetup. That’s why you can’t see him in any of the pictures.
Fuck this. I’m going to sleep. My sincere apologies to anyone I may have hurt with my manic…mania. The colors. They’re so bright! Let’s drink some absinthe! Gotta go. I have court bright and early. Early, anyway.
Might as well follow me on Twitter, if you made it this far.