Last week i reported here on the laughable attempts by the state of Maryland and Arkansas to outlaw trading cards on which criminals appear. I thought things couldn't get much wackier.
This week the City Council of Rosemead, California (which is down by Los Angeles), unanimously voted to request that the California legislature make all newspapers, books, movies, magazines, videos, songs, and, yes, trading cards depicting convicted criminals against the law. These folks aren't just after Eclipse for putting serial killers and mafia bosses on our True Crime trading cards, mind you, they want to ban any representation of any person convicted of any felony whatsoever.
And it's all our fault.
Here is the complete text of this remarkable document (with thanks to Mike Utley of the Los Angeles Times for alerting me to the story):
WHEREAS, there has been a recent surge in California of the distribution of "trading cards" depicting the likenesses of convicted mass murderers; and
WHEREAS, the persons depicted on said "trading cards" are responsible for some of the most heinous and vile crimes perpetrated by man; and
WHEREAS, the depiction of those persons can serve no purpose other than to exult and glorify criminal behavior; and
WHEREAS experts have found many links between the simulation of violent behavior and the actual conduct of violent crimes,
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the City Council of the City of Rosemead deplores such activity and urges strongly that the California Senate and Assembly move swiftly in enacting legislation which would prohibit the production and distribution of materials depicting the likenesses of convicted felons.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution be forwarded to the Governor of the State of California and all members of the California Legislature.
PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED this 25th day of February, 1992.
Yes: [Robert] Bruesch,
Okay, folks, no more Jose Canseco cards for you! (Unless those weapons and assault charges Jose got hit with were just misdemeanors.) No more movies like Scarface, Bugsy, Good Fellas, The Godfather, The Untouchables, Bonnie and Clyde, or -- perish the thought! -- Silence of the Lambs.
No more morning newspaper.
No more trips to the bookstore.
And don't you dare turn on that television -- Mike Tyson might be mentioned on the nightly news!
Yes, creeping Rosemeadism is upon us now, and we will be kept very, very, safe in our houses, reading our pornography and our cookbooks, watching the home shopping channel, listening to big band music, shuffling through our Useful Songbirds trading cards.
You say this scenario does not appeal to you? You say you'd like to decide for yourself whether you can handle looking at the image of a convicted drunk driver now and then?
Well, if you want to let the City Council of Rosemead know what you think of their plans to abolish the First Amendment, you can write them at:
City of Rosemead, 8838 East Valley Blvd., Rosemead, California 91770.
Tell 'em cat yronwode sent you.
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