May 2007 Archives

Threats from Rex Bruce of LACDA

I just received this threatening email from Rex Bruce of LACDA, the "Los Angeles Center for Digital Art"
From: Rex Bruce
Subject: Disinfotainment post, possible lawsuit

May 30, 2007

Charles Eicher

Dear Sir,

Please delete the "Disinfotainment" article regarding myself, our center and its practices from your blog. It is not accurate. Should you not remove it I will seek assistance through our lawyers. I will make a legal case against you, obtain a cease and desist order and will sue you for damages and legal costs. As well, any criminal charges which may be involved will also be reported and pursued.

This post will also be reflected as "abuse" to its respective host(s) who will be contacted and be held liable as allowed to the extent of applicable law. They may proceed against you with those remedies available to them in the interests of their protection.

Please respond within 48 hours.

Rex Bruce
Los Angeles Center For Digital Art
107 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
And my response, sent via email:
I will not remove the article. I notified you of this article via email the day it was published, almost a year ago. It is too late to complain now.

Note: your email, and all further correspondence, will be posted to my weblog. Your attempt to suppress this article will only draw more attention to it.

Charles Eicher
Oh how many times have I heard this story before? It is the pathetic war cry of internet flamers and bullies, "you'll be hearing from my attorney!" And of course nothing will ever happen because the guy doesn't even have an attorney. This sort of hollow threat inspired the internet neologism "cartooney," denoting the imaginary attorney the flamer thinks he will hire to prosecute his lawsuit.
And it's obvious he has no attorney, no Member of the Bar would take such a ridiculous case, they would all universally advise Rex to just forget about it. Furthermore, if he had actually consulted an attorney before sending a threatening email, he would have received legal advice not to make those threats, which could be considered barratry, a criminal misdemeanor in California.
But I know how this scenario will play out, I've been through this before. Rex Bruce will attempt to shut down my website by sending a threatening email to my ISP's abuse desk. It won't work. Perhaps then he will actually consult a real attorney, who will advise him that he has no grounds for a lawsuit, I have committed no criminal acts and no civil torts. Even if he does manage to retain a lawyer licensed to practice in Iowa and he files a lawsuit in my jurisdiction (very unlikely) the best he can achieve is a Pyrrhic Victory.
So let me offer you some friendly advice, Rex. You are digging yourself into a deep hole. Stop digging, you're only getting in deeper. Your only winning strategy is to walk away.

Fashion Faux Pas

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A few days ago, a friend invited me to go see a movie. As I headed out the door, I thought to myself, I should wear my new jacket. I found a really nice black Mossimo jacket at Target for just $25, it fit me perfectly and I thought I looked really great, not too dressy, not too casual. So I grabbed it from my closet, threw it on, and headed out the door.
My friend's reaction puzzled me, he said, "that's an interesting jacket, I've never seen you wear it before." I said, "sure you have, I wore it to your art opening a few weeks ago." I didn't think anything of it until I got home and hung it up, when I noticed the label. It wasn't my new jacket, it was an old Jimmy'Z jacket I bought in about 1983.
This wasn't just any jacket, it was part of a suit and pants set, Jimmy'Z's first and most infamous product, it made their reputation. The pants didn't have a zipper, or any fly at all, it fastened at the side with a velcro strap. It was a beachwear version of a conservative business suit, but cut very wide with big shoulder pads. I wore that suit constantly, the pants wore out but I kept wearing the jacket long after it was out of fashion. I haven't worn it for many years, but I couldn't bear to throw it out. I only grabbed it from my closet by accident.
I had an appointment for a haircut the next day, so I decided to wear it and ask for a second opinion from the women in the salon. I was vaguely hoping the jacket was so retro it was back in fashion again. But I got the same reaction, "that's an interesting jacket." I asked my haircutter for her opinion, she said, "well, it's too big and wide for you, it makes your head look tiny. It reminds me of the jacket David Byrne wore in the movie 'Stop Making Sense.'" Unfortunately, I knew exactly what she meant.