Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is it too much to ask?

Is it too much to ask that a moratorium be called on invoking Michael Vick EVERY FUCKING TIME a celebrity who is NOT Michael Vick get's into legal trouble?

You hear this shit all the time now: "If you {{insert felony recently committed by famous person}} you get a slap on the wrist... BUT IF YOU KILL A DOG!!!..." the implication, of course, being that what Vick did was so unimportant as to make his 18 month punishment an instant laugh line. There's also a sick undercurrent of cultural pandering frequently involved, as though dog-murder is one of those things "you wouldn't understand."

Chris Rock - who's usually above crap like this - was the most recent offender in this regard, with the comparison in question being (who else?) Roman Polanski. Now, granted, he's probably mostly joking, but still. Honestly, are there NO better martyrs to "unfair" incarceration than this guy?


Euler d'Moogle said...

Yes, yes it is. Sadly...

I understand you and completely agree with you, but it's too easy to get mileage out of that kind of joke. My house is a feline house with five of those self propelled mouse traps wandering around, but my best friend's house is a dog house with two Boston terriers and a dog of unknown breed who is very very large. Now we all agree that what Michael Vick did was abhorrent but he did do his time and this is only his second chance, not his 7th, 17th, or 27th as so many celebrities seem to get so we're all officially willing to let this go, but the look in their eyes tells a different tale. They will never really forgive him for what he has done. It cuts too close to the bone for them to rationalize it away. As dog owners, it's too personal for them. And it's too personal for many many people as well. That's why it always gets a reaction and that's why Michael Vick jokes won't go away as long as Michael Vick is in the news.

It's not going away even though it stopped being clever three months ago. The best we can do is greet such jokes with the silence they deserve.

Mike B. said...

Your point seems to be that these jokes undervalue Michael Vick's crimes, and that the joke itself has gotten old. While I agree that his crimes were serious, and that the joke stopped being funny the second time it was told, I do think the point made by these jokes can be valid.

For example: People still picket Eagles facilities because Michael Vick is on the team, after he has already served his time. They argue that he should not be on an NFL team.

Donte' Stallworth, a wide receiver for the Browns, was both high and drunk when he killed Mario Reyes by hitting him with his car. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail (of which he served 24 days), 1000 hrs. of community service, 2 yrs. house arrest (which often allow for departures from the home for specific purposes), & 8 yrs. probation.

How many of the people protesting Michael Vick do you imagine will be protesting the next team Donte' Stallworth plays for? He has only been suspended by the NFL for the 2009 season, so it is plausible that he could play for a team in 2010. His lawyers have nearly a year (it's only week 4 in the regular season) to convince a judge to allow him out for practices and games.

How many of these people protested St. Louis Rams games? Leonard Little was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in 1998 for killing Susan Gutweiler while driving with a .19 blood alcohol level. He received 90 days in jail, four years probation and 1000 hours community service.

So, yes, I think what Michael Vick did was horrible. However, I also think that the length of incarceration for killing another human being should last longer than the runs of most of the movies you review, regardless of whether it's an "accident". So, I think people who make that (unfunny) joke have a point in some cases - If you kill a human, you'll have to spend three whole weeks in jail, but if you kill a dog...

Bob said...


I don't care what species the victims in these questions belong to, there is a WORLD of difference between torturing something to death on purpose, with malice of forethought and for PROFIT and causing a death by accident.

Vick was not arrested, tried and convicted for accidentally killing a dog in a drunk-driving accident. He was involved at multiple levels in a for-profit illegal business that involved the long-term torture, brutalization and murder of dogs - which he took part in personally.

Donte Stallworth did NOT keep Mario Reyes starving in a cage and force him to fight for his life. Leonard Little did NOT drown, electrocute or bludgeon Susan Gutweiler to death. They caused these deaths in accidents relating to their idiocy, and they have been punished accordingly. Vick did nothing by accident, and is not an idiot but a demonstrable psychopath.

In other words, YES, in my opinion Vick's crime is FAR worse, and he deserves infinitely worse than what he's getting.

tyra menendez said...

with vick, they were also trying to set an example: it doesn't matter if you're a celebrity, or not, if you open up a dog-fighting campaign, you're going to time.
dog fighting has become more and more popular, in the states, so the concern is that if the punishment is too light, it won't be a deterrent.

Brad said...

What makes a dog so fucking special that its worth ruining a young man's life over? When I was a boy I used to trap and kill chipmunks for fun, no one ever complained. I was certainly never arrested. Dogs deserve some special treatment because they're cute and we keep them as pets? Bullshit.

“A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

— Ingrid Newkirk, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

I can respect Ingrid Newkirk because at least she knows where she stands. Not that I support any of their PETA garbage. Either all animals have rights or none do, to try form a basis for some sort of hierarchy of animal rights would be ridiculous. If you've ever killed or harmed any creature for pleasure or profit you're no better or worse than Michael Vick.

To me the canine element of Michael Vick's crimes is irrelevant. He served his time (23 months) for an illegal business venture.