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CSotD: Of Mice and Mendacity

Matt Davies illustrates the plight of Floridians canceled by the self-proclaimed opponents of Cancel Culture.

Someone — though not Mark Twain — said that America is on a tilt and all the loose nuts slide into Southern California, but it’s getting hard to believe they’re not actually falling straight down.

 

And, however absurd and depressing and incredible the news out of Florida becomes, the fact is that, while Ron DeSantis was elected governor in 2018 by a waffer-theen margin, his prospects for re-election in January show a substantial lead over his likely Democratic challengers.

Which indicates that Florida voters approve of his war on LGBTQ+ people and those who dare teach history in history class or do something or other similarly non-caucasian in math class, as well as his fight to deprive women of control over their own bodies.

What’s more, they seemingly give him a green light to attack a company that employs some 75,000 people and contributes millions of dollars to the state’s economy.

 

As noted above, and depicted by Adam Zyglis here, conservatives feel a need to silence, or at least punish, anyone who disagrees with them.

Zyglis makes it about fear, and rightfully so, since the Disney Corp has indicated a wish to see Florida’s law restricting discussion of sexual orientation in schools overturned, and we all know you can’t have a free nation if people are allowed to disagree with the central government.

 

So DeSantis got both houses of the state legislature to pass a law revoking the tax and regulatory breaks that brought Disney into the state with its 75,000 jobs and its millions of dollars of revenue, and he will, no doubt, sign the bill.

Clay Bennett (CTFP) shows this as a victory over the mouse, but I’d hold fire on that assessment, even given DeSantis’s popularity.

 

He hasn’t even got the conservative National Review on his side over this pointless performative gesture.

For those who were, I dunno, in the bathroom when it was discussed, the issue is a law creating a special district, in which Disney agreed to take on the normal municipal costs of roads, sewage, firefighting and so forth as it developed the Magic Kingdom, in return for some regulatory autonomy, and, while canceling the agreement will cost Disney some money, it’s also going to dump all those costs, plus a substantial bond debt, back into the laps of the communities surrounding the amusement park.

In a worst-case scenario, area homeowners would get an immediate tax bill of about $2,800, though my guess is that the legislature will correct that with a special law to spread the pain among all Floridians, though, since the state has no income tax, I’m not sure how.

But it certainly seems unlikely that the entire state will pick up the ongoing costs of all that firefighting and road maintenance and whatnot.

What I am sure of is that Disney will not simply leave, because you can’t pack up all that infrastructure and just plunk it back down in a more friendly location.

In any case — Bennett’s victorious fat cat notwithstanding — I’m also completely sure that this ain’t over yet.

Nor will it be the only fight we have over repression of free speech in the near future.

 

Ruben Bolling explains how free speech differs depending on who’s speaking, and it’s an interesting wrinkle on the old saying that Freedom of the Press belongs to the person who owns one.

The Internet elevated samizdat to a level well beyond mimeographed screeds passed from hand to hand, but, first of all, you’re fooling yourself if you think it’s as easy as setting up an account. Every once in a while, some voice rises from the cellar to viral popularity, but that’s rare enough to be remarkable when it happens.

And, at the other end of the scale, Donald Trump’s attempt to create his own social media platform is proving the folly of “If you build it, they will come,” because, first of all, building it takes some skill and, second, they haven’t.

Which brings us to Elon Musk and his plans to take over an already successful platform, as seen in this

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Adam Zyglis)

 

(Dave Granlund)

Like Hollingsworth Hound, Musk decries Cancel Culture and is all in favor of free speech, but the suspicion is that he’ll quickly realize that there are speeches he doesn’t think should be so free.

Conservatives have longed to strip away libel protection for on-line sites that are currently not held responsible for the things posted by their users, but they also seem eager to provide an outlet for delusional hate speech and outright lies.

Zyglis notes it in general, Granlund is more specific in who seems likely to flock to Musk’s unregulated arena.

Well, Dominion Voting Machines can’t be the only company willing to lawyer up and fight back and, while it’s unlikely that lawsuits could whittle down Musk’s billions the way Alex Jones has seen his gold turning to brass, it would sure give the boy wonder something to do with his time besides pop up into space.

 

Though Joy of Tech suggests that perhaps it’s all part of his cunning plan.

We’ll see, but, just as Disney is unlikely to load the Magic Kingdom onto a flatbed truck and haul it to Georgia, Elon Musk is unlikely to create an unregulated platform in which anybody wants to play.

The fact is, moderators are necessary or the resulting flood of unregulated feces drives everybody away.

The question is, what kinds of feces will Musk decide to tolerate, and how many people will want to wallow in it?

 

Finally, a follow-up on yesterday’s discussion of manly men. Zits (KFS) has been in a prolonged story arc about the upcoming prom, and lately featured Jeremy’s attempts to find creative ways to invite her.

Today’s denouement confirms a Man Club fact, which is that clever opening lines and elaborate romantic gestures are unnecessary and are also, as noted here recently, for losers.

Though every pot has its lid, and losers do find each other.

Proven by the fact that this scene was clever, innovative and appropriate in 1982, but was then copied by a thousand thrown drinks that were none of those things:

Community Comments

#1 Tara Gallagher
April/22/2022
@ 9:46 am

I have to admit some mixed feelings about what’s happening with the Disney, er, Reedy Creek, special district.
It was a questionable deal when it happened and needed to be revisited and possibly revised–but yes, yanking it because eek Disney Corp treats gays people as people is bad governance, and yes, phased-in change might have been appropriate, not overturning an entire regional structure overnight.
In short, I dislike rooting for the mouse, but sometimes Big Cultural Hegemony Corporation is on the better side of an issue. Ah, the pain of nuanced thinking.

#2 Rich Furman
April/22/2022
@ 4:08 pm

I’m not “rooting for the mouse” either, but it’s impossible not to notice that DeSantis is being arbitrary and capricious in his exercise of state power, with coercive intent. This is the hallmark of dictatorship. The question of whether Disney will in some fashion retaliate or cave is one that will be interesting to see, but I suspect they hold more cards than DeSantis. I wouldn’t have chosen Disney as a champion for democracy, but since they’ve been thrown into that role, I can only hope that they lean into it and win.

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