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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

BS Patrol Pt. 2, the Gibson

Two days in a row, two big pantloads.

Florida State Rep. Ralph Arza owes me for free legal advice.

Arza stepped in it again this week when he allegedly drunk-called a fellow legislator, berated that legislator for filing a complaint against him, and tossed around the N-word to that fellow legislator.

It was the second time in months Arza was accused of using that word. The first time was in reference to Rudy Crew, the black chief of Miami-Dade Public Schools. And, of course, Arza denied talking that way the first time.

This time he was caught on tape, in a manner of speaking, having left his rant on the fellow legislator's voicemail.

If you guessed Arza's response was "I used a word I shouldn't have and spoke in a racist manner and exhibited a racist attitude," then you would have guessed wrong.

Arza chalked his words up to an anger problem and too much booze.

South Park coined the "Chewbacca Defense," in which a cartoon caricature of the late Johnnie Cochran represented a music exec who sued Chef over song-writing credits. "Cochran" attempted to distract the jury by arguing that it was improbable that giant fur balls like Chewbacca could come from Endor, the same planet as the Ewoks, little fur balls.

I'm calling my new legal theory "The Gibson."

It's very similar to "I misspoke," the similarity being that users of "The Gibson" can attribute their bad acts to an outside influence, rather than just acknowledge that they are flat out wrong about something. Users of The Gibson may say they were wrong, but that acknowledgement will always come with a caveat: that something else made them do it.

courtesy of someone who is a bigger egghead than me and who posted it to, here is "Cochran's" closing argument from that South Park episode:
Cochran: Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, Chef's attorney would certainly want you to believe that his client wrote "Stinky Britches" ten years ago. And they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself! But, ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookie from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!
Gerald Broflovski (Kyle's dad and Chef's attorney): Dammit!
Chef: What?
Gerald: He's using the Chewbacca Defense!
Cochran: Why would a Wookie, an eight-foot tall Wookie, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself "What does this have to do with this case?" Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a lawyer defending a major record company, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that jury room deliberatin' and conjugatin' the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.


  • Flip Wilson was there in 1972. "The devil made me do it".

    Again. Man up. Take the asswhoopin you deserve. And move on. Good lord. I've been drunk as hell, and it never made me antisemitic. Or racist. I've been pissed as hell, and it never made me a mysanthrope. Once, I was really, really tired, though, and for a little while, it made me hate Uzbekis. Not.

    By Anonymous og, at 7:14 AM  

  • Yeah, it fascinates me. If booze isn't truth serum, how come A-holes never get drunk and say really nice, pleasant things?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:59 AM  

  • Maybe instead of having candidate debates, we should televise their drunken parties. Then we could determine who to vote for. Or not.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 11:47 AM  

  • Chewbacca wanting to live with the Ewoks is just like some six-foot-tall dude's obsession with dating midgets.
    Think about it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 PM  

  • Man, at this rate the Betty Ford's going to be filled to the brim with racists, anti-Semites, and Congressional page-chasers.

    All because people are too spineless to do the right thing... which, I suppose is the reason they were in these various positions to begin with.

    By Blogger QofD, at 2:54 PM  

  • if the guy dosnt man up to it, then apparently he has no problem with his usage of the word. That alone should be the reason to toss his ass out.

    Great post, James.

    By Blogger Val Prieto, at 5:10 PM  

  • "how come A-holes never get drunk and say really nice, pleasant things?"

    They do! It just sounds like "mweaigh fraeargh whrah! FDrarg a fragh krebralpa fergh a geezreoflofgh"

    By Anonymous og, at 10:23 PM  

  • Wow. He's not going to get away with that.

    I got in trouble for using the N-word last year but in a much more naive sort of way. My black buddy and I had some Jack Daniels before stopping at an Irish pub to meet some coworkers. Later that evening, I felt compelled to do the Dave Chappelle routine where he spoofs the Samuel Adams commercial.

    "Mmmmmmm, that's some good beer N____!"

    Man was he pissed. It took weeks for him to get over that. Won't do that again....

    By Blogger Matt, at 4:32 PM  

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