Stuff You Find When Looking For Something Else

I was reading a couple of articles about how an insignificant party attendee ended up getting doxxed in an article in the Washington Post. Her crime was to attend a party pretending to be Megyn Kelly in blackface – two years ago.

Now I’ve never worn blackface nor do I encourage it. That is, unless you are using black in conjunction with other colors for camo face paint in hunting. I still think a camo face mask is easier and certainly easier to remove.

Back to the subject at hand.

This got me to thinking of that old Southernism, “He needed killing.” It turns out that this was often called the “Texas Defense”. Despite that, there was no law in Texas or anywhere else I can find that allows the murder of someone because they were reprehensible human beings. Despite being called the Texas Defense, it actually originated with an 1870 Kentucky case dealing with self-defense. Dave Hardy covered that case in his Of Arms and the Law blog back in 2011.

All of this eventually led to Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary on the entry on Homicide. Published in 1906, it is available for free on the Internet thanks to the Gutenberg Project. If you haven’t read entries in it, you should.

HOMICIDE, n. The slaying of one human being by another. There are four kinds of homocide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy, but it makes no great difference to the person slain whether he fell by one kind or another—the classification is for advantage of the lawyers.

As the Complementary Spouse would assure you, my mind sometimes does work like that. I start at Point A, meander a bit here and there, dawdle for a while on something totally irrelevant but interesting, and eventually end up at Point Z. It is like following links on the Internet where you keep following link after link until you remember what you were originally trying to find and you go back there.

If you are of a certain age, you may remember a Chicago newspaper columnist by the name of Sydney J. Harris. Long before there was an Internet, he would write about “Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things.” It was full of interesting trivia. I can only imagine what he’d come up with now thanks to the Internet.

And that is how I got from some Social Justice Warriors thinking it was their duty to dox an ordinary person who then lost her job to “he needed killing” to good old Ambrose Bierce (and Sydney J. Harris).


One thought on “Stuff You Find When Looking For Something Else”

  1. I would have to argue, and have, that “he needed killin” is a valid defense almost anywhere. This defense should appear in advisories with an asterisk leading to a paragraph or two, explaining that while your claim may be solidly true, someone, probably a judge, is going to want a fairly detailed explanation for your proposition. The claim has a limited application and if the judge doesn’t like your explanation, he may, in extreme cases, use that line on you.

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