A lame attempt at censorship

If you’re angry enough about a bumper sticker to tear off a piece of it, be sure to tear off the right piece.

In general, I disapprove of rude and vulgar political bumperstickers. But I also disapprove of censorship, especially in the form of defacing someone else’s political communication.

So I was rather pleased to see an unsuccessful instance of attempted censorship the other day, even though the target message was rude and vulgar in the extreme.

The sticker appeared on a car ahead of me in traffic. It had obviously been torn off on the left side, eliminating a short initial word. (The corner was intact, so you could see the size of the space the word had occupied.) The remainder of the slogan — the part that followed the missing word — was

      my dick cheney

Note that removing the final word would have rendered the attempted insult politically powerless by removing the name of the subject. while removing the first word just made it funnier.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com