Dear Aunt Sophie,
I had an Aunt Sophie and she was a b*** buster. I hope you’ll be a little nicer because I am having a rotten week and I don’t need anyone else beating me up. I was just convicted of some imaginary crimes I didn’t commit and if I can’t win my appeal they’re going to put me in jail. For 20 years. Me – a grandmother!
Before you wrinkle your genteel nose, let me assure you that I did not kidnap, torture or even kill anyone. In fact, I don’t know why I was on trial. I’m a lawyer and all I did was convey a message from my client to an associate of his. The poor man was in solitary and he missed his friends. As far as I know that still isn’t a crime. At least it wasn’t until Tex “won” the election.
While it’s true the message did say something about death to America and Americans, I did not agree with it. One must always distinguish between the message’s author and the messenger. I love America. Where else can you get a law license and use it this way? But that’s all beside the point. We have the First Amendment and that gives me the right to convey my client’s message as long as I don’t yell fire in a crowded theater. Since I did not do that I don’t see how they could put me on trial (except that the capitalist oppressors in this administration are hell-bent on muzzling everyone who voted for the other guy in 2000. Don’t they realize that was more than half the electorate?).
But the “government” said I had no right to convey messages because I’d signed an agreement not to. I have an absolute First Amendment right to speak and that includes speaking words someone else asked me to speak to his friend. Actors speak other peoples’ words to third parties all the time and they don’t go to jail for it.
I suppose you could argue that since they thought my client was a terrorist it was a little different than an actor reading a part, but in a very real sense, my client is a playwright, too, since he deals in plots. What’s the difference between a playwright who writes a play in which someone blows up a bridge or a tunnel, and a person who conceives the same plot but doesn’t happen to belong to the Authors Guild? No difference. Arguendo, let’s say my client did plot to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel. So what. Everybody who writes a whodunnit has to plot a crime. Does the Patriot Act mean Erle Stanley Gardner goes to jail? If I have an absolute right to relate the plot of a whodunnit to a friend, I have the same absolute right to relate my client’s plot to his friend. QED. I rest my case.
I can’t go away for 20 years. I’m married. I’m a grandma. I’ve got speaking engagements. I’ll gain weight. They’ll make fun of my beard. What should I do? What can I tell the grand-children? Help!
Power to the People
Isn’t it nifty to be right in the thick of the revolution for a change instead of just raving at a bunch of clueless jurors about it? Never mind that this isn’t exactly the same revolution you’ve been hawking for the past 30 years, but hey, a change of system is a change of system.
Of course your new comrades would zip you into a burqa faster than you can say “religion is the opiate of the people." Even so, isn’t it fun to know that because of you your client’s comrades in arms might throw real bombs at the establishment for you and you’ll never have to get any of those nasty chemicals under your nails. What a blast!
But I guess I can see why you think you’ve been handed a raw deal. You figured as long as you didn’t actually conceal nitro starch in your voluminous pants you’d be safe passing your client’s harmless little fatwas along to his rabid pals. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you aren’t on the way to the big house for playing “Telephone." The running dogs of that capitalist entity known as America, benighted though they are, think there should be a price paid for abetting the homicidal loons who want to turn their country into a 3,000-mile-wide taco chip.
Don’t fret your sentence. You’ll find much to enjoy in the pokey. After all, prison is a socialist’s nirvana – all your needs will be met and all your decisions will be made for you. If you’re concerned about your diet, you can probably request halal. But watch those carbs.
As for the grandchildren, I’m sure you taught them in the cradle that if you want to make an omelet you have to break some eggs. Just tell them to think of you as a broken egg.
Good luck and God bless.