Laughing at Cripples

Dig the hip crip!
This has not been a good morning for me. I woke up and found my three year old kitty, Pumpkin, dead in the living room. Since she was a bright spot in my morning every day this hurts more than I care to discuss. She was unique in many ways, even by cat standards, so I guess that’s why she and I got along so well. She liked eating jalapenos and thought my farts were fun. There aren’t any people I could say that about.

Anyway, I’ll miss her but we have to move on.

Police in Cincinnati have given new hope to those who are afraid our laws aren’t restrictive enough. They ticketed a guy for promoting a crippled comic by using the word crippled.

No, I am not making this up.

Forest Thomer didn’t assault a physically disabled person. He didn’t even verbally heckle her. Nonetheless, Cincinnati police charged Thomer with disorderly conduct after he used the word “crippled” to promote a comedian with muscular dystrophy.

But perhaps most shocking of all, the AP reports that comedian Ally Bruener is actually Thomer’s friend and even instructed him to ask the crowd if they wanted to “laugh at the crippled girl.”

And now both are saying the Cincinnati police violated his free speech rights by issuing the charge.

“You can’t just arrest people or have them arrested just because you don’t like what they are saying,” Thomer said.

“I don’t think words have power until you react negatively to them,” Bruener, 23, added. “People are trying to be too politically correct and force us to be as well.”

Nonetheless, police say Thomer, 25, disrupted visitors to a “Party in the Park” event in downtown Cincinnati by walking up to them and shouting obscenities. According to the complaint filed in Hamilton County Municipal Court, Thomer was asked to stop but, but “persisted in yelling and shouting, causing annoyance and alarm to others.”

Thomer is scheduled to appear in a Cincinnati courtroom on Wednesday and could face up to 30 days in jail if convicted.

Reportedly, police declined to arrest Thomer when he informed them that he was Bruener’s only ride home from the event.

Still, even if Thomer was exercising his right to free speech, he may have violated one of the park’s other rules by attempting to record reactions from the crowd to use on Bruener’s website, I Laughed At The Crippled Girl.

“We don’t allow anyone to conduct marketing at our events without prior authorization or take video of our guests for commercial purposes without their approval,” Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber spokesman Chris Kemper said.

Okay, fine, but he’s not charged with that. He’s charged with using the word “crippled” to describe a woman who describes herself as crippled.

Anyway, since the police are protecting her sensitive virtues, let’s check in with her and she what she has to say about all this.

First, I just want to say thank you for all the support so many of you have shown to me and Forest over this ridiculous arrest. With that being said, I have some updates for you..

Today was Forest’s arraignment. As much as we were hoping for a dismissal, Forest plead “not guilty” and we are set to go back to court on June 20th. Until today, we weren’t sure the specifics of the charges. During the arrest, all we knew was that is was “disorderly conduct” and had the officer mention that the reason we were made to leave was because we were being “vulgar”. As it turns out, “crippled” isn’t actually a vulgar word but rather (according to what the judge said via the arrest report) “grossly abusive language”.

So this begs the question: Who was the language abusive towards? The crippled girl using the word in reference to herself? The people that laughing at the crippled girl’s jokes? Or the one lady with a personal vendetta against Forest? Whatever the case may be, I will not let this issue rest. I will not sit back and allow anyone trample over my RIGHT to show and tell the world that I am PROUD to be CRIPPLED!

Before I bring this post to a close, I want to ask: What are your thoughts on this whole ordeal? What should our plan of action be? We welcome your thoughts, opinions, and criticisms. Unlike Cincinnati PD, we don’t censor folks.

Also, here is a video of the footage we got that night. The lady at the beginning flipped her shit the moment she saw Forest, before he even opened his purtty mouth.

Hmm. She seem fine. No emotional scarring or trauma.

She reminds me of Chicago’s very own “crippled comic” Michael “Ace” Lanigan. He appeared on several radio shows, had some scathing material about Hollywood and was a lot of fun to hang around. Of course he had a psychotic break with reality, wheeled himself to LA (literally) ans has been trying to hang out with professional wrestlers ever since.

Judging by what I was able to find, that has not gone well for him. Which is a shame because I genuinely liked the guy.

That’s not to say that a similar fate awaits the lovely and talented Ally Bruener (her stuff is pretty good), I just felt the comparison was apt, to a point.

Here’s some video of Ace in happier times when he appeared in the video for Fetish Doll’s “Little Death.”

Fetish Doll – Behind the Scenes from Bill McCormick on Vimeo.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.

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