2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > World

America: The future is jumpsuit orange

14 March 2005

'They stood at the yard carrying bags full of weapons and tools. They yelled kill them. All of soldiers of zone two started shooting. They are dropping every one of them. After five minutes all the people were laying on the ground dead.'


If the above excerpt from an 18-year-old American high school student's short story about zombie mayhem had ever made it into the hands of a diligent Kentuckian English teacher, it would be positively chipper with censorious red ink. But it didn't. And the key-word here is 'American'. They read things differently there. This is the country remember, where the film title 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' was deemed prohibitively highbrow. So perhaps it isn't surprising that William Poole's juvenile fiction has been taken rather more seriously than it oughta.

It all began three weeks ago, when William Poole's grandmother was nosing around her grandson's room. Suddenly she happened upon the boy's personal journal and in a moment of surprised panic, read it cover to cover. So shaken was she by what she read and so loyal to her own flesh and blood that she immediately called the police. The police were equally shaken. And rightly so, for described in William Poole's journal were a sinister gang called the Brotherhood of the No Limited Soldiers. (We think he probably meant Unlimited, as in Soldiers Without Limits. But we're nit-picking.) The NLS are a large terrorific organisation spanning three states. They hold bizarre, loyalty-testing initiation ceremonies, and use sinister nicknames like 'Nappy Boy'. At one stage they take over an unnamed high school in Poole's Clark County. It's terrifying stuff all right Poole himself claims the journal is fiction - stories about zombies he was writing for high school. His high school teachers on the other hand, say they asked him to write no such thing.

Detective Steven Caudill smells a threat. On February 22nd William Poole was arrested and charged with 'terroristic threatening', narrowly escaping another count of 'aggravated terroristicism'. As his grandmother has refused to post the bail, Poole has been in jail ever since.

Sadly, as the whole world knows, when America takes coke, England gets a nosebleed. At the time of writing, Tony Blair has just rejected the idea of a 'sunset clause' in his brand new human-rights-friendly Prevention of Terrorism Bill. This clause would limit the powers of the legislation to just one year. That, says Blair, would be sending the wrong message to the evil-doers. Read his lips. And to anyone who doubts the wisdom of a law which will enable police to take away just about everything but the soul from anyone who is deemed - by a judge - to arouse 'reasonable suspicion' of actions, words or gestures with a terroresque motif, Blair says simply that this is a 'time to be strong'. Oh. Right-o. Apparently, if the Prevention of Terrorism Bill is defeated, the old emergency measures - the post-TTEOSE ones which are due to expire on Monday - the ones which were recently deemed to contravene human rights laws - well, they'll just be extended for a while, till Blair gets his own way again.

Meanwhile back in Kentucky, District Court Judge Brandy O. Brown was so totally awash with reasonable suspicion that the writings of William Poole betrayed unpatriotic intentions, that she sent the case to the Clark County Grand Jury. William Poole is still in jail.

Of course it is perfectly possible that Poole was in fact just days away from creating his own Columbine when he was arrested. We can't judge what terrifying giveaways lay hidden in his juvenile zombie fantasy because we haven't read the entire story. We can't read the entire story because Brandy O. Brown has ordered the document sealed. However, if it were the case that foul deeds were only days away, determining the salient facts and foiling those foul deeds would surely not take long. Judging by the sophistication of the journal extract above, William Poole is no master-criminal. There would therefore, be evidence. It wouldn't be hard. Jack Bauer could probably crack the case in less than a minute. And yet - we feel this bears repeating - William Poole has been in prison since February 22nd.

Surely the point here is that even if Poole had written a sickening bloodbath of a tale in which a character called William Poole single-handedly destroys America one picket fence at a time, then *so* *fucking* *what*?

It's a free country.


Coming Soon, Control Orders



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved