Fucking Hell: David Mamet Files The Most Pointless, Silly Amicus Brief In Texas Content Moderation Appeal

from the where-are-all-the-fucks dept

About the only positive thing you can say about famed play/movie writer David Mamet deciding to file an amicus brief in support of Texas in that state’s appeal of a district court correctly tossing the state’s social media content moderation bill as unconstitutional is… that it has fewer swear words than your typical Mamet production. As you’ll recall, Texas followed Florida down this dubious, censorial road, pretending that it can magically force private companies to perpetually host speech it disagrees with.

We expected some silly amicus briefs in support of Texas, and there have been a few (some of which we’ll cover elsewhere), but by far the most bizarre is David Mamet’s decision to, um, weigh in, I guess?

Mamet, if you don’t know, took a Trumpian turn, and like pretty much anyone supporting this law, seems to think that their support of one dude now, um, trumps any actual principles. Or rather, they demonstrate impressively demented levels of cognitive dissonance by twisting themselves into knots pretending that commandeering private property, compelling speech, and removing the 1st Amendment rights of association from private companies is somehow… all about freedom?

The filing starts out with Mamet’s statement of interest in which he — in a brief supporting the government compelling private parties to host speech — claims he’s really concerned about government interference in our freedoms.

Proposed amicus David Mamet aspires to enjoy freedom of speech without government-enabled censorship. Mr. Mamet worries about how Americans can navigate their world when firms that control information conduits, and are privileged and subsidized by the government, serve curated “information” to users and the public which no longer maps onto the world that Americans personally observe.

That’s silly enough, but the actual amicus brief, well, holy shit. It’s… um… a story? It includes no citations. It makes no arguments. It’s just some sort of fictional story that feels like something a freshman in high school might write after getting high the first time and thinking they were profound. It starts out thusly:

The pilot wants to orient himself. He knows approximately where he is, for he knows the direction in which he’s been flying, the speed of the plane, and the time of flight. And he has a chart. Given a 100 mph airspeed, flying west for one hour, he should be at this point on the chart. He should, thus, see, to his right a camelbacked double hill, and, off to his left, a small lima bean shaped lake.

He now looks out, but he can’t find the objects the chart informed him he’d see. He concludes that he is lost.

How can he determine his location? He has a map, but he’s just misused it. How?

The Map is not the territory. The territory is the territory

It goes on like that. Mercifully, not for that long.

But I can assure you that this is likely to be the only amicus brief ever to include the line:

I report as an outdoorsman, that Panic is real. It is the loss of the mind and will to Pan, God of the Woods.

Anyway, after two pages of this silly drivel, he concludes:

A pilot in this situation might conclude he’d simply picked up the wrong map.

But what if the government and its privileged conduits prohibited him from choosing another?

copyright © 2022 by D. Mamet

Deep man. Pass the bong.

Anyway, where to start? Oh, hell, let’s start with the copyright notice. For over a decade, we’ve written about a few different cases where questions were raised about whether or not you could even copyright a legal brief. And the courts seem to say that you can in some circumstances, though almost no one bothers to register their briefs because, really, why would you? In a few situations where it was a pure moneygrab by lawyers looking to shake down database companies like Westlaw and Lexis/Nexus, the courts have not looked too kindly on these arguments. That said, we did cover one case where a copyright claim survived over a legal brief, but it was a pretty unique situation, involving a lawyer who had been working with another lawyer, defending two different defendants in a case, and the one lawyer basically copied a huge section of a draft brief the other lawyer was going to file in the very same case. Under that circumstance, the court found the copyright claim to be more reasonable.

Either way, it should be clear that reposting and commenting on Mamet’s brief here, as silly as it is, constitutes clear fair use.

As for the brief itself, even in the nutty 5th Circuit, it seems quite likely that this particular brief will be mostly ignored, other than perhaps to wonder at what inspired Mamet to submit such nonsense.

As for the — and I hesitate to call it this, but whatever — “substance” of Mamet’s argument, even given the most forgiving read of it, Mamet seems to be claiming that the obviously unconstitutional restriction on private property rights and the 1st Amendment rights of social media companies should be allowed, because… otherwise the government “and its privileged conduits prohibited” you from choosing another platform.

Except, that’s not at all what any of this is about. First off, social media platforms are not the government’s privileged conduits under any conceivable definition. Second, at no point is anyone prohibited from choosing another platform. And these days there are so many platforms for Trumpists like Mamet to choose from.

As someone who has attended apparently a few too many of Mamet’s plays and movies, I’ll say that in his old age, he seems to have completely lost the plot.

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Comments on “Fucking Hell: David Mamet Files The Most Pointless, Silly Amicus Brief In Texas Content Moderation Appeal”

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RyunosukeKusanagi (profile) says:

okay let’s break down this fucking word salad.

1) Even a Cessna 172 (the single engine, 4 seat Cessnas), is 140-185 (give or take) mph, so if said plane is only doing 100mph, they are not flying, they are stalling, or more accurately, falling.

2) Grabbing the wrong map for where you are flying is grounds for … well.. being grounded… by the FAA, ie. Content Moderation, Keeping people who fuck up royally from participating is said activities.

An air chart is NOT like a Rand McNally road atlas. There are a LOT MORE information on them, including Fly Zones, Flight restrictions (Think Military airbases and flight restrictions around LAX for example)

3) If you ARE lost, THAT’S WHAT ATC IS FOR! There are people on the ground CONTROLLING THE FUCKING AIR SPACE!

This amicus brief… makes less sense than the plot of Highlander 2.

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

I grow weary of this crap.
Produce actual evidence or STFU.

There isn’t this great silencing of conservatives, there is silencing for racist, sexist, stupid statements passed off as being free speech.

We feel, we think, etc…
And just like the election claims you lack any fucking proof to support your claims.

I pushed a boulder up a hill for a very long time & even with verifiable evidence I had a hell of a time convincing people I was being truthful.

These assholes claim they censored me because I’m conservative!!! People run to their defense and no one asks what was it they said? They demand platforms allow these twats to shit on everyones timeline & parade around proud of having “won” a fight no one is fighting.

It of course doesn’t help that the platforms can’t keep their own rules clear & accurate.
(See also the guy who just said the exact same things Trump said & was timedout all the time).
They then manage to trip over themselves trying to use the “right” words to explain why there was a deletion or timeout that offers more wiggle room.
Crazy woman said Jewish Space Lasers started wildfires in support of the Jews control the world trope & we deleted it because shes fucking crazy.

Perhaps it is time to just call those who are being racist racists instead of trying to softpeddle around a bunch of loud racists who demand the right to scream the N word while making sure nothing “woke” can be posted or discussed.

Y’all lost the war trying to both sides this.
This post was racist nonsense and was removed, that would make it much harder to play the its because I’m conservative card.

Mr. Mamet, your ego is big enough to look at this story and work yourself into a lather, so Hi!
Your lane is over there, head back into it.
You are successful because no one got the right to demand your work not be published, but at the same time if what you had to say was utter racist crap no one should have the right to tell others they HAVE to host that crap.
Stop pretending you are a poor put upon part of the 99% & blowing your reputation supporting a group who have no problem with a man who says you just need to grab women by the pussy and force it on them… while you might like the idea of randomly sexually assaulting women at will, its a really bad look you embarrassment.

ECA says:

simple

“Mr. Mamet worries about how Americans can navigate their world when firms that control information conduits, and are privileged and subsidized by the government,”

For all of this garbage, said over and over and over.
There is a simple solution.
Anything posted Stays. With a few things edited as SPAM.
Section 230 is great for many reasons, but the only ones having problems are the Rich persons and those that WANT to control the info.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Anything posted Stays. With a few things edited as SPAM.

That is compelled speech, so not allowed by the first amendment.

What about a site wishing to be child friendly? That rule would prevent them from removing speech not suitable for children.

What about harassing post that would drive minorities away from a p0latform?

What you proposed is nothing more or less than a charter for those who will keep on shouting until they are the only voices left on the Internet.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Wiat Until April

We will have a pretty good idea where this is headed when the 11th circuit takes a look at yet another Hinkle case. I never expected Hinkle to rule any other way, it is Hinkle after all. I was happy to see such a poorly written decision. Judge Hinkle couldn’t see a “compelling public interest” why the state would want terms of service agreements to follow some basic contract law requirements or limit interference in election campaigns?

Don’t think judge Hinkle stands much of a chance given his track record falling back on “no compelling public interest.” 11th Circuit has had enough of him.

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Chozen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Simple

Judge Hinkle has a history of just falling back on ‘no compelling public interest’ whenever he wants to find some act passed by the Republican government in Florida. The good thing is he always loses when that argument gets to the 11th circuit. Judge Hinkle made the same argument here and its laughable.

I know you don’t know what the issue is because you get things through Mikes filter and Mike never actually correctly reads legal rulings because well, mike is a legal sophist, but ‘no compelling public interest’ is not a strong argument and not likely to survive given Hinkles history with that reasoning at the 11th circuit.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Judge Hinkle has a history of just falling back on ‘no compelling public interest’ whenever he wants to find some act passed by the Republican government in Florida.

Two things.

  1. [citation needed]
  2. For what reason should a law remain on the books if it has no compelling public interest?

he always loses when that argument gets to the 11th circuit

[citation needed]

Judge Hinkle made the same argument here and its laughable.

What compelling public interest is served by denying social media services, large or small, the right to moderate as they see fit?

mike is a legal sophist

[citation needed]

‘no compelling public interest’ is not a strong argument

Yes, yes, you don’t give a shit about the public interest in being able to practice their First Amendment rights so long as you can stick it to websites you don’t like. We get it already.

Bobvious says:

Speaking of pointless copyright piffle

Ed Sheeran seems to be the target of many money-seeking lawsuits over “copying” the “pattern” or “style” of someone else’s song. Of course, there were no writers of songs born prior to these aggrieved people. They have written totally novel songs from whole cloth, which are not based on anything that has ever been done previously (because they couldn’t have existed), so obviously everyone else must be copying them.

See this comparison of Sheeran and someone I’d never heard of, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fh_fc80KMs which could not possibly have been based on this ubiquitous chord progression (which wasn’t written as least 50 years before-hand), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNSiY1G_z6E, and then the bridge couldn’t possibly sound like this incredibly common percussion, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MFlHGP0VAc, because there is only one way to play the drums.

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Anonymous Coward says:

I tried arming an angry bear once.

It was about to swat me over the head. Then it (the bear, not my head) stood up on its hind feet and said in clear American English: “Last chance to leave, kid. I don’t care that there’s no map for this forest. The Map is not the territory. The territory is the territory.”

PaulT (profile) says:

“It includes no citations”

Of course not. I doubt that Mamet’s court filings are any better than any other right-wing loon’s claims on this subject – they have no substance and are easily destroyed the moment something verifiable or falsifiable is presented. Less so as it’s proven that not only do alternative platforms exist, they have to do the things they’re complaining about themselves. They only have vague fanciful fictions.

Oh well, at least we all have Glengarry to fall back on for quality writing if Mamet’s going to spend his twilight years writing bad fan fiction about an alternate universe.

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