Assorted Stupidity

Assorted Stupidity #161

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  • The man who wrote the screenplay for the 1989 film Road House, starring Patrick Swayze as a man who lives like a loner, fights like a professional, and loves like there’s no tomorrow, and for some reason chooses to do all that in Jasper, Missouri, has sued those behind the 2024 remake. R. Lance Hill accuses MGM, Amazon Studios, and United Artists of copyright infringment. In paragraph six of their answer, the defendants “admit that they produced the 2024 film entitled Road House.” And by suing, Hill has necessarily admitted responsibility for the original. So that’s settled.
  • I guess I should also note that the defendants claim Hill created the script as a work-for-hire for his company, Lady Amos Literary Works Ltd., so technically Hill is not the “author” who sold them the work. Hill denies it was a work-for-hire and argues he therefore had the ability under the Copyright Act to recapture the rights. The more important question about the second film, however, “does Post Malone get punched in the face?” is not addressed in the pleadings.
  • Were you in the federal courthouse in Philadelphia on Tuesday and did you manage to get a picture of the attorney who reportedly wore a Grover head during opening statements in Burns v. Seaworld Parks & Entertainment, Inc., in which the plaintiffs allege that the Muppets at the Sesame Place theme park are racist? If so, please contact me immediately.
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem stands by decision to kill dog,” this headline reads, referring to the fact that she shot a 14-month-old puppy because it didn’t behave during a hunting trip and then killed a neighbor’s chicken. The headline continues, “and share it in new book,” because Noem did that, admitting she shot the puppy as well as a goat, three horses, six or seven drifters, and the staff of a Burger King in downtown Pierre that got her order wrong. According to Noem, she mentioned the incident to show she is willing to make hard decisions. Noem has been considered a potential VP candidate, or at least she was before she admitted shooting a puppy in the face.
  • Speaking of the campaign, a presidential candidate admitted today that he had suffered from “cognitive problems” and memory loss because a worm ate part of his brain, and it says something about U.S. politics that if you haven’t already seen this story you probably can’t guess which one said that. “Questioning [the candidate’s] health is a hilarious suggestion, given his competition,” a campaign spokesperson said, and she might actually have a point.
  • I speculated that Tennessee’s governor might spare the state some embarrassment by vetoing SB 2691. He did not. So as of July 1, putting anything “within the borders of this state into the atmosphere with the express purpose of affecting temperature, weather, or the intensity of the sunlight” will be prohibited. Can Tennessee figure out how to keep another state’s atmosphere on its side of the border, or how to get around the Supremacy Clause? Stay tuned.
  • “Nothing serious,” said the defense attorney for Ramello Randle, who was on trial for murder in Oakland, California. He wasn’t talking about the charges, but about the wounds he suffered when his client stabbed him with a pen. Randle got the attorney twice in the head before lunging toward the prosecutor, who he did not reach. Randle has a history of such outbursts, which defendants sometimes deploy in hopes of getting a mistrial. Works sometimes, but not forever. See, e.g., “Man Who Stabbed His First Two Lawyers With a Pencil Stabs Another Lawyer With a Pencil” (Nov. 2, 2011). Didn’t work for Randle this time.
  • You know what else doesn’t work? Threatening to kill all the jurors if they find you guilty, as Randle did on the last day of the trial. In fact, they might actually see that as relevant to the murder charges. The jury Randle threatened with death did find him guilty on all charges, which I think supports my hypothesis. Another lesson I try to teach but don’t seem to be getting across. See also Defendant Continually Surprised by Failure of Jury-Attacking Strategy” (June 28, 2007) (noting that defendant who argued in closing, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’ll kill all of you if you find me guilty …, and that goes for your family, too,” was not acquitted).