Saturday, July 3, 2010

I was only parodying a stalker

This is my response to Holly’s most recent letter.

Dear Holly,

Your request that I cease and desist from contacting you under the guise that I have been (and I quote) “stalking” you, implies that you have thoroughly misinterpreted my actions. I would never engage in such a reprehensible activity as stalking. In fact, it is precisely because I am so against the practice that I decided to satirize it by creating the stalker character that you have experienced. What seemed to you to be the disturbing actions of a psychopath were actually a mix of pop culture references and comically inferior intimidation techniques.

The messages I left on your answering machine, while spoken in a menacing-sounding voice, were plainly farcical. “I’d like to caress your furniture”, although suggestive in tone, literally implied the mundane desire to touch the comfortable looking chairs you have. “I’d like to spin you a new cocoon” on the other hand, was a pure non sequitur. Finally, the gibberish message that worried was “Satanic” was merely a backmasked recipe for lentil soup.

I can understand how you may have misinterpreted the photograph of your toilet that I sent you as a representation that I had managed to break into your house. But that’s only a minor aspect of it. If you look closely, you’ll see how the photograph pays homage to Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. Instead of a urinal, we have a flush toilet with the seat down, contrasting the masculine with the feminine. Like Fountain, I consider it a form of “found art” (albeit “found” in a somewhat unorthodox manner). I even signed the toilet as Duchamp did for Fountain, although in retrospect I probably shouldn't have signed it in blood due to being unable to find a pen.

You didn’t really believe me when I told you that I had constructed an anatomically accurate blow-up doll of you, did you? It would have been far too complicated to measure you accurately. I merely found a doll that shared your cup size (32B, if that bra was yours) and taped your face to it. And no, I didn’t do anything sexual with it; I just posed with it for the photo before selling it on eBay.

While I did follow you home wearing a hockey mask and brandishing a machete a number of times, this was nothing more than an allusion to Jason Vorhees of the Friday the 13th horror film franchise. And while it may have seemed as if I was attempting to frighten to you by circling your house while swinging the machete, I was actually being helpful by pruning branches.

Okay, the “horse’s head” you found in your bed might have been a little scary. But come on, have you never seen The Godfather? Or any of the numerous references to that scene in other media? Besides, it wasn’t even a real horse’s head anyway – it was a donkey’s head. Also, there was no reason to scream and jump about in panic when you saw it. There was nothing to worry about - the head was completely sanitary, as I had made sure to thoroughly sterilize it.

So to sum up, I am afraid that you have no legal case against me. The First Amendment protects the right to parody. Any court that convicted me would be infringing upon the rights of all Americans to freedom of expression. Now that includes expression that we not be that comfortable with: whether it is someone expressing unpopular political views, burning the US flag or swinging axes on public property.

And on a personal note: if you don’t appreciate my sense of humor, that’s fine. But you don’t have to get so worked up about it.

Daniel Tarmac

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