"Shut Up And Sing" Might Be Funny. "Shut Up And Submit to the Police" Isn't.

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26 Responses

  1. Grifter says:

    I'm pretty sure he's not more famous than Fiona Apple.

    Also, that doesn't just read, to me, as snarky-to-celebrity…it also reads patronizingly misogyinst. But that might just be me.

  2. Ken says:

    Yeah, I was thinking that, but reread it and decided I hadn't conveyed it well enough, so I changed the graph after the letter.

  3. Ghost says:

    Is Rusty one of the people involved in the misconduct? He kinda self-implies that: Apple said she would make the abusive officers famous, and Rusty says, "I'm already more famous than you, so I don't need your womanly help."

    Kinda sounds like an admission of guilt to me…

  4. different Jess says:

    Tastes differ, but I cannot comprehend why anyone wouldn't appreciate the work of Fiona Apple. She is a true musician, with just a thin veneer of pop so she can stay signed with a label. With all the myriad other things for which Texans ought to be ashamed, I had thought they at least had an appreciation for music.

    I know that his being Texan explains all, but you would have thought most "professional spokesmen" for sheriffs of BFE counties in the Great Plains would have the… self-awareness [?] to realize that they are not in fact more famous than multiple-platinum-selling musicians. Why on earth does a county with a population of less than 3500 need a deputy, let alone a sheriff's department big enough to include a spokesman? They have some weird priorities out there in West Texas.

  5. Gavin says:

    It depends on if Rusty knows what the subject at hand was. Fiona Apple could be complaining about them doing something completely legal and saying something that's completely within their right to say. She's probably just miffed about getting caught with drugs. This whole situation took away her power, the power that stars often gain to do what they want freely. This response letter appears to just be her trying to regain power over the situation with an idle threat that she's holding over their heads. If they did mistreat, then she should drop the hammer and not keep it secret. Cops deserve to get caught if they're pulling crap. Ken is spot on regarding the nature of police entitlement which this letter is still smacking of.

    I don't know why the comment on the war on drugs was thrown into the end. It doesn't seem to relate to anything other than the charge she was brought in on which was only referrenced to point out that this area is so well known for busting stars with drugs that she might as well have been speeding in a well-known speeding trap a block from her house. I agree that the "war on drugs" is ridiculous and has done far more harm than good, but it just seemed out of place being tacked on like it was despite being relevant to the charge. I guess that's just because the interaction appears to be about what happened at the jail rather than why she was arrested.

  6. Gavin – Regarding the "war on drugs" issue, Fiona was charged with a felony for having 0.15 ounces of hash, after Texas police non-consentually searched her tour bus with a drug dog. "I/my dog (allegedly) smells weed" is consistently being used to circumvent fourth amendment guarantees, and felony charges for carrying 0.15 oz. of a plant is absurd.

  7. AJ says:

    I don't get the reference to Armand Hammer. Is that the Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum? He's been dead for over 20 years. I thought Willie Nelson's main legal troubles were with the IRS. This guy's statement seems pretty incoherent as well.

    My personal opinion: some men need firing.

  8. M. says:

    I think Fleming is one of those people who believes something is only well-known if he's heard of it. I have no other explanation for why he'd think he's more famous than Fiona Apple.

  9. David Schwartz says:

    "I have no other explanation for why he'd think he's more famous than Fiona Apple."

    Delusions of grandeur. Apparently, his delusions of adequacy now have company.

  10. Ken says:

    Megan McArdle just linked to this post and referred to me as a "national treasure," which I believe signifies that I am not permitted to lose weight or get a haircut without some sort of government approval.

  11. M. says:

    The "jump-start your career" line is a giveaway to his actual ignorance – Fiona Apple's career overtook Cassini a long time ago.

    Dumbfuck yokels. People would be surprised by how normal and mostly absent of asshattery actual life in most of Texas is. It's just people like this guy that make the news.

  12. David says:

    While it's not the best idea in the world, Fleming isn't really threatening her. I can't really condemn him for being snarky.

    Both of them should probably shut up and get back to work.

  13. Joe Pullen says:

    Megan McArdle just linked to this post and referred to me as a "national treasure,"

    Careful – do you really want to be more famous that Fiona Apple.

    On another note, I'm sure everyone saw the story about a 61 year old man killed by police doing a drug raid on the wrong house. http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=41080 The CATO raid map here http://www.cato.org/raidmap/ is particularly alarming.

  14. nlp says:

    The Cato map is interesting, but it doesn't show dogs killed for just being in the house that was raided. Or is that part of the paramilitary excess?

  15. Josh C says:

    "National Treasure" usually just means travel restrictions.

    Normally, this site calls vagueness and bumptiousness over so-called offensive speech something much more perjorative than "an occasion for eye-rolling". Even though the response (a) comes from the police and (b) includes rhetorical flourishes, I'm not sure why this isn't simply censorious asshats: Fiona Apple edition.

  16. Gavin says:

    @Jonathan Corbett,

    I don't disagree. Drug laws are awful and are causing a bigger problem than they solve. I'm just talking about it's place here. It just seems forced because the discussion is about what she said with regards to how she was treated, and how they responded, not the law at hand. Regardless of what the law says, it's the job of the police to carry it out. An unjust law is the responsibility of law makers and the courts, not those who are paid to enforce them. So saying a police officer is upholding unjust laws is kinda like complaining that they're doing their job properly.

    But I totally agree with everyone here. The "war on drugs" is a drain on everything. It creates criminals, ruins lives, ruins countries, spends huge amounts of tax payer dollars and prevents legitimizing what would otherwise be lucrative sources of income (legalize it and tax it, it's no worse than cigarettes or alcohol by any stretch of the imagination).

  17. EH says:

    Same Rusty Fleming?

  18. EH says:

    It appears so, and it appears that ol' Rusty is a bit of a turncoat:


  19. Waldo says:

    From the WaPo link:

    In addition to his work for the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Office, Fleming is also a documentary filmmaker and writer who made a documentary called “Drug Wars: Silver or Lead.” He also contributes to the CainTV Web site, owned by former presidential candidate Herman Cain. His most recent article, written shortly after the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” was titled, “Gun Control Done Right — It’s called Aim and Shoot!”

    He comes across as a major attention whore and douche to me, although I do agree with him that Apple should file a complaint if there was any misconduct. Certainly not the voice I'd want representing me.

    As to Armand Hammer, I had the same question and followed a couple of links to find out that this is a great grandson of the famous Armand Hammer who has the same name and is an actor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armie_Hammer

  20. different Jess says:

    OK, a short glance at the marketing for this "Drug Wars" documentary makes it pretty clear that Rusty is not on the side of the angels with respect to drug prohibition. (I only link because Popehat nofollows.) This film emphasizes terrible things that narcos have done, as a pretext to introduce various LEOs lobbying for more cops, more fences, more prisons, more spending, etc.

    I do have sympathy for his recovery from drug dependence, but he draws the wrong conclusions from his experiences. He's a little bit slimy for taking advantage of his friendship with Sheriff West in drumming up publicity for the film he's marketing. (If the sheriff actually had a professional spokesman, that person would be distancing the department from this mess.) Rusty is much more slimy in taking advantage of the misfortunes of a great musician for that same purpose.

  21. En Passant says:

    David wrote Sep 25, 2012 @10:53 am:

    While it's not the best idea in the world, Fleming isn't really threatening her. I can't really condemn him for being snarky.

    Both of them should probably shut up and get back to work.

    Well, I can condemn Fleming, or any other ambitious asshat who makes a fortune by promoting draconian, unjust laws and a police state. I can condemn them just for wasting air, food, water and space that good and decent people could put to better use.

    different Jess wrote Sep 25, 2012 @2:35 pm:

    I do have sympathy for his recovery from drug dependence, but he draws the wrong conclusions from his experiences.

    I don't think he ever "recovered from drug dependence". He just changed dependency — from whatever smack he was shooting, to fame, fortune and the perception of power for cheerleading the intentional official destruction of good peoples' lives.

    AA once had a term for it: "dry drunk".

  22. Reuven says:

    In my 45 years of concert-going, no artist I've ever seen perform has been arrested with the exception of Georges Cziffra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Cziffra), and that was well before I saw him. And he was imprisoned by the German Army during WWII, so it's not the same as "Fiona Apple" (if that is her real name) and her drug conviction.

  23. Reuven says:

    Ooops! There was another one. I forgot about Peter Yarrow. And there really wasn't a good excuse for what he did.

  24. M. says:

    @Reuven: Members of the German industrial band Rammstein were arrested for what the Massachusetts (I believe) police considered an objectionable homoerotic performance that was a standard part of their act. They swore off performing in the U.S., if I recall correctly.

    No time to research my claims at the moment though.

  25. wgering says:

    @M.: At least two members of Rammstein (Till Lindemann and Christian Lorenz) were indeed arrested in June of 1999 after their concert in Worcester, MA.

    Here's MTV's article on the subject.

    Couldn't find anything about them not touring the States any more though.

  1. October 10, 2012

    […] Sheriff's flack to Fiona Apple: shut up and sing [Ken at Popehat] […]