A professor has been threatened with criminal charges for being a Firefly fan, sort of. It happened at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, where theater professor James Miller put a Firefly poster on his door. The poster depicted Captain Mal Reynolds and the words, “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.”
The University forced him to take it down, so he put up a second poster featuring Captain tight-pants and the word, “Warning: Fascism”.
Presumably he made this poster himself since, I haven’t actually managed to find such a poster for sale anywhere. And the poster was on his door, which would seem to imply that Facism could be found in his room. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but whatever, the whole thing seems harmless.
Except, well, the University had a problem with that one too and even went so far as to bring in the campus police chief who threatened to charge Miller with disorderly conduct, according to The Fire.
Universities are supposed to be a place of political expression and freedom but in practice they’re still businesses and if everyone’s running around voicing their views all the time no one will ever actually, you know, learn anything. What I’m getting at here is that it’s not entirely unreasonable that a University might require one of its employees to refrain displaying some specific image or slogan on campus, it is after all their property. What I don’t understand is why any university might have a problem with a silly Firefly poster in particular.
I get why they threw a fit about the second poster, they didn’t like what it said about them. I don’t get why they had a problem with the first poster, nor do I understand why they seem to be overreacting in general. They’ve even gone so far as to turn Miller over to their campus “threat assessment team”. Whatever happened to just firing a guy? He hasn’t committed a criminal offense, only a fireable one… and even then only if your boss is a huge, huge dick. If you hate Firefly that much give him the heave-ho and brace yourself for an invasion of angry Browncoats. I hear they often aim to misbehave.