Everyone loves Web memes--except, of course, the people they victimize. Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has filed a complaint against the owner of a satirical website called glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com, which has become a clearinghouse for a meme started on one of the Web's comedy dens, Fark.com.
For the uninitiated, the meme was started as a way of mocking Beck's alleged smear-tactic political commentary. The opening statement reads sardonically:
This site exists to try and help examine the vicious rumour that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. We don't claim to know the truth--only that the rumour floating around saying that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 should be discussed. So we're going to do our part to try and help get to the bottom of this.
Beck's lawyers have approached the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, claiming that that the site is defamatory. The response to the complaint, filed yesterday, must be unprecedented in the history of law:
Only an abject imbecile could believe that the domain name would have any connection to the Complainant.
We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent’s website wondering “where did all the race baiting content go?” We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent’s website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent’s website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck’s very rhetorical style. Beck’s skin is too thin to take the criticism, so he wants the site down.
It continues by rehashing the history of memes:
For example, the director of the movie “Downfall” is likely baffled at the Internet meme that has grown from that film. At the end of the film, there is a dramatic scene depicting Adolf Hitler’s inner circle breaking the news to him that the war is lost. As Hitler pounds the table, the actual dialogue from the movie depicts his frustration with the impending end. However, amateur editors have turned the English subtitles from that scene into a humorous meme, changing the dialogue to Hitler being angry about countless disappointments. See, e.g., Hitler finds out the truth about Santa, Hitler hates Kanye West, and Hitler gets banned from World of Warcraft.
Nobody believes that the director of the critically acclaimed “Downfall” would have directed a script in which Hitler screams “YOU HOMOSEXUAL BLOOD ELF!”
For more on the case, check out Ars Technica.