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Jack Thompson in China

Started by D--, November 29, 2005, 02:26:22 PM

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Hey, just a heads up.

This week, my lecture is on persuasive writing; part of the discussion is devoted to logical fallacies, combatting them in your writing, and detecting them in your sources.

As I racked my brain trying to think of a good source other than born-again Christians, it hit me. A fellow professor and I were talking after my Tuesday lecture, and she suggested I mention the Chewbacca Defense (yes, I have the sound clip and will play it in class while showing a picture of Chewie). Trying to find the ultimate example of a Chewbacca Defense, I knew only one man.

Jack Thompson.

During the lecture we're going to dissect his website,, and discuss why it's such a blazing example of poor persuasive writing. He uses no less than 10 different logical fallacies, making it the perfect instructional model.

I'll let you know how the Wednesday and Thursday lectures turn out. Thompson will act as a nice supplement to the Tuesday argument about how the president engaging in extra-martial sex is necessary for the success of America's economy.


Just some of the notes used from the lecture:

QuoteTake-Two Interactive Software, Inc., through its Rockstar Games, has distributed tens of millions of units of its Grand Theft Auto games to kids. The FBI and Secret Service found that games like these trained teen killers for their massacres at Columbine and other schools like Paducah. We increasingly have a nation of "Manchurian children," ready, willing, and able to kill.
Who in the FBI and Secret Service? No names, no source, no mention of what report said this. False accusation. Appeal to emotion. "For the children."

QuoteJack Thompson's nearly 100 national and international television appearances, hundreds of radio interviews, and nearly 200 college campus appearances detailing the aggressive marketing of adult entertainment to kids, with the help of other dedicated citizens, have blown the whistle on this industry, and they are on the run.
Appeal to authority.

QuoteThe American Psychological Association issued its blockbuster findings in August 2005 proving that violent video games lead to violence by teens. The US Supreme Court ruling of Roper v. Simmons this year endorses the brain scan studies emanating from Harvard, Indiana, and Michigan State universities that prove violent games are processed differently in teen brains, thereby causing dangerous copycatting behaviors.
False accusation. No such report exists, at least none drawing this specific connection. False accusation. These laws were passed in the early 90s for explicit rap music content and are have been applied to video games with the same mature audience labeling for the last several years. Appeal to authority. Naming universities doesn't mean anything--name professors. (attempt to escape libel which would result by actually giving names)

QuoteThe neuroscience proves the danger of these games, and it provides the basis for the laws that Michigan, Illinois, and California have passed to keep these adult games out of the hands of kids. Yet the Entertainment Software Association, the lobbyist for the video game industry, is filing lawsuits trying to strike these child protection laws down.
Already false accusation--the law's basis was to keep explicit rap music out of kids' hands. False accusation. They are trying to strike down the relabeling of packaging from 17+ to 18+. Appeal to emotion by calling on children when referring to 17-year-olds.

QuoteJapan won't allow these adult games to be sold to Japanese children, but Sony is selling them to American kids. The UK won't allow Grand Theft Auto to be sold to anyone under 18, but Rockstar's Scottish design studio makes and sells Grand Theft Auto to our US kids, a game in which you have sex with a prostitute and then kill her.
Appeal to patriotism by painting a foreign enemy trying to corrupt children. Faulty logic. What makes the 17-year-old who can buy it in the USA different from the 18-year-old in England? Does adult knowledge suddenly rain down from heaven on someone's 18th trip around the sun? Faulty generalization. The entire game is not raping and killing prostitutes.

QuoteIn 2006 Rockstar plans to release Bully, which allows you to bludgeon your classmates and teachers--a Columbine simulator. Jack Thompson has filed a lawsuit to stop the release of Bully, but the Blank Rome law firm of Philadelphia is fighting him in a courtroom to make sure kids in your community can buy it. Blank Rome is the most powerful law firm in America. It has given more money to President Bush and the GOP than any other.
Faulty generalization. Bludgeoning classmates does not make it a Columbine simulator. It would have to simulate the floor plan, time frame and weapons at the disposal of the attackers. Appeal to emotion. Appeal to fear. Appeal to spite. A republican trying to curry favor with people who hate Bush.

I think I had a few other Jack Thompson quotes I used for examples of the "No True Scotsman" logical fallacy, but I can't remember which they were. All the above came from his website.

I ended the lecture with the advice that any time someone says something needs to be done "for the children," they are probably bullshitting you.


Nice lecture D.  You should publish a written form of your lecture so it can go circulating around the net.  That would be neat. Unlike alot of the other stuff going around, I like the approach you took of simply pointing out his many fallacies rather than inject your own counter fallacies. ;)

Once again,  Jack Thompson has been proven to be one of the biggest bullshitters known to man. What an ass he is. I'm surprised one of the 'Manchurian children' has not assassinated him yet. - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.


He is scared to death that they will. ::)

Then he will say something dumb and tag an "or else" at the end of it.


QuoteUnlike alot of the other stuff going around, I like the approach you took of simply pointing out his many fallacies rather than inject your own counter fallacies. ;)
I don't think giving editorial is the job of a writing teacher. He's just a perfect model to give students of "how not to write."


I give it two thumbs up. That was great, D. :)


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