Feb 20, 2020
Professor Has To Explain To College That ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Not Shoot People With Fire
Did you watch that video above? Were you terrified and threatened? Did you think a character from a teevee show would show up and murder you with fire from guns? Did you feel like you should go murder with fire from guns? Probably not! But you can never be too careful.
[Bergen Community College professor] Francis Schmidt posted to Google+ a cute picture of his young daughter wearing a Game of Thrones t-shirt in a yoga pose next to a cat. The t-shirt [bore] the phrase “I will take what is mine with fire and blood,” a quote from Daenerys Targaryen, a fictional character in a series of fantasy novels (which has sold tens of millions of copies) turned into a hot TV series on HBO (with close to 15 million viewers per episode.)
That does not sound terrifying to us! That sounds like Professor Schmidt is kinda a Game of Thrones devotee, which may or may not be your cup of tea, but otherwise no big deal, really. Nuh-uh, said an HR person, the Executive Director of Overreacting to Shit at Bergen.
Jim Miller, the college’s executive director for human resources, told Schmidt to meet with him and two other administrators immediately in light of the “threatening email.” […]
Schmidt said he met with the administrators, including a security official, in one of their offices and was questioned repeatedly about the picture’s meaning and the popularity of “Game of Thrones.”
Schmidt said Miller asked him to use Google to verify the phrase, which he did, showing approximately 4 million hits. The professor said he asked why the photo had set off such a reaction, and that the security official said that “fire” could be a kind of proxy for “AK-47s.”
Oh for fuck’s sake are you kidding us? First of all, we wouldn’t actually jump from “fire” to “AK-47s,” because that is patently dumb. Preach it, Popehat:
No honest or near-normal intellect would say, as Jim Miller did, that the “fire” in the slogan might refer to an AK-47, a profoundly idiotic statement that resembles arguing that “May the Force Be With You” is a threat of force.
We also probably wouldn’t assume that posting a picture of your child lying on the ground in a t-shirt was actually a veiled threat and if we were stupid enough to do any or all of those things, we would probably back down after someone explained to us that it was from a fictional teevee show set in a fictional land. Not Bergen Community College! He was suspended without pay and not allowed to return to work until he was cleared by a psychiatrist.
Is this real life? Now, we don’t necessarily encourage that you let your small child actually WATCH Game of Thrones, because of how it is about bloody death after bloody death crossed with some nudity, but if you want to dress your kid up in the latest GoT fashion, you should be able to do so unfettered by fear of job loss. Bad fashion choices are not a crime. Yet.