What we bind together and choose to fight defines our cultural values and our inherent morality and immoral choices. When a French court ruled that voodoo dolls of French President Nicolas Sarkozy must be sold with a warning label indicating sticking pins in the toy hurts Sarkozy’s feelings, a small slice of intellectual freedom was preserved in the presumptive ridiculousness of the ruling:
The court rejected Sarkozy’s appeal
to block the sale of the dolls. It awarded him 1 euro ($1.27) and
required the warning labels be added to the packaging in conspicuous
block lettering. Sarkozy’s lawyer said the ruling wasn’t a defeat.
“The appeals court ruled very clearly that sticking pins in an
effigy doll is an affront to human dignity,” Thierry Herzog, a lawyer
for Sarkozy, said to reporters after today’s decision. “I am satisfied.
I don’t regret appealing.”
After a lower court hearing last month on Sarkozy’s bid to halt the
sales, the dolls were a top-selling item on Amazon.com Inc.’s French
Web site. About 20,000 of the dolls were originally produced and they
were sold out at Paris FNAC stores, a retail chain owned by
luxury-goods maker PPR SA, within a day of the hearing.
I wonder if burning Sarkozy in effigy will require a warning label that fire burns fingers and smoke hurts your eyes.