Puppy mills are evil. Everyone understands that. But if you were to liberate all the puppies and burn it to the ground, would that be just? Or crazy? This week, editors Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff debate vigilante justice.
Jennifer: Is there a way we can tie this debate to beauty or fashion? Eventually the publishers are going to find out that we only write in snuggies, use eyelash curlers to hit one another.
Ashley: Uh, what about dogs wearing clothes? So. Sometimes the only recourse is vigilante justice. I think we can all agree that puppy mills are evil. But is it acceptable to take matters into your own hands?
Jennifer: In that case: being a vigilante is only okay if you are Batman.
Ashley: But what was Batman before he put on the bat suit? Not the nipple one, though. The other bat suits.
Jennifer: Well, you know, that’s difficult to talk about, because there are so many different versions of Batman’s origin story that describe how he was sufficiently trained, morally and physically, to defned Gotham. Which one are you thinking of?
Ashley: He was a civilian.
Jennifer: He was, but then he went into a sort of mental cave before emerging as Batman. Or, alternatively, went to Asia. Is that about Eastern/Western philosophy? Or – look, it REALLY depends who is writing the story.
Ashley: Jennifer, the intern just told you all of that. You’re out of your element.
Jennifer: I don’t know that we have to be wed to Batman, here, insofar as he is a fictional comic book character.
Jennifer: Like an eel.
Ashley: Sometimes the law needs to be taken into your own hands. There have been countless excellent films about this, where the justice system fails a virtuous citizen and he has to take the law into his own hands. Usually when he does, there are no longterm consequences, only the bad guys get hurt, and the hero suffers no psychological side effects. Like that recent one with the guy from 300
Jennifer: Gerard Butler?
Ashley: Yeah. Jerry. Jerry B.
Jennifer: He was in another movie? Recently?
Ashley: Look, I obviously didn’t see it.
Jennifer: 1) I don’t believe this movie exists 2) I fail to see how you’re making any kind of point.
Ashley: Look, my point is superheroes usually aren’t born superheroes. Unless they’re Superman. Or most of them. Or, in mutants’ cases, they’re born as latent superheroes and then their powers usually manifest around age 13.
Jennifer: I will rephrase: You are allowed to be a vigilante if your parents were murdered by the scum of Gotham, which is overrun with scum, and the police force is totally on-board with you being a vigilante and making the city scum free. All I’m saying is: you can’t burn down the puppy mill.
Ashley: This debate is going nowhere.
Jennifer: I wish you’d stop waving your lighter around. I can’t be Alfred.
Ashley: You basically just said “I won’t permit vigilante justice, except in situations where vigilante justice is an appropriate response.” DENY IT
Jennifer: We had this conversation about censorship. I won’t censor the comments – UNLESS someone were to post the specific address of someone with a call for hitmen. There is an exception to every rule, that’s what I’m saying. And the exception to the vigilante rule is “you are a martial arts trained billionaire in a city overrun with scum and the police love you.” Like, if Jared Kushner became Batman… that would be kind of cool, yes?
Ashley: Oh, so sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it’s not, wherever it’s convenient to your argument. That actually makes a lot of sense coming from Jennifer Wright, New York City wit, social fixture, and moral relativist. Make that your twitter bio, scum
Jennifer: That’s… a charming twitter bio. Bit much, though. Bit too much flattery there. But you are not actually attacking the point at all. You are like someone in a duel who is shot at, and responds by screaming and just chopping the shit out of a block of wood with their own hand.
Ashley: That’s kind of the way I do things, generally, though. That’s like me saying, “I want to acknowledge and thoughtfully consider your point, Goldfish, but all you’re doing is swimming around and around like that.”
Jennifer: I think that really plays into the fact that no one wants to burn negligent aquariums to the ground. Because no one cares about goldfish. Is that even what they’re called? Aquariums? Aquariums are small. Is there a better term for what I mean?
Ashley: What? Fish bowls? Habitats? Tanks?
Jennifer: The place of many fish. With the dolphins.
Ashley: what the fuck are you talking about?
Jennifer: It’s like a museum, a museum of fish.
Ashley: An aquarium.
Jennifer: God! FISH HAVE NO PURPOSE! That’s why this question never comes up regarding them! The burning negligent puppy mills to the ground question!
Ashley: So this is an instance where vigilante justice would be appropriate?
Jennifer: Killing all the fish?
Ashley: Jennifer, people will think we’re high.
Jennifer: Let’s get back on track for a second here. You can’t burn down a puppy mill, in large part because puppies might be hurt. Also, because you’re an erratic little goldfish, you’ll set yourself on fire.
Ashley: I want to free the puppies and destroy the puppy mill. Or that’s the stance I’m taking for this. Stop trying to make this about how I want to kill puppies.
Jennifer: I didn’t think you did.
Ashley: Abhor the slaughterhouse, not the slaughter? PETA said that, I think.
Jennifer: Until this moment I thought this was about liberation, betterment for the puppies.
Ashley: Actually, maybe not PETA
Jennifer: Jesus Christ, some days I forget you’re a psychopath.
Ashley: Some days I forget morality is a triviality and convenience to you, something you shuck on when it suits you like an opera length glove.
Jennifer: Your morality is just pyromania, apparently.
Ashley: You fight like a politician, Jen.