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The Honey Badgers file their suit in moon court. And possibly in Alberta, too.

We Hunted the Mammoth Legal Advisor Sweetie P. Jonus, Esq.
We Hunted the Mammoth Legal Advisor Sweetie P. Jonus, Esq. is skeptical of the Honey Badgers’ legal strategy

You remember that lawsuit the GamerGate-loving, feminist-hating “Honey Badger Brigade” was apparently going to file against the Calgary Expo (for tossing them out) and The Mary Sue (for saying mean things about them, or something)? You know, the suit that they raised more than $30,000 to finance from their angry and apparently quite gullible fans? 

Well, apparently they’ve filed the suit?

I ended with a question mark because they’ve been a teensy bit vague about what exactly they’ve done. 

Rather than go with the traditional press release, you see, the Honey Damsels Badgers have decided to let the world (and their donors) know about this new development by obliquely referencing it on Twitter, nearly a week after the fact, and then pretty much refusing to answer any questions about it.

Like, for example, what exactly they filed, and where, and how exactly they think they can sue a website headquartered in the United States for allegedly getting them kicked out of an expo in Canada. Especially if they don’t actually file a separate lawsuit in the US.

Here’s how things went down on Twitter.

I asked a few followup questions, trying to nail down some details about the filing — if the disbarred lawyer they got to help them with “research” was involved in the filing, and whether they had filed a separate claim against The Mary Sue in the US because, you know, the Mary Sue is based in the US.

Well, so much for that, I guess.

I also sent a note to The Mary Sue to see if they had any statement or if they had even been notified that the HBB had filed anything. I haven’t heard back from them yet.

Given this dearth of information and the HBB’s apparent unwillingness to answer questions, my best guess is that they filed a Statement of Claim in Alberta based at least loosely on the “Legal Draft” posted on the HBB website back in July, prepared by the aforementioned disbarred lawyer, Harry Kopyto.

In that draft, the HBB’s declared that they were seeking

damages in the amount of $50,000 jointly and severally against the Defendants Alberta Comics and Entertainment Expo Inc. and The Mary Sue for injurious falsehood and also against the Defendant Alberta Comics and Entertainment Expo Inc. for breach of contract and against The Mary Sue for inducing breach of contract.

The Legal Draft describes The Mary Sue as “a daily internet newsletter which promotes itself as the premier destination for entertainment geeks.”

How do you do, fellow entertainment geeks. Could you kindly direct me to the nearest daily internet newsletter?

And it goes on to declare that

the false and disparaging comments published by The Mary Sue also dissuaded persons from engaging in and refusing to have any contact or purchasing merchandise from the Plaintiff.

Can I get in on that? No one bought anything from me that day either, and I’m pretty sure The Mary Sue was to blame. I’ll settle for $60,000 or maybe just a fruit smoothie.

If the HBB’s actual filing looks even vaguely similar to this draft, it will be interesting to see how one goes about suing an American entity in a Canadian court for allegedly saying things that allegedly stopped alleged persons from buying Honey Badger merchandise at a convention in Calgary.

I’m no disbarred lawyer, but somehow I just don’t see this working out for them.

Oh, and how do you “dissuade persons from engaging in?”

Engaging in what? 


177 replies on “The Honey Badgers file their suit in moon court. And possibly in Alberta, too.”

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)says:


I thought a group of Slytherins came back with Slughorn leading them in the Battle of Hogwarts?

In the book no. After Pansy has her outburst about Harry and the students draw wands against Slytherin, Mcgonagall orders their House to leave the Hall. Worth noting is that all the underage students of all Houses were evacuated beforehand so only those of age where dismissed from the Hall.

Again my point still stands. Are all the Slytherins really so dumb as not sense the tides turning against them to make their own stand? It does not even mesh with the description of the Slytherins that Rowling herself writes.

It could be due to the fact that Mcgonagall may see that keeping the Slytherins around would create discord among the defenders, but here is the thing with any work of fiction – the author has the ability to make it work! Therefore the author here has made a conscious choice to exclude one of the houses from one of the defining battles of the series, thereby solidifying the stereotypical framing. This to me was one of the best instances to actually define Slytherin for what they really are, and this particular idea of them was set. Remember that the movie version pretty much ran the book’s version of the event as well.

Good job Rowling! You have created a long standing idea of discrimination against Slytherin! And we all used to really like Pandapool too 8p

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)says:

Chapter 36:

And now there were more, even more people storming up the front steps, and
Harry saw Charlie Weasley overtaking Horace Slughorn, who was still wearing his emerald
pajamas. They seemed to have returned at the head of what looked like the families and
friends of every Hogwarts student who had remained to fight along with the shopkeepers
and homeowners of Hogsmeade.

Voldemort was now dueling Mcgonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley all at once…

So, vaguely it seems to infer that Slytherins may have been in the fight, as I’m sure Slytherins had families outside of their house, although it isn’t confirmed until an interview.

I know there were still plenty of Slytherins that didn’t want to fight their relatives on Voldemort’s side.

Slughorn was there, though, fighting the Dark Lord in his jam jams, so give a man props.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)says:

We also have to remember that Snape was there, making sure the school wasn’t as bad as it could have been while still having to maintain his cover, and he sacrificed his life to try to get to Nagini.

Here is what I think the author is doing here. Slughorn was already established as a know person who is a teacher at Hogwarts. I suspect the majority of people reading the passage would think of Slughorn more as a staff member fighting for the school rather than a representative of House Slytherin.

An author has the ability to set the tone and framing of a story. She could have written Slytherin in a more favorable light, in a more obvious manner. The fact that she had to clarify it in an interview does not speak well of the implication.

No one had any difficulty imagining Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw fighting the good fight because the setup is clear. Even though she doesn’t then emphasize over and over that Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw were at the battle, she didn’t need to. It was simply stated right there in the beginning. She could have done the same (or similar) thing for Slytherin, but nope, ambiguous implication needing clarification is inserted instead.

So yes, it is good of her to show Slughorn there, but it would not have been a stretch for her at all to make the battle look more favorable to Slytherin. I doubt her publishers or editors would have minded at all if she wrote a more interesting version of House Slytherin.

Ninja! Ah, in regards to Snape (who is my favorite character in the series), it was the best example of a Slytherin defying the norms. But that is the problem! He is considered to be an outlier!

He is a great example of how badly stereotyped the House has become. Mind you he still seems to embody a rather obnoxious set of attributes, plus his ‘entitlement’ to Lily drove much of his resentment towards James Potter. I am not sure if he ever got over that (even at the end) but I assumed he did.

I think it is very possible for people to be ambitious and driven for more personal gain (than for society) without painting them that negatively. We have plenty of counter-examples in real life! That is why I said the author missed her chance to give us a more interesting version of House Slytherin. For me, heavily stereotyped characters or groups tend to be dull and predictable.

I actually felt as I was reading through the series and Harry was creating friendships with people in other Houses that I wanted him to have at least one Slytherin friend. Just one! It would have been a great opportunity for the author to give us some insight into how the House functioned other than being the ‘other’. Such a loss!

Just imagine how many moments in the book would have been enhanced by that increase in diversity (the friend standing up to him when the rest of the House wants to tar him, he/she dispelling all the ridiculous notions that they (the trio) keep having about Slytherin, he/she battling the Death Eaters beside Harry and having strong personal reasons for it – showing that friendships cross House loyalties any day and so on).

I really felt that she was making an effort to keep House Slytherin at arms length like they were a really smelly sock. Embrace all your socks, Rowling! They help you too!

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)says:


Eh, I can’t argue against that. Snape was really the only person that really represented Slytherin in that case.

Just took the test, and it seems I’m a Ravenclaw! Caw, caw, caw!

My exact results: 55% Ravenclaw, 53% Hufflepuff, 44% Slytherin and 46% Gryffindor.

I’m not sure that she made an *effort* to distance herself from Slytherin so much as being unable to help herself. She set her houses up around different values/virtues, and Slytherin got “ambition.” She probably recognized intellectually that some people would find “ambition” virtuous. The problem is that she, personally, doesn’t. Even outside the context of house politics, Rowling repeatedly depicts ambition as something distasteful or dangerous, and humility or even complacency as virtuous, or at least lovable.

It goes all the way back to book one and the Mirror of Erised. Dumbledore thinks it’s wonderful that Harry didn’t imagine himself using the philosopher’s stone, just protecting it. When he was looking in the mirror earlier in the year, Harry just saw himself getting his family back; Dumbledore apparently thought this was “better” than people like Ron who saw themselves winning or achieving something. The last book reinforces the point. Harry is the best or only qualified person to inherit the Elder Wand because he never asks himself “what could I do with this power,” only “how can I get rid of it?”

You see this attitude come out in little ways throughout, such as whenever Percy or Slughorn is mentioned; both are presented in a much more negative light than their behavior objectively requires. So no, I don’t think Rowling was capable by temperament of giving Slytherin House fair treatment.

@Orion Good point. I actually never considered it from that angle, but it does make sense. Pretty much all the good characters in the book have a distinctly ‘unambitious’ feel to them. There is the typical tarring of political figures and of course Voldemort is the embodiment of ambition done wrong.

When I was taking creative writing courses back then I remember one of my favorite exercises from class was when our instructor made us write a short story exclusively on a character we would personally hate – and it had to be sympathetic towards them, from their own perspective. Naturally it was a difficult exercise for people but it was also an enlightening one – our instructor was making a point about how to flesh out our characters and not to be so easily driven by our own prejudices when we write.

So I do agree that it would have been hard for Rowling to write otherwise, and to be fair she did create the Snape character who could also have come from one of the other houses. It was a personal bias that I wished Slytherin was better represented since that felt quite lacking in the series. She most like imprinted her own impression onto her audience and that was why it was difficult to empathize with that House.

Pandapool — The Species that Endangers YOU | September 8, 2015 at 5:51 pm

There was only, like, five reoccurring Slytherins in the whole book series, all that hung around Malfoy while Harry Potter was a Gryffindor. I think it had less to do with consciously trying to stereotype a house and more to do with the fact that Harry Potter, the main character, would spend more time around Gryffindors than Slytherins.

I think this also led to the mis-characterization of Hufflepuffs as well. I mean we only really got Cedric Diggory, Professor Sprout, and Tonks, who were both badass in their own ways, but that’s all we saw of characters from Hufflepuff that I remember by name.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)says:

Pretty much every house but Gryffindor was underrepresented.

I confess I’ve never read the books or seen the movies; everything I know about Harry Potter is via nerd osmosis of the internet. That said…

60% Ravenclaw, 40% Hufflepuff, 57% Slytherin and 45% Gryffindor!

I… guess I can live with this?

So, since it was already brought up in this thread, I do have some questions ‘n stuff about the comments policy.

Preface: This isn’t me saying that I won’t follow the site rules about ableism, or even intending to complain about having to do so… it’s just me wondering about some things. Tell me to shut up and I won’t bring it up again and will do my best to follow the comments policy. I’ve been lurking here a while and have a lot of respect for the posting community here and would hate for all of you to get a bad impression of me based on this.

Okay, so that said, a couple of things I’m wondering about.

The first one, I don’t know if I necessarily have a point. It’s more an observation that I wanted to present to all of you and was wondering what you guys made of it. I know it’s a single data point and it’s not intended to prove anything beyond that this single data point exists. Anyway, I am a big fan of gymnastics, and the words “crazy” and “insane” have been tossed around a whole lot in that community in the past year or two in connection to the tumbling/general gymnastics abilities of Simone Biles. Simone Biles is, barring injury, extremely likely to be the next Olympic All-Around Champion; she’s being heralded as, if she lives up to her potential, one of the best (if not flat out THE best) gymnast(s) of all time. The difficulty of her tumbling is what is constantly being called “crazy” and “insane.”

Because I’d been lurking on this forum, I noticed both the word usage and also that I can’t see any negative connotations in the posters’ usage. They don’t mean that she’s “crazy” for attempting those skills, like if they were too hard and she were risking too much or putting herself in danger. If a gymnast is accused of *that*, posters say they are “chucking” skills, but *nobody* says that Simone is doing this. The consensus is that she is actually capable of performing even harder skills safely and cleanly, but she doesn’t have to, because she’s already so far ahead of the rest of the field (world). (The fact that her difficulty is so high even though she’s not making use of her most difficult skills is also called “crazy”.) As far as I can tell, what is meant by “crazy” and “insane” when describing Simone is purely saying that her talent and ability are unprecedented, greater than any other seen before. Perhaps an implication is that her skill level is hard to believe (though since nobody actually disbelieves it, as it’s all available to watch, it’s that it’s hard to believe someone could be *that good*). If there’s a negative connotation to what posters are saying when they use those words, I can’t identify it.

So again… not intending to make any point, just curious what you guys make of it.

On a different note… So, I totally get it when you guys say “asshole is not a mental illness”. But I’m wondering if there’s a bit of assuming the consequent going on? Because I’m a little… confused/unsure about when people say “psycho” or “socio” or whatnot. Like, yeah, if someone’s a terrible person, that doesn’t mean they’re mentally ill. But if someone has Antisocial Personality Disorder, that usually *does* mean they’re a terrible person. According to the Mayo Clinic:

“Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental condition in which a person’s ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional — and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong and often disregard the rights, wishes and feelings of others.

“Those with antisocial personality disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others either harshly or with callous indifference.”

When people her are talking about ableism and not using these words, there’s the discussion about how people think of mentally ill people as dangerous, or have any number of other negative stereotypes. And believe me, I get it; I’m depressed, and have free-floating anxiety, and insomnia, and am on four different psychiatric medications. (In the interests of full disclosure, I was also abused by my older sister as a child, and her severe BPD was probably a significant part of her abusing me.) But when I see that argument, I just keep thinking about how not all mental illnesses are the same. In some cases saying that someone has a mental illness may be letting them off the hook, but in the cases of “psycho[path]” and “socio[path]”, which I think (though I admit I’m no expert) are both under the heading Antisocial Personality Disorder now? I don’t think that anyone thinks those EXCUSE anything. And when we’re talking about civil rights, and women’s rights, and the people who disregard the rights of others… when a lot of the people mentioned here are described to a T by the definition of Antisocial Personality Disorder… I guess I’m wondering why it’s so bad to suggest that they might have it. To suggest that some of these people they have a disorder that they’re displaying the signs of– one for which the signs are, essentially, not caring about other people at all and tending to treat them like shit… I’m just not entirely convinced that doing so intrinsically disparages people suffering from other mental illnesses, or stereotypes them, or says anything about them.

If the argument is that, most people don’t differentiate between different mental illnesses, so talking about an asshole having one will make less informed people make a connection between other, unrelated mental illnesses and being a bad person/an asshole/whatever… then I certainly understand that. I just feel, a little, like conflating calling someone psychopathic or sociopathic with their condemning or disparaging or just *talking about* ALL mental illness, also does a disservice to people with mental illness.

I dunno… does that make any sense at all?

(Also, I’m a Ravenclaw, and to the person who wrote that they want a sequel about Albus Severus in Slytherin, well, I’m in the middle of writing a fic about Rose Weasley being a Slytherin that I’ve gotten positive feedback about. 🙂 )

61% Ravenclaw and 60% Hufflepuff for me, with 36% Slytherin and 35% Gryffindor. I am pretty unfamiliar with HP, but the description of Ravenclaw sounds pretty darn perfect to me.


It sounds like the people using “crazy” or “insane” in a positive way do it the same way that my musician friends use “sick” and “nasty” to talk about a guitar riff that they really, really like. I even used to know a guy who liked to use “r******d” in a positive sense. I’m sure these folks don’t intend anything hurtful by it. BUT.

“Crazy” and “insane” are words that have a long history in being used cruelly towards people with mental illnesses. So I think the best course of action in these kinds of situations is to stick to what you really mean: “mind-blowing”, “incredible”, “unreal”, “seemingly superhuman” etc., etc. There are lots of other words to use that don’t have any connection to ableism, so I prefer to default to those 100% of the time. There is no downside in sticking to baggage-free language, and you don’t even have to sound stilted or stodgy as you do so. Perhaps there is a situation where “crazy” can be used colloquially in a completely unproblematic way, but I’m not particularly motivated to try and figure it out.

To the second part, there is no good that can come from armchair diagnosing someone. You’re right that part of the damage is the way it harms perfectly lovely people who have mental illnesses.

But another part of the problem is that having internet commenters speculating on strangers’ mental health is completely unhelpful. If I think that XYZ criminal on the news must have ABC disorder, that does nothing for bringing justice to their case. It does nothing for removing the stigma of mental illness in our society. It does nothing to further healthcare for mental illness. All it does is stick a label on a stranger. And since it usually takes health care professionals quite a lot of personal interviewing and testing to correctly diagnose someone, it’s a bit odd to think I can know what’s going on in someone’s head because I saw them on TV a couple of times. At best, my armchair diagnosis is useless, and at worst, it’s actively destructive. So I shouldn’t do it.

Another big problem is that armchair diagnosis is a classic exercise in othering. I don’t have a mental illness, or perhaps I just don’t have the same mental illness as that criminal, and therefore they’re one of “those people” and I can feel comfortably distant from them.

As an example, there is a white supremacist in my area who was recently convicted of murder. He behaved extremely irrationally in court. Seriously, it’s like he wanted to be a comic book villain. Now, if I try to explain his irrational, antisocial behavior through the lens of mental illness, I can comfortably go, “Hey, not my problem, I don’t have that mental illness. What a weird person who is totally unlike me. Someone (not me, of course) should address that.”

But, if I stick to simply evaluating what he has done, along with what he has said he stands for—he’s a white supremacist. He is one of “my people”, white people. And now I have to get really uncomfortable and decide if start defensively tweeting #NotAllWhiteFolks, or if I actually do the hard work of admitting that white culture has giant problems. If I do the right thing in choosing the latter, now I need to listen to what POC are saying about white people making their lives dangerous. I need to be proactive about learning how to be a good ally. It takes work. It takes time. It takes critical self-evaluation. It requires me to absorb and take to heart the rebukes of POC about how society is broken. I can’t stay passive and oblivious.

Whereas if I go, “Well, mental illness, whaddaya gonna do?” I get to lazily maintain the status quo.

So tl;dr – Even if it seems really, really obvious, there is no good outcome of speculating on someone else’s mental health. Not even if you’re right. Not even if you’re really nuanced about how you try to do it.


Wow. That really made perfect sense as a direct answer to my question(s) and reading that I didn’t feel once like you misunderstood me, which is particularly impressive considering that I didn’t feel like I was expressing myself very well! That… that one post answered my questions to my complete satisfaction. Thank you.

WRT positive uses of words like “crazy,” the other reason is that simply that we’re trying to establish a clear-cut set of rules that the community can follow without devolving into constant arguments, so even if one had a really strong argument that saying “this food is crazy good” doesn’t harm anyone, “don’t say crazy” is a way simpler rule than “don’t say crazy unless you mean it in a nice way.” They’re the rules we’ve agreed on as a group, not necessarily the rules we all adhere to all the time.

(Not accusing you of causing arguments because this is a totally polite conversation, but it’s happened before on this topic.)

According to Tieman’s tweets, they filed the Monday previous (Aug 31) which means the judgement for Expo should come in today? I’m betting no updates will be forthcoming from the Badgers, tho.

There might be a snag per this:

[quote] On April 28, 2015, Mr. Kopyto advised the Tribunal that he fit within the unpaid friend exemption because: he is entitled to represent persons as a friend on three occasions each year; he is no longer carrying on the profession of a paralegal, and he is not receiving remuneration. Mr. Kopyto advised the Tribunal that he has fulfilled these conditions and that they apply to his representation of the applicant in this case. [/quote]

“he is no longer carrying on the profession of a paralegal, and he is not receiving remuneration.”

Which seems to indicate Kopyto should not be getting monies for his paralegal work, even. INAL though, but this seems very odd.

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