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daily dose of "emotion crime"
portland library, noonish
so i was at the library using the computer and another patron was laughing out loud at his computer.

i thought it was amusing and went about my business in a lighthearted fashion.

some other fellow users of the computers were not as accepting of this fellows perceived levity as i was and became overly aggressive towards him. after a verbal altercation (which was disruptive moreso than the mere laughter that was being heard, not to mention not at all as pleasant) somebody went to the desk and "reported" the individual and the happenings.

i was doubly amused that the righteous person who reported the "laugher" began laughing himself at the impending escort from the library that the reported person was about to be subject to. also, at his work station he was surrounded with papers concerning the moral doctrines of christianity (love thy neighbour, indeed!). there was no love present here today, not even the commodified sort that some of us engaged in earlier this week in a certain holiday celebration (do we need a day set aside to relish in our laughter as well?).

i witnessed the removal in order to observe if he was being treated in an "appropriate" manner, which i believe he had not been at all during the course of these events.

only in a world such as our present one can indulging in laughter be seen as more of a threat to public safety than these acts of aggression i saw played out in the same occurance.

currently as i write this, two people have been conversing in a "civilized" manner at their computer stations. they are being treated "civilly".

what constitutes as the consensus aesthetics of disruption were at play here. comfort zones were challenged, therefore the enforcers of emotional justice were brought in to render the space "safe" once again.

perhaps we need to instate public "laughter zones" just as we do for smokers. obviously it is equally as repulsive and just as harmful and should be judged and controlled in such a similar fashion.

let us launch a campaign: ACT UP AGAINST LAUGHTER!

Is "dangerous art" similar to this outbreak of laughter? 17.Feb.2007 20:03


I read your posting just after discovering that there is a rogue artist afoot in Forest Park. For some reason, I put the laughing library patron and the mysterious artist in the same human plain. People breaking out! Actually causing a ruckus of sorts. Can this be tolerated? Apparently not in the library, and it seems that art for art's sake in Forest Park is also 'risky'. Park officials are concerned that others might take up the cause of Guerrilla art! Portland already has its share of creative people and, according to the article I read in the big O, they need to keep their efforts in "the Pearl District". Now all of that made ME laugh. Lucky I was not in the library, huh?

Complain!! 18.Feb.2007 01:02


You should have filed a complaint about the library employee(s) who disciplined and escorted out the laugher. And complained about the one who complained about the laugher as well.

Don't rush to judgement 18.Feb.2007 09:13


was it the decibel level, the pitch of the outburst, or its length, or it's content that was the problem?

Laughter can be disruptive -- or infectious. Exclusive or inclusive. Obscene or mirthful.

More info would help before I personally would rush to judgement.

Complaining: The "New" Laughter 18.Feb.2007 16:22


a place for everything and everything in it's place, i suppose.

as long as everything is kept in a nice and orderly state we can all be happy (just make sure this happiness doesn't lead to laughter!).