The Chronicles of Sarnia*: The Boredeal

This was supposed to be a one-day trial, two days tops.  We are now going into our fourth day.  Jury deliberated most of today, went an hour into overtime, will reconvene tomorrow.  Nails are being bitten, ulcers are being eroded, and I am out of clean underwear.

This could go either way.  I will say one thing, though.  It’s pretty obvious the jury is taking its job seriously.

More when I can afford to.  In the meantime, feel free to use this as a hook for relevant comments; it seems a bit odd to see so many Squidgate comments on last week’s  critique of junk sociobiology.

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*With thanks to Diane Wiley.

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Thursday March 18 2010at 03:03 pm , filed under Squidgate . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

52 Responses to “The Chronicles of Sarnia*: The Boredeal”

  1. Think positive! They could just be arguing over who gets to take the roguish, James Dean-esque, science fiction author on a date!

  2. MAN… it’s good just to hear from you!!
    Just keep thinking positive. It works, you know…

    Very best of luck. We’ll be watching this space…

  3. I have been clicking “refresh” on the Port Huron page since noon today in the hopes of some updates on a verdict! I’m anxious as hell to see this come to a close and I hope you come out unscathed. And this isn’t just my mirror neurons talking!

    All the best, man!

  4. Ok – of the foreseeable multiverse, there are two options:

    1) WHEN Dr. Watts is found innocent, I will treat it as an early birthday treat for Tuesday.

    2) IF Dr. Watts is somehow found guilty, I will personally visit him in jail and act as messenger; delivering his Baltarian manifesto to the people…

    Now, I am off to watch “Twelve Angry Men” in a ceremony of good luck… and because it’s a great movie.

  5. “…a bit odd to see so many Squidgate comments on last week’s critique of junk sociobiology.”

    Odd yes, but then some of us are in that category, well, I can only speak for myself. But then what did you expect when there was nowhere else for us to go like a bunch of nervous neurons wandering, wondering and worrying about.

    Yes, like Allister01 and Leona, be positive and we will all hope that the jury really sees what is going on. We are all rooting for you! :)

    @Allister01 – yay, you put in some positive counter-posts over there.

  6. As for clean underwear, just wash it in a sink or go commando, just a thought…since last week’s critique of junk sociobiology arguably included stuff related to that. Sorta.

  7. Good luck, Dr. Watts.

  8. Eek. Best of luck!

    My one experience serving on a jury was disappointing for the er, lack of consideration/thought my fellow jurors gave to the case (guilt was clear; all we had to debate was how much in damages the injured party ought to get). So, yay for serious jurors? I hope those arguing that there is some “doubt” can win over those more certain of guilt.

  9. Good luck Peter! I’m in the midst of re-reading “Maelstrom” in your honor, and hoping for the best.

  10. […] and the jury must make its decision based on evidence presented at trial. // Peter Watts’ first post on his blog since the trial began is brief and ends, “Nails are being bitten, ulcers are being eroded, and I am out of clean […]

  11. Dear Peter:
    I will say some prayers for your deliverance. I don’t think you will scoff, there are no atheists on black ice. “You get by with a little help from your friends”.

  12. @keanani

    You have no idea how difficult it is to not just call them all idiots and be done with it :-#

    Respect for PR men and lawyers + 10

  13. Good luck Dr. Watts. I’m curious to hear whatever happened with the video — was it ever shown?

  14. Goddamn man, if you’re going to generate suspense, try keeping it to fiction, ok? This many days is killing me.

    Jessie and I are pulling for you, dude.

  15. We are now going into our fourth day.

    AAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH

    Nails are being bitten, ulcers are being eroded, and I am out of clean underwear.

    You & me both, brother.

  16. Good luck!

  17. @Allister01 ~ What courageous strength in restraining yourself!

    As revealed by a few, it was quite telling how they mocked the writing of books that were hard science, I didn’t know whether to laugh or get pissed off. How can you not love science and books with science? Just browsing the bestseller’s list (U.S.A.) reveals just what level of brain power we in the U.S.A. are transmitting…kinda sad, really.

    To be fair though, I do not think I would want such a greatly numbered unwashed mass of naked apes interested in science, scifi, the bliss of nerdom and the state of geekytude interfering with my access and enjoyment.

    @Hljóðlegur ~ “…and I am out of clean underwear.”

    What is with the underwear? Go commando, or better yet, are you out of socks? Duct tape and a paper bag? Washcloth and staples? Improvise, be creative. Be all MacGivery. You know that character played by Richard Dean Anderson. He put all sorts of stuff together, all jerryriggered rigormorole whatchamacallit widgety things that worked!

  18. If it truly was a jury of your peers they would have to find in your favour. Let’s hope the majority of them are up to the challenge.

  19. I am told (though my best google-fu failed to corroborate) that the longer a jury deliberates, the more likely they are to acquit. I hope they take all the time they need.

    Best of luck, Dr. Watts!

  20. Long jury deliberations are generally a good sign for the defense – a quick verdict tends to favor the prosecution.

  21. Good luck, Peter!

  22. i for one would like to know if the free-the-squid tees Chris in NY bought, looked awesome.

    and, like all the others, best of luck, Dr Watts!

  23. Peter—I just found this on my feed. So many days? What can I say? Well, I can wish you good luck once again and wish I could do more than shall do right now: post this on the usual sites. I trust you won’t mind.

  24. Fingers crossed and campaigning for the privilege to translate your work for our local market.

    The one account of the trial I found online did not seem particularly positive for the prosecution – as I gather from their recount of the incident, they described a sequence of events wherein you got back into your car and then somehow managed to assault an officer from within the vehicle, choking him… with magic tentacles of doom or whatever. All seemed kinda fishy… but I guess that’s why it’s called Squidgate.

  25. Good luck Peter,
    I am trying not to bite my nails on your behalf!

  26. Good luck Peter! I too am thinking good thoughts on your behalf and hopeful that some day I’ll be able to buy you a drink when you’re in Boston!

  27. @ Sebastian

    It is also of notes that the testimony of the border guards and their reports don’t match. What kind of dumbass can’t remember what he wrote in a report?

  28. @keanani – I believe the term you are searching for is “jury-rigged”, which is oddly appropriate.

    Best of luck Dr. Watts!

  29. Jury sure taking their time.
    I bet after some soul-searching late last night they’ll give this guy a break.

  30. FOUND GUILTY
    JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION ENTERED
    REFERRED TO PROBATION DEPT.
    BOND IS CONTINUED; HABITUAL
    2ND TO BE REVIEWED W/PROS.

    You gotta fuckin be kidding me.

  31. Ah, crap. So sorry to hear.

  32. TANJ literally. Don’t know what else to say, except this is terrible.

  33. The jury believed the border guards and prosecution no matter what.

  34. Bugger.

    So appeal process?

  35. Bloody fucking hell what a shame.

  36. *pained sigh*

  37. this is just retarded. so sorry, Dr Watts.

  38. Crap. Times Herald has confirmation: http://www.thetimesherald.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010100319004

  39. So sorry to hear about the verdict. Hoping the appeals process is swift and that proper justice is served.

  40. I am curious about this being a second offense.

  41. The US already has a massive over-incarceration problem.
    5 % of the world population, 25 % of world prisoners.
    Are they gonna start imprisoning foreigners now, for Christ’s Sake,
    to propagate further Prison-Industrial profits?
    First the extradition of Marc Emery, now a PhD author who got mugged by violent goons with tin badges.This is outrageous.

  42. I wonder what the lawyer has to say.

  43. @Media ~ “I am curious about this being a second offense.”

    Seems that many people could see this on the docket months ago, including the jurors, BEFORE they were selected, therefore it can’t be said that it did not influence or sway them in anyway or factor into their decision, even if the judge said otherwise.

    @anyone ~ Were any of Peter’s friends or loved ones there with him for support, at all?

  44. Was it based on the video evidence?

  45. @keanani –> Aside from his passenger/witness and his defense team, Peter had three people that came with him every day. There was one other fan that showed up every day on his own. I made day one and a couple hours in the morning of Day 2 myself.

    None of those that started and fed the category 4 web storm surrounding this issue, Cory Doctorow and all the rest screaming for the border guard’s heads on spikes, could be bothered to make an appearance to support Mr. Watts.

    You know the border guards, prosecution and maybe the judge (Actually the judge doesn’t really strike me as the web crawler type) had to have read those postings. I know at least one of the border guards (not testifying) is very familiar with everything said on Boing-Boing, this site and other sites damning the US Customs and Border Protection Service, the US government and the US in general.

    After playing with Peter’s life in such a highly public manner, it is very troubling that none of them (even those claiming to live in and around Port Huron) could be bothered to show up for even half a day to show some support and give a little encouragement.

  46. release the hounds.

  47. The truth:

    “proudinjun wrote:
    As a member of the jury that convicted Mr. Watts today, I have a few comments to make. The jury’s task was not to decide who we liked better. The job of the jury was to decide whether Mr. Watts “obstructed/resisted” the custom officials. Assault was not one of the charges. What it boiled down to was Mr. Watts did not follow the instructions of the customs agents. Period. He was not violent, he was not intimidating, he was not stopping them from searching his car. He did, however, refuse to follow the commands by his non compliance. He’s not a bad man by any stretch of the imagination. The customs agents escalted the situation with sarcasm and miscommunication. Unfortunately, we were not asked to convict those agents with a crime, although, in my opinion, they did commit offenses against Mr. Watts. Two wrongs don’t make a right, so we had to follow the instructions as set forth to us by the judge.”

    Located in “Jury Remains Out in Watts trial”

  48. Dear Watts, it’s unthinkable what you have had to go through. All for absolutely nothing. It’s injustice in its higher form. I am sorry to hear about what happened to you. I wish you will not be punished for the wrong doings of someone else… The USA is a terrible country filled with terrible men!!! No grace there!

  49. Uplinktruck, don’t be a concerntroll. I doubt very much that Peter even thought of asking friends to cross continents and oceans to be at the trial. One can assume that had Cory Doctorow or Charles Stross, for example, offered to cross the Atlantic to be there, he’d’ve told them not to be so melodramatic.

  50. @Uplintruck ~”None of those that started and fed the category 4 web storm surrounding this issue, Cory Doctorow and all the rest screaming for the border guard’s heads on spikes, could be bothered to make an appearance to support Mr. Watts”

    Thank you for the information. But I was just wondering “if anyone was able” of which I didn’t say in the above, since I was stressed, and not how it must be seemingly interpreted as by your answer.

    However, please really, take a higher road here and now.

    Could you not even imagine if you were in Dr. Watts’ shoes (for anything that would be similar, and please do not go on and on about how you would obey the authority at the border etc. etc.)?

    Just try to imagine if some big bad shit rained down on you, and you did not deserve nor warrant it, but a crowd of crowing baying for blood strangers got all up in arms with their sharp pitch forks and big fire lit torches and were coming after you because they did not like your attitude, because you just piss them off for merely being YOU, or that you looked cross-eyed at the person pummeling your face, whatever…really, what you are saying about Dr. Watts would thusly apply exactly to you, and if you are ok with it, well, then, wow…

    As for Dr. Watts’ personal friends, really, it is absolutely no one’s damn business why they couldn’t be present. That is not what I meant and I am sorry that it came out that way.

    Wow, so there is no such thing as freedom of speech anymore, you know, people being upset by the actions of a few border guards who happened to get their stories straight and their little duckies all lined up in a row so that when it came to the show down at the ok court-rall, they would present a united front of authority and uniformed badgey presentation to dazzle the jurors that they were telling the truth?

    So no one has the right to get pissed off and express themselves freely that this is not right ,and get angry at a few humans who obviously are in the wrong, AND do not give a shit about the human being that they are trying to tar and feather?

    I see, so in your mind, and conscience, it is alright for the guards to wrongfully harm Dr. Watts, because they (the guards) have some sort of title with a badge and that means they are above the law no matter what?

    What is wrong with those of you who can’t let go of this? Why is it so damn personal? First you go after Dr. Watts with such a vengence and falsely villify him as having assaulted the border gaurds, which is not the case, not the truth, and now you attack his good friend Cory Doctorow, who did what any good friend should do, which is support, rally and stand with his friend Dr. Watts. So what if he whipped up a storm of outrage and concern.

    Gee, I would hope most people would want friends like that if they found themselves in this kind of trouble.

    What the hell, is it exactly, with some of you men who must continue to bully whip another human being when you know that he was right? You just can’t let it go. Why not?

    You know, this kind of continued attacking of Dr. Watts is actually showing exactly what those of us who do support him have been saying all along. Out of control violence and anger at the hands of people who take it out on others, no matter what, even if they are wrong, and even if they got caught fibbing and fudging, they will still continue to pursue it to exact their revenge just because someone dares to speak up, dares to speak out, dares to question why they are being wrongfully attacked.

    Wow…

  51. Actually, some media presence might have helped, I heard.

  52. Dear Peter—I would have written this yesterday. Should have. My sole excuses are my being ill and my having been preoccupied with writing about your case online. You can continue to count on me.