Saturday, May 14, 2011

Farting on the Bus: Questions for Daniel Senu-Oke

Our new hero is Anthony Nichols, a thirteen-year-old student at the Canal Winchester Middle School, in Ohio.

Anthony and his buddy were on the school bus last week when they cut the cheese in a big way. This led to an utterly predictable response by their fellow riders:
the flatulence apparently caused a ruckus on the bus amid a flurry of laughs, jeers and lowering of windows
Pretty standard stuff for a middle school bus.

The bus driver, ticked off because he had previously warned the dastardly duo that this behavior was unacceptable, turned Anthony and his buddy over to Assistant Principal Seymour Skinner Daniel Senu-Oke for discipline.

Also pretty standard stuff.

But then Mr. Senu-Oke guaranteed himself a place in the annals of school administration idiocy when he suspended the boys from the bus for “making an obscene gesture in violation of the student code of conduct”. According to the boy’s father, Mr. Senu-Oke also “suggested my son should hold his gas on this hourlong bus ride”.

Assistant Principal Daniel “Hold It In” Senu-Oke

The social psychology of farting is something we take seriously here at FirstNerve. But the notion that farting constitutes an obscene gesture breaks new ground in semiotic theory. It raises some philosophical questions we’d like to ask Mr. Senu-Oke:
Does the gestural equivalent reside in the sound or in the smell?

In your view of Canal Winchester community standards, is a Silent-But-Deadly not obscene?

Is a Bart Simpsonesque armpit fart noise obscene?

And finally, when someone cuts you off in traffic, is your response to fart loudly?

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