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(The Atlantic)   What's a white man gotta do to get arrested in this tow-- oh. Really? All that? Seriously? Even if I'm holding the--That seems like a lot   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, tow, penal law, New York City Criminal Court, Courthouse News Service, Fort Greene, guard tower, country legal systems, Brownsville  
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6021 clicks; posted to Politics » on 17 Dec 2013 at 2:23 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-17 02:26:17 PM  
Well, he was trying to set off stop-and-frisk specifically, that's one of the most blatantly racist policies around outside of Arizona's little "show me your papers" venture.  Kind of an edge case there.
 
2013-12-17 02:28:21 PM  
"What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.
 
2013-12-17 02:28:54 PM  
Two Americas.
 
2013-12-17 02:30:29 PM  
In the American criminal justice system, there are... Wait, what are you, some kind of asshole?
 
2013-12-17 02:32:35 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.


Being an asshole to highlight injustice is kinda the point of civil disobedience.
 
2013-12-17 02:34:38 PM  
Convicted on nine counts... of what?  Carrying the supplies was a crime, tagging the gate was another, tagging the other gate could be a third.  Evidence had to show that he'd not evaded police but instead tried to turn himself in, all the while having gumshoes blundering just out of reach.

I just want to know what the counts were.

Also, I assume that the heavy sentence was tied to his blogging and whatnot about it, that he was acting as an agent provocateur.
 
2013-12-17 02:35:54 PM  

qorkfiend: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.

Being an asshole to highlight injustice is kinda the point of civil disobedience.


It's the type of "being an asshole" that society needs every now and then.
 
2013-12-17 02:36:41 PM  

factoryconnection: Also, I assume that the heavy sentence was tied to his blogging and whatnot about it, that he was acting as an agent provocateur.


He got off easy. Demonstrating the racism of the police is usually a capital offense. Especially if you happen to be one of those minorities.
 
2013-12-17 02:37:38 PM  
Wow 3 years probation for graffiti? WTF

At least it's nice to know white people can get screwed by the system too
 
2013-12-17 02:38:26 PM  

miscreant: factoryconnection: Also, I assume that the heavy sentence was tied to his blogging and whatnot about it, that he was acting as an agent provocateur.

He got off easy. Demonstrating the racism of the police is usually a capital offense. Especially if you happen to be one of those minorities.


I think they're treading more carefully than usual since NYPD's been publicly accused of racial profiling through stop-and-frisk.
 
2013-12-17 02:40:16 PM  

miscreant: He got off easy. Demonstrating the racism of the police is usually a capital offense. Especially if you happen to be one of those minorities.


Well yeah, but they were going to give him a very light, typical-first-offense sentence but then for some reason bumped it up to "make an example of him."
 
2013-12-17 02:41:41 PM  
He made the authorities look bad. He's lucky he got off so light.
 
2013-12-17 02:44:01 PM  

justtray: Wow 3 years probation for graffiti? WTF

At least it's nice to know white people can get screwed by the system too


apparently only if they try to expose how farked up it is.
 
2013-12-17 02:47:55 PM  

Smoking GNU: qorkfiend: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.

Being an asshole to highlight injustice is kinda the point of civil disobedience.

It's the type of "being an asshole" that society needs every now and then.


Yeah, but he went about it in the wrong way. Instead of it being somewhat of an illuminating article about how the police judge intent of carrying graffiti utensils based on skin color and clothing (since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around) I'm left with a lot of questions about the writer himself. He basically just paraded around in front of the police department, doing nothing illegal and hoping to be arrested, did the deed, and then kept trying to turn himself into City Hall instead of the police department.

It's like some weird race tourist expose instead of something deeper.
 
2013-12-17 02:48:52 PM  

Headso: justtray: Wow 3 years probation for graffiti? WTF

At least it's nice to know white people can get screwed by the system too

apparently only if they try to expose how farked up it is.



If he's trying to show how unjust the system is, would proving it actually be him getting screwed over?

This story would be funny if it weren't so sad.
 
2013-12-17 02:49:03 PM  

miscreant: factoryconnection: Also, I assume that the heavy sentence was tied to his blogging and whatnot about it, that he was acting as an agent provocateur.

He got off easy. Demonstrating the racism of the police is usually a capital offense. Especially if you happen to be one of those minorities.


He should have waited around Brownsville until he sees an officer frisking black teens, then tried to videotape the incident or capture it on his camera.
 
2013-12-17 02:49:45 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Instead of it being somewhat of an illuminating article about how the police judge intent of carrying graffiti utensils based on skin color and clothing (since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around)


Incorrect.

FTA: "I held a chipboard graffiti stencil the size of a piece of poster board and two cans of spray paint. Simply carrying those items qualified as a class B misdemeanor pursuant to New York Penal Law 145.65."
 
2013-12-17 02:50:18 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around


Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.
 
2013-12-17 02:51:34 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Smoking GNU: qorkfiend: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.

Being an asshole to highlight injustice is kinda the point of civil disobedience.

It's the type of "being an asshole" that society needs every now and then.

Yeah, but he went about it in the wrong way. Instead of it being somewhat of an illuminating article about how the police judge intent of carrying graffiti utensils based on skin color and clothing (since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around) I'm left with a lot of questions about the writer himself. He basically just paraded around in front of the police department, doing nothing illegal and hoping to be arrested, did the deed, and then kept trying to turn himself into City Hall instead of the police department.

It's like some weird race tourist expose instead of something deeper.


Except that's not accurate. According to the author, "I held a chipboard graffiti stencil the size of a piece of poster board and two cans of spray paint. Simply carrying those items qualified as a class B misdemeanor pursuant to New York Penal Law 145.65."

Everywhere he went he was doing something illegal. It sounds like it was much harder for him to get arrested than planned.
 
2013-12-17 02:52:04 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Well, he was trying to set off stop-and-frisk specifically, that's one of the most blatantly racist policies around outside of Arizona's little "show me your papers" venture.  Kind of an edge case there.


No, he said he started out with stop-and-frisk target neighborhoods because he figured there would be more cops there, but he clearly had a backup plan with the spray paint.
 
2013-12-17 02:53:22 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: Smoking GNU: qorkfiend: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.

Being an asshole to highlight injustice is kinda the point of civil disobedience.

It's the type of "being an asshole" that society needs every now and then.

Yeah, but he went about it in the wrong way. Instead of it being somewhat of an illuminating article about how the police judge intent of carrying graffiti utensils based on skin color and clothing (since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around) I'm left with a lot of questions about the writer himself. He basically just paraded around in front of the police department, doing nothing illegal and hoping to be arrested, did the deed, and then kept trying to turn himself into City Hall instead of the police department.

It's like some weird race tourist expose instead of something deeper.


"As I walked around that day, I held a chipboard graffiti stencil the size of a piece of poster board and two cans of spray paint. Simply carrying those items qualified as a class B misdemeanor pursuant to New York Penal Law 145.65. If police officers were doing their jobs, they would have no choice but to stop and question me.    "
 
2013-12-17 02:53:36 PM  
Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque:. He basically just paraded around in front of the police department, doing nothing illegal and hoping to be arrested, did the deed, and then kept trying to turn himself into City Hall instead of the police department.

It's like some weird race tourist expose instead of something deeper.


FTFA: "As I walked around that day, I held a chipboard graffiti stencil the size of a piece of poster board and two cans of spray paint. Simply carrying those items qualified as a class B misdemeanor pursuant to New York Penal Law 145.65."
 
2013-12-17 02:53:50 PM  

t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.


So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?
 
2013-12-17 02:54:05 PM  
Interesting read. Reminds me of a quote but I forget who said it: "I can go anywhere in America and know that I'm black."
 
2013-12-17 02:54:48 PM  
Over the next 24 hours, I watched as men and women came and went, many with cuts, bruises, and welts. I asked several of them how they'd been injured, and they described fierce struggles with the police. One young man cradled what he reported was a broken wrist. Another pulled up his shirt and revealed three Taser burns. Yet another removed his fitted cap and pointed to a swollen knot on his head. I exchanged uncomfortable glances with the few other white men in the cellblock.
"Did they treat you like that?" I whispered.
"No, you?"
"No." We held out our wrists to compare.



Well, you could have tried resisting arrest.  Might have looked a little odd after begging them to arrest you, though.
 
2013-12-17 02:55:11 PM  

AeAe: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?


Correct.
 
2013-12-17 02:56:44 PM  
Has anybody mentioned yet that carrying a spray paint can or other tool commonly used for the purposes of graffiti is a class B misdemeanor?
 
2013-12-17 02:57:24 PM  

factoryconnection: Convicted on nine counts... of what?  Carrying the supplies was a crime, tagging the gate was another, tagging the other gate could be a third.  Evidence had to show that he'd not evaded police but instead tried to turn himself in, all the while having gumshoes blundering just out of reach.

I just want to know what the counts were.

Also, I assume that the heavy sentence was tied to his blogging and whatnot about it, that he was acting as an agent provocateur.


The supplies could be three counts (the stencil and two cans), plus two tags is five, but might be doubled (destruction of property, criminal mischief) to make seven, then throw in the evasion, plus one count of being some kind of asshole.  That adds up to nine.
 
2013-12-17 02:57:31 PM  

Smoking GNU: qorkfiend: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.

Being an asshole to highlight injustice is kinda the point of civil disobedience.

It's the type of "being an asshole" that society needs every now and then.



There are a lot of "protestors" that get arrested for shiat on purpose then cry that they were opressed, when they aren't protesting the law. they are normally assholes, this guy isn't one of themasshole.

He highlighted how farked up the system is and he exposed police "corruption" (that may be too strong of a word, but when detectives say they lost some guy going about day to day life somebody is farking up).
 
2013-12-17 02:57:31 PM  

AeAe: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?


If the cop is willing to state that he had reason to believe you were going to use it on someone else's property, yes.
 
2013-12-17 02:58:53 PM  

AeAe: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?


Cited, yeah (it's a low-class misdemeanor, meaning no arrests, right?).

My own sainted father was cited for walking across a pond in a park in Queens. By time he was halfway across, there was a cop waiting for him on the other side.

// pond was frozen
// I think the official charge was "trespass"
 
2013-12-17 02:59:16 PM  

justtray: Wow 3 years probation for graffiti? WTF

At least it's nice to know white people can get screwed by the system too


It just takes more work. He repeatedly tried to turn himself in before they finally bit, and only then did the system find the situation so embarrassing and annoying that they decided to hit him with everything. He kind of exposed the shiat on both ends.
 
2013-12-17 02:59:18 PM  
The version of this article from the perspective of a young black man was much shorter. Obituaries usually are, though.
 
2013-12-17 02:59:19 PM  

AeAe: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?


IIRC you're not allowed to buy spray paint in New York unless you're licensed to do construction or road work or something.
 
2013-12-17 02:59:40 PM  

AeAe: So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?


The idea is that it's fairly hard for the police to catch someone in the act, when it comes to graffiti. So, if the police suspect you of vandalism, and find you're carrying spraypaint, they can arrest you without needing to catch you in the act. In general, the police can't stop you without probable cause (stop-and-frisk non-withstanding), this means law-abiding citizens won't ever be arrested for carrying spraypaint, but vandals will.

Since the lawyer in TFA was carrying these implements  openly, the police could have arrested him at any time.
 
2013-12-17 03:01:02 PM  

Arkanaut: AeAe: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?

IIRC you're not allowed to buy spray paint in New York unless you're licensed to do construction or road work or something.


Not last time I checked. There's a Home Depot on 23rd street and 6th avenue with an aisle of spraypaint. I've bought a few cans repeatedly and taken them home to customize my Nerf guns.

Then again, I am white, so...
 
2013-12-17 03:01:05 PM  

t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.


It's a judgment call on the part of the officer. White guy in a suit didn't set off any alarms on the part of the officer, since there probably aren't many white guys in suits tagging public buildings. If it were illegal to simply have the utensils out in the open, without some indication that you were going to use them for nefarious purposes, just about every every painting and building crew in the city would be getting arrested. There's an interesting point that could have been made about why officers assume a white guy in a suit is holding graffiti tools for good and a poor black kid is holding them for evil, but that kind of got lost in translation.
 
2013-12-17 03:01:33 PM  

t3knomanser: A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor


qorkfiend: Correct


You're missing the key point of the law.  You need to be doing something that shows your intent to graffiti other people's property.

Just walking around carrying spray paint and a stencil is not evincing an intent... especially if you're doing it in broad daylight in front of cops.

Maybe at 2am, wearing a hoodie while on private property, just having spray paint would be illegal.

You'd think a former DA would understand the law.
 
2013-12-17 03:01:45 PM  

Arkanaut: IIRC you're not allowed to buy spray paint in New York unless you're licensed to do construction or road work or something.


That's not true in NYS. NYC may be different- it's its own planet, when it comes to the law.

thurstonxhowell: If the cop is willing to state that he had reason to believe you were going to use it on someone else's property, yes


The cop doesn't even need that. He  does need probable cause to search you and find the spraypaint, but if he sees you with spraypaint, you are violating the law whether or not he believes you have intent.
 
2013-12-17 03:01:59 PM  

thurstonxhowell: AeAe: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?

If the cop is willing to state that he had reason to believe you were going to use it on someone else's property, yes.


And this guy was carrying them as simply as can be so they had no reason to believe that he was going to use it on someone elses property.
 
2013-12-17 03:02:00 PM  

t3knomanser: AeAe: So.... you can be charged carrying a can of spray paint around?

The idea is that it's fairly hard for the police to catch someone in the act, when it comes to graffiti. So, if the police suspect you of vandalism, and find you're carrying spraypaint, they can arrest you without needing to catch you in the act. In general, the police can't stop you without probable cause (stop-and-frisk non-withstanding), this means law-abiding citizens won't ever be arrested for carrying spraypaint, but vandals will.

Since the lawyer in TFA was carrying these implements  openly, the police could have arrested him at any time.


Crafting a criminal law specifically to make it selectively enforceable should have been one of the things banned in the constitution.
 
2013-12-17 03:02:20 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: "What are you, some kind of asshole?" he asked.

After reading that entire thing, yes.


This.
 
2013-12-17 03:02:36 PM  

justtray: Wow 3 years probation for graffiti? WTF

At least it's nice to know white people can get screwed by the system too



Yeah, but we have to put a lot more effort in to get the same result.
 
2013-12-17 03:04:14 PM  

Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: t3knomanser: Barry Lyndon's Annuity Cheque: since it's not illegal to just carry the crap around

Actually, it is.

A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor.

It's a judgment call on the part of the officer. White guy in a suit didn't set off any alarms on the part of the officer, since there probably aren't many white guys in suits tagging public buildings. If it were illegal to simply have the utensils out in the open, without some indication that you were going to use them for nefarious purposes, just about every every painting and building crew in the city would be getting arrested. There's an interesting point that could have been made about why officers assume a white guy in a suit is holding graffiti tools for good and a poor black kid is holding them for evil, but that kind of got lost in translation.


This is one of those rare cases where racism probably was the correct response. White guys in suits don't tag buildings. It's probably also the reason he had so much trouble getting the guards to arrest him. They didn't believe him, and thought he was just farking around with them.
 
2013-12-17 03:04:57 PM  
This article could have been interesting, but it was done poorly.

The police obviously figured out that this guy was attention whoring for some reason, and that's why they didn't arrest him immediately.  Once he kept pushing and pushing they decided to give him exactly what he wanted.

A better use of his time would be to walk around with the paint in casual clothes and have a black friend do the same and see if somebody gets arrested more often.
 
2013-12-17 03:05:41 PM  

t3knomanser: you are violating the law whether or not he believes you have intent.


No you're not.  You're missing the key phrase in the law.
 
2013-12-17 03:06:34 PM  

Bloody William: Crafting a criminal law specifically to make it selectively enforceable should have been one of the things banned in the constitution.


It's a hard thing to ban, and you don't want to try and turn LEOs into robots either. It's  good to let people use judgement in deciding how and when to enforce laws. The problem arises when they use that judgment to be overtly unfair.
 
2013-12-17 03:07:03 PM  

MugzyBrown: The police obviously figured out that this guy was attention whoring for some reason, and that's why they didn't arrest him immediately.


Now you're just making shiat up.
 
2013-12-17 03:07:46 PM  

MugzyBrown: t3knomanser: A person is guilty of possession of graffiti instruments when he possesses any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound designed or commonly used to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise place a mark upon a piece of property which that person has no permission or authority to etch, paint, cover, draw upon or otherwise mark, under circumstances evincing an intent to use same in order to damage such property. Possession of graffiti instruments is a class B misdemeanor

qorkfiend: Correct

You're missing the key point of the law.  You need to be doing something that shows your intent to graffiti other people's property.

Just walking around carrying spray paint and a stencil is not evincing an intent... especially if you're doing it in broad daylight in front of cops.

Maybe at 2am, wearing a hoodie while on private property, just having spray paint would be illegal.

You'd think a former DA would understand the law.


It's always amusing to hear random guys on the Internet complaining about how district attorneys don't understand the law.
 
2013-12-17 03:09:26 PM  

Soup4Bonnie: MugzyBrown: The police obviously figured out that this guy was attention whoring for some reason, and that's why they didn't arrest him immediately.

Now you're just making shiat up.


Seriously? A guy dressed in a suit graffities city property in front of cops and then keeps trying to turn himself in?  They probably put up with shiat like this all of the time.

Maybe they were just hoping he would do something even more stupid so they could throw him in jail for 10 years.

I think cops are typically pieces of shiat, but I think they were on to this guy.
 
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