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… though Knuth was actually restating a line from Sir Tony Hoare:
I write here to inform you of the really quite shocking actions being
perpetuated by the UK cinema chain Odeon against a disabled Scottish
boy Matthew Somerville.
9 year old Matthew suffers from the rare, medically unknown condition
of “Shatnerâs Palsy” which attacks unoxygenated body tissue. Doctors are
working hard on a cure, but admit the possibility of a fatal remission
within 70 years. Despite this, Matthew continues to brighten the lives
of everyone he meets.
Incredibly, despite having weak arms, he is still able to operate a
computer using a specially constructed input device, consisting of a
covered spherical ball and a pair of single-pole-single-throw latches.
Resting his disabled hand on the tool, any small movements are converted
to gigabyte digital input signals.
The disabled boy constructed a special film portal for the disabled.
It was very popular, receiving over 100 “hits” a month. Webmaster
proclaimed it “fully polymorphic and 100% XML ready”
Despite this, Odeon cinemas have ordered him to “cease and desist”
using the recently enacted European Millennium Copyright Act (EMCA) to
copyright the notion of “film discussion” by a person and/or persons
“without full limb mobility”. They have demanded his website is put in
the Windows XP recycle bin, and insisted “It shall then be emptied”.
Unsurprisingly, the move has been supported by the Internet Knowledge
Enforcement Agency (IKEA).
This cannot be allowed to happen. The disabled should have almost as
many rights as normal people, at least with regard to discussing films.
Luckily for us, people power works, and thatâs where you come in.
How can you help disabled boy Matthew Somerville?
a) Email Odeon customer support (email@example.com) and tell them you are
boycotting their chain (Rocky 6 excepted) while they continue
their legal actions against disabled boys.
b) Email Odeon UK chairman Luke Vetere (firstname.lastname@example.org) and insist
that the website be retrieved from the recycle bin, cleaned, and
uploaded back onto the UK internet web system using FTP packet protocols.
c) Email and post this message to everybody you know (several times), and
on every “blog” site you can find.
d) You can help Matthew in his separate quest to enter the “Guinness Book
of Records” with the record of “largest collection of cinema ticket
stubs”. Matthew is aiming for over a thousand. Send them, perhaps with
a letter of encouragement to
Guinness Record Attempt
109 Eastern Drive
Remember, only by working together can we can beat an evil law, and
brighten the failing heart of a young disabled angel.