Mr. Wilson readies for his segment in The New Radical.
The Cody Wilson Effect
Associated Press announced, “The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence asked the providers that host GhostGunner.net and GhostGuns.com to disable the websites for violating the hosting companies’ terms of service.” The often-shrill and bullying political advocacy group is appealing publically to web services Shopify and Dream Host to darken Cody Wilson’s projects.
The official appeal comes laced with hedged-wordings after a deranged California man used homemade weapons to murder his wife and four others. The Giffords letter argues Mr. Wilson is responsible for “the sort of products that have already caused scores of senseless deaths — and are likely to cause many more, unless taken off the market.” Sort of. Likely. You get the idea. Neither Mr. Wilson nor his sites factored-in to recent horrors.
The cynical attempt to link Mr. Wilson’s work to insanity just so happens to coincide with a well-received documentary, The New Radical (TNR), and its premier, 1 December, in select theaters (it’ll be available on-demand, cable, satellite, 5 December).
The attempt to silence Cody Wilson and his Defense Distributed outfit is nothing new, of course. But this is how it works with Mr. Wilson: he’s first ignored, then sought as a curiosity, and finally vilified.
It’s the Cody Wilson Effect, my neologism and rephrasing of The Streisand Effect. Babs’ Malibu mansion was inadvertently photographed by coastal erosion do-gooders documenting the mighty Pacific’s reclamation. Attorneys for the singer promptly sued for tens of millions, demanding the offending picture be struck from the site. Seems no one else noticed the photograph … until news got out these poor people were being crushed by Yentl’s legal goons.
Ms. Streisand’s home was plastered all over the web, an ironic and expensive lesson. That’s eerily similar to Mr. Wilson’s trajectory from University of Texas Law School student out for poking the bear, having a bit of fun, only to be censored. Media discovered the story, splashed headlines internationally, and suddenly the world’s first 3D gun schematics had been downloaded 100,000 times.
English poet John Milton predicted something akin three centuries earlier in his Areopagitica. As it turns out, Mr. Wilson was somewhat devoted to Milton by way of an undergrad University of Central Arkansas English professor, Dr. Raymond-Jean Frontain.
And it’s this morsel of the intimate, personal side of TNR‘s subjects that makes it compelling viewing, especially for those already familiar with the documentary’s broader themes.
Lynn Ulbricht, Adam Bhala Lough, Cody Wilson
Written and Directed by Adam Bhala Lough, perhaps best known for his take on rap star Lil Wayne in The Carter, which was pegged as one of the best music documentaries of all time by Rolling Stone, The New Radical is a lush and sobering investigation of two personalities bent on being impactful.
“They all connect in seizing power from the establishment and the Boomer generation,” Mr. Lough says of his subjects. “That’s ultimately what all these projects are about. The Liberator said, ‘You want to ban guns? Well, we can print one.’ Dark Wallet and Bitcoin both started, in Amir’s mind, in reaction to Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal banning donations to Wikileaks. ‘You want to tell us what we can and can’t spend our money on? Fuck you, we’ll create our own money.’”
“They’re seizing power through technology,” he continued. “It is impossible to tell this generation what they can and cannot do. They don’t just want power for power’s sake, they want to balance the scales because they see things as being unfair.”