“Should We Hang Graham Linehan?”, a Defence of Free Inquiry

I want to begin by expressly stating that I do not think we should hang Graham Linehan, as that would be both illegal and immoral. What I do want to defend, instead, is the act of asking whether the penalties of hanging Graham Linehan outweigh the merits. I expect Graham Linehan will even support this enterprise, as he has publicly taken the stance that objecting to a question asked is an inherent act of moral wrong, and conversely that a question posed is an inherent act of moral good! And so, Linehan being a man of his word, I pursue an answer in good faith in a gesture he would doubtlessly support: Should we hang Graham Linehan?

I want to reiterate again: Hanging Graham Linehan is both illegal and immoral. I am not counselling anyone to actually hang Graham Linehan. Nor am I suggesting or implying we hang Graham Linehan! After all, if everybody hanged everybody else just for launching obsessive, unhinged, and sadistic social media tirades that lasted for several years, we’d have no one left. Who hasn’t “gone off” as the kids say these days? It seems self-evident to me that hanging Graham Linehan is morally unsustainable on this basis, even before we get into the penalties imposed by law.

But what about the merits? Well, not a day goes by where Graham Linehan, a cisgender, heterosexual man, tweets from his throne, weighing in on matters such as who gets to call themselves a lesbian or abusing the term “safeguarding” to cloak inciting libel in respectable vocabulary. Certainly as a queer person actually acquainted with the theory on which he pontificates, his falsely proclaimed expertise and the undue attention it earns him is deeply vexing. As a rule, I do not want cishet men advocating their own opinions on the topic while defaming the actual scholars as “groomers.” That would strike me as an injury of epistemic injustice, one which would certainly cease to occur again should he be hanged–though I certainly wouldn’t wish that to happen.

“Now now now,” Graham Linehan might be saying. “By questioning whether we ought to hang Graham Linehan, aren’t you implying it could be a possible outcome that some people will finish the conversation convinced they should hang him, and thereby your question constitutes an implicit threat?” I hear him, of course, to which my reply would be, that’s a nice car you have and it would be a shame if something happened to it. I stand by that statement fully. Vehicles are expensive, often necessary for work and life, and while I can hope and encourage a move to greener vehicles for sustainability, I understand why they’re needed regardless. I truly believe it would be a shame if something happened to it. Isn’t that… good enough, Graham Linehan? It seems to be good enough for you, after all. We’re just asking questions.

Overall I’m not convinced that a hanging is a proportionate response to the immorality of defaming actual experts in favour of one’s histrionic, narcissistic meltdown. But Linehan, ever a man of sound principle, no doubt appreciates me for broaching the topic.

What about you, dear readers? Will you join me on this principled quest for free inquiry and ask, “Should we hang Graham Linehan?” Please remember to keep the conversation civilized, readers.