“Don’t Mess with Firefly”

Not just a cult-favorite TV show but an issue of free speech on campus at the University of Wisconsin. With Neil Gaiman  and a thick-headed campus police chief. Don’t underestimate the fans of Firefly.

UPDATE: Sorry, the YouTube link disappeared for a while.


  1. Medeine Ragana says:

    I’m confused about this snippet which appears very interesting, but is so short and has no links to whatever incident is being referred to. Could you rectify that please? Thanks. (I remember when Firefly first came out back in the 1990s.)

    • Chas Clifton says:

      I saw only the movie, not the film, so I cannot tell you when that conversation occurred. But the real issue is freedom of speech, that you should be able to display a poster with your favorite Firefly quotation without some bureaucrat threatening you.

      You can read more on the University of Wisconsin case here.

    • Faoladh says:

      While I do not doubt your love of the series, a couple of weeks before the premiere), it would be very difficult to accurately remember the series coming out in the 1990s, as it premiered on 20 September 2002.

      • Faoladh says:

        Haha! Just edit out the phrase “a couple of weeks before the premiere),”, it is an artifact of an earlier draft of that comment.

      • Medeine Ragana says:

        Well, hey… I know I remember Firefly but since I didn’t have cable from 1998 though 2010… Maybe it was a movie that I saw, or it could’ve been a pilot. But I remember it because I knew that they were doing a series and since I was moving to another area that didn’t have cable.

        On the other hand I could just be having a senior moment. 🙂

  2. most excellent, also i found this


    which explains it well, and points towards it being about free speech which it is.. and that universities should be cultivating this…

    everything is shiny captin!

  3. […] to Chaz for blogging about this story and bringing it to my attention, although I’m amazed I […]

  4. T.L. says:

    I agree with the police chief. People who are not familiar with “Firefly” experience the quote out of context, and it could be construed as threatening. Also, people who are not familiar with “Firefly” will not know that Malcolm is a rogue with impeachable integrity. So, it’s a trade-off (like most things)—trading the pleasure “Firefly” fans receive (and luxuriate in) from the reliving this quote, versus a misunderstanding by others who do not know “Firefly.” Anyway, “Firefly” is a good reason to have adult children—because they know about (and gift you) all the good things. “Firefly,” the series (and Serenity) is something everyone should own. You can enjoy it over and over and over for the rest of your lives, like Star Trek and Next Gen. Nevertheless, this professor made a mountain out of a mole hill.

    • Chas Clifton says:

      Yes indeed, universities should protect people against being exposed to ideas and images that could be “construed as threatening.” That is their mission.