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NME’s Article on Restraining Orders against Josh Homme Omits Key Factors in the Defense’s Favor”

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If we’re learning one thing from this whole custody and legal battle between Josh Homme and the rest of his family (ex-wife Brody Dalle, daughter Camille and sons Wolf and Orrin), it’s that you should never underestimate the tendency in adults to act like children. At first, I felt incredibly bad for Homme, the lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age and former drummer in Eagles of Death Metal, when I learned that his 15-year-old daughter wanted a restraining order against him. Certainly, in addition, the last thing I expected was for the order to be denied by a judge on grounds of oversimplification, begging-the-question fallacies and expedited legalese gibberish.

Of course, the elephant in the room is that this whole situation is really “sad” — it’s a case of a 15-year-old girl not wanting to see her dad anymore, which, you’ve gotta admit, doesn’t usually occur just because she’s like a “teenage witch,” or any other vilified television trope. That is to say, you’d think, if a 15-year-old girl wanted a restraining order against her dad (her case against him, according to another NME article, involved “flicks to the ear, put-downs, threats against their mother.. and groping of the boys’ privates”), she’d be able to get it, given sufficient manpower on the part of the police and justice system. 

But that’s not the way the legal system works and this case just stinks to high heaven of money as a catalyst in injustice and, maybe, white male privilege. NME, then, for their own right, while I compliment them on their punctilious, professional journalism surrounding this whole disaster, in my opinion omits a couple of key discussion matters that would help frame this thing in an humanistic way and put some perspective on it. 

First, and perhaps most egregiously, the journal quotes Homme’s lawyer, which seems like a problematic tactic in the first place, since a lawyer’s objective is not to tell the truth but to rather tinge the case in favor of his or her client. Then, unbelievably, the entirety of the commentary on the attorney they deliver is as follows: “Homme’s attorney, Susan Wiesner, said Dalle’s claims were ‘categorically false.’” Now, I realize it’s not NME’s obligation, per se, to stand up for the purported victims here and to wield a sort of overarching moral paradigm unto the proceedings. But this is just ridiculous. This rebuke by Wiesner tells us absolutely nothing about the reality of the events surrounding the claims against Homme and wields absolutely no semantic value whatsoever. I mean, if you’re like me, you’ve never heard the phrase “categorically false” in your entire life, except maybe in some college class you really hated and was taught by some bored city boy who’d be really proud of himself if he bred us all into little wolves of Wall Street. 

The other thing that bothers me about the article is, as I allude to before, it doesn’t value the claims made in the original restraining order on the part of Homme’s daughter Camille: in fact the entire article fails to even mention Camille at all. And yes, judge Lawrence Riff, who seems to generally hold a bizarrely misogynistic affinity for Homme’s plight to see and manhandle his kids (probably not coincidental with the hefty mountain of money being heaped toward Homme’s lawyer, most likely), did install “monitors” to supervise Homme and his behavior and disposition toward his kids. But this isn’t what his daughter asked for. She wanted complete freedom and autonomy from her dad and for her best interest to be so immolated like this just booms of callous capitalism.