Many of you already do it, blame it on who you will, but you really do. You try to be funny, making observations that tend towards the crude and rude.
Blame it on Jerry Seinfeld and the rise of “observational humor.” Did you ever notice that ...?
Where ever it started, Americans want to be with it and hip, so they are making smirky observations about all sorts of people, and now, thanks to the 24-7 communications we have become addicted to, we are putting it all out there in print.
Get ready to get in trouble if you go too far, as American celebrities — the ones with big mouths and bigger pockets — are beginning to find out, as a recent Associated Press article explained.
“Courtney Love’s settlement of a case sparked by online attacks on a fashion designer show that while Twitter posts may be short, they can also be costly.
“The singer has agreed to pay Dawn Simorangkir $430,000, plus interest, to settle a lawsuit the designer filed in March 2009 over comments Love made on Twitter and her MySpace blog.
“While the case didn’t go to a jury, First Amendment experts say it highlights the need for celebrities and average people to watch what they say online.
“‘People are getting in trouble for Twitter postings on an almost daily basis,’ said First Amendment Attorney Doug Mirell, a partner at Loeb and Loeb who did not handle the case.
“‘The laws controlling what is and isn’t libelous are the same regardless of the medium in which the statements appear,’ he said.”
Real case law remains to be made, and it is certainly coming.
The time is near when there will be the right mix of inappropriate text, deep pockets and courtroom action.
It is just a matter of time.
When you put it in print and share it with another person — not to mention everyone THEY serve it with and the pyramid beyond — you are actually publishing.
It’s different from making a stupid, mean spirited comment that can only be repeated.
This can be shared and tied to you.
The time is here for Americans to grow up about what we allow to go on line, and for us to share with our kids, before more people get hurt.
After you send your dirty bird into the air, your mean message is out there. You can NEVER call it back.
Better to think twice and kill that message than pay the price for a long, long time to come.
Remember what Thumper’s dad said: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
That is good advice.
— Chuck Smith