There really isn’t an excuse for donning blackface and dropping N-Bombs anymore. We’ve established clearly as a culture that we no longer accept that as valid humor.
The day after 9/11 Joan Rivers invited a friend to dinner at “Windows on the Ground.” If I had told that joke I would have been CRUCIFIED. But Joan gets a laugh out of the most horrifying thing in living memory in THREE eulogies.
My point being that exceptions will be made. Just don’t count on being the exception.
We have to teach our kids to be wary of media. They need to know early on that no one can be trusted with sensitive images and videos. There’s a choice we can make as a society: Make media awareness a part of basic education at home and at school or renew our children’s awareness at the cost of regular sacrifice.
I would never have found work in the public sphere had photo or video evidence survived my teens & twenties. I was a savage and I said dreadful things.
Some of the jokes I tell among friends TODAY would be problematic were they to be made public. My sense of humor is dark in a way morticians and ER nurses find grim. But because I have 20 years of “Mic Discipline” from curbing myself on the air I’ve managed to avoid saying anything newsworthy into a recording device.
My sense of humor doesn’t mean I hate anyone.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few people I hate, but it’s an individual thing. A wo/man has to EARN that kind of emotional energy. Most of us don’t know each other well enough to justify the expenditure.
But a lack of malice doesn’t mean I’ve never said something that would have offended a measurable percentage of the population. As a matter of fact, most of the time people tell me I’m Going to Hell it’s while giggling uncontrollably.
The time has come for us to evolve with our toys. The internet isn’t going away, neither is social media, and saying the wrong thing will always be a possibility.
Take the coverage of this kid from Bullard. Clip it out of the paper and laminate it. Post it on your kid’s bedroom door. Tomorrow print the NY Post version of the same story and repeat the process. When this happens again in 3-6 months take every version of the story and post it daily on the door.
Tell your daughters to read the coverage of The Fappening. Show your sons Benjamin Barber’s mugshot. Share the latest mea culpa from whatever company lost a zillion social security numbers (looking at you, Quest Diagnostics).
The Litany Grows:
• Look both ways before you cross the street.
• Brush in the morning for your friends and at night for your teeth.
• Don’t take candy from strangers.
• Never, ever let anyone take pictures or video of you that you’re not comfortable showing mom & dad or seeing on the front door of the school.
• Taxation is Theft.
Thanks for playing along today (if you did). Podcasting will be back soon, too.