We live in litigious times, don’t we? For those of you without a dictionary, that means we sue each other over anything and nothing. Its hard to say who’s the biggest hypocrite: Elliot Spitzer or Larry Craig, but I wouldn’t sue either one of them. I’ll go on the record saying that I really, really, really don’t care what they do in bed. Really, I don’t. They could do it with radishes or thigh-high pleather boots and a whip, and it still wouldn’t perk up an urge to investigate further. Unless, of course, they hurt or abuse someone, which neither of them seems to have done, except in the course of normal life in which we all get a bit hurt and abused, but not necessarily in a criminal sense. The line is pretty thin, and I guess that’s why everyone is suing each other.
And complaining and blaming each other. I’ll accept blame for blaming here and there, since I do tend to take life too seriously, but so far I’ve always gotten over it before it became something that seemed actionable to me. I take responsibility for the times I have taken action – in the case of stalkers and lawn-poopers (can you say “hyperbole”?) – but even with 20-20 hindsight, it seems that stalkers and lawn-poopers are legitimate concerns. I’ve never called the cops on anyone who didn’t deserve to have the cops called on them, and as far as I know, I’ve never published anything but the truth. All of my life is nothing but raw material. Lets not forget that satire, hyperbole and opinion are protected forms of speech, but saying “I’m going to get you, this is your warning” is not. It’s a threat.
Who is innocent? Me, me, me!!!!! Actually, I’m not, and neither are any of you. At least I’ve not slandered according to the dictionary, and to what I understand to be law. Slander includes telling lies and having “malicious intent” which I really, really don’t have. Not even to Jack. Not even to my stalker (whose name I’m now afraid to mention, which is disturbing.) I guess naively, I thought that blogging was just about keeping my family and friends informed about my life, and saving some money on stamps. Apparently not; if you get more than so many hits on your blog a day, now you’re on Letterman or something. Did I sign up for this? No. but, yes. Even so, I’m pretty sure I’m safe, because I actually don’t mean to harm and I don’t tell lies. I tell stories (Dare I compare myself to David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs…? Oh, pshaaw…). As someone smarter than I said, as a writer I throw ink at the wolf to keep him from the door, only sometimes I hit him. For a complete treatment of how writers can take the melding of truth, satire and hyberbole to new and unexpected heights, see this Slate article about Malcolm Gladwell:
Do you want me to stop telling what I have to say because I’m afraid?
Of the government?
Of the militias who were purportedly allowed to carry arms?
Stupidity got us into this mess, and stupidity will get us out.