Freedom of speech means always having to say you’re sorry.
Somewhere in the public eye…
What a week I’m having! It’s hard to escape the spotlight these days. Every move and every word is recorded, repackaged, and regurgitated.
Be careful what you say out there. Who knew a crack about transgender squirrels would bomb at the Humane Society luncheon? “I would like to publicly apologize for my insensitive remarks about the transgender squirrel community. As we all know, all squirrels matter….” That was Public Apology No. 1.
Never should have jumped on the #MeToo bandwagon. You’re bashed if you’re an accuser, you’re bashed if you’re the accused. A newspaper columnist wrote that stories about mere “unwanted advances” trivialize reports of actual sexual assaults. Oh, OK, I thought a movement was taking place, not a game of “My trauma is worse than your trauma.” Sorry.
Of course, I should’ve known better than to retweet that joke from Louis C.K. But how was I supposed to know he stole it from Bill Cosby? (Cheap joke. Mea culpa) But I couldn’t possibly have anticipated that saying, “You look very nice today” would result in a lawsuit. “I regret that my sexually neutral comment was misconstrued. I never had any intention of perverse flattery.” (I know, I’m trivializing. I apologize).
Oh, sure, you’ve got a case against me for that peek at my privates that went viral, but it was an accident. The phone slipped while I was apologizing to Weight Watchers. “I apologize to the Anti-Nudity League for my ill-timed fleshy display….” Do something out of line and the morality police come knocking, but take a stand for morality and you’re called a hypocrite. You can’t win.
You can’t choose sides anywhere anymore. In today’s hostile climate, who’s to say which moronic, Neanderthal group is the “good” one and which is the “bad” one? And that’s just at the sports bar. I took a selfie of my touchdown dance and a fan from the other team targeted my head. Then a traffic stop on the way home was posted on YouTube (I only jokingly said to the officer, “Don’t taze me, bro.”) “I’m mortified by my actions and will make a substantial donation to the police fund….”
All we do is apologize, and apologize for the apologies. Everyone has become judge, jury, and emoji issuer for everyone else. With greater means of communication comes greater responsibility, and not all points of view in opposition to your own require an apology.
After a proper period of deep reflection, however, I have decided to enter treatment to escape the public eye. Clearly, I can’t make the right choices. At least that’s what everybody keeps telling me. Sorry.