Saturday, September 8, 2012

Children of the Web

I don't have children. Mainly because I have little to no patience with childishness. So I have a certain level of sympathy for people who do have children. Especially Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, who are now likely wishing that they'd brought home a puppy, instead.

When I was a teenager, the idea that we were all effectively brain-damaged hadn't really caught on yet. So there was less overall tolerance for outright stupidity. While this didn't prevent us from pulling some remarkably stupid stunts back when I was in high school, we at least had the good sense to not engage in acts of senseless public idiocy.

But even for those people who did do random moronic things, and wound up being called out for it, they could always rely on the fact that public had a short collective memory. While your friends and rivals from school might never let you live things down, as long as the police weren't involved - and sometimes, even when they were - it would all fade into the background noise that makes up the overwhelming majority of history, and you could go on about your life as normal.

Miss Douglas, on the other hand, is going to learn the hard way that the Internet never forgets. And she's also going to learn how much it's going to take to get the Internet to forgive. While it's unlikely that the Secret Service investigation will wind up with her going to jail (after all, she didn't say that she planned to do the deed...) escaping this is going to be tall order. While I expect that eventually, "kids will be kids" will re-assert itself, and youthful indiscretions will once again sting only temporarily, that time may come too late for one Ohio teenager.

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