1. It’s Monday, March 30, 2015. One week from today, it will be baseball season and the world will be right again.
2. Sunday’s New York Post had a front page that got a lot of attention on social media. Over the headline “VILLAGE IDIOTS,” the Post showed a picture of seven young women using a selfie stick to take a picture of themselves — at the site of last week’s explosion in New York’s East Village that killed two people.
I can’t take issue with the idea that taking a selfie at the scene of a tragedy is pretty clueless
But I take more issue with the way the Post treated this.
These women are not public figures. And, as inappropriate as it seems, taking a selfie at the site of a tragedy is not a crime.
And yet, these young women are being held up as figures to scorn. They’ve been held in contempt by a publication that at least a million have read or seen online. And they’ve been singled out from among dozens of others who might have done the same thing.
What most people when they take these selfies is post them online. And what one of their thoughtful friends will do is send them a private message on Facebook or Twitter and say, hey, that’s not really appropriate. And the person who posted the picture will think about it a second and say, hey, maybe you’re right. That’s the civilized way to deal with something inappropriate.
The Post has its catchy headline and the buzz. It has aroused the anger of people who think there’s a generation of self-centered oafs coming of age. It can go on to belittling President Obama or whoever else doesn’t align with its editorial policy.
But now these young women, who somebody is going to recognize, are stuck with this ignominy for a day or a few days or however long the lifespan of this controversy. Why were they singled out? Were they told where their picture would appear when it was being taken? Were they even told their picture was being taken?
Mass circulation newspapers, even ones as disreputable as The New York Post, have an awesome power. They have a responsibility to use it responsibly. In this case, again, the Post did not.
3. If you want to talk about village idiots, there’s the governor of Indiana.
The reports on Saturday indicated that he was upset with the firestorm that followed his signing legislation that allowed businesses in the state to deny service to same-sex couples, citing religious reasons. So he was going to go on the Sunday talk shows and clear up the misunderstanding.
Instead, in his appearance on ABC’s “This Week” he said that the law would not change and insisted it did not promote discrimination. But he couldn’t say why it didn’t, and he didn’t think there’s a need for legislation that protects same-sex couples from discrimination.
His explanation was so bad that two of the miscreants who promoted the garbage legislation announced today that the legislature would consider some kind of clarifying measure. But, they too, can’t say what the clarification would be, saying only that the governor didn’t do a good job of explaining things on TV.
This is what to expect when you try to dis people. It always bites you back. These people all deserve each other — and the contempt that they’ve brought upon themselves.
4. Some of those upset by the Indiana debacle are suggesting that the NCAA men’s basketball championships scheduled for next weekend in Indianapolis be moved.
I understand the sentiment, but it’s not a reasonable thing to do at this point.
You can’t just move an event as big as the tournament that quickly. Hotel rooms are booked, travel plans are made, time off from work is granted and lots of temporary jobs — of people who might well be just as opposed to what Indiana’s so-called leaders have done — are at stake.
I would, however, strongly urge the NCAA to make absolutely certain that any invitation to the governor or state legislators to attend tournament-related events be rescinded. Revoke their tickets, if they have them, saying the tournament is not an event for their benefit.
If they squawk, just cite the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It’s against your religion to suffer fools gladly.