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    Phil Robertson, Justine Sacco: Victims of PC Police Brutality or just jerks?

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    This week, we've seen Phil Robertson reveal the shocking truth that he's exactly the kind of Southern redneck he looks like, instead of the cute kind that doesn't exist. Steve Martin forgot that anybody young enough to use Twitter is probably too young to have seen The Jerk. And Justine Sacco's dour sense of humor got her in trouble with anyone with a modicum of judgment. Could it be that the days of fooling around online without fear of the consequences are over? Is free speech dead? Obviously, no, but for argument's sake let's pretend it is.

    For you see, if you can't take a joke why are you on that website? The internet is big enough for everyone, but no sooner does a celebrity drop an astonishingly tone deaf tweet trivializing immense human suffering, than an unruly mob of online vigilantes rise up, pitchforks and torches in hand. Public shaming is more shameful, and meltdowns are meltier in an age when millions can see an out of context quote and rush to the defense of some hard-done-by soul they've never met. Its positively impossible to be a world renowned bigot in public without attracting unfair and mean spirited comments from strangers who have never met you. Oh, woe unto the cracker who wants to drop an N-bomb on Twitter without getting any negative replies.

    Sadly, our future is sure to be one where all interesting linguistic flourishes with slight racial or social overtones will be eliminated from daily communication. Relationships will be distilled to a select nucleus of inoffensive words which barely describe anything, so feelings won't be hurt, and you'll never be sure if you're talking to a dude or a chick ever again.

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