in my closet

For each person cheering about the fate of the rioters and looters, it seems as though there’s another person standing in the background saying “who are we to judge these people?”. That’s a valid line of thinking, and there have been many posts made already about the evils of mob justice and social media and snitching. That’s not what this post is about, though.

M. Wallace left an interesting comment on my Only Human post:

I don’t by any stretch of the imagination defend the actions of the accused; if proved guilty, they should be punished accordingly. We all know what they have done is stupid, irresponsible, incomprehensible…(or insert any or all other derogatory adjectives of your choice here).

Okay now relax, take a deep breath and reflect on YOUR past for a moment. Haven’t you ever done anything stupid and/or illegal at some point in your life? Haven’t you ever been caught up in a moment and done something careless (even to a lesser degree) that you’ve regretted. I think many people are jumping on the self-righteous band wagon, joining the witch hunt and demanding we crucify the accused when there are skeletons in their own closets. Ironically, I’ve noticed many bloggers flirting with the boundaries of the law to see justice served. Again, I think it’s important to note that I don’t defend their actions however I think many people are getting off track. Yes, we love our city. Yes, we are embarrassed by what has happened. Yes, we don’t want this type of thing to occur again. Let’s focus our attention on the positive and let’s not forget that there are murderers and rapists out there that don’t get a fraction of the attention that these people are receiving.

So before you judge too harshly…what’s in your closet?

His/Her comment is far from the only one I’ve received in which people ask if I’d like MY past spread out all over the internet for people to see and judge; I’m only picking on it because it’s a) probably the most eloquent and b) the most recent, and I’m too lazy to dig through the rest for more.

So how about it? What’s in my closet? Am I so perfect that I have nothing in my past to be ashamed of? If the shoe was on the other foot, would I want my misdeeds hung out like dirty laundry for the world to see?

I got to thinking about my misspent youth and all the terrible things I’ve done, and decided the naysayers have a point. So, here: a comprehensive list of the horrible things I’ve done:

  • When I was very young – like, 7 years old – I was a master thief of loose change. I got to be so adept at stealing quarters that my parents locked their bedroom to keep me out of the piggy banks. To get around this, I simply stole the key and continued raiding the change jar so I could buy candy.
  • When I was 15, a group of friends and I threw some eggs off the top of a parking garage and we were busted by the cops (who were stationed on the main floor of the very same parking garage)
  • I cheated on my Accounting 101 final project
  • I’ve purchased illegal drugs
  • I’ve abused prescription medicine
  • I cheated on a boyfriend
  • I rode my scooter in the bus only lane and got a ticket for it
  • I (rightfully) contested a traffic violation in court mostly to see what would happen because I’ve never been in court before, and this undoubtedly cost the tax payers some money
  • My license plate ran over a cop

How shameful of me. How would I feel if someone posted this information all over the internet so it could follow me for years?

OH WAIT.

  • Here’s the egg story – I posted it in January 2005
  • I confessed to cheating on my Accounting project in June of 2007
  • Not one but two posts about buying illegal drugs!
  • Those times I abused prescription medication
  • Traffic violations are no fun
  • .. so sometimes I waste taxpayer money for the hell of it
  • My license plate ran over a cop, you say?
  • I’ve blogged about being a pre-teen kleptomaniac before, but I can’t find the posts
  • I haven’t blogged about cheating on a boyfriend because he’s also in the Social Media scene, it was 17 years ago, we’ve both moved on, and I have no desire to open old wounds

These are but some of the bad things I’ve done, but they’re likely the very worst because I am a square.

Let me know which ones are as bad as setting cars on fire, smashing store windows, looting, flipping cars, beating up strangers, torching cop cars, or punching police.

My whole point (and I do have one) is that yes, everyone has things they would hate to have out in the open – but it’s the severity and magnitude of your actions that dictate public response. Do I deserve to lose my job because I bought pot a couple times? Of course not. Would I deserve to lose my job if I was filmed and identified as being a drug kingpin responsible for untold amounts of public misery? Absolutely. Maybe that’s not the best analogy, but I stand by it – my misdeeds, youthful or otherwise, are nowhere NEAR as bad as anything that happened on Wednesday night, and it would have to be a slow news day in hell for anyone to want to out my actions on Facebook or blogs.

If you don’t want people to know your shameful actions, don’t do them in a public place.

If you don’t want to be named as a criminal, don’t commit crimes.

If you don’t want to hurt your family and friends, don’t do things that would hurt them.

This isn’t rocket science, people.

What’s in YOUR wallet closet?

batman loves you (the rest of us think you're a jerk)

24 thoughts on “in my closet

  1. I also can’t help but think that if you do terrible things in front of 100 cameras and then brag about it on facebook…. you’ve given up any expectation for privacy. But I’m no lawyer.

  2. At the age of 20 I snuck drugs into a jail to my boyfriend at the time. Sure it was minimum security but it was still a federal offence! I also helped him escape from jail months later…only to be caught again. I was an asshole and I did not care about what my parents had taught me and if they turned on the news last Wednesday and saw me posing in front of a cop car on fire or rummaging through my new 5 finger discount Coach bag, they’d have the VPD on the phone quicker than you can say #Thisismyvancouver.

    I buy illegal drugs monthly,just pot,but still illegal. I speed, swear,eat the odd unpaid for grape at the grocer and rip cds I get from the library.
    I am not perfect, I have skeletons in the closet just like everyone else but the difference between me and a rioter? I already got caught , learned my lessons and grew up to be a much better person than I started. The real difference between myself and a 2011 Rioter is that I was lucky enough to do it in 1994 and not 2011. I was smart enough to NOT bring along a camera and capture the magic and I had the good sense to know my actions could affect the REST OF MY LIFE if I were caught.

    The internet is forever and if there was a facebook around in ’94 you can guarantee there would be a dumbass picture of me in a Detroit b-ball cap,baggy jeans and a thug boyfriend who’s STILL in jail to this day for even worse crimes.

    I learned my lesson in my own way, these “kids” and adults will learn from public shaming and impending charges. Honestly, if you are doing these things in front of cameras without any regard to the consequences then you need a good,tough lesson.

  3. When I was 10 years old, I took my Nana’s good sewing scissors and her good wool coat and carefully sliced through each of the button holes. When confronted, I blamed it on the dog. (I didn’t have any siblings, shut up.)

    As far as I can recall, this is the last time I willfully destroyed something that didn’t belong to me.

    • I admit it (but only because you outed me) – I threw crayons at Haxim. Repeatedly. At the peak of my depravity, I dumped a bucket of approximately 300 crayons onto Haxim’s head.

      I did NOT throw markers at him.
      I did NOT set a fire and melt all the crayons first.
      I did NOT break any laws except stupid ones that are totally lame to begin with.
      I did NOT physically harm any other Fragapalooza attendees.
      I did NOT not plan to stockpile crayons to throw at Haxim at a precise moment in time.

      On any regular day I would suggest you absolutely throw crayons at Haxim like I did. It was totally satisfying, and I would do it again.

      Don’t judge me – I don’t need your scorn or pity (I need your crayons).

  4. First, this is an excellent post.
    Second, while I completely understand your point…the magnitude of the crimes DOES exceed yours…I think there are a couple of things that you’re missing:

    – your dirty laundry was aired to a much smaller audience (there isn’t a mob [pun intended] of self-righteous (possibly rightfully so) vancouverites hot on your ass…along with a whole slew of other bandwagoners who just like to throw around racial slurs and are equally as ignorant as the rioters themselves
    – your picture and crimes were not featured in major local newspapers for the whole riled-up city to see

    To be clear, I think all rioters should receive punishments to the full extent of the law. And I think every employer has a right to make a judgment call about the moral character of their employees (but this in itself is a slippery slope and before you know it tweeting pics at a bar could cost you your livelihood…but that’s a whole other blog). That being said, there’s a judicial system for a reason. And there’s a reason vigilantism is against it. If people don’t think the law can persecute these ignorant fools sufficiently than it’s high time they studied some law books and got things a’ changin’.

    Also, I think everyone who is able to provide evidence on these crimes needs to take a closer look at themselves. Perhaps if they had cleared out of the city instead of standing by to be spectators, the police/etc. would have been able to contain the situation before it got ever so increasingly out of control.

    Finally…you mention the one thing you didn’t blog about (and gave valid reasons) but here’s the thing of the thing…imagine a website centred around cheating girlfriends…inclusive of pictures, details, all those involved (even those hurt by the situation)…posted on the internet (forever) and in all the local papers. Rough huh? Just a thought.

    Oops PS. In the spirit of this article I reference my own blog for a sampling of “deeds” (though none illegal etc. things that could prevent future employment in prestigious situations). And I myself would NOT be willing to air them with my real identity. And that is yet another reason why I can show empathy to a group of kids (and hoodlums, hooligans, etc.etc.) who should be dealt with by the law (and their shitty/misguided/bad-lucked parents) and not a vigilante mob hiding behind their computer screens.

  5. Hmmm… underage drinking, copying cassettes / CDs, ignoring stop signs when there’s no-one else at the intersection, sharing the occasional joint. The usual. Any leanings I might have had toward a more serious criminal career were ended when I got busted at 8 years old for biting my own arm and telling my Mum that my sister did it. I got in SO MUCH trouble when she found out (which didn’t take long, given that the bite mark was missing the same tooth as my mouth) and was effectively scared (mostly) straight :)

  6. Q: Do you think that smashing a window is WAY worse than buying illegal drugs? Have you ever stopped to think about where that money goes? I think people tend to underestimate the economic effect of supporting criminal enterprise.
    Just a question. I appreciate the point of your post, but I’m not sure its that easy to delineate severity and magnitude so finely. Actually, that’s kind of what the justice system tries to do…

  7. I’m really surprised at all of the “bleeding hearts” that are feeling sorry for the rioters that have been outed. I can’t believe the backlash you have received because of the exposure you gave some of these bums. You did nothing wrong in exposing them. They should have been smart enough to realize there would be consequences for their actions. Getting “caught up in the heat of the moment” doesn’t make what they did acceptable. Keep writing the great blogs posts that you do. That’s what keep me and many other’s coming back to read what you write on an almost daily basis. You are with out a doubt my favourite blogger, and you make me laugh.

  8. I will expect lawsuits against bloggers and others for defamation when the furor dies down. There is a reason professional media uses words like alleged and suspected who they discuss suspects. Going to be interesting to see these holier than thou keyboard vigilantes dragged into court. Bloggers: You should know the rules before you play as a journalist.

      • Quote from the article: “On the other hand, labelling someone as a “criminal” could require proof close to the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” if a defamation lawsuit were launched.”

    • In the US there have been a few cases that have set the precedent that blogs /= media and bloggers /= journalists. I am not aware of any similar situations in Canada, but I would not expect Canada to deviate.

    • I’ve lost track – which of the “alleged” rioters noted on this blog haven’t confessed and/or apologized? Where does this blog encourage people to take the law into their own hands with these people, rather than send information in to the VPD to have it dealt with appropriately?

  9. An alternative perspective, playing devil’s advocate:

    In many places, buying illegal drugs carries a longer maximum jail sentence than property damage. Some countries have the death penalty for illegal marijuana possession, for example.

    Cheating on an accounting exam defrauds everyone else who took the exam, it defrauds future employers (do you confess that on your CV?), and undermines the worth of exam results across society.

    Cheating on a boyfriend causes much worse emotional and psychological distress than having to file an insurance claim for property damage. Furthermore, if you had sex with your boyfriend after the infidelity, then you exposed him to the risk of lifelong incurable and potentially fatal STDs such as genital warts, herpes, and HIV. Note that even if you used protection, this does not stop HPV and herpes. Potentially killing someone, or ruining their dating and relationship prospects for life, is worse than damaging their property.

    Therefore, you are by your own admission a bigger criminal, and a more despicable piece of human scum than any of the rioters.

    • It’s just not a productive Saturday if I don’t get called a despicable piece of human scum on my blog!

      To counter your points:

      I live in Canada, and I bought two joints – no one is going to do jack fuck all to me over that.
      I am not an accountant, and I don’t list my accounting “abilities” anywhere on my resume. I fucking hate accounting; it was a required course as part of the program I was in. I will never work in numbers, and I’m okay with that.
      I am a huge advocate for safe sex, and used a condom both during and after the incident. While I am not a saint, there are two sides to this story that I won’t be telling.

      Human scum out!

    • I’ve seen “Devil’s Advocate” – that’s not a good career choice for you, Sole.

      “In many places there is a death penalty” is a ridiculous comparison. In some places there is a death penalty for blasphemy, which by your own admission as “Devil’s Advocate” you might be concerned with.

      As for exam cheating, it defrauds no one except the adjudicator of the test. You ignorantly assume it had any material effect on the final outcome of Kimli’s education. It had no effect on future employers nor other test takers, as it is a negligible portion of the overall resultant degree, which increasingly is a negligible portion of an employer’s consideration in hiring.

      Your assumptions regarding cheating on a boyfriend are numerous,so i will make some of my own. The cheating had no effect as the boyfriend was emotionally detached, did not include intercourse, and finally precipitated a breakup that was emotionally beneficial to both parties.

      You are by your argument, a Satan advocating, ignorant, prurient, troll.

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