Ferris Bueller was right…more experiments in blogging

24 06 2012

As I was saying…

If you don’t dive into the blogosphere on a regular basis, you can miss stuff. Ferris Bueller knew this, he told us how fast life moves…not as fast as a Ferrari California can when put on raised blocks, ignored for a bit, kicked until the blocks fall over and …you know the rest.

I missed the chance to talk about Internet Protocol Version 6, the creation of millions more addresses that allow devices to access the Internet. We had 4.3 billion set aside in the 1980s, the guardians of the web thought that was enough and then Steve Jobs started coming up with ideas for stuff.

IPv6 gives us 340 undecillion unique addresses — that’s 340 followed by 32 zeroes. I would like to say that I have been counting up to this number for the last three weeks, hence my lack of Limeyviewing but that would be a lie.

Instead I have been working full time.

In an office. With People. Commuting…Every Day.

This blog isn’t going to be about commuting, I shall leave my thoughts on that for another day but I will say that until you rejoin the Rat Race you don’t know just how many different types of sullen you can experience on a daily basis from your fellow racers.

I also went to New York. I saw a band – Marillion –  and hung out with a mate. He is in media (as am I), he likes football (as do I) and he enjoys talking about both (strike  three).

For some unknown reason, we starting talking about libel and slander which moved swiftly into defamation of character – at a very base level, they are the same thing, it just depends on where you file the suit.

In the UK, the libel laws allow for defamation suits to brought against (mainly tabloid) newspapers who may have “accidentally” printed something that upsets somebody else – in the same way that they “accidentally” hacked into people’s private phones. That somebody is normally a “celeb” of some sort or  other, occasionally A-list but more likely to be some non-entity at the bottom of the fame gene pool.

As I live in America and he doesn’t, we discussed the fact that the Land of the Free is a seriously litigious place with lawyers standing on every corner waiting to pounce on some poor unsuspecting writer/blogger/content creator who may have published something that pisses off one of their clients.

Defamation is a serious business, it takes some effort to publish “a statement which tends to lower a person in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally” (Source: http://www.weblaw.co.uk), not to mention exposing somebody to hatred, contempt or ridicule. The wrong words in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause this person/group of people to be shunned or avoided.

Like I say, a serious business.

Then my mate casually mentioned that he had heard “rumours” that the two “celebs” in the USA that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of are David Duchovny and Jillian Michaels. Then he asked me who Jillian Michaels was…my blank expression gave him my answer. I didn’t have a clue who she was, Fox Mulder/Hank Moody I had no problem with, I love his work but Ms (or Mrs, perhaps Mr or even Dr) Micheals…I wouldn’t recognize her if she offered to buff my shoes.

Apparently she is a fitness trainer. She has produced several DVDS (15 since 2005, according to Wikipedia) that encourage people to get fit in the comfort of their own home. She was on a show called The Biggest Loser and has recently “come out” (according to Entertainment Weekly).

I only know this because I googled her. That says a lot about Ms Michaels. If you have to “google a celeb” then….maybe they aren’t that big of a deal.

That doesn’t mean that her in field of “expertise” – getting people fitter – she isn’t a industry thought leader. She probably has a very well-thumbed black book of contacts and some sort of qualification to tell people off for being fat.  I don’t dislike Jillian (and I think I know her well enough to call her that), I just have no clue who she is…and I don’t care who she thinks she is.

She could stroll down Main Street in the town of ********, **, where I live (redacted for legal reasons, not because I am scared!) wearing some sort of placard that states that she is Jillian Michaels and I would still not bother to stop what I was doing. She could appear in my local pub wearing a bowler hat and hot pants and I would register mild disinterest.

So my question is…can you bring a libel suit against someone who writes a blog post that mentions how little affect you have on their lives?

Will Jillian send her army of winged monkeys dressed as lawyers to my house (or local pub) to seek restitution for not caring about her position in society? Can I countersue for the amount of time wasted (around 32 minutes) in finding out who this “celebrity” is? Will I be able to get a free DVD?

My point, I suppose, is that there are apparently millions of these deluded human beings that have been created by the media to fill a specific niche in society.

I am not calling JILLIAN MICHAELS deluded, she probably believes she is making a difference in the lives of unfit people or those that could stand to lose a few pounds but she is so far out of my sphere of interest that it would take something truly spectacular to make me give anything less than a cursory glance to any piece of news that she is mentioned in.

So this is an experiment.

I don’t believe that Jillian Michaels will ever read this blog and I think I can continue to enjoy my life without the need to press play on my DVD player and have her shout at me to “work harder, feel the burn” (Disclaimer: I have never watched any of her “product” but that is the sort of thing that the Green Goddess used to say on mid-80s Breakfast TV in the UK).

I really hope I am right…but imagine how much fun it will be if I am wrong!

NB: The New York bit has been slightly embellished to provide a fun segue-way into the whole experiment. But I was in New York seeing Marillion.

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