🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
The Poor Man’s Chipotle🌮
Anyone else get sucked in by the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial? I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I did. This is extremely odd because Hollywood culture and all things pop culture in general annoy the crap about of me.
There’s just something about Johnny Depp. The dude exudes charisma, and his ring game in on-point.
Now, I’m late to the story, but it seems to me the legal issues are quite clear. Heard wrote an op/ed for The Washington Post in which she sets herself up as a champion of those who have suffered domestic and sexual violence. Nowhere in the piece is Depp mentioned. Nowhere is he even truly hinted at. There are no, “And when a certain man beat me…” or “husbands can be difficult, amiright?” Yet Depp’s suit alleges Heard defamed him.
Here’s the thing about libel, which is the written form of slander or defamation: Truth is an absolute defense. When Depp brought a similar lawsuit against a UK paper, he lost. The court said the allegations in the paper, in which it very directly identified Depp and called him a wife-beater, were “substantially true.”
Amber Heard sounds like a nutjob. I repeatedly have told my boys: “The person you choose to be your mate is the most important decision you’ll make in your life.” Amber Heard is Exhibit A to show a bad choice.
But that doesn’t mean she’s libeled Johnny Depp.
It is extremely hard to prove libel against a public figure. A plaintiff has to prove actual malice, meaning the defendant intended to do harm. In this case, yeah, it’s possible that there was actual malice. But that doesn’t matter if the claims are true.
“But wait. The piece didn’t identify Johnny Depp, so isn’t that reason enough to get her off on this?” Not necessarily. Courts have upheld cases in which people were identified by implication. When Heard alleges things occurred during a certain timeframe, the court could say that Depp was identified by implication because he was the one married to her at that point.
But not if the things that occurred are true. Then, it doesn’t matter what was said or implied.
But what about a situation in which someone does something to anger you, and in response you say, “In my opinion, that person is a fat-ass fucking moron”? You haven’t libeled anyone. First of all, statements of opinion are protected. Second, unless the fat-ass fucking moron suffers some sort of damage, such as loss of income or proven emotional distress that results in expenses for, say, counseling, he has no case against you.
What if you say, “In my opinion, that fat-ass fucking moron killed my dog,” which causes him to lose his job with the ASPCA? Again, you’re likely protected by stating an opinion, though that gets a bit sketchy because you’re making a statement that’s verifiable. But should you, say, have witnesses who watched the fat-ass fucking moron throw poisoned beef to your dog, you’ve got truth behind you.
And truth is a mighty weapon in courts.
That said, juries are fickle beasts, and lawyers are expensive. It is likely going to cost Depp more money to attempt to win the case than he will ever see in financial compensation.
So for me, yeah, I’m addicted to watching YouTube videos from the trial, and I definitely have a man-crush on Mr. Depp. I also think Ms. Heard is not someone I would want anyone I know to be dating. But as far as libel goes? I think she’s in the clear on this one.
Wifey Poo and I went on a date last night. We were supposed to take our weekly date last weekend and go to a casino in Illinois to bet on sports (something that’s on my list of One Hundred Intentions for 2022, but Wifey Poo came down with a whopper of a cold and hacking cough that makes people turn their heads and give her the “Do you have COVID?” stink-eye (She doesn’t), so we thought it best to not go out in public. Wifey Poo did what Wifey Poo does when she’s sick — she slept. Like, 20 out of 24 hours.
So last night we scaled down our plans and went to Qdoba (AKA, the poor man’s Chipotle) and then to the Goodwill Store. Visiting five thrift stores also is on my One Hundred Intentions list, and this was the first. I picked up two CD’s for my growing collection (Garth Brooks and Eric Clapton, both $1 each), a flannel shirt (grunge forever, $5), and a pitching wedge for Boy The Younger ($3), who dreams of YouTube glory by posting videos of trick shots a-la Dude Perfect.
Wifey Poo is a cheap date.
And now, for some jokes:
In Other Writing …
Top 5 Things You’ll Learn If You Read This Whole Thing: Kids who grow up on communes aren’t very clean Baths can cause people to fart. Russians suck at coming up with excuses. Sweden has to look to Denmark for smart people who can solve their problems. Fish farts almost led to nuclear war. Bath…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Cardinals game today!
- Massage tomorrow!
- Blackened whiskey.
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👎 What’s Below 👎Boy The Medalist 🏅Ricky The Trash Eater 🗑️Sweating It Out 🥵 Waiting for Boy The Younger’s blue-haired head to pop over the rolling southern Missouri countryside for the final sprint to the finish line this morning was torturous. He was running in his final cross-country meet of this, his first season, one…Keep reading
What’s BelowShoulder Ouchies 😧Chris the TigWaBaFatu 💁♂️Murder Pods 🔪 I’d love to know what idiot thought it was a good idea to get a COVID booster shot in one arm and a flu shot in the other less than a minute apart yesterday. Oh, that would be me. I spent much of the night sleepily…Keep reading
👇🏻 What’s Below 👇🏻🚦 Red Means Stop 💉 Vaccination Ethics ✍️ The Many Voices in My Head I’m convinced that people in every state think their state’s drivers are the worst, and never do they count themselves among them. I learned to operate a motor vehicle in New York, whose drivers have a particularly bad reputation, but…Keep reading
🔻 What’s Below 🔻Heading South for the Winter 🥶Laughing With Wifey Poo 🤣👩Americans Suck at Math 🧮Therapy 🧠 I love my role as the family’s vacation planner. I’m not sure exactly when I put on this hat, but I think it’s a generally recognized Family Truth that it’s something at which I’m good. I’ve planned everything…Keep reading
👇🏾 What’s Below 👇🏾In the dugout ⚾What if I’m … wrong? 😢Angry face 😡 I spent part of the morning in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout. The fam took a trip downtown to tour Busch Stadium. It was a good visit. We saw the owner’s suite (posh), the Champions Club (pricey) and peeked in on the batting…Keep reading
👇 What’s Below 👇On Men and Crying 😭 Why I write ✍🏻Back Crackin’ 👨⚕️ So here’s a thing I sometimes hate about myself: I cry. Like, easily. And often. Or at least it’s “often” in comparison to how often men normally cry. At least, I think it’s often in comparison to the frequency men normally cry. I…Keep reading
What’s Below 👇🏼Nazis and Mongols ⚾Hippie writing ☮️Inside marriage 💍 The Astros playing the Red Sox to see who advances to the World Series is, to me, akin to the Nazis fighting the Mongols to determine who gets control of the planet — and if you haven’t heard about how the Mongols killed their prisoners,…Keep reading
What’s Below 👇On being self-taught 📷The Bee Battle 🐝Ahhh, Ben Platt 🎶 I set up a little makeshift portrait studio today in a training room at my office. Lights, a backdrop — the color of which matches our new brand hue — and a tripod with my Nikon Z6. It all looked very fancy-shmancy. Here’s…Keep reading
Human beings of the modern age like to think of themselves as the pinnacle of all creation. Of course, this is not necessarily new to the modern age. It wasn’t all that long ago that some of the brightest minds of their modern age — guys like Sir Isaac Newton — thought women got pregnant…Keep reading
Being a bald man, I don’t have many reasons to be in a barbershop. And I miss barbershops. They are one of the few remaining oases for guys, and barbershop talk is fun. I took Boy The Younger to have his mop managed Saturday morning. Boy The Elder found Walt’s Barbershop a few years ago.…Keep reading
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, and even almost 21 years later, I’m not sure how I feel about it. So much of time is arbitrary. We screw it up so badly that we have to add a whole day every four years. So for me, today is just like any other day…Keep reading
There’s this state of being that’s not quite asleep, not quite dreaming but definitely not awake. That’s where I found myself Thursday evening at Livin’ Sublime Wellness, my little yoga studio in Wentzville. Restorative yoga is a lifesaver for me. If you haven’t tried it, you should. Not to sound all Hippie-Dippy or anything, but…Keep reading
A vegan, a person on a gluten-free diet, and a person who does Crossfit walk into a bar. How do I know? Because none of them would shut up about it. If you haven’t heard this joke before, you can probably relate. I know I can. I remember meeting Sarah on Day 1 at a…Keep reading
The one thing I know how to do better than anything else is write. I love it. But it’s also sometimes very difficult. Because I know how to tell a story, I’m tapped to do so in trying times. I did so when my father-in-law died in January, writing his obituary and helping my beautiful…Keep reading
I found it funny this morning to be walking through Kohl’s with a meat thermometer in my right hand and two toilet seats tucked under my left arm. There are some moments in life that are just serendipitous. Boy The Elder and Wifey Poo are indirectly responsible for this little portrait you now have in…Keep reading
I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was a small boy. Some of my best memories were born in the old Yankee Stadium. It’s in my DNA to not like the Red Sox. I can think of no good reason to despise the Sawx or their fans, but I still am repulsed by their logo,…Keep reading
I once played in a baseball game in which it was raining so hard that, when I picked up a ball stuck in the mud in the middle of a puddle in a centerfield that resembled a shallow lake, it felt like I was throwing a shot-put to the second baseman 15 feet away. Today,…Keep reading
Life sucks when you’re tired. I know this. I’ve lived this. A lot of people like to say they have insomnia. I used to say I had insomnia. Then I actually got insomnia. There’s a difference between a few nights of poor sleep and insomnia. Which isn’t to diminish a few nights of poor sleep.…Keep reading
The one-and-only competitive footrace I have ever won came during Field Day 1980 at Pound Ridge Elementary School in suburban New York. I was in kindergarten, on the green team, and was a part of the 50-meter dash. I remember being most fascinated that day by the starters’ pistol, wondering if it contained real bullets…Keep reading
I’m all about lists. I love making them. I love crossing things off on them. And it really annoys me when things I wanted to get done on a list don’t get done. I came into today with a lot of things left on my weekend to-do list. Rather than end the day annoyed, I…Keep reading
Our boys are not “stuff” kids. We learned this early on, when Boy The Elder was but a wee little lad and we did what normal first-time parents do: Buy him a ton of what I call KidShit for Christmas. The KidShit went largely untouched. BTE, we learned, was more of an “experiences” kid. He…Keep reading
Tonight was date night for me and Wifey Poo. We swung by Stone Summit Steak & Seafood for a drink — she, a fruity white wine; me, a Woodford Reserve, neat — and then went to see Dear Evan Hansen. I’d wanted to catch it back when it was on the stage and never had.…Keep reading
One of the interesting truths about this whole “living” thing is that we make so many important decisions before we know what the hell we’re doing. For example, I chose my career path the same year I got my driver’s license. I had absolutely no concept of a mortgage and office politics and exactly how…Keep reading
I have seen in person how protective a mother grizzly bear can be of her cubs. The Fam was on a two-week Alaska vacation between my seventh- and eighth-grade years, a trip on which my voice changed and I enjoyed the company of twin 14-year-old sisters from Alabama, which is a story for another day.…Keep reading
I spent the morning in my office at work ensconced in my gray shirt-jack. If you don’t know what a shirt-jack is, that’s OK. I didn’t either until I found it on Amazon a few years ago while searching for something that wasn’t quite a sweatshirt but not quite a jacket to wear around the…Keep reading
Today was all about my father-in-law, Marvin. FIL died in November following complications from heart surgery and COVID. Wifey Poo and the sisters-in-law organized an ice cream social and issued an open invitation to the family and FIL’s friends. When we set the date for late September, the thought was that we’d be past the…Keep reading
The term “hot as balls” definitely applied to today, though I don’t know exactly what it means. It was parents weekend at Mizzou, so we traveled yesterday evening to see Boy The Elder and attend a football game today in which the Tigers took on the mighty Southeast Missouri State Somethingorothers. The game itself was…Keep reading