So, I've gotten drunk and stupid once or twice in my life. But there weren't that many witnesses, and none of the people involved have written books about the incidents so far as I know, so my indiscretions have been allowed to dissolve into the mists of time. They haven't haunted the rest of my life. There was this one time, for example, when a bunch of us who were stationed at Fort Hood started drinking on Friday night in San Antonio and somehow ended up in a motel room in Mexico . . . but let's not ruin a good memory.
Thank goodness there was no such thing as the Internet back then:
An Indiana state trooper is under investigation for postings on a social networking Web site in which he refers to himself as a "garbage man," calls those he arrests "trash" and brags about heavy drinking.
State police Maj. Carlos Pettiford told television station WTHR that the agency was looking into whether Trooper Chris Pestow's Facebook posts violated department policy and whether he used the site on state time.
[. . .]
Some of the entries showed Pestow with a .357 Magnum pointed at his head and drinking beer with friends. He also posted pictures of a crash involving his police cruiser and wrote that a person who resists arrest and threatens police officers would "probably end up shot."
We've all been horses assess a time or two in our lives (though some abuse the privilege). It's part of growing up, and we occasionally even have lapses of judgment in our adult lives. It's part of the learning process as we decide which rules are important and how to fit our obligations into our socialization. But how does it change things when the lapses are around forever and can be accessed by anyone? I don't think anyone knows for sure yet, so it's better to be cautious. Be stupid at home, and don't blab about it on the Internet. If you get a job, don't Twitter a friend that you're really happy except that the commute's gonna suck. Your new boss might read it and rescind the offer. (An actual piece of advice I heard on"Good Morning America" today).
On a related subject, I'd like to correct something I heard on the Bob & Tom show the other day. A comedian asked, "What's the last thing a stupid redneck says before he dies?" Hey, ya'll, watch this! No, sir. That's the second-to-the-last thing he says. The last is, "Hold my beer."