So now we wake up and find ourselves living in a world in which a performer named Chris Brown, who, most appropriately, got in so much trouble for smacking his former girlfriend Rihanna a couple of years ago, goes on Good Morning America to promote his new album. Robin Roberts asks him a question about his past temper tantrums and violent outbursts and he, to his credit, kept it together on the air but then off the air, back in his dressing room, to his discredit, he had a temper tantrum and another violent outburst. He broke a window out by throwing a chair, causing a rain of broken glass to shower down on people on the sidewalks of New York.
And Rosie O'Donnell asks if the woman doing the interview, Ms Roberts, might want to see if she's not to blame for this incident. “I felt mildly angry at Robin Roberts,” Rosie said on her Sirius/XM radio show last week, in a conversation with her executive producer, Janette Barber, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Web site. “I felt like writing her and going: ‘Can you take a look at this again and see if maybe you find – in any way – your responsibility in this?’ ”
Rosie is onto something here, but in that right-church-wrong-pew way. Robin Roberts, by asking this young man a question, is not to blame for him losing his top and throwing a chair. Rosie misplaced the blame, but she allows me bring up a point.
You see, NO ONE is responsible for ANYTHING anymore. If you rob a bank, it's because you don't have enough of your own money, so you need to take someone else's. If you kill someone, it's because you ate too many Twinkies. Yeah, the sign at the Festival says "No dogs, please" but you bring Tuffy along because "Everybody just loves Tuffy, the bulldog with a heart of gold." Parents tell their children that it's all right that they throw things at other kids because they need to do this to feel self-actualized. People tell their bosses that they're working from home and they don't. You go to some award ceremony where they are handing out a lot of certificates, and the emcee asks that you hold your applause until all the awards are given out, but, as soon as someone's Uncle Pete gets called up to receive his plaque for giving a gallon of blood, the entire family shrieks for five minutes.
Or, you're a crackpot preacher, name of Terry Jones, down in Florida and you burn a Qu'ran, an action that leads to 11 people being killed at a violent protest at a United Nations compound in Afghanistan. Do you feel responsible, O Man of God?
“We wanted to raise awareness of this dangerous religion and dangerous element,” Jones said, apparently without a trace of irony. “I think [the attack] proves that there is a radical element of Islam.”
As for the 11 dead, which included seven U.N. staffers and guards, Jones told “Nightline” anchor Bill Weir, “We do not feel responsible, no.”
The deaths followed a protest march in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif against the Qu'ran burning. Jones supervised while another pastor, Wayne Sapp, soaked the Qu'ran in kerosene and burned it.
So. No one is responsible for anything, all our actions take place in vacuums, and the next time you're vexed or miffed about anything, just grab a chair and toss it out a window. If you find fault with someone's religion, feel free to desecrate its holiest religious text. Welcome to the new Golden Age of Selfishness!