The age old classic of a drunken rant – immortalised on the internet
We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. You wake up on the morning after with a big black hole in your memory. As you come slowly and painfully to life you desperately search your memory banks for a spark of recollection, in a way that resembles an antiquated appliance wheezing through its byzantine start-up procedure.
The only clue as to what went on is a vague but very real feeling of dread which permeates your entire being. It’s the feeling that screams in your inner ear: “You did something bad last night but I’m not going to tell you what just yet. I’m going to make you sweat it out for yourself.”
Nine times out of ten it’s not nearly as bad as that inner gremlin led you to believe. You’ve fallen over, had to be escorted home by friends or just generally been ‘a bit of a dick’. Embarrassing, yes but quickly forgotten and you’ll probably laugh about it just as heartily as your friends as soon as this damn hangover wears off.
But it’s not always like that. Sometimes it is as bad as the voice in your head said it was. Sometimes it’s bad. And those times often involve the classic and timeless drunken rant.
The drunken rant, in whatever variety it comes, has been with us since alcohol was first drunk, since the first prehistoric, hunter-gatherer, turned to his companion at the camp fire and said: “Look, I’m not having a go, but…”
But now that we have entered the digital age, a new phenomenon is emerging, that of the e-rant. This is the tirade that is communicated via Facebook and Twitter, the kind of rant that has you waking up the next morning and thinking: “Oh God, what did I type last night?” These have largely the same content as the classic spoken rant but have the added disadvantage of spreading your shame across the entire planet.
The phenomenon of e-rants – drink related or otherwise – seems to be spreading and this week has been a good one. On Tuesday ex-Fun Lovin’ Criminal, Huey Morgan was in the news for seemingly slagging off his BBC colleagues on Twitter after losing out at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. It’s easy to see how in that situation someone might have a couple – a late night…a big disappointment… feeling a bit tired and emotional…an awards ceremony…
He tweeted: “They ain’t gonna let some dude from NYC win this shit. Fern, Lauren, Chris. Yeah right, that’s cool? Suckers they come a dime a dozen …”
Then of course there were Joey Barton’s tirades against Alan Shearer and Gary Linekar (again no alcohol involved).
Another example of the e-rant (this time definitely alcohol related) was the Grammy-award-winning comedian Louis C K’s drunken tweet-a-thon on a plane to LA to do the Tonight Show. After a few too many rum and cokes he began posting comments like: “You know some hedro [sic] men have one gay experience in their past? I once blew 32 policemeen [sic].”
He went on to make comments about Sarah Palin’s feminine parts that would have had that morning guilt gremlim singing loud in his ears. He later added: “I’m no t very fond of the inside ofmy [sic] brain at the morment [sic].” Apparently a premonition of the next day’s dread was already kicking in.
Perhaps more concerning was this tweet sent from the American Red Cross: “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettingslizzerd”
Fortunately it turned out that the tweet was sent from the Red Cross’s Twitter account mistakenly by someone who had access but wasn’t currently at work. The American Red Cross followed up with this good natured tweet: “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”
One of the symptoms of drunken ranting is the tendency to over-honesty like this one by the creator of NBC comedy series ‘Community’: “It’s 4.43 AM in Paris. I am a 37 year old 400lb drunk scouring Twitter for people who don’t like my sitcom so I can call them assholes.”
Another pitfall is the comment which seems so irresistibly funny to one’s drunken self that any potential fallout seems to pale into insignificance like this offering from American actor and comedian Nick Kroll: “Bet that f***ing argentine rugby team from ALIVE is f***ing p**sed right now because of those f***ing Chilean miners. #drunk”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/15/comedians-drunk-tweets_n_764991.html#s158484%26title=Nick_Kroll
So the rants are pretty much the same, it’s just the medium that has changed. Does it really make any difference? Well apart from exposing your humiliation to a wider audience there is also the problem of having it recorded in a permanent form. Yes, you can remove posts later but in this day and age you have to be quicker than a screenshot to escape being recorded by someone somewhere.
There’s the chance of losing your job like the Massachusetts teacher who was forced to resign over Facebook comments calling her students “germ bags” and the parents “snobby” and “arrogant”.
There’s the possibility of damaging your relationship or at least making your divorce a lot more acrimonious, a phenomenon which is becoming increasingly widespread. You might face litigation or even prosecution like teenager Azhar Ahmed who the police allege posted Facebook comments about British soldiers earlier this year.
Most bizarrely of all you might have your laptop taken out into a field and repeatedly shot by your father with a Colt 45 like the 15-year-old daughter of an American IT worker whose Facebook rants against her parents were discovered when he was updating her computer.
The father filmed an eight minute video where he read out the offending comments, then explained his actions before riddling the laptop with nine bullets pausing only to say: “This one’s for your mum.” He then posted the video to the unfortunate teenager’s Facebook page.
Okay, that’s unlikely to happen to most of us but when the morning-after memory-loss strikes, coupled with that buttock-clenching feeling of dread, just about any level of repercussion seems possible.Tagged in: alcohol, drunken rant, e-rant, facebook, Huey Morgan, joey barton, Louis C K, twitter
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