I suppose that one of the downsides to the Internet — or one of the upsides, depending on your perspective — is that whenever someone famous dies, people make jokes about their deaths, some of them tasteless.
So of course when Ryan Dunn of Jackass fame was killed in a car accident yesterday — just hours of posting the above photo of himself boozing with friends to his Tumblr — people were going to make cracks about the plight of the guy, who was most famous for sticking toy cars up his as$. That’s what the Internet does! Even legendary film critic Roger Ebert got in on the act.
Naturally, some people took offense to this, particularly Dunn’s Jackass friends, who Ebert sort of insinuated, at least in the way I interpreted it, were partially responsible for the accident. But was the crack, or the responses to it, so vile and tasteless that Facebook should have felt compelled to take down Ebert’s entire Facebook page because the tweet was apparently copied there? Because that’s exactly what Facebook did.
Reports the Washington Post:
After a controversial tweet about the death of Ryan Dunn, Roger Ebert, movie critic and Twitter celebrity, found his Facebook page removed for violating Facebook’s “terms of conditions.”
Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes later said, “The page was was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
“In error” my as$. A passage later in the story shows why this is a bunch of utter horsesh*t…
Ebert wrote on Twitter, “Facebook! My page is harmless and an asset to you. Why did you remove it in response to anonymous jerks? Makes you look bad.”
Facebook reinstated the page a little less than an hour later.
Really, Facebook? Really?
Anyway, Ebert later posted an apology of sorts to his blog, noting that “it was written that Ryan Dunn reportedly drank three light beers and three shots before he drove away from Barnaby’s in West Chester at around closing time.”
To begin with, I offer my sympathy to Ryan Dunn’s family and friends, and to those of Zachary Hartwell, who also died in the crash. I mean that sincerely. It is tragic to lose a loved one. I also regret that my tweet about the event was considered cruel. It was not intended as cruel. It was intended as true.
I have no way of knowing if Ryan Dunn was drunk at the time of his death. What I knew before posting my tweet was that not long before his death, he posted a photo on Tumbler showing himself drinking with two friends. I tweeted: (“Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”)
What did I mean by that? I meant exactly what I wrote. I wasn’t calling Ryan Dunn a jackass. In Twitter shorthand, I was referring to his association with “Jackass.” I thought that was clear. I note that Bam Margera uses the word “jackass” in the same way in his tweet.
I don’t know what happened in this case, and I was probably too quick to tweet. That was unseemly. I do know that nobody has any business driving on a public highway at 110 mph, as some estimated — or fast enough, anyway, to leave a highway and fly through 40 yards of trees before crashing. That is especially true if the driver has had three shots and three beers. Two people were killed. What if the car had crashed into another car?
In the event you haven’t seen it, here’s what was left of Ryan Dunn’s car after the wreck…
Now, because all of this is so very horrible and depressing, here’s a video of a gorilla breakdancing…