James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mostly Not Crimes, Mostly Not Horrible, Mostly Not Forgtten

I took the clickbait.

After reading an article on the Internet, I clicked on a promoted link to a slideshow from September 9:  Celebrities You Forgot Committed Horrible Crimes.

I couldn't resist clicking to the next slide to see how stupid this would get. Many of these "crimes" were victimless or otherwise barely count as crimes at all. Others were real crimes, but hardly horrible. And for the most part, these weren't even forgotten.   

Here are the 19 celebrities mentioned:

Mark Wahlberg. At age 15, he "had a civil action filed against him for harassing black children, and at 16, he assaulted two Asian men in racially motivated attacks. As of the time of this writing, Wahlberg’s application for a full pardon from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is still pending. Wahlberg claims that he’s gotten over any guilt he may feel over these incidents..."
Crime? Yes
Horrible? Yes, and Wahlberg's request for a pardon makes him look worse. Pardons should be for those who broke unjust laws, or who were wrongly convicted. That Wahlberg seeks a pardon suggests he feels entitled to be forgiven. No one who feels genuine remorse would seek a pardon.
Forgotten? Yes and no. Many knew he a teenage thug, but may not have known any details. 

Tim Allen. Cocaine possession before he was famous.
Crime? Victimless
Horrible? No.
Forgotten? Either you know this part of his biography, or you don't.

Hugh Grant. Soliciting and engaging with a prostitute
Crime? Victimless  
Horrible? No
Forgotten? Maybe by some. For me, it's now the first thing that comes into my head when I hear his name.

Mickey Rourke. Spousal abuse
Crime? Yes, if true
Horrible? Yes
Forgotten? Yes, mainly because charges were dropped by his wife.

Martha Stewart. The piece said "insider trading," but the crime for which she was punished was lying to the FBI.
Crime? No and yes. "Insider trading" is an exchange between consenting adults;  Stewart was arguably guilty of obstruction of justice, but only in an investigation that should have never taken place. 
Horrible? No.
Forgotten? I remember it because I believe she was unjustly imprisoned; it may be forgotten by others.

Robert Downey Jr. Drug possession and use
Crime? Victimless
Horrible? No
Forgotten? Specifics are probably forgotten, but his drug issues and legal problems are part of his biography. 

Jay Z - Stabbing.
Crime? - Yes
Horrible? Yes
Forgotten? It was by me, if I had known about it at all; I don't follow the rap community. 

Mike Tyson. Rape
Crime? Yes
Horrible? Yes
Forgotten? By whom? It's a central piece of the Tyson biography.

R. Kelly. Battery
Crime? Yes
Horrible? Yes
Forgotten? Yes, because we think of his horribleness more in the context of "predatory behavior toward teenage girls."

Winona Ryder. Shoplifting ($5,500 in designer clothes)
Crime? Yes
Horrible? No
Forgotten? How so? It seemed to have derailed her career.

Lindsay Lohan. Various DUI's and drug possession 
Crime? Possession isn't; reckless driving would be.
Horrible? Like all DUI's, could have been horrible if people got hurt or died.
Forgotten? Actually, what's forgotten is that she was a promising actress who was in some good movies. 

Wesley Snipes. Tax evasion
Crime? Depending on whether you think compulsory taxation is theft, or if it's necessary for peace, liberty, and order.
Horrible? No. In fact it can be seen as heroic because taxes go to needless wars abroad, and the Police State at home.
Forgotten? Perhaps by most.

Ozzy Osbourne. Drunkenly urinating on a cenotaph (a tribute to those who died in the Texas
Crime? Yes; don't deface property that isn't yours
Horrible? No.
Forgotten? Yes

Bill Gates. At 20 years old, was arrested for speeding and driving without a licence.
Crime? Depends on whether the speeding was actually reckless driving. 
Horrible? Even the author concedes it isn't; this was included mainly for the mug shot.
Forgotten? More like never known because it happened long before Gates was famous.

50 cent. Drug dealing, gun possession
Crime? Victimless
Horrible? No
Forgotten? Specifics are probably forgotten

Christian Slater. Drunken driving, assault, gun possession.
Crimes? Assault is, gun possession isn't. Drunk driving depends on whether he was pulled over for reckless driving or was victim of a checkpoint
Horrible? Assault certainly is.
Forgotten? Mostly, as his star wasn't exactly shining during this period.

Kobe Bryant. Rape
Crime? If true, yes; no criminal trial but there was a civil settlement
Horrible? Yes
Forgotten? By whom?

O.J. Simpson. Burglary
Crime? Yes
Horrible? Yes, as weapons were employed.
Forgotten? Only by being overshadowed by his murder trial which resulted in an unpopular "not guilty" verdict.
 
The only thing this piece got consistently right is, at least they were all actual celebrities.

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