Monday, June 4, 2018
Opinion: Twinkies and Tweets in the Age of Ambien - An Open Letter to Roseanne Barr
"Twinkies and Tweets in the Age of Ambien® "
By Beth Abramson Brier
Dear Ms. Barr,
As I suspect you have very few other offers as of late, you might want to continue reading before you discard this letter. Ever since Sanofi, the makers of Ambien®, have gone on record that “racism is not a known side effect of any of [their] medications”, it seems you are in need of a new (plausible) legal theory to defend your outburst on Twitter. Coincidentally I once practiced law in the pharmaceutical field and have some thoughts about alternative theories of jurisprudence*. Obviously some fall under the category of “legal fiction” but who can tell these days, right?
The Twinkie® Defense. Or, as I like to call it, “From Treats to Tweets”. A much tastier, albeit more caloric defense than ingestion of sleep aids, the premise is, basically, that consuming too much junk food results in diminished mental capacity. The good news is that you need not limit your diet to Twinkies® but may include other snacks such as Ring Dings®, Yodels® and SnoBalls®. The bad news is that the Twinkie® Defense will fail on its face. The lawyers in the case argued that consumption of sugary goodies was a symptom but not the cause of the defendant’s actions. So no chance hiding behind Scooter Pies® (remember those? They were strangely delicious).
The PMS Defense. Yes, Virginia, this is a real thing. In 1991 a Virginia court recognized pre-menstrual syndrome as legitimate defense to drunk driving. (Sounds close enough to your Ambien® fact pattern tme.) For the sake of brevity I’m not going to go all Helen Reddy on this one because, let’s be honest here, the best you will be able to do is the Menopause Defense. Unfortunately, however, it has been predominantly asserted by men to rule against females in a number of cases. Moving on.
The Kanye West Defense. This is a simpler theory. It is invoked when a celebrity craves attention but is regularly upstaged by all the publicity given to other members of his or her family (hello Kim). Yes, I’m talking about none other than the mother of Sheldon Cooper and Lady Bird McPherson, the Tony and three time Primetime Emmy award winner Laurie Metcalf. It cannot be easy being in her shadow but the jury isn’t letting you off on this one either. Laurie, if you’re reading this you should really look into hiring the PR department at Sanofi as script writers for your next show. They are brilliant!
The Grown Up Defense. The essence of this defense is just as it seems - you act like an adult and take responsibility for your own actions. In my opinion, this would be your best option although certainly the most difficult since this has not necessarily been modeled from the top down lately. Frankly, Ms. Barr, all I’m hearing from you is #SorryNotSorry- which is a slight to the talented Selena Gomez. Take a second look at this alternative. I think even Roseanne Connor would support it.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to discuss this matter further. You should have plenty of free time.
*Just so we’re clear, I am not offering or giving advice in my legal capacity.
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