In Dec. 20 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
It finally happened...No, I did not lose that extra ten pounds, I did not wake up handsome ('cos I don't sleep much anyway, remember?), nor did I step out of the shower (hold that thought), look in the mirror, and notice my hair had grown down past my shoulders.What happened was...I officially "made" Topix.
Wait, wait, it's a good thing.I wasn't accused of a crime, infidelity, rampant drug use, sexual deviancy, public corruption, or a combination of them all. Someone was discussing local newspapers, and when my name was mentioned, the following comment was made:"I drink Wade Daffron's bathwater."I cried, I laughed, I skipped, I danced (clumsily).
It was like that moment at the Oscars when Sally Field won for her powerhouse performance in "Norma Mae.""(Y)ou like me!" she screamed when accepting the Best Actress Award. (She is often misquoted as saying, "You like me, you really, really like me!")I was thrilled and humbled someone came to my defense.Not that I'm "with it" (TOTALLY out-dated term), but I THINK the "bathwater" comment is a positive one.It usually indicates "fondness" or "approval."
The thought that someone would "drink" my bathwater is quite flattering.I don't know the origin of the saying, but you have to admit, it's an interesting phrase.It's kinda like "I drink your milkshake." You HAVE seen that movie, "There Will Be Blood," haven't you? You haven't? It's worth a look. Anyway, back to the bathwater...I certainly don't feel worthy of anyone drinking my bathwater.
Actually, I'm one of those people who wouldn't ask or expect anyone to do something I wouldn't do myself.So...After my euphoria over the "bathwater comment" wore off (just slightly), I decided on an "experiment."I was taking a bath the other day (and I can hear some of you saying "DO NOT go there!"), when I let my head slip under the water.I looked around, watched the soap float by, and in a moment of bravery...parted my lips.I expected the bathwater to be like some sort of magic elixir or ambrosia. In my mind, I pictured a moment like the one in "Apocalypse Now" when you see Martin Sheen's head slowly, methodically, rising from the water. My "bathwater baptism" was thwarted as my head quickly shot out of the water, and I spit some kind of soapy substance across the bathroom.
Yuck. OK, well, I had my on-line "props," so I got that going for me. No, I will never have the suave, intellectual banter of "Grok," or the mass-admiration of "Dobbs" (Sign me up for a t-shirt!). But I've had my "15 minutes of fame" to which Andy Warhol alluded and I've stretched it out like a favorite sweater. I guess I'm still "undecided" about Topix. Let's just say you see some pretty bizarre things on there. It CAN be funny and entertaining, but it can also be extremely cruel and well, at times, flat-out ugly. (No comment on the Jamestown Forum, please.)
Being in the newspaper business for many years, the whole concept of Topix goes against everything I know. In the media, you have to "back up" everything you say (or anyone else may say) with some form of "attribution." (You know, " ' So-and-so' " said, or "According to ' so-and-so.' "If a statement is made, it has to be factual and there has to be some form of "proof" if a claim or accusation is made.
On Topix, it's pretty much a "free-for-all"-which can be dangerous. There's always the question of whether someone can be "traced" on Topix, and I'm waiting for that to be put to the test.
Let's say someone gets on Topix and says, "Wade Daffron is a bathwater drinker." (Which is basically true, but I'm trying to form an argument here.) What if I take exception to your claim? What if I feel like that "statement" damaged my reputation, and caused harm to myself, my family, friends, pets, etc. Then maybe I hire an attorney, and am legally able to "trace" the origin of the message to your house-maybe even a computer in your living room. I may even have a time and date the message was posted.
Now...just to make it more interesting, what if you had a party (or Bible study!) at your house on that date, at that time. What if someone who was in your home posted the "libelous" remark on your computer without your knowledge? Who would be responsible?OK, that all may seem a little far-fetched but I fear something like this could (and probably WILL) happen. Topix has become part of a society. You often hear someone say, "Did you see what was on Topix?" Or "Have you been on Topix? "Whether you choose to admit it, or not, I bet just about every time you "log on," you probably check your email, maybe read some news...and go check Topix. And you may be thrilled...or furious to find your name on there. Me? I may never shower again.