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Comedy hour in the courts

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Matt Paulson, Editor in Chief

Matt Paulson, Editor in Chief

I am tired of this. Rosie O’Donnell, yes, that Rosie O’Donnell, the annoying one, has unveiled her most recent masterpiece: an $8 million lawsuit against publishers for the demise of her magazine, creatively titled Rosie.

Rosie is blaming Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing for her failed magazine and is claiming that she deserves to be reimbursed her $8 million in legal fees that resulted from battling over the worthless claptrap.

Apparently, that $8 million will be used to buy more Koosh balls to shoot at her audiences, or maybe as the initial budget for another “Flintstones” movie.

In case you can’t tell, I am not a Rosie fan. But that’s not what bothers me most about this situation.

America, I want to know: When did it become OK to be a moron and sue other people for it?
Why is it that when you or something you do fails, it must be someone else’s fault? Then, to remedy the situation, you involve attorneys in a drawn-out, time-consuming, needless civil court case, and you recover some ridiculous amount of money for “emotional damages” caused by your own failure or stupidity.

The cliché court case that exemplifies this nauseating precedent was the spill felt ‘round the world.

Oh, yes, this was the McDonald’s woman who won millions of dollars for being clumsy.

I slipped on the stairs of Founders Hall once. Where’s my settlement, ULV? I think I should at least be receiving free tuition. Hey, while I’m at it, I think I’m going to sue the concrete company for making their concrete so slippery when wet and probably God for creating rain.

Why? You may ask. Well, it can’t be my fault that I slipped. I am an American; we have established a judicial system in which no one has to accept fault anymore, no one except large corporations and parents of deviant children.

Come with me on a short journey; this is the type of America we’re looking at.

My friend Doug decides he wants to start a business. He wants to do something no one has before. He’s going to be groundbreaking; he doesn’t want to saturate the markets that already exist.

So, he decides to open the first Doug’s House of Feces: Bowel Movements of the Stars. (If a store of this nature already exists, I apologize, not for copying the idea, but I’m sorry for humanity that someone actually acted on an idea like this.)

I have no idea how he plans on getting his specimens, but you know Doug.

After a year of abysmal sales, Doug closes his store. But he’s not happy with his failure. His idea was brilliant. That can’t be why the store was unsuccessful. It must be someone else’s fault.

So Doug sues his real estate agent, saying his location was not conducive to sales, for $25 million: Doug’s estimated revenues for his first year of business. Then, Doug sues his specimen-providers for offering fecal matter that won’t sell. He brings a lawsuit against these celebrities for $9.8 million in emotional damages suffered from the failed store.

Doug wins. He is awarded the money, all because his idea of selling celebrity dung failed.

Excuse the poop humor, but the point is still intact. This is the sort of America we’re becoming. Our civil court system is becoming laughable, and it’s because of the infamous McDonald’s imbecile, Rosie and people like my friend Doug.

Generally, one offers a solution to a problem when he or she voices complaint about it. The remedy for this situation is easy: Just stop. Stop waging civil court wars over your own mistakes and failures. We all do stupid things sometimes, and it’s no one’s fault but ours.

Matt Paulson, a junior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at

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