For Whom The Tweet Tolls

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Dr. Frank Ryan, plastic surgeon to Heidi Montag and other celebrities, was sending a Twitter message about his border collie just before his fatal car accident, his ex-girlfriend tells PEOPLE.

“He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff,” Charmaine Blake says.

Blake, a celebrity publicist, says Ryan’s family was told by investigators that the Tweeting caused the wreck on Monday.

The dog, whose name is Jill — Blake’s middle name — was in the car at the time of the crash and survived injuries to the head, eye and paw.

We’re very happy Jill survived. Makes the Darwin Award nomination much easier to submit.

Plastic Surgeon Was Texting in Car Before Fatal Crash [People, via Daring Fireball]

I have fortunately forgotten how I found it (and hope to never find it again), but there’s a fantastically terrifying video about texting while driving from Britain. Very good production values, compelling (although extremely brief) story, almost no words.

I have an extremely hard time figuring out why people would think it was a good idea to do something so absorbing as typing on a keyboard you have to look at while driving. But then, I am also boggled at a wide array of choices people make, most apparently due to a complete inability to see the reality of a situation.

If you’re going to careen off a cliff to your death on a winding road, is should be because you were doing 100 mph in your Ferrari F430 and attempted a blind pass of the Porsche GT3 you were racing, then swerved to avoid a microbus full of blind nuns approaching from the opposite lane.

Going off a cliff while texting your GF about your border collie is just sad.

This is fucking hilarious.

Frank, Frank, Frank of the celebs,
Watch out for that cliff!

The tweet said, “LOL, Jill keeps growling and trying to take my phone away. I wonder why.”

I don’t understand either.

I was once chewed out by an acquaintance of mine who told me I was rude for not looking at him while I was driving.

@ManchuCandidate: I tell Son of RML “Can’t look. Driving.”

Mocking the deaths of truly notorious shitbags is one thing, but mocking the death of pretty much a nobody and putting your elbow out-of-joint with self-congratulatory blaming, I suppose the fact I think thats a less-than-attractive thing to do must be why I will never be truly cool.

@Prommie: Did you grow up a Scold, or are you a late-bloomer?

@nojo: Why are you ridiculing me, I am still alive? I thought the cool thing is to exult in your superiority over stupid dead people.

Take it outside, boys. This is a family saloon and cathouse.

Question: Georgia, of all places, recently passed a no-texting-while-driving law (not that it would actually stop anyone from doing it, though cops say it’s cut down on that). Does California have one?

@Prommie: I don’t exult my superiority over the stupid, dead people. Just the ugly people.

@rptrcub: We have a no-cellphone driving law. Don’t know whether texting is presumed or explicit in that.

@Prommie: I thought the cool thing is to exult in your superiority over stupid dead people.

The dead part’s optional.

@rptrcub: The law should be drivers caught texting have their keys taken away. No kidding, guy I know, freelance orchestral (melodic) percussionist, educator had a horrific driving schedule and often did his calendar on his laptop while he drove. Statie caught him and literally pulled the keys and threw them into the gully beside the road and told him to think about what kind of asshole would type and drive on a highway while he was looking for them.


Have you seen all the twentysomethings sailing down Denny, Pike and Pine texting while on their bikes? Truly, no fear of death–or at least they wanna leave a beautiful corpse.

ADD: They’re probs all on fixies–the Kevorkian machines for the under-30 set.

@Prommie: I would have been sad if the dog died, but this moron totally had it coming. Call me Hitler if you want, but I think the Darwin awards are fucking awesome and hilarious. As Mr Cyn says, we need a” stupid” bomb that will kill all the morons and leave everyone else alone. Just think of the improvement in our political discourse.
@nojo: Exactly.

@Mistress Cynica: I didn’t feel bad until I read the dog was in the car–how awful. I hope he had some kind of plan in place for the dog in case something happened to him. Also, he mutilated neurotic, wealthy young women for a living. That woman (Heidi Montag?) doesn’t even look human anymore–she looks like a Real Doll. Gross.

@Mistress Cynica: This idea that “smart” is somehow inherently “good” and stupid is bad, this has always troubled me. So smart people are simply “better,” and stupid people have less right to live?

Its like, I simply don’t get it, that people would say it is wrong for a physically stronger person to use their superior strength to subjugate and exploit a physically weaker person, but on the other hand, a mentally “stronger” (smarter) person is to be applauded for using their superior intellect to subjugate and exploit stupid people, as, for example, by selling them Ipads.

I fail to see the connection. Assholes come in all flavors, smart and stupid.

Is it just possible, that you are biased towards intelligence, because that is the scale on which you excel, yourself?

I’m guilty of having used my crackberry while driving. The only redeeming thing about that is that I was trying to give the impression of being at work when in fact I was leaving three hours early. That’s when I realized my problem was the job, not the crackberry.

@Prommie: careful dood; my (future) iFad will beat up your Kindle.

@flippin eck:

My rule is simply to exult my superiority over everything and everyone. People find this charming.

@Nabisco: I must have shiny consumer products, they are necessary for my happiness and fulfillment.

@Prommie: I don’t think that texting/emailing/yakking on the cell while driving is a sign of a lack of intelligence; it’s a sign of “I don’t give a fuck about anyone else on the road, on the sidewalk, in my car, etc.” It’s a dick move, but not necessarily a stupid move in the sense that you’re talking about.

Darwin awards aren’t based on any type of intelligence as you mean it; they’re based on shitty fucking judgment and no clue about risk. I wouldn’t get too upset about mocking this guy. Sad that he’s dead? Kinda. Death is usually sad. He also butchered the hell outta Heidi Montag. Should he die for that? No. But a doctor who would try to further his career by performing, what ten?, elective surgeries in one day on a woman who had already gone under the knife at least three times, a clearly disturbed woman, well, is it any surprise that this asshole would also be tweeting while driving?

It’s all about him. He’s the king of the road offroad.

@Prommie: This idea that “smart” is somehow inherently “good” and stupid is bad, this has always troubled me.

Actually, many smart people are profoundly stupid — neocons have proved that point quite capably.

The colorful term Fucking Retard has nothing to do with intellectual status or educational attainment. Foolishness is meritocratic.

@Original Andrew:

Fixies are the official mode de voyage de la valise-douche.

@Prommie: The thing is, everybody, and I mean, everybody, thinks they are smart. Even the extraordinarily stupid. Think about that for a second- even Jonah Goldberg thinks he is intelligent. Jonah Goldberg!

The mind boggles.


I agree. In a way I am glad that the accident just involved him. He might have killed several.

God must love stupid assholes, since he made so many of ’em.

@JNOV: Precisely. In another era, this would have been the opening scene of a Raymond Chandler novel.

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: Right. I am a very cautious driver. I don’t want to hurt anyone else because I’m distracted or tired or whatever. I’m not in that much of a hurry to get anywhere or talk to anyone that I can’t either pull over or wait until I get where I’m going.

Once upon a time, there were no answering machines for landlines. I miss those days. I’m adjusting my mentality to that time of yore. Just because I have a cell phone with intertubes and chat and all that bullshit doesn’t mean I have to use it 24/7.

I find I cannot be judgmental on account of how I love everybody.

@Benedick: I only curse the fucking day these fools were born out of love.

@JNOV: Actually, he had just stopped and hiked up to the top of a large sand dune which is apparently a landmark in the area, with his dog that he loved, and he had tweeted a pic of the dog and the view from the top. So, he loved nature, and his dog, and was sharing his adventure with his friends.

Do you think he also did cleft palate reconstructions, and also maybe worked on people who had been disfigured in accidents and by burns? Could be, could be; he also notoriously “cut off” Montag and told her he would do no more surgeries on her.

He also founded a charity to help what he termed “disadvantaged youth.” It ran a camp. He also tried to help disadvantaged youth by removing gang tattoos, undoing their mistakes so they wouldn’t scar them for life, for free.

Seriously, so much judging. Save it for the Cheney’s of the world.

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: Dunning-Kreuger, which they should rename in honor of the Kevin Kline character in A Fish Called Wanda, and call it Otto Syndrome, or the “don’t call me stupid effect.”

@Prom: The only one judging here is you.

@JNOV: No, we’re definitely judging here. Or I am.

PS there’s nothing left on Montag that can be legally performed in the US. So he was cut off by law rather than by personal choice. It’s like when BigLaw screws Tibetan refugees (hello, MoFo!) but brags about all their probono. It might assuage the guilt they harbor in their own minds, but there’s no scale that measures good works against bad and comes up with some sort of Benthamian quantification for “good.” We each do our share of both.

@mojo: cool cool. I’m not saying dude was a bad person; to me, that’s judging. I saying he did a truly dumb thing. That’s just stating a fact.


I’ve been eating meat for years, as often and as much as I could get, particularly when I was single. Still gay.

@JNOV: Ah. That’s fair.

For me, the judgment is in the foolish thing. Plus all the Celebrity Entanglements that merited play in People.

@Nabisco: I had the same experience. It led directly (though somewhat slowly) to my current status.

I’m definitely judging. Getting yourself killed by driving off a cliff because you were distracted by typing out a tweet on your phone is a stupid-ass way to die. I don’t wish death on him, but I’m kinda glad he took himself out before he pulled that trick and took others with him. I don’t care so much about his business, or his love of nature, or any of that crap. It’s the selfishness (or complete obliviousness to his world) that bugs me. If we were still living in the savanna, he would have been run over by a stampeding herd of gazelles because he wasn’t paying attention.

Driving a car can be alternately termed driving a low-speed missile. They’re absolutely deadly machines when used incorrectly. When using one, you pay fucking attention to the road, you watch where you’re going, you keep your head clear. If those things aren’t possible, don’t get behind the goddamn wheel! Your job is to not be a danger to others. Society has gotten to the point that driving is an expected right and a car is a magical appliance that gets you from one place to another without having to exert too much thought — that’s a highly counterproductive place to be when you consider how little thought goes into it for most people.

I’m not saying anyone shouldn’t be driving, either. I’m just saying that when you drive, pull your head out of your ass and take a look around you every so often. Try not to kill anyone else. I’m sorry (in a “sorry for humanity” kind of way) that he killed himself in a car while using twitter, but I’m very glad he didn’t end any more lives in the process.

@Benedick: I find I cannot be properly judgmental on account of how I hate everybody. There just isn’t enough time in the day.

@IanJ: See, that’s precisely what’s wrong with America today. Nobody gets run over by a stampeding herd of gazelles anymore. Or bison. What America really needs is more stampeding bison.

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: You know, the first thing I thought when I saw this was “With all the meat that Catt has crammed down his throat over the years if anyone should be straight it’s he.” Maybe it’s the yams. Or peanuts. Did you know that they are not actually a nut but a legume? I have learned that nuts of any kind are bad. They interfere with our natural bodily functions. From now on I will not put their salty goodness in my mouth.

Now I’m going to go and read more of the new Bret Easton Ellis on my Nook and pretend to myself it’s an iPad.


Do yourse3lf a favor and download The Passage. It is keeping me up until 2am reading.

If you like excellent speculative fiction, that is. You too, Howdy and JNOV.

Come for the Schadenfreude. Stay for the Schadenfreude Deluxe.

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: I will check it out. Now I must get me to LA. Something bad is going down.


I’m confus-ed. If straightness is the goal, then why’re they trotting out the crock pot at every turn like a gaggle of 70s lesbians?

And they obviously didn’t reach those conclusions by studying the dietary and mating habits of the ultra-butch sailors at the Bremerton Naval Base. Those dudes have been ordering the meat lover’s special for years, and hetroseckshualitee is off. the. menu.

@Benedick: Benedick must not be a teabagger:

“I have learned that nuts of any kind are bad. They interfere with our natural bodily functions. From now on I will not put their salty goodness in my mouth.”


Ooh, contact me in the cluhouse. Let’s have a Stinque up while you are here.

I read through all of these goddam posts and not a one of you mocked the girlfriend’s name. “Charmaine”? Named after the toilet paper? Why not “Chlamydia”?

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: No, darling, I’m reading about LA in the BEE novel. Sorry if I got you needlessly excited. There’s a rumor I might be coming to Sandy Eggo at some unspecified time but nothing definite yet.

@Dodgerblue: Totally unrelated, but last night I watched 20 minutes of the Terrel Owens VH1 show. They tried to build up the drama behind him joining a “Joes v Pros” game of pickup basketball with Donovan McNabb against some bench riding NBAers.

I must say that, for Accidental Viewing of Mindless CelebReality Television, it was pretty good.

Oh and JNOV? That Pittsburgh baseball squad was named the Pirates after they stole a player or two. From the Phillies.

@Dodgerblue: I wasn’t even thinking about the name. Instead, I was envisioning the “celebrity publicist” having People on speed-dial.

@nojo: I guess, when you’re a publicist and your client drives off a cliff, you can close the file on that engagement.

@Mistress Cynica: Your gravatar seems appropriately judgmental over those words, Cyn.

@Nabisco: Nothing more judgmental than a kitteh. Although I must give a shout out to Disapproving Rabbits.

@Mistress Cynica: Too right. Here’s my own dear bunneh raining down scorn on all before her.

@Original Andrew: Given that this God person supposedly made peeps in his image, I have to assume he/she is not all that smart.

Could explain a lot of things.

@Benedick: You are kidding about the nuts, right?

My natural bodily functions are going to have to suck it up — my mouth will not be denied.

@karen marie:

Truer words were never spoken, darling.

We are talking about the same kind of nuts, right?

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: I don’t care what kind of nuts we’re talking about, except and unless we’re talking about Palin and Angle, in which case I am willing to abstain.

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