So how does one achieve forgiveness from the permanently offended? Well, in the most extreme situations, there is always the shame-faced march to rehab (“It was the booze that inspired my Wagnarian fits of anti-Semitism, because such profanities don’t exist in my heart”). There is, however, a much cheaper option: the ritualistic public apology. As public pressure mounts on the offender, threatening to damage their own “brand” or a company’s earnings, a carefully crafted apology is released into the wild, America’s wounds are salved, and the braying mob moves on to its next victim. Nothing has changed, of course, but nothing was meant to have changed. Ours is an age of moral grandstanding—in 140 characters.