December 19, 2004
Ugly Exhibitionism While We Gawk at the Soap
The New York Times Magazine's Jeffrey Rosen writes a fairly lengthy piece on the linkage to and update on a blogosphere sex scandal that ended up in a book deal. It started with a link from Wonkette of course, which is a blog that covers the happenings or rather 'mishappenings' in Washington.
I feel like I'm reading a really bad soap opera, but its just the kind of 'soap' that Americans love. Scandal. Sex. Paid for favors. When Wonkette linked to Washingtonienne, suddenly the entire world knew.
It's hard to believe that a Capitol Hill employee would want this much of her 'private' life published on the net, unless she just wanted to get fired or to be interviewed by Oprah the moment the media got their hands on it.
HA, she apparently used a Senate computer to post intimate details about her experience sleeping with six different men, some of whom were paying for her favors. She never used their full names (death sentence), but she did post their initials and occupations, i.e., married Chief of Staff.
Does she just hate men and want to see all of them end up in a huge scandal that would go on for years? Or does she really like the idea of exposing her intimate life on the world wide web for all of us to gawk at? After all, if you knew he was married girl, why did you end up there in the first place?
Wonkette gave her the "thumbs up," saying "you go girl," yet, I'm sitting here thinking, yes........you go girl - in private. I think its disgusting that she felt the need to involve and potentially ruin this many lives because of her exhibitionist need to ruin her own. Yet, some will argue that she went from a $25,000 year job to receiving an estimated $300,000 (according to Wonkette) from selling a novel based on her blog to Hyperion.
Now Cutler has an agent who announced that the 26 year old exhibitionist would pose nude for Playboy, but "not talk to the media until the book was published because after all, her privacy had to be respected." Privacy? This woman doesn't want any privacy. She gets the money and fame in newspapers and talk shows and the married man (or men) are screwed.
As a result of this back and forth scandalist chat and blogosphere activity, Jimenez, an innocent man, became implicated in someone else's online exhibitionism. Yeah, some cyber soap alright. Get a life of your own America.
He said, "I would hope that bloggers would be more circumspect about what they post on the Web: it's no different than old-fashioned gossip spread by word of mouth, but modern technology has magnified its impact a millionfold, and it's potentially more harmful because of its permanence.''
Do we really have much of a boundary between public and private anymore and where do we draw the line? When I started this blog, I used a pseudo name since I was so concerned about having my clients read 'anything' about my personal life. I had dinner with a friend from idealab last night and he echoed the same concern and is a main reason he doesn't have a blog. "It's so permanent once its in writing," he said.
It's hard for me to go back now that I'm blogging. I love expressing my own thoughts about a particular subject and perhaps sharing in a dialogue with others who have simliar views and learning from others who don't. I've become more aware of news and activities around me as a result of this blog, yet I'm constantly aware that there must 'always' be boundaries. It's a respect thing: respect for yourself and respect for others. Once it's online, it's out there and your content isn't off the record whether you want it to be or not.
I can't help but think how sad this 26 year old is that she needs to resort to this to get her kicks and to get connected to herself. And when the American media buys into it, so do we. An old friend of mine who used to write for the Associated Press (now at the Journal) and I used to argue over what level of responsibility the media has to the public. At the time, the argument was over "coverage of sensationalism" versus something that was redeemed as "valuable and important." Don't get me started.
Perseus recently did a survey that suggested that more women blog than men. I'm not sure how accurate these numbers are if you consider who they didn't cover in the blogosphere to achieve those results.
According to the New York Times Magazine article, the balance between male and female bloggers is about even, but they suggest that personal bloggers are more likely to be women than men, and that the favorite topic of personal bloggers is sex.
Hello - isn't that a favorite topic of the world at large? It's a human instinct thing. Curiosity. What they don't get enough of. The thing many use as a way to get love when they should be looking inside themselves. The thing that people confuse as love. The thing that gets people to stay in bad relationships for years. The thing that can destroy marriages and families.
Living in England for six years didn't turn me into a prude or a reserved 'on the sidelines' kinda gal. I subscribe to Lee Ann Womack's I hope you dance lyrics.
"When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance, I hope you dance."
Here here. I'm a huge believer in 'getting out' there and doing your own thing, saying your own thing, being who you are at your core, but is this kind of ugly display of your own private sexual activity for a financial gain while you destroy other peoples lives in the process, really necessary?
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