Interesting things can happen in a bloggy mind. I want to share something that happened with me yesterday. In the morning, I posted a pisstake piece about all the celebrity underwear-less shots happening all over Hollywood, prompted by the latest incident.
When I’m a bit low and shitty with the world, I try to pick myself up by having a satirical go at something. I’d had a completely awful day on Wednesday, couldn’t wait for it to be over and I was doggedly determined to lighten the mood on Thursday. I was pleased with what I posted, when I posted it. It got a few laughs and retweets. By nightfall, I didn’t find my bit very funny at all and here’s why: the last thing I want to do is allude to victim blame.
There is no humour in exploitation and to have been murky on this was not very “Destroy” of me at all. In surfing the net for research, I did come across series of images of the same few personalities, snapped ‘upskirt’ time and time again. While I stop short of drawing any conclusion from this, I do believe Anne Hathaway was exploited, genuinely shocked and devastated. She was also put on the spot by Matt Lauer on the Today Show while she was meant to be talking about her film. She had a few words to say about paparazzi culture that I am in 100% agreement with.
That quote of Anne’s and the exploitation/commodification viewpoint were elaborated upon here in this great post by @nomiept on her blog Under the Yardarm. The thing is, I agree with what Anne said and almost all of what Naomi said. It IS wrong that there are whole swamps of people making their living out of the invasion of privacy and public humiliation of others. I feel the same about what the Duchess of Cambridge experienced recently; and most definitely about what happened to Princess Diana.
While joking in my post (which I’ll leave up, because that’s how I’m rolling with it) that Anne either forgot her knickers or was naïve, I am really thinking this:
Hollywood is full of parasites. (I don’t condone this, I detest it.) Despite how deplorable and sleazy they are, they will always be there waiting to pounce. Just like there will always be demand for those shots, just like there will always be publications and sites willing to pay top dollar for them, just like there will always be viewers/readers willing to consume them. However morally bankrupt and lacking in respect the situation is, it’s not going to change. Regrettably unacceptable, but the situation nevertheless.
Due to the huge disconnect between what is just, the harsh realities of life as a public figure and the practical need to manage or damage control it, the only solution as I still see it- rightly or wrongly- is to simply not afford these lowlifes the opportunity. Don’t be in that vulnerable position. This is what I summed up with yesterday by ‘preaching prevention’ though in a vastly different way. At no point did I intend to infer any invitation, nor would I use any of those shots for my post. I don’t enjoy seeing them, I don’t buy them and would be very happy if they were never taken, sold or published. I’ve written of what I see as the decline of magazine culture before.
Some days I have little faith in human nature, and sometimes I have the urge to deal with that deep disappointment and frustration by taking the utter piss out of it. Sometimes, that’s not the best way to go, and by nightfall that’s what I was feeling most.
One thing never changes: the pain and beauty of staying informed, blogging, discussing and keeping an open mind, is that it makes you think. And that’s a really great thing.