Monday, September 1, 2014
"You're out of uniform, Mister!"
Are you sitting down? Good. There were pictures of naked people on the internet over the weekend. This is a first, from what I can gather.
I jest, of course. The internet is the world's single greatest source of pornography in all of its forms - hardcore, softcore, romantic, kinky, violent, artistic, exploitative and sometimes unconscionable, depending on your personal moral compass. The subjects include women, men, women who used to be men, and even the occasional barnyard animal.
So why all the hubbub over a leaked series of sexually non-explicit selfies (an event that's already gone down in cultural lore as "The Fappening")? Because they're not pictures of obscure would-be Hollywood starlets who dropped their drawers to make the September rent. They were hacked from the smartphones of A-list celebrities, including Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and supermodel Kate Upton, and ran rampant across social media while harried publicists to the stars issued various and sundry threats and denials.
I can't decide whether it's disturbing or refreshing that this is considered a "scandal". The proliferation of internet pornography is so desensitizing that the fuss over The Fappening reaffirms society's entirely disproportionate preoccupation with celebrity. On the other hand, considering the unending variety of smut perpetually percolating in the bowels of the world wide web, it bodes well for the species that we can still get excited by a simple peek at a nipple, even if it has to be a VIN (Very Important Nipple).
Interestingly, one of the most widely-disseminated and hotly-debated Fappening photos shows Upton cavorting naked in front of the bathroom mirror with her equally-unclad boyfriend, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, who's at least as big a baseball star as Upton is a fashion icon. Twitter opinion is sharply divided on whether Verlander deserves congratulatory praise or open derision, which brings us full circle on online pornography and social media trolls.
Basement-dwelling masturbators openly mocking a guy for being naked in a picture with Kate Upton is the very definition of the internet.