Tuesday, June 14, 2011

That There Twitter Made Me Do This

Not who you think it is, and I didn't take the photo. Why did I post this again? I'm not running for office.

Omar P.L. Moore/        Follow popcornreel on Twitter FOLLOW
day, June 14, 2011

I'm not a congressman.

So what does this choice of photo for this Twitter Patter say about me?  That I'm a pervert?  That I don't like certain women because of all the graffiti on this photo?  That I don't like other women because I didn't put a photo of them here?  That I'm a prude because I covered specific body parts?

What if I posted this photo on Twitter?  Without the obstructions contained in the initial U.S. version of "Eyes Wide Shut"?  Is it any different from posting it here?  Better?  Worse?  Does it matter?  What if I was in China and I posted this photo?  What if you knew who the photo was of?  Would it make a difference?  What if the photo above was of you?  Me?  Your mother?  Your father?

What does posting naked photos of yourself on Twitter or Facebook say about you?

That you're lonely and in dire need of attention?  That you're crying out for help?  That you want to shake (or show) what your mama gave you?  That you are human?  That the country you live in is prudish and the country the photo ends up being seen in isn't?

Serena Williams and many other high profile celebrities have been caught up in this whole photo slideshow sideshow.  Most recently New York congressman Anthony Weiner, who will probably resign from the U.S. House of Representatives by July 4, has had to deal with the fall out from his Twitter exploits.  But in Mr. Weiner's case is it different?

After all, Ms. Williams posted a near-naked photo of herself on Twitter recently in an attempt to thwart a stalker.  The photo got lots of oohs, ahs and heat.  The Grand Slam tennis champion and clothing designer took it down after receiving heaps of criticism.  The media always makes a big hooey phooey about Serena Williams and Venus Williams and the sheer outfits they wear when playing tennis.

Mr. Weiner's situation involved his account @RepWeiner on Twitter.  Like many men on the planet he tried to befriend and/or send salacious messages to members of the opposite sex.  Unlike many men on the planet he is a congressman.  He sent many pictures of himself bare-chested, bare-penis, erect-a-set, bare-whatever else, to women on Twitter via direct message and/or e-mail. 

Surprise surprise, the photos ended up plastered all over the world.  Mr. Weiner lied, cried, then told the truth.

Meanwhile those government employees in 2002 through 2006 in Bush's Office of the Interior (no pun intended) who were having sex and drugging it up with the energy company representatives they were supposed to regulate didn't have to face the music -- at least not yet.  (Nor has anyone from the financial crisis of 2008, or the lies leading to the U.S.-led invasion in Iraq in 2003.) 

How about the recent revelations of the supposed strip club visits of the married King of Sweden? 

Could you imagine the King of Sweden getting on Twitter to tweet about the ladies at the strip club who "make it rain"?

Could you imagine Anthony Weiner tweeting to the world that he wants to cheat on his wife, or had done so?  Would that have been easier than sending naked pictures over Twitter to anonymous women?  Would Mr. Weiner face resignation if he had tweeted to the universe that he had cheated on his wife?

Did any of these women send naked pictures of themselves to Anthony Weiner?  Does that matter at all?  Will the public get to see those?

All the sex scandals on planet Earth couldn't put Anthony Weiner's penis back in his pants.

It's like a genie in a bottle.  What's done is done.  Apologize all you want, but the (blue dress) stain remains.

I believe the world needs a release.  All this technology.  The strain and stress of a job.  The strain and stress of no job.  The strain and stress of life.  You're working 18 hours a day.  What do you do if your wife or husband is on another continent and your need to be satisfied is intense? 

Do you buy a new pair of shoes?  Get a massage?  A pedicure?  A new hairdo?  A new hair-don't?  Do you do what Bonnie Bedelia did early on in "Presumed Innocent" before Harrison Ford walked in?  Do you buy an 85-inch screen 3DTV?  Hike the Appalachian Trail?  Have an affair with your housekeeper and get her pregnant?

I've long maintained that Bill Clinton's personal affairs, Arnold Schwarzenegger's, John Edwards', JFK's, RFK's etc. are not the public's business.  They concern and affect only the families of those involved.  We're entitled to react, etc., but unless those affairs explicitly involve a politician's ability to govern the people on a daily basis, it's none of our business.

RoboCop's approval ratings just went up 35% during your reading of this
dispatch.  Alfred Hitchcock wouldn't have liked that. 
Orion Pictures

Perhaps the Profumo Affair in England in the early 1960s may have been the one in recent memory that did affect the public and become its business however, since British Minister for War John Profumo's infidelity with a call girl (Christine Keeler) also drew her into a separate romance with a Russian naval attaché proximate to the Cuban Missile Crisis that possibly could have affected the national security of Britain, not to mention the Soviet Union and elsewhere.  Mr. Profumo resigned, and the McMillan government was never the same, crumbling like a micro-Roman empire.

Politicians are supposed to lead.  They are not supposed to be role models like
Cory Booker.  The public expects politicians to be robots and be Scout's Honor honest.  And that, ladies and gents, in my humble, cynical opinion, is insane.  Even if the politicians are sworn in and take an oath to tell the truth.  In a courtroom, has anyone ever lied on the witness stand before?  Did Rose Kennedy wear a black dress?

If you want a squeaky clean politician, vote RoboCop.  (In case you missed what that line just said, here's the
louder, TV ticker version of that same sentence.)

That's the point -- no one is perfect.  And there's no condoning the pictures Mr. Weiner sent, especially those of his privates.  And his interactions with an under-aged woman may yet be the nail in his political coffin. 

These are all private, personal dealings until they became public. 

For Mr. Weiner hubris and reckless behaviors trumped any concern of his photo privates going public and taking their talents (or lack thereof) to and beyond South Beach.  Beyond South Bend.  South Vietnam.  South Africa.  Or the South Pole, where the Internet might survive under rigorous scrutiny -- or any of the marathon-long lines of scorned women's frosty glares at their ill-behaving men throughout time immemorial.

Did I tell you Mr. Weiner was married?  And that his faithful wife is pregnant?  Would Mr. Weiner object if his future daughter, let's say, posted pictures of her nakedness on Twitter, now the equivalent of Britain's Page Three?

Rule Number One: You don't post naked pictures of yourself on Twitter.
Rule Number Two: You know what the next two rules are.

Everyone who posts on Twitter -- and that's everyone -- must remember at some point that Twitter is a global electronic newspaper that's free of charge (unlike The New York Times.)  Anything is fair game once you post it, and when you make a mistake, you cannot completely erase it.  Your personal info, your life events, if you don't want them publicized, better stay locked in your mind, or in the minds of people you trust.  Or in your photo album, as in 1972 photo album.  (Not on Nixon's tapes.)

On Twitter, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

I guarantee you: had Twitter been around in 1997, 1998 and 1999 a picture of Monica Lewinsky's blue dress with that presidential seal of approval would have been TwitPic'd to death all over that there Twitter.  (Ken Starr wouldn't have had to waste his time or our money.  The Court Of Twitter Opinion would have adjudicated just fine, and for free.)

Just ask the guy who thought he was winning.  He had Tweeted a picture of himself with one of his girlfriends or princesses.  He and she were clothed.  Well endowed she was, as Yoda would say in that old, gravely voice.  Two million views later, and that fact did not change.

Anthony Weiner didn't even learn that poetry is the best medicine.  At least Mark Sanford sent passionate, heart-stopping e-mail letters to his mistress that the lovers in "Brief Encounter" would have melted over.  Sonnets at least show some creativity. 

Posting something like those Weiner photos on Twitter, direct message or otherwise, is akin to sending the photos to an editor of a major newspaper and saying, "this is news, please pretty please, pay attention to it!" 

Yet I'd bet we've all been guilty of sending (or saying) something we wish we hadn't. 

Even though some newspapers have vanished, Twitter, barely five or six years of age now, has become the newspaper of record, of all our records.  And sure enough Twitter has influenced enough people around the world so that it, not your nightly news, makes the headlines first and fast, beating even 24-hour-cable news to the punch.

Twitter has turned us into instant journalists.  In our own small way we help to shape and define pop culture more instantly than ever before.  Popeye wouldn't stand a chance against Twitter.  Zell Miller would lose in any duel with Twitter.  Twitter is powerful stuff, and there's no Kryptonite that can defeat it.

Previous Twitter Patter:
How about a Sheen Shine For Charlie?

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