The recent leak of Jennifer Lawrence’s and other celebrities’ nude photos by a hacker has raised some interesting questions. It seems to me, to be mainly a generational thing. The younger generations, who’ve grown up with social media their whole lives, have a whole different definition and practice of “privacy”, than those who haven’t.
Many young people think nothing of revealing anything and everything about themselves on the internet. And that includes sexting, nude, and explicit photos. Supposedly, one in four of them has sent them and 40% have received them. One half of 18-24 year olds, according to one survey, send them. If these are to be believed, and I’m not saying they aren’t. Remember back in 1998 (which seems like a century ago now), when Bill Clinton argued that oral sex wasn’t really sex. This new generation, evidently, agrees. How far we’ve gone since then.
It’s amazing how fast our social mores have changed. It started perhaps, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, reality shows, people famous for being famous, celebrity sex tapes, selfies, sexting, etc. I guess it was just a matter of time until the non-famous would want to be in on the act (no pun intended) too. So now you can be your own porn star and share it with friends and family.
This younger generation will, no doubt, say “what’s the big deal?” Get with the times, Man! Every generation thinks the previous ones are out of date. That’s a necessary part of being young, since time began.
And we live in politically-correct times (have for a while now). The Baby Boomers, more than any other generation perhaps, will do anything- not to get old. Youth is the magic elixir. If you have enough money of course, to buy the health supplements and organic food and get our hair dyed and tattoos, to show we’re still hip. We line up for the latest social media device. Everyone’s a writer. Everyone’s a musician. Everyone’s a poet. Everyone’s an artist. Everyone has a blog (including me!). Everyone can express themselves. Of course, few can make a living at these things anymore , because we also don’t want to have to pay for it.
But hey, this is the perfect democratic set-up, right?
Sex was once the taboo subject, but not anymore. Sex is everywhere; it’s out of the closet. My female bank tellers are wearing low-cut tops as part of their business attire and I have to try and keep my eyes on my bank deposits and not get accused of leering. Middle-aged women want to look like their daughters. Their daughters want to go TV Idol shows and imitate famous people who can’t sing. College students are too often regressing to a rape culture, despite all the sex-equality education. And there’s little subtlety left about anything anymore.
But it’s dangerous and unpopular and politically incorrect to say these things, because we live in a “liberal” society. Nobody wants to be labeled a prude or intolerant. Racists don’t even consider themselves racists . Remember Donald Sterling? If you even question some of these things, some people will say,” You against Sex or something?” The worst crime is to be uncool.
No, we’re all so liberated. It seems to me that morals and politics is always about, really one thing-thinking the other guy is not as “open “as we are. Conservatives think liberals are too open and liberals think conservatives are not “open” enough. Comedian Mort Sahl said, “Liberals feel guilty about everything and conservatives think they have the right to own everything”. If we listened to our mainstream media, we’d think the news is just about scandals and what’s the latest video that’s gone viral. At one time only the tabloids specialized in those things.
I recently read a novel by Gary Shteyngart, Super Sad True Love Story, set in the perhaps, not too distant future. America has a one party government and China owns most of its economy. Everyone has a Credit Ranking and your social standing and any chance for advancement is based on that Ranking. Poor people have a low Ranking and are basically disposable. Also everyone has a personal device called an apparat, which allows everyone to find out anyone else’s Ranking (as well as their sex lives) and whether it’s worth associating with them or marrying them. So in this future, everyone knows everything about everyone else. Of course, the book is a sort of 1984-like Sci. Fi. satire. Shteyngart has also, in 2014, released his painful, but uproariously funny memoir, Little Failure, about coming to America as a Russian immigrant and trying to adopt to his new land and how he finally found his true calling as a writer. In the previous Super Sad True Love Story, his character, Lenny, is a collector of “printed, bound media artifacts(aka) books.
Some people say that a world of more and more social media and is even desirable and less and less privacy is inevitable. We learn more everyday just how much governments and corporations know about us and everyday there is another mass breach of our privacy. Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA wanted to have eavesdropping abilities secretly put on every device sold to the public (and almost got away with it).
It’s true that new generations don’t seem too concerned with these things and also many of the older generation seem to just accept this “progress”. Perhaps, Shteyngart’s future society, where everyone knows everything about everyone else, may not be far off. But maybe we should at least question where this is leading us all. And maybe we should remember where we came from and not be so afraid of being accused of not being “with it”.
“HUMAN REALITY” Lyrics by Alan Chrisman c. 2013
1.There is no perfection Chorus:
Not everything is connected Everybody lies
There is no excuse Everybody cries
There is no simple truth Everybody dies
Not everybody flies
2.There is no black
There is no white 4. There is no smart addict
There’s only wrong There is no escape
There’s only right There’s only ourselves to blame
There’s only human joy and pain
3.There’s not always a reason 5. The Spirit is overrated
Things are never simple Our ego’s are inflated
They are always complex Most have already made up their minds
It’s always a changing season Few will take the necessary time
6.Doesn’t matter how much we say
Only what we do
Whether we deliver
And come through
We are not the same
7.We are not equal
We are not the same
We are all different
In more than a name
8.Only you can grow
Only you can know
And not be a slave
And can yourself save
Hear " HUMAN REALITY" By Al & THE G-Men under Songs and CD's Heading.