The Hulk Hogan Sex Tape

There have been a great many people outed for racist attitudes in the last few years (often times, after keeping them hidden for long periods of time). But a new angle to at least 2 of the most recent cases should be a cause for concern.

When it comes to public figures, I think it is safe to say that the public should know these things. Granted, one should be careful to include the context of the speech (racist speech does not always indicate a racist personality. For example, if it is said in the contect of a joke). Such humour may  be disagreeable to some (many?), but it should still be interpreted as such. 

When it comes to the Hulk Hogan thing, I think its safe to assume that it was not a humouous statement (or a joke). In fact, its weird that it all was on a sex tape to begin with. The things we talk about after the deed is done! 

Note: When it comes to the “Were all a little racist” thing, I think that is true to a degree. But education goes a long way in helping us to acknowledge an correct such bias’s. These that look at Hulks statement and see it as projection should be careful of what they are saying, since they may not be as squeaky clean as they think they are. 

I grew up with some bias’s passed on from parents. But I recognized them. Something that I think many progressives fail to do.  

While I think that it is on one hand a good thing to have the ugly skeletons in a celebrity’s closet exposed (your a public figure and role model, so your held to a higher standard), the limitation I impose, is when such a revelation happens as a breech of the celebrity’s privacy. 

This may seem a bit hypocritical to what I last said, maybe even contradictory. But its not. You have to ask yourself a simple question. What is more important? Knowing every single skeleton in every person you know’s closet, or trading all of your privacy (and exposing all of YOUR secrets to the world!) for the sake of transparency? 

Normally I don’t deal in dichotomies,  but this seems an area where the argument is valid. Everyone has private details in their life that they keep to themselves (no matter what the reason), famous or not. So as such, if you are one that wants to know every detail of the lives of celebrities, than you should not be afraid to hold yourself to similar standards. 

The Hulk Hogan incident (as well as that of Donald Sterling not to long ago) were both less revelations than leaks. While both revealed very unpleasant character traits (though in one case, unsurprising character traits), neither had any idea they were being recorded. 

If we look at this from the standpoint of a court of law, most recordings made without the consent of both involved parties are inadmissible. But such standards do not apply to the court of public opinion unfortanutly. 

In an ideal world, I would say that information that comes to light in this way should be utilized very little. Sure, it may bring a bit more clarity to such people. But information exposed due to a privacy breech should NOT be utilized in terms of employement status’s and such. 

But this is assuming the the court of public opinion operates in the same way as a real court. It does not, which is why the court of public opinion is an ever present source of annoyance to me. 

Lets talk about, the public. Lets talk about some of our hypocritical bullshit. 

One of the first things that comes to mind with this, is sexual assult. While the rest of the criminal justice system operates with the philosophy of innocent until proven guilty, this crime often sparks the reverse. When a male is faced with allegations of sexual assault, its often safe to say that their life (at least in ther current location) is ruined. It does not matter if the allegations are true or false, the damage is done. Even if the court acknowledges the false accusation an drops all charges, its to late. 

While many want to say that this does not happen (“It is asinine to think that a women would lie about being raped!“), it most certainly does. 

Look at the whole Rolling Stone UVA thing. Someone came to them with a compelling story, and they could not get it to the presses fast enough. Did they apply the critical journalistic standards that they apply to every other story they run? No. Why would they have to? No women would LIE about a sexual assult! 

Except, when they do embellish many details. Such as the perpetrator, who happened to be in a completely different state at the time.  

While not entirely related to the concept of privacy, there are connections. For example, most do not hesitate to publicly shame such alleged rapists by exposing any skeletons that they can find about them. 

But overall, we have a skewed view of privacy in todays world. And I don’t  just  mean hypocritical either. Just plain ignorant. 

Most of the anger over the NSA spying and the perceived breeched privacy of americans (well, EVERYONE utilizing telecommunication mediums) came after Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the whole thing. Before this, it was as if most people had no idea that anyone could (or would!) watch communications. Or (what is far more likely) they never really considered it, gave it any thought. 

This was more or less the case for me, from my first email account (yahoo) right to 2009. Since technology is fascinating to me, I occasionally pondered potential third parties viewing my messages. I knew  that something may be interpreting the message, but I figured it to be a part of an automated macro-scanning system that scanned thousands (if not more) messages at a time coming into and leaving a given mail server. I also assumed that no message of mine would ever be seen by an actual person unless I used certain key words or phrases. It was not something I put a whole lot of thought into. 

Then 2008 or 2009 rolled around, where I seen PBS’s “Spy Factory”, an explanation of the failure of the American intelligence community in stopping the 9/11 attacks, along with a quite detailed description of  tactics currently in use. 

It was not unil 2 or 3 years later when Snowden exposed the “Prism” program. Which was the mature edition of what was  being discussed on The Spy Factory (back then, in its infancy). 

People reacted with such shock. It was as though this revelation (someone COULD be watching!), was a complete surprise. Which in itself is ridiculous. Or at least it is to me (I have never assumed ANY communication medium to be completely private. But I have never had much reason to worry about it either. What do I care if someone hears my phone call to a friend, or someone sees my email to an aunt). 

And another reason this was funny to me, was due to the social media age that we live in. Now more then ever before, we share all kinds of data on various social media platforms. Often times without any restrictions, meaning that a simple search engine query  could bring up the information. This matters because what is openly visible on the web is considered public domain. 

So, we have millions and millions world wide freaking out about perceived privacy breeches. When for a great many of those same people, a simple search engine query can bring up a whole assortment of data that can often paint an accurate picture of the person’s life. You do not need to be the NSA or CSIS to do this. All you need is an internet connected device. 

And then you have the element of hypocrisy. People putting seemingly  enormous value on the concept of privacy, but apparently doing a backtrack when it comes to famous people. 

Two examples are Hulk Hogan and Donald Sterling. But another big example was The Fappening, after nudes of a number of celebrities (stolen from their personal iCloud accounts) were leaked online. Many expressed the belief that famous people lose the right to privacy upon becoming famous. 

No.

 In my eyes, privacy is not just a concept for idiots to turn into a social media bandwagon. It is a human right. 

Like how the blind justice setup of most free world justice system’s can at times allow some criminals to go unpunished for crimes, it is possible to abuse ones right to privacy. Bill Cosby comes to mind as an excellent example. 

But no matter what COULD happen because of our right to keep our lips sealed about anything we choose not to make public, I don’t see that it ever justifies the alternative. 

To end this, I am not entirely for the NSA and other spy agencies world wide engaging in macro data collection. Not so much because of the breech in privacy, but more because of the volume. There has to be a better  way to find connections then to sort though a billion harmless communications, looking for suspicious activities. 

Privacy is something that (like many things) people just don’t get. And like many other things, such people should consider holding their tongue before speaking on an issue that they are so ignorant of. 

What a nice thought that is. 

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