Commentary: Less prudes and more nudes, please
I’ve waited a few weeks for the dust to settle over the nude celebrity photo scandal because I wanted to see who the next casualty would be.
You can never be too cautious, especially if you have nude photos of yourself floating around in cyberspace — and don’t we all?
Nude photos have become as American as income tax, Big Macs and the Macy’s Columbus Day Parade — or whatever it is.
It turns out anyone could be the next victim of the scandal that shocked the nation, when some crazed hacker got into the personal files of more than 100 celebrities and violated their privacy by posting racy photos online of everyone from actress Jennifer Lawrence to supermodel Kate Upton and Mr. Ed.
Then, the barbarian hordes began sharing them on Twitter, spreading them around the world. Now, no one is safe. Not even Homer Simpson and Barney Rubble.
The FBI and the neighborhood geek
However, the FBI is on the case, which means we have nothing to fear but fear itself, not to mention the neighborhood geek hiding in his bedroom closet, waiting to hack your computer.
Actually, hacking is an American institution that was invented by the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover even before we had computers.
And although I don’t have the notoriety of, say, Rin Tin Tin or Pee-Wee Herman, I want to be totally honest: There are nude photos of me out there.
Back naked on the changing table
Perhaps the most damning is the one where I’m lying buck naked on the table while my mother is changing my diaper, which is a pretty nasty sight, somewhat resembling the stables at Aqueduct after feeding time. Adding to the drama, there’s a stream of pee cascading gracefully across the room and down the wall like the Trevi Fountain.
A photo like that could end a guy’s career if it wasn’t over already. Or someone could blackmail me to get my collection of postcards of the Naugatuck River Valley.
I’ve already paid dearly. This was worse than a nude selfie. You see, I had no control over the camera because some wise guy — could it have been my father? — took the picture when I was incapacitated.
I was a victim
I was a helpless infantile victim. That’s a real invasion of privacy. What’s this country coming to when a baby can’t take a leak without some clown taking snapshots?
Things got worse when the photo was digitized and stored online with several other compromising images, including my senior prom photo where I’m wearing a tuxedo that has lapels wider than Dumbo’s ears and a paisley tie that gave my girlfriend vertigo.
Actually, that was one photo where it would have been better if I didn’t have clothes on.
A national pastime
Taking nude photos has become a national pastime, especially for people who want to get their names in supermarket tabloids.
Some celebrities and celebrity wannabes get so carried away they have their own sex tapes, which they release through third parties. Why do they do that anyway? Do they have emotional problems?
When you’re a celebrity, it’s perfectly acceptable to spend your day taking pictures of yourself, although some celebrities like actor Alec Baldwin go into an insane rage if a photographer approaches. Others, like Bruce Willis’ daughter and the singer Rihanna, are angry because they can’t share nude photos of themselves on social media.
You see, this is a very complicated issue that may require congressional oversight or psychoanalysis.
Celebrities and average people too
Of course, there are a lot of fake nude celebrity photos on the Internet because skilled technicians, working with Photoshop on their high school laptops exercise their creative instincts by putting Kim Kardashian’s head on Hugh Jackman’s body, or maybe Hugh Jackman’s head on Selena Gomez’s body — and no can tell what’s real and what’s not.
So, if you don’t have any nude photos, you’d better get some — even if they belong to Barney Rubble — because you don’t want to be left out of the discussion the next time you’re at a cocktail party.
Why should celebrities have all the fun? In a decadent democratic society, it’s our constitutional right to have our privacy invaded. After all, the government does that already.
Joe Pisani, who grew up in Shelton’s Pine Rock neighborhood, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.