Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sex, Lies, and Social Media

I can imagine the leaders of our country have much more important things to attend to than logging in the hours it requires to master not only the technology but also the longer-term implications of using social media. Still, watching what had been a promising political career veer off a cliff these past few weeks, it's difficult to imagine how anyone with half a clue could be so stupid. In case you're not already aware, please note: Anything you send via the internet can be intercepted and shared with the world. Anything!

Citibank just announced (albeit a month late) that their customers' accounts had been hacked.
It turns out Citibank was hacked in early May. Wait, you hadn't heard? Me neither. Well, that's just because Citibank chose to keep quiet about it until now.

We're talking a fairly serious hack, too. The personal and account information of some 200,000 Citibank card holders in North America was breached, reports Reuters, including contact specifics like names and email addresses. The solitary bit of good news? Citibank claims far more sensitive info like social security numbers, birth dates, card expiry dates and CVV card security codes was not compromised.
Even more than your banking data being hacked, your naughty photos are just bobbing out there in the ocean of cyber-flotsam, with little to no security at all, and can be counted on to resurface. Fortunately for most people, few outside their immediate circle will care. For those in the public limelight, however, I have to say that being dumb enough to not understand why it's a bad idea to twitpic your junk should be an instant disqualification for holding office. Uh...huh?...This big red button? Why, I'm not sure. Let's just press it and see what happens....

Some have excused Congressmen Weiner's actions as mere "flirting," and given that it never led to actual sex, I'd say I understand their point (flirting is a human form of communication and not all bad by any measure), but there's an easy standard when it comes to infidelity and it applies to flirting as well, imo. If you feel highly compelled to hide it from your spouse, you should probably consider it cheating. The fact that Weiner first lied about his habits is indication enough that he knew better, but either couldn't help himself or didn't think he'd get caught.

Now, I know we like to think it's the lies that cost pols their political capital, but there's not much evidence we expect that degree of integrity from them. Politicians lie and carry on as if it were nothing, all the freaking time. Even when they're caught out, they merely hurl some absurd dismissal out for the 24-hour news cycle (#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement) and get back to business.

No, it's the creepy sex thing. Not that anything Weiner did even comes close to what millions of other Americans are apparently doing with increasing ease, if the popularity of apps like
Skout or Grindr are anything to go by. He had simply and very publicly declared himself opposed to behavior that might be interpreted as degrading women. As Ben Davis reported:
[I]n what is an extravagant bit of ironic timing, it was just a few months ago that Weiner was making headlines for denouncing a historic Queens sculpture for degrading women. The name of the artwork? "The Triumph of Civic Virtue." The decayed, 20-foot sculpture by Frederick MacMonnies depicts a monumental male nude, standing atop several female figures, who are allegories of vice. The work has sparked various controversies over the years, because of its presumed misogyny.

It might well now stand as an adequate symbol for Weiner's situation over the last week: A larger-than-life, scantily clad male public figure, trying to keep down the images of vice represented by multiple women.
So maybe it's not even the lies or the sex, but the hypocrisy. Either way, despite what I would have been good money on a month ago, I suspect we won't be calling Anthony "Hizzoner" after the next election now.

Labels: politics, social media


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet when President Clinton took advantage of a young intern whom he did other things than smoke cigars around most gave him a get out of jail free card. LOL Clinton spoke on the rights of women as well all while having a history of degrading women by taking advantage of his position of power. Slime.

6/09/2011 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Julie Sadler said...

The inevitable finger pointing does nothing to solve the problem that as a nation, we have severely lowered our standards.

6/09/2011 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

And yet when President Clinton took advantage of a young intern...

I know, but Pope John Paul's trip to Cuba helped us retain hope, and England's Queen Mother's hospitalization reminded us how precious life is, but then Governor Bush of Texas refused to step in to stop the execution of Karla Faye Tucker, so it all kind of balanced out.

Amazing all the valuable things we learned about life in early 1998, isn't it?

6/09/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

You weren't paying attention, the first Citi hack was publicized and Citi notified it's customers by email.

6/10/2011 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Well, I didn't say it was late...the report did.

6/10/2011 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, referring to Weiner, or anyone in congress, as a "leader" is demeaning to us regular citizens. In theory, they are our representatives serving in an open government. All authority they have emanates from us.

6/10/2011 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

Honestly, I don't care who's having sex with whom. It's a human urge that in our culture seems to have gotten twisted with puritanical issues and sexist thinking--but the actual who's-doing-what-with-whom doesn't concern me, as long as they're consenting adults.

The issue with Clinton is that he was doing it on taxpayers' time and dime, which opened the door for the repugs and the repugnant Kenneth Star to then waste taxpayer millions on an impeachment.

Weiner has acted like a 14 year old. If he wasn't sexting on the job (does the Congressional locker room count?)and his sexts weren't sent to women who didn't want them, I don't care. It's not hypocritical to speak out against sexism and then have sex, or the cyber version of it.

However, I have lost respect for a married man who's acting like a jerk (while his wife is pregnant,no less).

As for Citibank, I have nothing good to say. I would never do business with them again, and it is my opinion that people would do well to find another bank.

6/13/2011 12:20:00 PM  

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