Damn. When it comes to the defense of personal rights and privacy, many of my fellow American citizens never cease to amaze me with their own form of hypocrisy about that very thing!
Case in point: The constant social media postings, comments and water cooler conversations or “discussions” regarding the private, yet highly likely unauthorized recorded personal conversation between a certain wealthy professional basketball team owner and his mistress. In case you haven’t yet heard, I’m referring to the hoopla over comments Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling made to his mistress. Click Sterling’s name or the picture to read the story and see the video by celebrity news and gossip website, TMZ. I won’t join the crowd by posting that TMZ video in this article.
That conversation was – and is nobody’s business. Really. It simply isn’t! Let me be clear: That conversation was none of our business or specifically none of your business! People whom many of us admire have very likely held similar conversations or far worse. Perhaps you have done the same thing and thought …no, had some “safe” expectation and made certain assumptions that your intimate conversations with someone was very private and that the listener would never, ever tell another soul, let alone go as low as to record it! Perhaps you have felt safe and secure in your home or on some corner on the street with saying whatever the fuck you wanted to say about whatever was on your mind. Perhaps you’ve felt safe because no one is ever going to think of recording it and putting your words on blast for the world to hear and judge you by.
The persons involved in that recorded conversation, which has since spread like wildfire on the internet, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter and on broadcast and print media, deserved the same respect as you and I – regardless of whatever their conversation was about and regardless whether that conversation may have been right or wrong in tone or spirit or in the judgment or opinion of other people! I am not defending what Sterling said; I actually don’t care about that because, as I just said, it was none of my business! I am however, defending Sterling’s right to expected privacy in his personal conversations. In spite of our issues, this nation is not some Orwellian society or Fascist state in which we live. Goddammit, this is still AMERICA!
I don’t understand why some people choose to engross themselves in the personal matters of other people – matters which have no direct bearing or influence on their lives. This is supposed to be America, people! Citizens here are supposed to be able to expect, have and try to enjoy some decent amount of privacy in their personal and intimate speech – no matter how much an American’s privacy may be waning in today’s technological society. Expectation of such privacy is no less than what you or I would expect had either of us held the same or some other private conversation about something personal which we did not want nor ever expect to be revealed to the world.
Many hearing about or reading the [non] news story are once again pretending to be “shocked” by someone who is 80 years old, who is an ethnic product of his generation and who was simply – but privately speaking his mind to someone. So the fuck what! Considering what many of us already know about racism and how some people in that generation and of certain ethnic groups feel towards another, I wonder why this simple private conversation is suddenly newsworthy to anyone. The attention on this non-story makes no sense to me!
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
- How the fuck does that couple’s private conversation affect your life?
- Why should any of us get all up in arms or get angry simply because of the content of such a privately held conversation – one which once again I say, most likely had no authorization to be recorded?
- How the fuck does the personal conversation in question affect the lives of the basketball team the speaker owns, it’s members, that team’s investors and advertisers – if it affects it at all?
- Why should anyone give a flying fuck about that personal conversation?
- Will the speaker’s words in that private conversation have any bearing or affect on some important and existing issue related to pro basketball? Will it have some effect on our economy?
- Should we archive that personal and private conversation for some future historical reference in educating our kids about the private things that go through a man’s mind and come out of his mouth – even if such speech has no impact on our society or contributes to the improvement or perhaps the worsening of America, if not the world?
I say, get off that invasion of private speech train of which the spies of gossip people like TMZ and others such groups, are always running. Those people have brought to your “nothing better to talk about” attention this private conversation and sensationalized it as “news” simply to satiate your lusts for celebrity gossip and the possible furthering of racial hate-mongering. I say, ignore it because frankly, that personal conversation did not concern you, me or anyone else – regardless of our respective ethnicity! No matter what was said, those two Americans – OUR fellow citizens – deserve the same expectation, right and respect to speak and to share their thoughts privately with each other – just as we expect.
The fact is, we have no right to impose upon the right to privacy of other people – regardless of their actual or perceived celebrity status. We have no right to eavesdrop on personal and private conversations or worse, passing on whatever we happen to hear said to other someone else. That’s just wrong, classless and hypocritical of us as decent people and as Americans. That sort of thing only becomes gossip – sometimes very ugly gossip and can cause a host of other problems in our ever-constant need to respect and get along with other people of different mindsets and beliefs. We should never lower our personal standards to that of the likes of TMZ and their ilk; those people who are simply in the profit-making business of evading the privacy of other celebrities – if not also us “common” folk people. Look at the shitstorm that TMZ has started! Everybody that is anybody is all over Sterling’s non-public remarks because of what TMZ did! It’s not the first time TMZ has done this either! I say that shit needs to stop! We simply do not have the right to take ill-gotten information/gossip and judge the people it concerns and develop our own interpretation of what a person says, supposedly has said or perhaps is doing in private. Author George Orwell warned us about people like TMZ in his 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Some of you ought to read/re-read it!
I suggest everyone so engrossed in this non-story get the fuck out of the gossip gutter, clean up their minds and move on to more worthwhile and actual serious issues which could use the attention and the help to resolve!
As I said...damn.
p.s. Click here to read the follow-up and final blog article on this issue. I’m done!