I'M GOING FOR THE 'SEXUAL PREDATOR' LOOK

Posted in Rants on October 20th, 2009 by Ed

The internet is a weird place, with the constant taking and publishing of photos of oneself fueling our society's love of exhibitionism, narcissism, and voyeurism. There is no personal space anymore and some people seem very happy about that. Take Twitter, for instance. Does anyone really need to hear what I think every minute of the day? Of course not. But the utter lack of anything interesting to say hasn't stopped millions of people from hopping on the bandwagon. Twitter and Facebook simultaneously service our need to feel important / interesting and the voyeuristic tendencies of what is fast becoming a nation of creepy, asocial shut-ins.

Meghan McCain created a controversy by posting a revealing photo of herself on her Twitter account. I could care less what she chooses to do, but her effort to play it off as unintentional is pretty stupid. Could one share this picture with the world and say with a straight face, "Boobs? Why, I hardly noticed!"

Yeah, no. "Girl who takes a lot of pictures that 'accidentally' show massive amounts of boobage" is a stock character in everyone's online social circle at this point. Big deal. Great. Do what you want, Meghan. Wear what you want. Show what you want, or don't. People who complain should promptly be told to kiss your ass. But why pretend like this is anything other than what it is: one of 100 million Americans who get a cheap thrill out of exposing themselves (in this case quite literally) on the internet. McCain indulged her exhibitionist tendencies and her Twitter "followers" indulged the kind of creepy, lurking outside the window voyeurism that is Twitter's implicit raison d'ĂȘtre.

This guy, on the other hand, could keep an army of psychiatrists busy. (via S,N!)

Taking into account the cesspool of personality disorders and barely restrained sociopaths that is the internet, this guy is the most obvious candidate to become a serial rapist I have ever seen. To wit:

We control the way we portray ourselves in this bizarre medium; this is the photo he wants you to see. Someone said "Hey Ben, you look like a sexual predator who may also bomb a Federal courthouse someday" and his response was, "Yep, that's what I'm going for." As his screed makes it perfectly clear that he has never spoken to a woman without first giving his credit card number or being maced immediately afterward, his choice to embrace this makes sense. His ranting reveals his belief that Ms. McCain is more popular because she has big boobs, which is a natural compensatory response for a person who realizes that his own lack of talent and terrifying personality shortcomings are consigning him to a life of insignificance.

Is Ms. McCain, as Ben claims, an attention whore? Of course. Who broadcasts his or her life on the internet without being one? We write blogs or maintain Twitter accounts because we want people to pay attention to us. If taking pictures of one's chest, which just happens to look like one was struck in the upper back by a pair of large rockets, furthers the efforts to get more people to pay attention, great. If it attracts a bunch of faux-puritans seething with fake righteous indignation at her "sluttiness," that's the downside. Both outcomes are possible in this bizarre world we've created, one in which we invite possibly deranged strangers to peer into our lives and in which we compete with one another for the bragging rights concomitant with attracting the greater number of voyeurs followers.