Monday, June 13, 2011

On male foibles, follies and faux pas

As a man who had done more than my share of really stupid things in the pursuit of female attention, I have a certain amount of sympathy for all the celebrities, athletes, politicians and other news-worthy types who wind up in the headlines after they have been caught doing something outrageous with, to or for a woman (or women) other than their wives. You know who I mean, men like Bill Clinton, Brett Favre, Tiger Woods, Mark Sanford, Chris Lee and, most recently, Anthony Weiner, to name just a few.

Less famous men pull knuckle-head stunts over women all the time but when they (we) get caught it doesn't make the news cycle so only a small circle of family, friends and co-workers know what morons they (we) are. There are consequences of course, small or large, but our relative anonymity protects us from widespread scorn and with luck the incident is soon forgotten and life goes on. I'm not trying to excuse these acts in any way, I'm just saying I know how they can happen (I'll leave it to the professionals to explain WHY they happen.)

The incidents involving men in the public spotlight do raise two questions that I totally don't understand, though:

1. What could possibly make them think that, with all the media attention focused on them and everything they do 24/7, they can get away with it without being discovered?! These men can't take a leak without it being reported on some blog if not in the main-stream media, so why do they think nobody will pick up on a picture of their pecker circulating on the internet? Which gets us to my second question;

2. Why do they think the object of their illicit affection is going to be turned on by naked pictures of various body parts? Now I have to admit to some bias on this point - every morning when I get out of the shower and step in front of the bathroom mirror I am faced with the reflection of my own naked body and nothing I see makes me think, "Gee, I shoud take a picture of that and email it to someone." But still they must know that eventually the whole world is going to be looking at those pictures, and every late night comic is going to be doing bits about them, and yet they still send them - why? Are they really that proud of what they have to offer?

Men have been doing stupid stuff since the days of cavemen (or Adam, depending on your understanding of creation) so maybe it's just that the digital age has opened up new ways of being stupid and getting caught, and the advent of cable news and social media sharing sites has made it a certainty that the incident will be instantly reported.

It's almost enough to make me glad that I am not a young man in the twenty-first century. But still, I'm due for an upgrade on my cell phone - maybe my new one should have a camera...

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