The Cynics Workshop

Where I can try to influence the world, one word at a time.

Month: September, 2012

Kate Middleton Topless Photos

I do realize that the above headline is going to grab your attention, but what may surprise you is that I am actually quite upset and what happened.  If you haven’t seen the story today, a magazine in Britain published photos of Kate topless as she and her husband were on holiday in France.  I did not see the photos, but the article said the photos were blurry, apparently a result of then being taken at quite a distance.  Will & Kate have since filed suit against the magazine for publishing them, as they were “saddened” by the photos appearing.

This is yet another black eye for the British paparazzi, not quite as bad as the other major incident, but how many more incidents like this (both here in the U.S., and in the UK) are we going to have to put up with before something is done about these mad men who wield their cameras like samurai sword through someone’s private life?  I am actually very surprised that nothing (or not much) was done after the Princess Diana accident but hopefully this latest incident will spur some new actions on the subject.

I have to give the celebrities who have suffered these indignities some credit because I certainly know how I would react if I were on their end.  I certainly understand the argument that these are public people so there shouldn’t be a law against photographing a person when they are in public, but what about the law of common sense?  Do you really need a law that says you can’t, or shouldn’t, photograph a person when they are sunbathing topless?  Regardless if they are in the open or not, in this case Will & Kate were at a private resort and it seems quite obvious that this photographer did not just happen to be in the next bungalow over from them.  I can picture him perched in a tree 1/4 mile away with a telephoto lens leaning precariously out of the tree as he goes for the money shot.

Here in the U.S. we see more issues where celebrities are walking down the street and are being subjected to hoards of people walking backwards down the street in front of them looking to capture every nose pick and belly scratch they can with the hopes of selling them for a profit.  I can certainly say that if it were happening to me, I would be none to pleased about it and would more than likely take matters in my own hands.  When it comes to celebrities with kids, have the photographers given any thought to how traumatizing it is to be a kid and have flash bulbs constantly crammed in your face every time you step outside?  I don’t buy the argument either that these guys are just out earning a living like everyone else, I certainly don’t invade other people’s privacy every day at work.  If I were a judge, I would tell them to get another job.

It does raise the issue about whose fault this really is…at a bottom line issue.  So the photographers are out photographing people, selling them to magazines (presumably at a handsome profit), then the magazines are in turn selling those images to the public (again at a handsome profit), who buy the magazines to see the celebrities, who need the public’s support otherwise they have no career, so they go out and walk down the street to be photographed, and the vicious cycle begins again.  There are 3 clear entities involved in this cycle, and as I see it, really only 2 out of the 3 can actually make a change to have a positive effect.  The first point is that celebrities are people too, meaning they have to go out in public, we can’t expect them to be shut-ins.  Not everyone can be Tommy Lee and have a Starbucks in their living room, these people need their coffee.  So the first of two groups that can, and should, make a change are the photographers.  To be blunt, they should just stop taking pictures.  I could really care less if Miley Cyrus is at Starbucks order a double shot decaf latte.  I’m really not even sure who Miley Cyrus is or what positive impact she has had on this world, but she appears in those trash magazines all the time.  The second group that can make a change for the positive is the public.  For some unknown reason, the public has an insatiable desire to look at people prettier than they are, and whose lives are better than theirs.  To those people I say this, your life is miserable, it is probably not going to get better, so deal with it, put the magazine down, pay for your groceries, and go home.  You are not going to be Miley Cyrus just because you are looking at her in a magazine.  The chances are Miley Cyrus has got serious issues, just as you do; she just has more money than you do…a lot more, and that is why you are interested in her life.  Do you really care if Alec Baldwin fathered a baby with an Alien?  So then why are you reading about it?  Perhaps the grocery stores should start putting National Geographic’s in the checkout aisles, I would rather stare at those images than those of Miley and her twelve year old boy haircut ordering a triple shot half calf grande Americano.  Wake up people, if you stop buying the magazines, they won’t be able to afford to pay the peeping toms who take the photos, then those losers will have to go back to working at Pizza Hut, then the celebrities won’t have their privacy invaded, and poor Suri Cruise will have somewhat of a normal childhood…get it?  Well it’s probably too late for Suri, but you can have a positive impact on her kids.

The bottom line is this, as long as there is a market for these photos; someone is going to be out there taking them.  Please don’t interpret that as I approve of celebrities who stage photos.  I still can’t believe that People magazine actually paid Nicole Polizzi to take shots of her baby…it took a good 20 minutes for my friend Lester to talk me off the ledge when I heard about that one.  We need to get the Governments involved in this one; it has gone way too far.  Granted Kate Middleton is gorgeous, but that shouldn’t stop her from enjoying her holidays anyway she chooses.


Thought Provoking Question of the Day

Today is the day all you Apple Geeks…the all new iPhone 5 is unveiled.  My question to you is this:

At what point will Apple stop numbering their products?

Could we conceivably be looking at iPhone 217?  Would they then add iPhone Version 217?  iPhone 12 rolls off the tongue, iPhone 217…not so much.  Maybe they add letters, as we saw with the iPhone 4S. Although they were not really clear what the ‘S’ stood for…maybe super, maybe substitute, maybe sucker??  Maybe they start naming their products, by the time version 217 rolls out, I would hope they have more than 1 phone.

Whatever they need to do to drive the stock price up I am fine with…


Today crept up on me quick this year.  I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.  I was walking through Penn this morning and I happened to glance up to see that it was 7.51am.  That time isn’t really significant, except for the fact that is when it really hit me what today is.  I thought about how 11 years ago somebody, who probably isn’t here today, walked those same steps that I walked.  I thought about how that person probably kissed their son goodbye, got on the train, and headed to work with no idea what was in store for them.  I thought about how 11 years ago at that time, the world was a completely different place.  I thought about how 11 years ago it was a beautiful, cloudless autumn morning…much as it is today.  But most importantly, I thought about how in a few hours, that person who walked those steps before me 11 years ago…would no longer be here.

It obviously puts life in perspective, we need little moments like that to help keep us grounded, but it helps remind me that I live in the greatest city in the world.  New Yorkers are a special breed of people, and while this is a scar that most of us will have for our whole lives, that scar is healing.  It is important to move on with life, but it is also important to remember the past.  After all, those who do not study history, are condemned to repeat it.

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