2006-09-22— Posted by: allegra
It isn’t even 5 in the morning, and I feel compelled to get up and rant already. I guess this is what happens when Paul and I, contemplating all the things we COULD be doing, vote for sleep at 8:30 in the evening. So while Paul does something socially useful, like his morning yoga exercises (how I enjoy listening to him do his yoga breathing) I’m gonna rant. From each according to his abilities, to each according to her needs. Note how a slight gender shift moves the meaning of that statement from high flown drama to a fly blown joke….
Today I’d like to rant about Jason Fortuny. I was waiting for a sign from the heavens before I should join my opinion to the mighty river of obloquy that is (crikey! I had to LOOK UP obloquy to spell it correctly – that a ranter must look up obloquy!?) the blogosphere these days, and I got it in the form of Dan Savage’s column last night.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Jason Fortuny took a picture of a woman’s ass, and posted it on Craigslist in the “looking for sex” column as if he was a hot 25 year old submissive, ah, woman. Well he isn’t. He has had a hard life, and he recently had to sell all of his action figures (considering I’ve been reciting Weird Al Yankovic’s lyrics for White and Nerdy for the last three days, I nearly fell off my chair when I read that) to pay some debts, and he has a history of cruel pranks to look back on, but he’s not a woman, submissive or otherwise, he’s a sad boy child of 30 with a bad temper. His upbringing left him with a tragic inability to be sympathetic to anybody outside a very narrow band, so that means that any and all of us could have been on the receiving end of his bile.
And what prank did Jason Fortuny play on the almost two hundred, I’m assuming mostly men, who answered the ad, including some with their work email addresses and ‘candids’ with their faces and full frontals?
He reposted their emails and pictures to a location which became Schadenfreude’s number one hit URL.
Now, I am vanilla. I’ve always been vanilla. I will always be vanilla. I don’t like spanking or getting spanked (or being tied up or humiliated or ****** on). Causing or receiving pain during adult oriented fun and frolic is icky to me. But, like a true white liberal, I’m gonna get up on my hind legs and bleat “Some of my best friends are kinky!” and say that the thing I object to most emotionally is that Jason Fortuny didn’t pick a very useful target. Why not go after pedophiles? He claims to have been molested himself. But noooooo.
Most of the blogosphere thinks the people he picked on were scumbags who deserve to lose their jobs. Dan Savage, may he nestle in the bosom of the Parking Goddess forever, commented that most of us would not withstand a really close look at our lives. As in, “You would be hopelessly screwed if somebody took a close look at your cookies, your DVD collection, and your email history”. Amen.
I had to back up and delete a paragraph that detailed some of the bad bad things I’ve done with the company email, so let’s just take it as read. Too gross for public consumption, alas. But like Mr. Fortuny, I may be called to account someday, and I am ready.
So what precisely did Jason Fortuny do wrong? In the last analysis, nothing that isn’t self-correcting. The kink community has been served notice that if it wants to keep on trucking, it has to control its own media and messaging services, and practice ‘safe hex’; Jason himself may or may not get his head busted in or face legal consequences for his misuse of public waters, being Craigslist; self righteous Aholes with time on their hands may parse Jason’s livejournal for clues as to the motivations for his behaviour (fortunately I don’t have to, because somebody’s already done it for me. Google Jason Fortuny and you’ve got an hour’s worth of reading, some of it very disturbing indeed, in front of you); civil libertarians can bite first one hand and then the other
I for one, with my own little mind, am thinking of this as being, in a small but very real way, the beginning of the end of the free internet (like it ever was, but you know what I mean). Unless those of us who are willing to PAY for the privilege of communicating freely and without intervention using ones and zeroes get together and make a secure, distributed and functionally paranoid place to exchange information, something not susceptible to foreclosure, political pressure or theft by the Russian Mafia, we’re going to lose every inch of the pipeline we’ve come to be addicted to. Net neutrality is a chimera; anything that can be used steal your identity, clean out your bank account, sic the cops on you for no good reason, and send strangers to your door thinking they are going to be partying with your 12 year old daughter is not a NEUTRAL PLACE. It’s time for those of us who cherish liberty to REALLY pay to play, and not just fork over more cash to the US Telcos for DSL. That’s the lesson of Jason Fortuny. Update to legal sequelae http://www.dmlp.org/threats/doe-v-fortuny (Which went on for years after this post, ed)