Not so much a society of boundless enthusiasm, but a society with few boundaries

29 Sep

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Many people when they hear that a story is from a particular point of view immediately discount that story or information. Because so much of what is labeled as “news” is really just opinion labeled as “news,” moi reads and watches outlets all across the opinion spectrum. Many folks either never learned or forgot the maxim that a stopped clock is right twice a day. In the quest to be all knowing even if that means we are not understanding or being understanding of what it is we think we know, we have morphed into a society a few boundaries.

The latest example of dissolving boundaries comes from Fox News in the story, Fox News inadvertently airs live suicide:

Fox News inadvertently aired a live suicide while broadcasting helicopter footage of a carjacking suspect in Arizona.

Anchor Shepard Smith, visibly upset, calls for the live shot to be pulled, but not in time — Viewers saw Smith repeating “get off it,” after the gunshot, indicating he was watching the video on a delay.

The network cut into commercial immediately after.

Smith says Fox was on a five-second delay, but the video was not stopped in time, he later apologized for airing the suicide, saying “That was wrong, and that won’t happen again on my watch, and I’m sorry.”

Update: Fox News issued this statement Friday afternoon:

We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.” – Michael Clemente, EVP, News Editorial http://blog.seattlepi.com/hottopics/2012/09/28/fox-news-inadvertently-airs-live-suicide/

Moi hears the snickering, “Faux News” but, they are no more or less prone to boundary dissolving than CNN, MSNBC, or the New York Times.

A couple of years back there was a scandal involving Duke University graduate, Karen Owen which indicated just how rudderless this society is. Rudderless is defined as:

Adj.1.rudderless – aimlessly drifting                  

adrift, afloat, aimless, directionless, planless, undirected

purposeless – not evidencing any purpose or goal

We have a generation of young people who have grown up in the Sex in the City culture and who are, in this blogger’s opinion, rudderless. An example, the story of Duke University graduate who sent her “thesis” entitled “An Education Beyond the Classroom: Excelling in the Realm of Horizontal Academics” to a “select” group of friends. Of course, the darn little thing went viral and now Seattle blogger, Dr. Wilda has made the sleazy little mess a blog post.

Michael Inbar of MSNBC reports in the story, Duke University Coed’s Scandalous Sex Ratings Are Viral Sensation

Karen Owen took kiss-and-tell to a whole new level when she combined her Duke University-honed academic acumen with her extracurricular wild side to create an elaborate sex list ranking the college men she bedded.

But now the recent Duke grad finds herself red-faced over attention she never bargained for: Her tongue-in-cheek “unofficial senior thesis” on sex with Duke athletes spread from the three friends she originally e-mailed to the whole 14,000-strong student body and, eventually, to websites the whole world can see.

It’s funny because we know the people on it,” one Duke University student told NBC for a TODAY report on Owen’s now-infamous sex list.

Horizontal academics’

Owen’s sex ranking is nothing if not precise. She took a list of 13 men she slept with, drawing mainly from Duke’s lacrosse team — the same team that was embroiled in a sex scandal of its own in 2006 — and created a bar graph ranking their sexual prowess. She left little to the imagination in creating a 42-slide PowerPoint presentation, detailing sex in the university library during finals week, sex in cars and, most of all, sex while inebriated.

In my blackout state, still managed to crawl into bed with a Duke athlete,” Owen commented on one escapade.

Owen called her presentation “An education beyond the classroom: excelling in the realm of horizontal academics,” and was clearly having fun mixing her book smarts with her partying experience. She treated her sex ranking as a full-on thesis, writing, “Senior year and college in general often bring about certain situations that result in the seeking of so-called ‘sex.’ Until now, no studies have succeeded in developing a methodology for quantifying and ranking these so-called horizontal academics. In this study, we used data from four years at Duke University to create evaluation criteria for such encounters and applied these criteria to evaluated subjects.”

Karen Owen’s presentation included a bar chart rating her lovers’ performance.

While Owen was obviously not serious in her clinical rankings of her lovers’ sex skills, she may have done too good a job: The friends she e-mailed couldn’t keep it to themselves and began hitting the “forward” button on their e-mail accounts. Thus Owen now finds herself one of the most infamous authors in the country.

And while she was initially full of bluster, saying she’s “got some fantastic stories for the grand kids,” Owen is now sorry that her list has become a viral sensation. “I regret it with all my heart,” she told the Jezebel.com website. “I would never intentionally hurt the people that are mentioned on that.”

Obviously, this is one stupid, stupid young woman who will probably make some big $$$$$ off of this sleazy and sad chapter in her life. A couple of points. First, a lot of these encounters were fueled by alcohol and or possible binge drinking episodes. Parents must begin having conversations early with their children about the responsible use of alcohol. College students are prone to binge drinking. See, Binge Drinking Statistics The second point is this stupid, stupid young woman has no concept of privacy, either her privacy or the privacy of the lovers she graded.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines privacy

In an article written mainly as a defense of Warren and Brandeis’ paper and as a response to William Prosser, Edward J. Bloustein (1964) argues that there is a common thread in the diverse legal cases protecting privacy. According to Bloustein, Warren and Brandeis failed to give a positive description of privacy, however they were correct that there was a single value connecting the privacy interests, a value they called “inviolate personality.” On Bloustein’s view it is possible to give a general theory of individual privacy that reconciles its divergent strands, and “inviolate personality” is the social value protected by privacy. It defines one’s essence as a human being and it includes individual dignity and integrity, personal autonomy and independence. Respect for these values is what grounds and unifies the concept of privacy. Discussing each of Prosser’s four types of privacy rights in turn, Bloustein defends the view that each of these privacy rights is important because it protects against intrusions demeaning to personality and against affronts to human dignity. Using this analysis, Bloustein explicitly links the privacy rights in tort law described by Prosser with privacy protection under the Fourth Amendment. He urges that both leave an individual open to scrutiny in a way that leaves one’s autonomy and sense of oneself as a person vulnerable, violating one’s human dignity and moral personality. The common conceptual thread linking diverse privacy cases prohibiting dissemination of confidential information, eavesdropping, surveillance, and wiretapping, to name a few, is the value of protection against injury to individual freedom and human dignity. Invasion of privacy is best understood, in sum, as affront to human dignity. Although Bloustein admits the terms are somewhat vague, he defends this analysis as conceptually coherent and illuminating.

The key concept in this definition is human dignity. Ms. Owen certainly was not dignified in her dealings with others no matter how much of a scamp some of her partners might have been. Fox News or any other news outlet for that matter is not dignified in ignoring the privacy rights of the subjects they claim to be covering as news. Ms. Owen’s key failing, however, was she was not dignified in how she dealt with herself. If this blogger had a chance to meet Ms. Owen, the only thing I would say to her is, girlfriend, some things were just never meant for public consumption. Moi would also say to the “news business” the same thing she would tell Ms. Owen, there are some things not meant for public consumption and your industry is not dignified in how it deals not only with us, but itself.

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©  https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                               http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                  http://drwilda.com/

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