Mr. Wow Blog
Mr. wOw Won’t Facebook — Don’t Ask Him!
12:00 am | February 11, 2011

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 71

courtesy Gawker

Social networking encourages a more insular, insecure society — and it’s dangerous. Witness the case of ex-Congressman Chris Lee…

WE are living in the new Age of Stupidity!

It is one thing for teenagers or for people in their twenties to not quite understand that what they post on Facebook or on other social network sites is forever — indeed that their e-mails are forever, no matter if you “permanently delete” or not. (Come on, watch “Law & Order.”) This invasive world of zero intimacy, zero privacy and instant “communication” is the world they have been raised in.

But how about a married man (with children) in politics, in his late thirties, posting his shirtless photo on Craigslist, trolling for a date? I do mean New York Congressman Chris Lee. He resigned in record time after Gawker discovered and printed his pic and message.

Good grief! Has everybody been lobotomized by social networking? (I’m not making a moral point here. Mr. wOw is the last person on earth to condemn another’s foolish sexual peccadilloes. Stealing, child abuse and murder are something else, obviously. On those issues, I’ll take a moral stand.)

I love the Internet for the swiftness and accuracy it supplies in research. And e-mail is super-convenient — although have you noticed most people seem incapable of ending an e-mail communication? It just goes on and on, and nobody gets to the point! Mr. wOw still lives in the Stone Age. I do not even have a cell phone. I am a twit who has never Tweeted, and I do not care to be “friended” — I had quite enough of that from 15 to 25. Somehow, life continues.  (I’m sure I’ll regret my too-precious disdain of cell phones when I’m trapped in an elevator, or cornered by a basket case in a dark alley.)

In my opinion, social networking encourages a more insular, insecure society, and it is dangerous. Too much information, too many intimate photographs, a complete lack of good taste and discretion. (Do teenagers realize how many of the raunchy pictures they think they are sharing only with a boyfriend or girlfriend are hacked, and end up on adult pornography sites?)

Yes, yes — the genie is out of the bottle, the horse has bolted the stable and nothing can be plugged or locked up now. I just wonder what today’s 15-year-old will be like at age 35? I guess it’ll be a world of Kardashians. Pondering the negative effects of cyberworld is not the same thing as our parents worrying over jazz, or swing or rock and roll.  Or even about drugs and sex. Most of us enjoyed our music, took our drugs, had our sex and grew up to be fairly ordinary people, looking back with a bit of nostalgia on our wild and crazy youth. Mr. wOw certainly does. (Although I’d never ingest another hallucinogenic if my life depended on it. Someday Mr. wOw will tell you about his very worst “trip.”)  Every time I even hear about somebody “tweeting” I lose a brain cell. And surely the tweeter loses twenty.

I actually feel bad for ex-Congressman Lee. So far as we know he isn’t a thief, child-abuser or killer. Just dumb, horny, faithless and seduced by the genuine immediacy, the shady “intimacy” and totally false anonymity of cyber communication.

Two final points. I guess everybody at Gawker is happy they ruined a career — news is news, after all! One hopes all Gawker-ites are perfect people. (I know, I know — it was Mr. Lee who ruined himself. And if it hadn’t been Gawker it would have been some other outlet.  Still … I couldn’t do it. And I’m not so nice. As you Betty White fans know!)

And this — the other night, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell did a significant segment on the sudden fall of Republican Mr. Lee. Not only did O’Donnell report, he brought somebody else on to “comment.” As if such an event really needs comment — the Congressman instantly retired himself, causing no great drama. Still, O’Donnell was clearly having a good time, speculating that there was “more to come.” One hopes Mr. O’Donnell is a perfect person too. But … he’s not! And he even admits it.

I tuned out on O’Donnell that night, but was revived when (as I finished up my e-mails) I realized he was going into an elaborate apology to football players. Or basketball players. Some kind of players. Apparently he had been on Bill Maher’s show and used insulting phraseology to describe the athletes.

Well, O’Donnell’s mea culpa seemed endless. Fascinatingly boring, self-serving and pretentious.  Wonderfully cringe-inducing.

So, for those of you who are still mourning Keith Olbermann, don’t despair — his over-the-top dramatic spirit lives on in the pompous posturing of Mr. O’Donnell.

  • rick gould

    As much as FOX and their ilk gleefully take pleasure in liberal scandal, I find their hip counterparts like Gawker to be equally offensive. I stopped reading them months ago.
    The glee in which the media, and the public, get from seeing someone get knocked off their pedestal, is reminding me more and more of the Romans and their lions…
    (And yes, I say that wondering too why so many moronic public figures set themselves up to be knocked over in the first place!)

    12:36 am | February 11, 2011
    • Janet Stuart

      I think a more important point is that without facebook and google this poor woman would have never known who and what this man was.  This allowed her to cut it off because he was a liar and a cheater.  That is the best part about it.  For me it allowed me to find out that the man that told me he wanted to marry me was already engaged to someone else. 

      10:03 am | February 11, 2011
    • Anais P

      This sort of thing resonates more because Republicans have set themselves up as the Party of Family Values. Ergo, when a Republican shows himself or herself to be just as fallible as the rest of us (i.e., not behaving like the family man he happens to be), it appears MUCH more hypocritical than if a Democrat does. Most people have little sympathy for hypocrites.

      11:32 am | February 11, 2011
  • Katharine Gray

    Mr. WOW, I agree.  TMI from everyone about everything.   I am amazed at the personal information some people post on those sites.  I must confess I am on FB but primarily spend the time there playing its online FREE poker game.  FB (not poker)  has allowed me to connect with some long lost friends (one of whom I met personally for a glorious 5 hour lunch that did not even involve adult beverages) and keep track of what is going on in out of town nieces and nephew’s lives.  But spill my guts on the internet using my own name?  Hell NO!  I am not a public figure so I doubt anyone is stalking me on FB or anywhere else.  If they did they would see such damaging remarks as *so much snow today*  *cooking chili for dinner* etc.  Still, if it had not been for my nieces, I would NOT have joined up and periodically think about unjoining.   My sister is with you 100% and has determined that FB is diabolical.  She teaches 6th graders and I know it has influenced her opinion of the dangers/perils/folly of too much personal exposure on the net. 

    But, Mr WOW, you might want to get a cell phone.  I was a long time hold out and have one of the ancient ones that about the only thing you can do with is make a phone call.  But on the road they come in handy and as I have relatives and friends all over the country with whom I often have 2-3 hour conversations, it is much cheaper than traditional long distance rates.  Even with my very basic low minutes plan, I never go over.   I use it about seven times a month.

    As forthe Congressman it just goes to show that sometimes men do not think with their brain.  Not that women are less likeley to be unfaithful or foolhardy in terms of sex…I just think women are more discreet about it…or at least the women of my generation are. 

    I understand Olbermann is a big success on Current TV.    

    12:57 am | February 11, 2011
  • Chris Glass`

    If you wouldn’t do something in front of your spouse, parents or in the middle of Times Square it shouldn’t be done online. People sitting in their own homes or offices have the illusion of privacy because they can’t be seen physically. Their cyber presence can be accessed by just about anyone with computer skills. We don’t need the pitfalls spelled out because we see it almost daily. Chris Lee is just the latest to be caught out by people looking for tabloid news. I suspect that before this year is out other public figures will rue their cyber indiscretions. My hope is that the younger generation will realize that privacy has value.

    6:14 am | February 11, 2011
  • Tulip O'Hare

    Is social networking really the cause of all this nonsense? I feel like all that’s happening is that new technology has given people the opportunity to broadcast their stupidity to literally the entire world. People have always been stupid, and government officials have certainly always believed that the rules don’t apply to them.

    6:49 am | February 11, 2011
    • K Coldiron


      3:35 pm | February 11, 2011
  • Sue Fawcett

    Your reaction to social networking is a bit extreme. Yes, some people become carried away and post far too much personal information – but the vast majority do not. For many, Facebook has been a means of reconnecting with people from one’s past who would have been lost forever, which lends it true value. I don’t see how it (or Twitter) promotes a more insular, insecure society; on the contrary, communication has been expanded to previously unreachable realms, providing a sense of connection. There is a downside to virtually everything, and it shouldn’t be used to dismiss the positive.

    8:22 am | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Sue…of course it’s extreme.  You’re talking to a guy who doesn’t even have a cell phone.

      And I am less concerned with adults–responsible or foolish–than with younger people who are forgetting, or never had, the ability to communicate in a less confining manner. 

      But that’s just my opinion.  I happen to love e-mail because, among other things, I don’t have to write thank you notes and mail them.  And that’s quite rude of me, I think.  So I hold myself to no great high standard.

      10:05 am | February 11, 2011
      • Pdr de

        Dear Mr. Wow:
        I have a cell phone I purchased at Wal-Mart for very little money.  Every three months I buy an hours worth of phone time for $20. Every once in a while I get an automatic bonus of an additional 60 minutes.  The ONLY time I use my cell phone is when I’m traveling.  I carry it with me in my purse in case of an emergency when I’m driving, but have NEVER used it to chat with someone unless I have too many minutes and have to get rid of some of them – I have land phones at home – I use them to chat with friends.
        You can’t go to a store to shop without seeing almost everyone on their cell phones.  They walk from the parking lot talking on their cell phones.  They shop with their cell phones. I’ve gone to the restroom and heard someone in a cubicle talking (I presume on their cell phone – yucky!) I’ve even seen people talking on their cell phones while their groceries are being checked out. Not only are they not checking prices but they’re being rude to the person doing the checking. Everywhere we go – cell phones and texting!
        I live near a beautiful lake and in the three seasons of the year when we’re not buried in snow, love walking along the lake, looking at the boats, the beautiful sky, the ducks and ducklings, the blue sky.  But everywhere, sitting on benches overlooking all this beauty are people with cell phones glued to their ears or their fingers flying as they text without once looking up and enjoying the peace and quiet to say nothing of looking at the best nature has to offer.
        Makes me wonder how those of us who are over 65 ever survived so long without today’s so-called modern conveniences.

        12:37 pm | February 13, 2011
        • Maizie James

          Pdr de,
          Enjoyed your post.  My pet peeve are individuals who use their cell phones while driving.  I hope more states pass laws to make driving while talking/texting an offense


          2:31 pm | February 13, 2011
          • Pdr de

            I was on the cell phone while driving one day on my way home from MN thinking it was fine because I was on I-94 and would be on it for five hours – I accidentally got too far over to the right and ended up on an off ramp.  It took me a while to get back on and I have never used the cell phone when driving since.  I wait until I reach a rest area and have parked.  Wish others would do that!  I frequently see people with a phone to their ear while they’re driving.  They’re not watching traffic, not watching the cars coming alongside them – you can’t do two things at once and do either thing well.
            Oprah and other celebrities are putting in their two cents worth about talking on cell phones and even worse, texting while driving.

            2:44 pm | February 13, 2011
  • mrkid72

    As with most tools, the internet, and particularly social networking, can be used for constructive or destructive purposes.  A hammer can drive nails to build a house, or it can smash in someone’s skull.  Facebook can be used to keep in touch with your kids who are away at college, or it can be used to facilitate an affair with your high school boyfriend.  Political leaders have always had affairs, but the means of facilitating them were just not as easily transmittable to the public.
    People are just as stupid as they’ve always been, the internet is just making it harder to hide your stupidity.

    9:11 am | February 11, 2011
  • Richard Bassett

                    No, social media and technology should not be blamed for the direct actions of others, regarding privacy. My one exception is the paparazzi dealing with celebrities. Liza Minnelli said it on Joy Behar a few months ago. She blamed the exploitation of celebrities on the intricate methods (in this day and age) that can be used, via technology, to monitor a celebrity whenever they leave their home and every step they take thereafter can be memorialized in one way or another. The power of hidden cameras, zoom lenses and listening devices have all advanced in their use. This is the same equipment that the FBI uses. I am on FB and Twitter and I have my reasons. I allow what I say about myself (even in these so called private chat areas). Once it is on the Internet, it can never vanish. So, I come to the conclusion that Lee was not in his right mind (either with drugs or alcohol) when he posted pictures of himself. That cannot be ruled out. Many people tweet intoxicated only to be mortified the next day as to what they had said. Instead of a long explanation of excuses, Lee just resigned…knowing that he could never justify this one. Alcohol, especially, is an uninhibited and combine this with the Internet (a catalyst if there was ever was one), and perhaps some unhappiness at home…and you have the perfect recipe that has happened to Lee. I very much doubt that he is rightly responsible for his actions but is certainly accountable…because, why else would such a thing happen?

    9:16 am | February 11, 2011
  • Belinda Joy

    I respectfully disagree with you Mr. Wow. Gawker did not ruin Congressman Lee’s career, Congressman Lee ruined his career.

    He knew the GOP would not be too happy with the revealation that he was on Craig’s List trolling for women AND was on the verge of connecting with a Black female, lying about his age (he is 46 not 39 as he purported to be) married and a father. That would not sit well with his fellow GOP associates.

    We can also make the real assumption he quickly resigned because this was not his first rodeo and he fled in fear of others who are right this moment putting two plus two together and are about to come up with four! And like most people, they will contact the media with their proof of his dishonesty as well. Who can blame the guy for leaving.

    Craig’s List in my opinion is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to sex and dating.  And the fact that he would send someone who was soliciting men for dating on Craig’s List his photo and bragging about his looks….that speaks volumes. His wife needs to listen to this young woman’s advice and go and get tested. A man that would do what he did, has done far more than send photos of himself. He has proven he is reckless.

    Moreover though Mr. Wow, your point about the lact of privacy and how reckless we have become is valid. The problem is few people live as they should (live their lives as if they are being televised 24-7) there is this false sense of security online that makes you believe you are anonymous. Fake usernames, fake email addresses, false avatars….you tell yourself you can hide behind a curtain of a false persona, when actually you can’t.

    That couple with the increasingly real personas that everyone is enjoying by way of FaceBook. People young and old get off on posting photos of themselves for all the world to see. It’s disturbing. However I still say people who act recklessly like Congressman Lee deserve what they get.  If he had not attempted to cheat on his wife, Gawker would not have posted anything about him. HE chose to open that door, not them.

    9:39 am | February 11, 2011
    • Chip Griswold

      I respectfully disagree with you Mr. Wow. Gawker did not ruin Congressman Lee’s career, Congressman Lee ruined his career.  EXACTLY!

      9:04 am | February 15, 2011
  • Mr. Wow

    Dear Belinda—good to hear from you.  I believe I did admit that Lee ruined himself and if it hadn’t been Gawker, some other outlet would have picked it up.  It was there to found.
    This incident was just a good excuse to vent about social networking, its abuses and how it encourages incredibly reckless, often cruel, behavior.
    But I have to say I never think people who behave foolishly “deserve” what they get–thieves, murderers, molestors. of course.   Mr. Lee didn’t get what he deserved.  He got what he should have expected, and on some level clearly wanted.  His wife and kids–now, they don’t deserve it.

    10:17 am | February 11, 2011
    • Belinda Joy

      I understand where you’re coming from. We’ve had this type of discussion many times in the past. I have often said that men that cheat (and in this instance I see what he did as a source of cheating) deserve to be “outed” their actions and behavior deserve to be scrutinized.
      To be fair, you have to admit you too (like me) have voiced strong opinions about John Edwards, Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods. You did not (nor did I) feel it was beneath you to discuss their infidelity or behavior outside of their marriages. This is no different, Gawker is no different.  In a perfect world when a man strays maybe things would be kept between him and his wife and family. But you and I know that is far from the way it is. If they were swingers….then I would be with you, it’s nobody’s business. But in instances when men cheat or behave recklessly outside their marriage, they deserve the spotlight on their actions.
      And P.S. I miss connecting with you regularly, I hope you’re doing well. I think of you often. :-D

      1:05 pm | February 11, 2011
      • Mr. Wow

        Dear Belinda…right back at you.  I am doing as well as a deeply depressed person can do.  I continue to function, so I am still in the game.  Thank you for asking.

        Yes, we all talked about John and Bill and Tiger…after their stories had broken.  I suppose I’ll never make a crackerjack reporter because I don’t  think I could be the one to break the story.  Not even on a conservative Republican such as Mr. Lee, who certainly is on the other side of alll I believe.  Despite his anti-gay stance, I wonder if I could bring myself to “out” him, even if his foolishness had involved attempting to lure men?

        There are monsters in this world who need to be exposed.  And then their are stupid people and hypocrites.  I know there is a good case for exposing the latter, but it’s a hard one for me to make, having been both stupid and a hypocrite in my time.  And my time is not yet over.

        3:10 pm | February 11, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          …and then there are…”   I don’t spell very well, but I do know my their from my there.

          3:12 pm | February 11, 2011
  • Hmmmm, coupla points on the Lee debacle.
    First, yes, incredibly stupid.  However, in this case it was not the openness of social media that did him in, it was the woman with whom he was communicating.  She chose to publicize the photo and emails when she figured out who and what he was.
    Second, I am SO TIRED of government officials resigning on the spot for silly personal foibles.  Yes, yes, adultery is wrong and emailing shirtless photos is juvenile.  But now all of the work that Lee was engaged in will have to wait, while NY State goes under-represented in Congress and shoulders the expense of an unscheduled election to fill that seat.  And for what?  Did he violate the public trust?  NO, he violated his family’s trust and this is between him and them.  And you can bet there is a lot more of this going on in Congress, they just haven’t been caught.
    Odd, isn’t it, how schizophrenic Americans are on sexuality?  We dress our little girls like hookers for Toddlers in Tiaras even as we won’t let kids play outside anymore, for fear of perverts kidnapping them.  We think nothing of publishing nipple slips and pantyless crotch shots of young starlets, even as we require girlie magazines to be wrapped in a black cover.  And Governor Spitzer loses his career while his hooker girlfriend is elevated to fame and a paid position as… an advice columnist??  Really??

    10:39 am | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear  Lila…yes, really.  So much bad behavior seems to be rewarded, admired.  I blame a lot of that mind-set on reality TV.  (More than anything, reality TV has coarsened popular culture and set subterranean standards for civilty.)
      As for Lee–again, he didn’t step out on me, humiliate me, etc. So far as I know he was a good public servant (if such a thing is really possible) even if he is a Republican.  Why resign?  Well, the unbearble Laurence O’Donnell suggested it was in preparation of “more to come.”  Eh, so?

      11:27 am | February 11, 2011
    • Belinda Joy

      Lila, this is a man that voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he voted against President Obama’s objective for equal pay for women. He has proven time and again he is not a friend to immigrants, minorities, women and the LGBT community. Seeing him go is a good thing! How he left is not great for him nor his family, but having one less narrow minded person in a position of power is a good thing in my opinion.

      1:12 pm | February 11, 2011
      • Count Snarkula

        Thank you Belinda JOY!  Hear Hear!  Mr. Lee gave up his right to privacy in his bedroom when he tried to legislate what goes on in the Count’s!

        1:50 pm | February 11, 2011
      • carol grzonka

        like his politics or not, he is representing a majority of the voters in his area.  if this is what they want they should be represented.

        12:08 pm | February 12, 2011
  • Rho

    Mr. Wow — I won’t join FB or Twitter, not for me.  I agree with you.

    10:40 am | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Rho…the Twittering mania escapes me totally.  And whenever I hear an adult, a newsman or a politician saying something like, “You can reach me on Twitter”…my head hurts.

      11:31 am | February 11, 2011
      • Rho

        Me too Mr.Wow. 

        11:37 am | February 11, 2011
      • Richard Bassett

        You can NOW tweet more than 140 characters in your post! Surely, that is a cause for some celebration ;-)

        1:12 pm | February 11, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Richard…oh, dear. Why did you tell me that?  The pain is shooting down my spine. 

          1:17 pm | February 11, 2011
      • Haunted Lady

        I don’t tweet and I don’t text. I’m not that kind of girl. And, frankly, a lot more people should not be that kind of girl/boy, either.

        3:03 pm | February 11, 2011
  • ann penn

    Mr. Wow-
    Mr. Lee did NOT post a picture of himself shirtless on Craigslist.  He began an e-relationship with a woman he found on the list, and sent her the photo in a “private” email.  SHE researched his online profile, found pictures of him that matched the photo he’d sent her, etc.  Once she knew he was depicting himself as a single lobbyist when he was married, and a member of Congress, SHE sent the picture to Gawker which was all to happy to “out” him.
    Morals aside, I’d say he is simply too stupid to be in Congress, but that’s my opinion.
    I find FB with a limited number of “friends” is a great way to keep up with distant cousins, nieces and nephews activities, as well as connect with a few long lost friends.  It’s all in how you use it, how much personal info you are willing to share.  If you keep in mind that what you post will not be kept secret and take precautions accordingly, it can be a useful way to communicate.

    11:07 am | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Ann…apparently nobody is too stupid to be in Congress.  In fact it seems to me stupidy is a requirement.

      11:29 am | February 11, 2011
      • ann penn

        Alas, you may be correct there….

        2:17 pm | February 12, 2011
        • vicki ebeling

          touche   touche   touche  to the give and take between both ann and mr. wow!

          5:51 am | February 17, 2011
  • Andy
    Andy C

    At first I had to admit, he looks pretty good without his shirt on…..but a moron is a moron is a moron. 

    I agree that the media, not just Gawker of which I never heard before, is the reason these things keep getting the publicity that they do.  Are these the guys that used to expose themselves to young girls and now enjoy a broader audience?  Has this always been going on but the media used some discretion where a public figure was concerned.  And while he was stupid, he didn’t do anything so awful except to himself and his family…..horrendous enough.  He is more or less clothed.  Why is it that these self-absorbed people never stop to weigh the consequences of what they’re doing?  Not to themselves, bad enough, but the humiliation suffered by his wife and children.  Can’t you just hear what is going on in school with the kids.  Teachers too, ”tee

    11:08 am | February 11, 2011
  • Maggie W

    I dropped Facebook months ago. Something about it seems juvenile. Not interested in a Tweet either.
    I am mesmerized by Mr.Lee’s photo! Okay. He was supposedly a rising Republican star who was appointed to the powerful tax writing Ways and Means Committee after only one year in office. Sounds like a smart man with a lot on the ball.
    Well, no….sigh. Apparently not. Who on earth would take a picture of himself in a bathroom setting with an odd picture and a sink as his props? That’s his come on? What is with his expression? Is this his best “ Come hither, Baby….” look? Perhaps he was going for the raw, sizzling , “wanna piece of this” lobbyist ( ? ) look. Odd, very odd.
    When the boys were approaching their runaway hormone days, my husband told them, “If I ever see your picture on the front page, you better be helping some old person across a busy street.” Being caught unaware is bad enough, but intentionally setting oneself up for a rapid fall from grace is the height of stupidity.
    I am liking Lawrence ODonnell less and less. He often searches for dirt that isn’t there and then is angry when he cannot find it. MSNBC needs to quit showing Beck’s insane rants. They aren’t too far removed lately.

    11:44 am | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Maggie…showing Beck lose his mind isn’t funny. And MSNBC is simply  preaching to the converted when they go on an on. 

      Yeah, I liked O’Donnell before he got his own show. Now I’m getting a distinct skin-crawlly feeling.  Oh, well, Ms. Maddow is still pretty good. But she can’t over her periodic attacks of the cutes.  Oddly enough, the most satisfying MSNBC offering is “Morning Joe”—despite Mr. Scarborough and his wind-up partner, Mika.

      11:53 am | February 11, 2011
  • calgal

    The sad truth about the young is that they cannot comprehend that they are immature, and that when they grow up, they’ll be embarrassed by what they now think is cool. It used to be that youthful indiscretions faded into the unrecoverable past. No longer. What you put out there, stays out there. Think of the effect this phenomenon will have on future Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justices, when the industrious digging that has always been done to discredit a candidate will now have the Facebook goldmine to dig in. How many more “I didn’t inhale” statements will be put forward in defense of youthful peccadilloes that without FB would have mercifully faded into history?

    1:11 pm | February 11, 2011
  • K Coldiron

    There is a positive spin on all this – perhaps, with all this transparency, people will be capable of looking at each other, and at public figures, as rounded, flawed, whole individuals, not just ethically ideal cardboard cutouts.

    3:38 pm | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear K…First of all, your avatar is very cute.

      As to your postive spin—from your mouth to God’s ear but I think He is deaf on this sort of thing. 

      I don’t expect any public figure to be perfect, or beyond every natural (sometimes base) need.  If they are actors I hope they will entertain me, if they are politicians, I hope they will be truly honest—even if that honesty runs roughshod against my wants, needs and beliefs. (I have my own politicians to–hopefully–stand up for my side of things.) 

      It astonishes me that so many are still astonished that politicans are merely men and women, flesh and blood. If they cheat in the line of duty, lie in the line of duty, do harm (as in “I really don’t believe this, but I’ll do it for a vote”) then I say be done with them.  Infidelities or general foolishness about sex–eh, feh, meh. 

        I do draw the line on John Edwards, as he was seeking the presidency while carrying on, which had the potential to throw his party into turmoil had he progressed any further. He is a big creep in matters of his personal life, but would that matter if he had a good idea or could follow through on some of what he claimed to believe in? 

      When you get down to it, the beloved JFK was a big creep, too. But we still remember his expressions of idealism and the better part of him. Jackie had to deal with the rest.  And it was her business, not ours.  (Imagine JFK in the age of the Internet and 24 cable news?! I do not think he would be able to have his wink and nudge party at Madison Square Garden with Miss Monroe panting out  “Happy Birthday.”)

      4:12 pm | February 11, 2011
  • Lizzie R.

    I am on Facebook, and I hate Facebook. My picture is there and I acrtually have a few friends, but have never posted anyrthing there, nor ever will. I am  only there to see what my family members are doing and view the pictures they put there since I seldom hear from them. I have now come to the conclusion that it is terribly juvenille from what I am reading…amazing. Does anybocy really care that somebody’s eyes are watering? I think I  might have to depart soon before I perish from what I am reading.
    Mr WOW – get a cell phone. It becomes necessary so often to have one, although living in the city you probably don’t need one as much as living in a town. I have a GoPhone and only have it to use for necessary calls – like when I got a flat tire. I don’t even know my phone number. I’m of the age when cell phones are not had by many.
    I  am also in the minority….I like Lawrence O’Donnell

    10:30 pm | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Lizzie….I know I should have a cell phone.  As I said in my post, I’ll be sorry someday.  Seriously sorry!

      11:47 am | February 12, 2011
    • Rita@ Goldivas

      “Does anybocy really care that somebody’s eyes are watering?” Or, that someone else is cooking chili for dinner?

      11:57 am | February 12, 2011
      • Rita@ Goldivas


        11:58 am | February 12, 2011
  • Bonnie O

    I am very glad that when I was young, that we did not tweet nor twitter.  Some of the stuff my girlfriends and I discussed while in the listening booth at the local record shop is best forgotten and not logged into a cyber terminal to be read by any future hacker.  Those discussions are best left as fond memories and not the torturous confessions of young girls.  If heard now, we would surely laugh but there would also be those moments when we might grimace or, sadly, a forgotten hurt would be resurrected. 

    10:39 pm | February 11, 2011
  • V B

    Why would anyone read a site named Gawker anyway?  Isn’t it obvious what they are up to?

    11:45 pm | February 11, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear VB….why would anyone watch a show called “Jersey Shore” produced by MTV–because it will be a fine depiction of those denizens of the Garden State? (and/or Italians?)

      People who go to Gawker want to gawk.

      1:27 pm | February 15, 2011
  • Donna H

    I’ve been on MySpace for several years, Twitter for a few months, FaceBook for a couple of weeks. I find
    Twitter is amusing.  Facebook is tedious; I can’t believe the drek that is sent to me. I don’t use my photo and have limited the amount of info to my name, city of residence, faith, & my favorite sports, & my friends I can count on one hand, but the “wall” or whatever it is fills with stuff of little or no interest to me. I prefer MySpace but look at it only sporadically.
    O’Donnell issued an apology for an editorial he’d read the previous evening on his show.  He said that professional athletes were grossly overpaid, especially considering that often, stadiums they play in our subsidised (or entirely paid for) by taxpayers.  He mentioned investors who want the citizens of Los Angeles to pony up for a new stadium to attract an NFL team.  Not to build a facility because the city has been promised a team, but to build an expensive facility (the stadium where the Packers won the Super Bowl last week supposedly cost in excess of a Billion bucks) in hopes of attracting a team.  According to O’Donnell, investors want this stadium built in spite of the fact that the city has been hard-hit by the economy & has laid off needed public employees.
    I heard the apology as well, & I understood that he had to apologize for his angry phrasing  rather than his message.
    I do think that professional athletes are grossly overpaid, especially considering that it always seems to be teachers, fire fighters, & other “public servants” who are expected to take cuts in pay, benefits, & even hours when the economy is bad.

    10:36 am | February 12, 2011
  • Mary

    Mr.Wow, I have been thinking about you and wondering how you are doing, so I was glad to see your post!  Winter brings out more depression than any other time so I hope that soon you will find yourself feeling better when the sun shines and the weather is warmer.  I know I will.

    I was talked into having a facebook page.  I don’t bother with it but recently looked and was amazed at how many “friends” I have.  I don’t realy care, some of them I don’t even know except that they are businesses who want the numbers I guess.  I actually think Twitter has more potential, but I look, I read, but just don’t write anything.  Nice thing about twitter esp. if you are a news junkie like me, is that one can realy find out fast what is happening in the world.  Just my thing I guess.  Like everything else we have these are additional ways of communicating that not too many people know how to use in a constructive manner.  If I were looking for a job there would be no way in the world that I would be writing anything on facebook, too many potential employers are looking there to find out info on applicants.

    I have a cell phone which is a basic no frills or what I call a “stupid ” phone, as in , it is not a “smart”phone.  I hate cell phones and hate having one.  Only very few people even have my cell no. and I think in the past 4 months that I have had it, I have used it 3 times.  I only have it because I have a business which requires me to be on call many days and nights.  I don’t want to be tethered to home so the cell makes me at least feel that I have some freedom.  However my answering service first screens my calls and determines what is important and what can wait. I absolutely cringe when I am out and about and cell phones are up to ears like they are filled with the most important decisions in the world, like, ” where are you?” “I’m in aisle 8 looking at the different kinds of pickles”.   Just makes me nuts!  “Should I buy green jellow or red”.  Yes we are a nation of stupid.  It is pointed out to me everytime I go out and am subjected to cell phone chatter.  I just don’t understand it.

    I guess I must show my age because I don’t understand it, but I feel that my head is yelling, stop, put down the phone, enjoy the day, talk to your friends when you have something to say.

    Politicians and those in the public eye should be smarter and stop feeling as though they have to dumby up just because the mass of people want to be stupid.  I think we should promote smartness, good manners and get back to the art of good converstion, relevant communication and enjoy each others company without a cell phone in the middle.

    11:12 am | February 12, 2011
  • Baby Snooks

    One down, who knows how many to go? Everyone has the right to be sleazy. But not the right to be a hypocrite. This one just the latest who got caught in his hypocrisy. It does seem to be men who get caught in it. Not women. Which is interesting. But then men traditionally are the victimizers. Women the victims. Particularly victims of the hypocrisy. The worst of which was Elliot Spitzer as far as I’m concerned. Prosecuting prostitution rings while availing himself of their services.  What a role model!

    As for social networking, apart from its impact on our relationships which seem now to be mainly online and anonymous rather than truly social, as a stalking victim who picked up two “special treats” online I can tell you that social networking is not the way to meet people. Or even socialize with people. There are always “a pair of eyes” watching you. 

    11:24 am | February 12, 2011
  • Helen Moran

    You have to admit, Mr. Wow, it gave us all a good laugh. Can you say dumber than a pet rock? Sheer stupidity, always makes me hysterical. What was he thinking? Nothing. Has he had any useful intelligent thoughts lately? Doubt it. But people actually voted for this moron. Could he be this dumb without his family knowing? If I was his wife, I would be laughing all the way to the bank and then divorce court. You’re not going to tell me there was no booze or drugs involved. Being a former drinker I know how every irrational impulse sounds perfectly normal when under the influence so I can bet in the next week or so Mr sex on the rampage will be checking into rehab to “save his marriage” and he will ask everyone’s forgiveness.

    1:18 pm | February 12, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Helen…I have struggled with drink myself.  And yes, as soon as I heard the facts I thought “This guy was drunk.”   Or just one of those types who thinks he’ll never get caught (What–do they think God protects cheaters?)

      Oh, and though is he is  anice-looking guy, and “fit” as he himself brags.  He’s not that fit. And the clenched/fist/flexing pose was rather embarassing.

      I’m just glad it wasn’t a Democrat.  It would still a top story on FOX news.  (Just as Mr. Lee was a big deal on MSNBC)

      11:11 am | February 13, 2011
  • Maizie James

    Mr. wOw

    Oh my!  I could hug you for posting this article, and expressing the sentiment I feel about about social networking sites. 

    At the urging of my sons I joined Facebook two years ago. Yet, it never felt ‘natural’ for me … even though I learned more about the happenings in my sons lives than I would have learned from their infrequent telephone conversations.  I admit that I looked forward to the [family] photos they posted, and I also enjoyed reading comments they posted between other relatives and long-time friends.  However, my discomfort navigating in the ‘virtual social world’ was unsettling.  Therefore, I deactivated my Facebook account last month without regret and with relief!  It simply was not for me for many of the reasons you stated so well.  That said, I think sites such as Facebook will remain popular, especially among generation X’ers, and milennials who rely on social networking as a way of life.  What suprised me was the criticism I received from a few boomer friends who couldn’t quite understand why I opted out of Facebook. 

    I’ve been accused as being a ‘fuddy duddy’, too old-fashioned, and far too closed minded about today’s new ‘morality’ and cultural/social openness and trends. I am also considered too conservative in general because I long for the days when ‘discretion’ meant that you didn’t speak openly about your sexual exploits/persuasions, or your private affairs.  Furthermore, I continue to believe that one’s private life should not be held up to public scrutiny.  The problem as I see it is that there are no set ’rules’ to follow when it comes to personal privacy in a social environment where the manifest is ‘anything goes’.  Indeed, privacy is a fundamental individual right, which should not be compromised.  Yet, the public’s insatiable appetite for titilattiing news is generally granted because of stringent disclosure laws under the auspices of ‘freedom of information’.  We demand freedom of expression, yet we want our privacy protected.  And in the high-tech virtual world of social networking this inconsistancy has created a web of contradictions and unbeknown… ‘traps’.  What it comes down to is that we can’t have it both ways.  For example, there are celebrities and public figures – Oprah, Donald Trump, Elton John,; purveyors who flaunt their lifestyles and crave media attention, while others become unintended ‘victims’ of media hype; their private lives ruined by media pirahs - Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, and even Larry Craig.  In my opinion, Clinton shouldn’t have been crucified because he enjoyed blow-jobs, or Tiger Woods condemned because he was a womanizer, or Craig demonized because he solicited for gay sex in a bathroom.  Sex is a private matter, and the media has no business exploiting the proclivites of human sexual behaviour.  Oh my.  If cameras were allowed into the bedroom of the ‘average’ American, I suspect that person would be labled ‘perverted’ or immoral by another person’s moral standards – [this posters is no exception].

    I’ve ranted enough.  Thanks for posting this excellent article. 

    *Ps:  I was a ‘hold-out’ on the cell phone too!  I use it rarely. 

    7:17 pm | February 12, 2011
    • Maizie James

      *Sorry about the spelling errors.  I need spell check.

      8:29 pm | February 12, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Maize…First of all, please don’t apolgize for spelling errors.  I cannot spell to save my life.  And I can’t find Spell Check here anymore. (Hello, can we have another lesson, Wow people?)  Oh, and the response font is tiny again.  But I digress.

      Your rant was fine.  Actually far less a rant than Mr. Wow’s post.  Look, I understand that Facebook and the social network is here to say.  And as for the Internet, Mr. Wow would never have had the opportunity to express himself as he does, or meet so many terrific people in the process.

      And television was once the devil, keeping people at home, frying their minds, etc. 

      I’m all for the positive power of the cyberworld (look at Egypt!)  But the of thoughtless intimacy of social networking just…creeps me out.  Perhaps it is generational.  At 58 I use e-mail, will probably get a cell phone, and love the convenience of instant gratification that much of the Internet provides. Although I still prefer to read a newspaper.  In my opinion certain aspects of social networking encourages stupidity, lack of inhibition and narcissism (I know I spelled that one wrong!)  It’s like cyber-booze.  ON the other hand, anybody here would have the perfect right–and perhaps a good point to say: “Oh, really, Mr. Wow, and don’t you think some of the more intimate, personal posts you have written  smack just a little of lack of inhibition and narcissism?” 

      In  afew years, the craze to reveal all, everyday to everybody–to be in contact constantly, might calm down.  I look at people on the street, on the bus, checking their messages, talking endllessly, texting furiously.  Is there no time or even a realization that it is okay to be alone with one’s thoughts, and anticipation and the element of surprise is not to be despised?

      Anyway, keep your clothes on, watch what you telll, and if you feel you must cheat…well, you have other problems.  Talk to the wife or hubby.

      11:06 am | February 13, 2011
      • Maizie James

        Mr. wOw,
        Thank you for your reply!
        I think the lure of social networking has all to do with the narcissistic flaws/tendencies of [our] human nature.  And developers of these sites are aware of this, and use constant updated hig- tech navigation tools to keep users hooked.  I recall how tempting and easy it was to post/share comments on countless social networking sites after reading and replying to news articles I’d read in the WP, NYT, or WSJ, for example.  At my fingertips was the Facebook icon and a drop-down menu to share on Twitter, Yahoo Buzz, MySpace, and even sites such as Linkedin.  Before I realized what was happening, I was ‘tweeting’ or ‘buzzing’ comments and opinions that soon became a bit too personal for a public forum.  Duh … Then it occurred to me that I was just as gullible as everyone else; my vanity stroked so that I was cleverly coerced to ‘tell all’ about what I was doing from one hour to the next.
        No. No. Enough, I said.  So, I opted out of Facebook in time to regain control of my senses and temper my vanity.  And like you, I hope that …“In  a few years, the craze to reveal all, everyday to everybody–to be in contact constantly, might calm down.”
        Thanks you again for your sensible reply!


        4:33 pm | February 13, 2011
  • Richard Bassett

     I wish that people would stop condemning social media and social networking. It is here to stay. People didn’t think that television would catch on!  A passing fad. Just don’t use the applications and enjoy your privacy. Even on the Internet, you control your information. People of a certain era try these services, do not understand it…and immediately condemn it. One the plus side…by avoiding it… you have one less contraption to deal with. As far back as 1921, the famous actor Fatty Arbuckle was accused of murder/ rape and THIS new made daily headlines. Scandalous news has been around forever. If you are a true hermit, and refuse to venture outside or own a television/radio…and do not get a daily newspaper, then you do not have to hear about anyone’s dirty laundry.

    10:48 pm | February 12, 2011
    • Baby Snooks

      I still gossip the old fashioned way. By telephone.  Or at lunch. Atlhough telephone can be dangerous as I found out at one point when a friend recorded all her phone conversations. Supposedly so she could remember things. Or back it up when she “well, let me tell you what Baby Snooks said about you.”  A mutual friend really didn’t need to hear me call her a “fat cow” but she hit the exercycle just the same. And started watching what she said on the telephone. As did I. 

      You are right, however, that “social networking” is here to stay.  I just prefer to avoid it but then I found out how dangerous it can be. Despite everyone claiming it’s not.  A friend “connected” with the man of her dreams via “social networking” and found out why a former federal judge was a former federal judge.  And found out that Prince Charmings are often anything but as the man of her dreams turned into a nightmare. 

      The anonymity of “social networking” allows us some freedom of expression we might not have otherwise.  But it also provides a nice dance floor for sociopaths to lure us into a tango so to speak. Sometimes it only takes one to tango. 

      7:15 am | February 13, 2011
      • Richard Bassett

                          Your friend who records her phone calls is hardly a friend and I would question whether to have any interaction with her at all. People of sound mind do not record their private phone calls. Utility companies claim that they may at the beginning of their calls, so I find that perfectly ethical. As for the Internet used for dating, unless you live relatively close to your ‘perspective mate’ and can meet in a safe public place in a short amount of time (opposed to communicating for months on end before actually meeting), it is a waste of time. As humans, we cannot be so open minded forever. There are going to be preconceived notions about your ‘dream date’ living four thousand miles away. It doesn’t mean that you are foolish, it just happens naturally with constant communication. Then comes the disappointment (which you set up in the first place). If you can see a person….in person, so much more can be learned. From family to close friends, to even strangers. We need that human contact to test and trust our instinctual abilities. Sociopaths are not only on the Internet, they are (also) your next door neighbor.

        9:32 am | February 13, 2011
        • Baby Snooks

          If someone told me they lived 4,000 miles away I probably would wonder. But when they live 4 miles away and they sound interesting, well, you know. Off you go to meet them. Never wondering why they are on the internet. Or why you are. 

          My friend. Haven’t spoken to her in five years. Left a message once. I didn’t leave my number. May send a note this year for her birthday. But not leave the number so to speak. You learn as you go, you know? I suspect quite a few haven’t spoken to her in five years. But do, as do I, wonder what she said about them. Hoping her children don’t know what the tapes are at some point. But also hoping they do. Talk about a Hollywood expose. Probably why she never got around to wriiting a book. It’s all on the tapes. I would make my usual comment summing it all up but then everyone would know who she was and she was a friend so I won’t. Still is a friend.  At a distance as they say.  Sound mind? Who in Hollywood has a sound mind?

          9:23 pm | February 13, 2011
  • Sally K

    1.  The best advice that my Mother ever gave me was, ‘If you have to think for five seconds whether or not you should do something, then don’t do it.’
    2.  This woman did her research and fought back.  So?  Would it have been preferable for her to simply assume that all he said was true, and allow herself to be victimized?  Or having found out he was a hypocrite and a fraud, should she have  simply protected herself without thought to those who came after her?  Granted, she may have been after the publicity(as I do not know this woman, I am not in a position to address her motives); however, I think  she did other women a favor.  His wife, his kids and his career were his responsibilities not hers.  I feel sympathy for his family, but their anger should be addressed at him, not her.
    3.  As far as all the ‘good’ this man could have done, I don’t know about the feelings of anyone else, but I, for one, have grown incredibly weary of being governed by those who would have us ‘do as they say, not as they do.’
    4.  Social networking?  Katherine Hepburn was , once, quoted as saying that one should be damned careful who they wake up next to.  Technology doesn’t relieve people from using their heads and their own common sense.

    10:33 am | February 13, 2011
  • christine woodley

    But, as was pointed to me recently during a discussion of social media’s ability to ruin reputations, as the young people posting move into leadership positions (and they already have begun to do so), the whole issue will become reduntant, because they won’t care what’s “out there” save extreme criminal activity. So our hand wringing is generational and temporary.

    10:34 am | February 13, 2011
  • Tee Zee

    Seriously Mr. Wow, please consider getting a cell phone.  It is the one decision you will not regret. I’m notoriously private and don’t share my number but the piece of mind as I carry it is worth the cost.
    Did Chris Lee actually resign?  I’m so tired of our do as I say not as I do legislators… with no integrity to actually follow through.  I guess that’s the nicest thing I can say about him.
    As for the whole social media thing I dabble but I’m not that trusting. It’s put me back in touch with a couple of folks I lost track of and that’s a good thing.

    12:15 pm | February 14, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Tee Z….I know—I will get a cell phone.  I think I’m tempting fate to kick my ass to the curb if I don’t.  But I’ll never chat.  It’ll just be the for the trapped in the elevator or some other extreme scenario. 

      Yes, he resigned.  Within seconds.

      2:37 pm | February 16, 2011
  • lsmyers

    I have a facebook page, along with most of my family members. In that space, I have chosen to keep the numbers limited and choices of adding friends a conscious decision. It’s nice to keep in touch there on a limited basis. One of my daughters had an active page until a couple of weeks ago and announced on her page it would be deactivated, whether temporary or otherwise she isn’t sure right now. She had well over 500 friends on the page and has always been one who liked to be front and center in life. Today while we were talking, she said facebook had taught her she did not need to be validated by large groups anymore, she preferred creating her range of friends otherwise and had much more to do in life than facebook. It has to be the largest social experiment of all time, the data alone collected freely by the members could fuel research for years. Many do not seem to care or take an interest in what they have chosen to expose and give away of themselves in social networking. Personally, if I am not going to say or do something face to face, it won’t happen in cyber either.

    12:59 am | February 16, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    I’ll never use Facebook – in fact, I’m wiling to pay for technology that will make me less available. (Perhaps an invention called Get Out Of My Face Book?) I’ll also never use Twitter. My fear is: once you’re on, you’re on forever – the messages become endless; never-ending – and, eventually, they drive you so crazy you find yourself at your twit’s end. (What’s the point of constant messaging anyway? Things used to be so much more romantic. People used to play hard to get; now they play hard to get rid of.)

    10:35 am | February 16, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Mr. Sugar (i hope that is your real name–divine!)  The point is that now, in cyberworld, we have lost privacy.  Even without Facebook or Twitter or whatever the hell else.  Our e-mails are out there.  Our accounts can be hacked.  Pressing “send” is the act we should all think about very carefully.  And then some more.

      Then we should put a stamp on an envelope.

      2:43 pm | February 16, 2011
      • Daniel Sugar

        Letters were (are) great; pen-pals were (are) great – (remember hand-written notes)? I’ll take Anne Bancroft and “24 Charing Cross Road” over e-mails any day – it’s a tiny bit incredibly hard to hack into a real letter in a real mailbox.

        6:07 pm | February 16, 2011
  • Baby Snooks

    Well I finally joined Facebook.  Fully expect a bunch of “Are you Baby Snooks on wowOwow?” at some point.  I of course will act coy. “Am I who on what?”  So far the few who know I am have kept it to themselves.  But of course I have kept things about them to myself.  Ain’t friendship grand? Not sure if sometimes it’s more a matter of fear than loyalty.  Especially after that “Hold on. I have to change the cassette in the recorder.”  Which was truly one of life’s “Kodak moments.”  After 20 years of not knowing you were being recorded, who needs to write a book? Just sell the tapes. Really not amused. Or by being told that “the fat cow” wanted me to know she was on the exercycle and would call me back.” Which she did. Which I didn’t expect her to. But then the point was made. And it really wasn’t a point about me or my comment. 

    10:32 am | February 18, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Baby…please don’t act coy.  It is so not you.  I love you for your non-coyness.

      2:18 pm | February 18, 2011
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