What Sex Scandals Really Teach Us
Today’s column makes me feel dirty for writing it.
Not because today’s column is about sex — because I see nothing wrong with two consenting adults engaging in physical acts as natural as eating and drinking. And not because the salacious “crime” of prostitution is hereby alleged, which is perfectly legal in the world’s more advanced countries where local laws aren’t written by Bible-thumping hillbillies.
I’m sickened by writing today’s column because it forces me to expose myself to the tacky musings of bottom-feeding creeps who revel in the lascivious details of others’ sex lives.
You know who you are. In recent days you’ve posted “breaking news” to Facebook. You’ve used your Twitter accounts. You’ve made wicked comments at the various poker forums. You look at scandal as entertainment.
Well, I have a question or two for you.
What fucking business is it of yours (or mine) who is having sex with who? And if you’re really that interested in details, then why is this so? Is your own sex life so utterly unfulfilling that you must project your natural curiosities upon others — more specifically those who are more successful that you are? Please tell me — what does this say about you?
Furthermore, why is this the media’s business? Moreover, why is this law enforcement’s business?
In case you didn’t head the latest news, it was reported that 2004 world poker champion Greg Raymer was caught up in a prostitution sting by the very finest of Wake Forest, North Carolina. Surely, the good citizens of that community can now breath a collective sigh of relief and take great comfort in knowing that a dozen or so police officers were removed from patrolling the streets in order to post phoney ads on CraigsList and hang out inside motel room in order to trap those who took the bait. Presumably, more serious crimes in Wake Forest have all been solved. Bravo, Wake Forest Police Department!
Now, I have no idea if any of this or the charges against Greg are true. And the bottom line is — I don’t really care.
What people chose to do with their own free time in their private lives is entirely their business. I challenge everyone reading this to think about things you’ve done in the past which may have been embarrassing or illegal — or both. Perhaps you’ve participated in illegal underground poker games. Maybe you’ve placed bets with a bookie. Perhaps you use marijuana, or other drugs. Perhaps you’ve even used the services of an escort for sex.
My question is — who the fuck cares?
In the interest of full disclosure, Greg Raymer is a personal friend of mine. He was a close friend long before he won the WSOP Main Event, dating all the way back to 1996. I stand by Greg because that’s what friends do. Friends stand with those who need love and support when it matters most. For Greg, I suspect this is one of those times that matters most.
Surely, there are times when the sex lives of famous people do matter. They should be exposed. This is particularly true when sex acts expose the person as a fraud. Three recent examples from the news are Eliot Spitzer, Ted Haggard, and Sen. Larry Craig.
Eliot Spitzer deserved exposure and ridicule because at the same time he was fervently prosecuting organized crime figures (which purportedly controlled prostitution in New York) as district attorney, state attorney general, and later as governor, he was actively engaged in using the services of prostitutes.
Ted Haggard merited unmasking because as an outspoken pastor he condemned homosexuality. When Haggard was exposed as a liar and hypocrite for trying to hide an ongoing affair with a paid male escort, justice was served.
Similarly, Sen. Larry Craig’s dalliances in the restroom at the Minneapolis airport were entirely appropriate as newsworthy. After all, Sen. Craig was an vocal cheerleader of the “family values” crowd and to learn of secretive overtures for sex revealed him to be unworthy of spearheading the morality movement.
But Greg isn’t an elected official. To my knowledge, he’s never spoken out on issues of so-called morality. Yet even so, Greg’s personal philosophy is well known and a matter of public record. He’s a professed Libertarian, which means he’s generally in favor of decriminalizing “crimes” such as prostitution, drugs, and gambling. So, not only is Greg most definitely not a hypocrite, he’s entirely consistent with his personal belief system.
Of course, none of this reduces the very real pain that’s presumably taking place right now within the Raymer household. As to this point, shouldn’t this be a private matter between Greg and his wife? Who among us has the right — or credibility — to speak out and speculate about what’s going on right now within the Raymer family? Me? No. You? No. And certainly not the ass clowns who post ceaseless mean-spirited comments at various poker forums. Hiding behind an anonymous screen name while pontificating about the Raymer’s marital troubles is about as low as it gets. These cowards don’t deserve any attention. What they do deserve is my fist fist jammed down their fucking larynx.
Clearly, this is an incident that should never have involved law enforcement in any capacity. It should never have been reported by media, although I’m certainly not naive enough to expect in this day and age of TMZ “journalism” such an escapade would ever be ignored. And finally, it shouldn’t be the titillating source of amusement for anyone.
And yet, all I have seen the past few days are countless people — even some people I know and respect — posting and re-posting Greg’s mugshot to Facebook. For what purpose? Does reporting on the embarrassing details of someone’s sex life make you feel better? Does it enable you to point a finger and identify Greg as “the bad guy?”
No. It makes you look fucking pathetic.
Surely, these same standards apply to me as I now write this column — which brings me back to admittedly feeling dirty for writing it. But if I’m to be excused for my excesses, it’s because my intent is quite clear. It’s not to shock or disgust my readers nor is it to entertain any of you, because frankly I am neither shocked nor disgusted by Greg and what he’s allegedly done. I am quite frankly ambivalent on this point. Frankly, I don’t fucking care — except as to how this may hurt my friend. However, what I do care about is the phoney self-righteousness among many of you and social media rubberneckers who by their actions no longer belong in respected social circles but rather seem more suited to sit in the studio audience of The Jerry Spring Show. Let’s call you out for what you really are — a lynch mob.
Indeed, this incident doesn’t teach us about the man Greg Raymer is. To those of us fortunate to know know him well, we already know.
Rather, this incident teaches us about the shallow, pathetic hypocrites so many others are.