Monday, July 02, 2012

Privacy Is Bourgeois

Emma Keller:

Cooper has been harassed to come out for years. By Gawker, by Out magazine and by Twitter – to name some of the worst offenders. (Gawker's founder and proprietor, Nick Denton, still found fault in Cooper's declaration: "The choreographed publication of a private letter from Anderson to Andrew Sullivan has so much in common with Obama's mealy-mouthed statement of personal belief on afternoon TV: both are missed opportunities," he wrote.)

But, as Cooper says in his email to Sullivan, he was actually never "in": "I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues." He never tried to hide his sexual orientation, as he has been accused of. He just didn't think it was the public's business.

And why should it be? Why did Cooper have to be so bullied? He never pretended to be straight. He just chose not to address the issue. Why did that enrage people? Shouldn't the increasing acceptance of gay lifestyles, the growing legalization of gay marriage, the realization that 21st century families come in all shapes and sizes, mean that Cooper should have been left alone? Of course it does. Why should anyone care about this? What's it got to do with you or me?

There's a subtle type of self-aggrandizement in devoting oneself to a glorious cause, especially in positioning oneself as the mouthpiece of Progress. (At least the Pythia at the Delphic temple were possibly unwitting agents of hallucinogenic gases when they thought they were speaking for Apollo; the smug hipster shitstains that populate Gawker Media must be inhaling the pungent fumes of a mixture of cultural effluvia and self-righteousness.) For people like that, your puny individual preferences are insignificant compared to the greater good, of which they, conveniently enough, have appointed themselves arbiters.

...Exhibit A. There's so much wrong with this, I wouldn't even know where to begin.