Thursday, October 23, 2014

B.M. and P.M.

"My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain." - Charlie Chaplin

I have nothing but respect for Monica Lewinsky.

As the World Wide Web's "Patient Zero", she has suffered... felt pain... Cried, and died inside daily.  She has waited for exactly the right time and place...

She has taken up arms against haters and hatred, and perfectly played now the cards she got dealt.

The standing ovation Monica Lewinsky received at the Forbes' 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia... some empathy, finally... The (finally) respectful hearing of things from her perspective -- the listening, versus insulting of her -- was fifteen years or so overdue.

I remember a disturbingly blunt and offensively direct hit on the Lewinsky debacle's whistleblower, that pot-calling-the-kettle-black backstabber, Linda Tripp...

Perhaps not a beauty queen, Miss Tripp wound up on the cover of one of New York's beloved rags, either the News or the Post, under the coffee-spitting headline, "It's Getting Ugly!"

To me, it's always been those three words, coupled with the unflattering head shot of Linda Tripp chosen to be plastered there on that front page beneath them, which was responsible for birthing, nay, shitting out, the "internet era", and foreshadowing our Rudest Generation to come.

The gum-smacking wisecrack of that tabloid headline -- the bestial boyish New Yorkese, at the public expense of a then unmarried, middle aged, childless woman, though somebody's daughter -- I will never forget;

the cheap, easy laugh I admittedly shared (hot coffee snorting out of both nostrils) with millions on that New York City, '90s morning never did sit well... and now, fifteen years later, looking back over the world's "timeline" since then -- of cruelty and inane and desperate cries for attention, feeding (or fed by?) a nation's cracked psyche -- the Before and After demarcation has not been more clear to me.

Never mind September 11th.  Simply (perhaps simplistically) put, the breakpoint in recent history, in my recent memory, is Before Monica (B.M.), when there were discretion, decorum and manners still; and Post Monica (P.M.), when name-calling, trash-talking, hating (and/or Yelping) anonymously, buffoon inappropriateness and lazy discrediting became society's norms - and somehow, OKAY.

The world turns, though.  What goes around...

Today, more than fifteen years P.M., I'm no longer the only one publicly decrying an epidemic of Asshole.  Nor am I alone anymore in my appreciation of Monica Lewinsky, and tacit acknowledgment of our P.M. world's penchant for piling on and bullying, wolf pack overkill.

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the Tyler Clementi Foundation to stop online bullying.