Be­ware: You could be the next In­ter­net Sin-sa­tion!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Rick Wayne Edi­tor’s Note: The pre­ced­ing is a re­peat pub­li­ca­tion.

God for­bid my first ar­ti­cle for the year should be re­lated to, er, pub­lic morals. I know bet­ter than to in­vite Looshans in Go­mor­rah to un­leash brim­stones of hypocrisy upon my un­saintly head. Be­sides, preach­ing to this flock about any kind of moral­ity is equal to, as they used to say back in the day, tak­ing coals to Lan­caster. For over thirty years we had revered a cer­tain pub­lic fig­ure whose fa­vorite “para­mar­i­tal” (his word!) ac­tiv­ity was to dis­bur­den 13-year-old school­girls of their innocence.

Long be­fore any us ever heard of Duane Tucker, the par­tic­u­lar icon had been openly mis­rep­re­sent­ing him­self to the im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties of at least three coun­tries in the pre­tend in­ter­ests of his lit­tle vic­tims. Did any of that bother us? Hell no. We not only wor­shipped at the brass feet of the devil de­flow­erer but we ac­tu­ally found words by which to laud his ser­vices to the na­tion, at any rate to his pieces in the val­ley.

But later for that, I hear a whole book is soon to be pub­lished about the pro­cliv­i­ties of our lead­ing pub­lic of­fi­cials, all of whom ap­pear to sub­scribe to Nixon's “it's not il­le­gal if the Pres­i­dent does it” phi­los­o­phy. As I say, I am not about to launch into another point­less ser­mon. Bet­ter I should throw a ton of pearls be­fore Ma Boeuf's cows. This time around I choose to come at your con­science from a more mun­dane an­gle. You know, as in leer bab ka­mawad ou pwis de­fay, woozer sa woo. (So I don't write en langue mama noo as well as the Cre­ole au­thor of na­tional an­them; so sue me!) In any event, be care­ful whom you put down, the next In­ter­net vic­tim could be you. Or your face­less spouse car­ry­ing on with a to­tal stranger as you never knew he could!

Con­sider this sce­nario: A Sun­day af­ter­noon. You've swal­lowed a bas­in­ful of banja and im­ported chicken and now you have a cou­ple hours to kill be­fore you head out to the movies. Point­less turn­ing on your TV. Too stress­ful try­ing to fol­low the dis­jointed Chi­nese lip-synch­ing.

You de­cide to do what most Looshan-Go­mor­ra­hans do post­pran­di­ally: you set­tle down on your liv­ing room couch, turn on your lap­top—to one of the pre­tend ed­u­ca­tional sites setup by LooshanGo­mor­rah ans il­le­gal in New York. Sud­denly there's a huge toad in your throat; you can't breathe; your heart is kick­ing the hell out of your ribcage and your head is spin­ning so fast you can hardly main­tain your bal­ance ly­ing down. A pierc­ing scream threat­ens your eardrums. What a shock to dis­cover it came out of your mouth: Whaaaat! Who did that to me? Is that re­ally me? How can it be? When did I do that? i god oh mi god mi god mi god mi god. Where did I put that bot­tle of Touch­down?

Your live-in boyfriend rushes out of your bed­room. “What's wrong, baby? Wha' hap­pen? Wha' go­ing on?”

You open your mouth to speak but the words refuse to come out. Your eyes speak for you. You're in deep doo-doo. You cover your face with your right hand, while point­ing at your lap­top with an ex­tended left in­dex finger. Now it's your boyfriend's turn to ex­plode: “You slut! You lit­tle bitch. I al­ways knew there was some­thing nasty about you. Now your se­cret is out. I want you outta my house. Now. Get the freakin' hell out be­fore I bust your head open!”

You col­lapse in a heap on the floor. You re­cover sev­eral sec­onds later to see your lap­top, a re­cent birth­day gift from your boyfriend. It's all over the floor, in bits and pieces. You look up at him, stand­ing over. The dis­gust in his eyes is worse than a mur­der threat.

“You gonna tell me about it or not?” he says. “Who took those nasty pic­tures of you? How did they end up on Face­Book?”

Now, dear reader, can you pic­ture your­self in the un­for­tu­nate girl's po­si­tion? Yes, I say “un­for­tu­nate.” The FB pic­tures that de­pict her in sex­ual po­si­tions that had never even oc­curred to her, not even in her wildest fan­tasies, are fakes. Only the head is hers. Some­one, some­how, had taken it off her Hi5 por­trait and pasted it onto a stranger's body that could eas­ily pass for her own but most def­i­nitely is not.

It took three months be­fore she fi­nally con­vinced her boyfriend that her only mis­take was to make her pic­ture ac­ces­si­ble to a sicko forger. Ah, but dear reader, you might not be so lucky. Some guys shoot and ask ques­tions later!

My in­spi­ra­tion for this ar­ti­cle? Over the Christ­mas week­end the sea­son's big thrill was in­ad­ver­tently pro­vided by a lo­cal woman who was pic­tured on the Net in cir­cum­stances most em­bar­rass­ing. Al­most ev­ery­where you went some­one was of­fer­ing to e-mail some­one else the most ex­plicit pic­tures, as if they were ir­re­sistible black cake. In one of the pic­tures the woman is wear­ing a jacket as­so­ci­ated with her place of work—a fact brought by sud­denly con­cerned fel­low staffers to the at­ten­tion of her thor­oughly em­bar­rassed em­ploy­ers.

As I lis­tened to the re­views of the pic­tures by the good cit­i­zens of Loosha and Go­mor­rah, my heart bled for the woman. No, I re­ally was not all that in­ter­ested in why she al­lowed her­self to be pho­tographed as de­picted. I am not in the habit of de­ter­min­ing what con­sent­ing adults may or may not do in pri­vacy, whether in their bed­rooms or on John Comp­ton High­way when un­in­vited eyes are not watch­ing. What re­ally ripped my gut was why some­one would put such pic­tures on the Net know­ing full well what the reper­cus­sions will be.

I tracked down the young woman, called her. She was not at work at the time, she said, but was wor­ried to death she might lose the job she had held for eight years and for which she was much ap­pre­ci­ated by her em­ploy­ers. Her story of how she came to be the sea­son's post pop­u­lar treat was hardly orig­i­nal. It cen­tered on trust. Trust born of love for a man she'd given seven of her best years.

No need to ques­tion her about the acts de­picted. They rep­re­sented the fan­tasies of most men of my ac­quain­tance, whether or not ac­knowl­edged. One of them is a gay, mar­ried to a woman, and the fa­ther of two young kids.

Oh, but I did want to know how and why the pic­tures had gone vi­ral. If she had told me they were there with her con­sent I'd have said, “thanks for talk­ing to me” and hung up. My per­sonal code has al­ways been cha­cun a son gout. She told me her boyfriend had per­suaded her to pose for the pic­tures over a six-month pe­riod. So much for the how. She never ex­pected pic­tures that were taken for the pri­vate pur­poses of her­self and her boyfriend to end up on the In­ter­net. The worst part was that the pub­li­ca­tion of her pic­tures were all part of a black­mail at­tempt by some­one she might once have trusted with her life.

I called her em­ploy­ers, per­chance to save her job. They were most un­der­stand­ing but of­fered no guar­an­tees. Hope­fully, they will see that by dis­miss­ing an oth­er­wise ex­cel­lent worker they will be as­sist­ing her black­mailer and at the same time en­cour­ag­ing oth­ers to do as he had done. It seems to me that the woman's em­ploy­ers would do other lo­cal women a big ser­vice by stand­ing by the lat­est In­ter­net vic­tim.

Of course, the sin­less angels of Saint Lu­cia and Go­mor­rah will glee­fully be rub­bing their vir­gin hands and thighs (while se­cretly en­joy­ing her pic­tures) and de­mand­ing the poor woman's head—for the pub­lic good, of course. Saint Lu­cia and Go­mor­rah is no place for sluts.

As I say, per­ceived slut or not, no woman de­serves such egre­gious treat­ment by a pro­fessed friend or lover or rel­a­tive or any­one else. What is it about women (who ob­vi­ously are su­pe­rior to us ma­cho men, dam­mit, ad­mit it!) that thou­sands of them each day do the most stupid things in the name of love? Then again, what's so stupid about do­ing things for love? Isn't it our in­grat­i­tude that ren­ders an act of love stupid?

Let's not talk about women who serve as drug mules, pros­ti­tutes, thieves and killers. I doubt love has any­thing to do with their crim­i­nal­ity. But that's for another show. When a man and woman get it on in the pri­vacy of their bed­room, what they do is not crim­i­nal. The real cul­prit in the case dis­cussed here is the man who put his girl­friend's pic­tures on the Net as pun­ish­ment for her not do­ing his bid­ding in a sin­gu­lar in­stance. He should be flushed out of his hole and treated like the rat he is!

Fi­nally: it should be re­mem­bered that to­day's bul­lies con­sider the Net their most ef­fec­tive tor­ture weapon. In Bri­tain and the United States— for all we know, right here in Saint Lu­cia and Go­mor­rah too—there have been sev­eral cases of young boys and girls who com­mit­ted sui­cide af­ter dis­cov­er­ing their pic­tures on the In­ter­net—em­bar­rass­ing pic­tures taken by cy­ber bul­lies at their school who forced the kids to pose against their will.

No doubt about it, the In­ter­net is a won­der­ful thing. Un­til tech­nol­ogy comes to grip with its not so won­der­ful fea­tures, how­ever, we had bet­ter be care­ful who we per­mit to point even a cell phone in our di­rec­tion. And by we, I mean, you and me, dear holier-thanthou cit­i­zen of Saint Lu­cia and Go­mor­rah.

Last month Jus­tice Lor­raine Wil­liams fined two po­lice of­fi­cers sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars each for plac­ing on the In­ter­net a sex tape re­trieved from a Kit­ti­tian man's cell phone. About the same time the fa­mous wrestler Hulk Ho­gan was awarded dam­ages to­tal­ing US$150 mil­lion against Gawker for air­ing a sex tape fea­tur­ing Ho­gan and his best friend's wife.

A St. Kitts cou­ple was awarded nearly half a mil­lion dol­lars in a sex video law­suit af­ter Jus­tice Lor­raine Wil­liams said the ac­cused had breached the claimants’

con­sti­tu­tional rights – their right to pri­vacy, their right to prop­erty and their

right not to be ar­bi­trar­ily searched.

In this March 1, 2016 file photo Terry Bol­lea, known as pro­fes­sional

wrestler Hulk Ho­gan, watches po­ten­tial ju­rors at the Pinel­las County

Court­house, in St. Peters­burg, Florida, as jury se­lec­tion be­gins in his

case against Gawker Me­dia.

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