In the summer of 2013, a Swiss woman and her husband pitched a tent in a dense Indian sal forest, while on a three-month cycling excursion through India. They liked to be known as adventure tourists, folk whose understanding of a vacation is attempting something adrenalin-soaked and potentially life-threatening. The two were on their first ever trip to India, one that they would live to regret.
It just so happened that the route they had chosen, perhaps deliberately (they were after all, adventure tourists), took them through a region that is acknowledged as one of the ten most lawless parts of the world – Chambal, in the province of Madhya Pradesh in Central India, an arid and underdeveloped stretch of land as large as Quebec, that is riddled with corruption and patronage, with a legal system where the line between the law-makers and the law-breakers is so blurred that you’ll think you have cataract in your eyes when you look at them. I have heard stories about Chambal’s dacoits since I was 5. There have been scores of Bollywood films on this Indian version of Timbuktoo and some of those films have been rip-roaring block busters.
If you are a tourist, you would have to be an imbecile with an IQ of 5, to attempt a bike trip without checking out Chambal as a route to take, even if you happen to be male. Heck, those folk over there would bugger you just as soon. Just to confirm, I googled Chambal lawlessness. There was enough material there to make the hair at the nape of my neck stand up in horror.
The Swiss female tourist being taken by police for a medical examination in the central Indian city of Gwalior, after her gang-rape (Photo courtesy:Associated Press, 2013)
And yet, this Swiss couple decided to breezily bike through this hellhole. I always thought that the Swiss were really smart. Stealing millions in cash, gold and art confiscated from Jews and being a repository for ill-gotten gains from around the world, while still being able to project themselves as pink-cheeked, cute and cuddly, with their picture-perfect hills and chalets and their cheeses and their chocolates, requires brains. Maybe they have found a way to be brainy and stupid at the same time.
Back to these two unfortunate souls. Around 9:30 pm a group of men attacked the couple, beat up the husband, tied him to a tree, gang raped the wife and robbed them off everything they carried. The couple were lucky actually, to be alive and otherwise physically undamaged. Maybe the woman’s next ‘project’ is to streak through ISIS-controlled downtown Mosul in the nude. I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if she did.
Am I being insensitive? Yes I am, but not to the general plight of women who are victimized in spite of trying their best to be safe. I am being heartless toward the stupidity of some thrill-seeking alpha women.
Her rape was unfortunate and nothing can justify it, not even stupidity. But it was entirely avoidable and in that, she does not deserve my heart-bleed. After all, wasn’t it the thrill of a lifetime that she had been after? Yes it was and boy, did she get it. The sensation of getting out there into the great wide unknown was an acid trip that she had chosen to have.
In this the Swiss woman and her husband behaved exactly like those inexperienced, fast-tracked-trained, ready-in-a-week western accounts execs and gym instructors and ex-policemen who liken themselves to real mountaineers and throng the slopes of the Everest in May each year, only to die of either pulmonary edema or from being squashed under a crashing serac and then being left behind as permanent frozen memorials to a facet of stupidity that is known as gung-ho foolhardiness.
A year later, here is another quite analogous event that is hitting the news channels since early September – Outing of nude photos of celebs, Jennifer Lawrence (star of Hunger Games) being one of the more famous ones.
Hackers, aware of an iCloud security issue (found in the Find My iPhone service) used it to access the phones of hundreds of celebrities. A Python script, posted on the net, allowed users to target any iCloud account with a brute force attack – a hacker jargon for a rapid barrage of attempts at endless combinations to guess the password of an iTunes account until the right one is found.
Apple has apparently patched this security issue since then. Now the brute force attack will stop after the fifth unsuccessful login attempt, leaving the owner of the iTunes account unharmed as long as the password isn’t discovered in the first few tries.
As to those celebs, here’s how they screamed indignation over strangers ogling their private parts in photos that were plastered all over the internet for a while, pictures that were taken and texted by those celebs willingly –
“It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it.
“It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”
“To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves.”
“This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client’s privacy. We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.”
“It has come to our attention that our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband and myself, have been leaked by some vultures. I can’t help but be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of color, have been victimized…..”
My heart bleeds for them. Take the previous sentence as sarcasm please. What kind of imbecile would text her nude photos through an internet that is known to leak like a sieve? We now know the kind.
Or are they really being dumb? Celebs thrive on discovery and sensation, no matter how shrill their complaints may be, about their privacy being intruded upon. Narcissistic and insecure, they enjoy taking sexy pictures and showing themselves off, even if it is just to a husband or boyfriend, completely unconcerned about an activity known as hacking, or even maybe hoping they will be discovered.
Celebs repeatedly barter their nudity on hundreds of movie screens in front of total strangers and that does not bother them even a bit since ‘it’s art’, their looks and their other physical assets – commodities in a lascivious marketplace.
Before all this broke I knew not a single one of these stars, except maybe Jennifer Lawrence who is a middling star at best. Now I’ll remember most of them. They are now guaranteed at least face recognition, if not by name. If I see a movie poster that has one of them, I am likely not to turn away. I am likely to buy the ticket and walk in. They have achieved what they all aspire for. We are the dumb-asses feeling sorry for them.
Non-celebs do the same thing but here lies the difference – they are mostly teenagers who haven’t gotten to know any better. Peer pressure, combined with some kind of brazen and rebellious innocence drives them to show themselves nude online. And if they are not teenagers but older, invariably they bare themselves with a clear intention to titillate. Here are some of their reactions……
“I like the feeling of knowing I’m desired, by strangers even. It’s empowering. When I post naked pictures of myself, I rather enjoy the thought of my boyfriend/f***buddy jerking off looking at my photos. Ha! The best is when they admit to it”.
“Wanna know why I do it? Because it gives me confidence in myself and it makes me feel good and it does not always lead to a difficult situation.”
“I don’t know what religion you are, but if you’re Christian you should be willing to share. Asked over and over again, Jesus said that our primary objective was to “love one another”.”
Yeah right. A celeb veers off toward racism and a non-celeb sees Jesus in all this. If I try hard enough maybe I can connect all this to Higgs Bosons.
Sometimes I am tempted to let it all hang out myself, like. You know, post nude pics of me on the internet. If I wasn’t 60, with a richard so shriveled and tiny, I probably would have. No, I’m kidding actually. I’m a bit too straight-laced for that sort of thing.
Meanwhile, Jennifer, I loved your photos though I don’t exactly go for your kind of baobabs. They resemble pyrus communi (European pears). Melopepo are my favorite fruit. Oops that was Latin again, for melons. I break into Latin when I am turned on. Your nudity hasn’t changed the way I see you and your other celeb pals – a bunch of vacuous broads.
No wonder that the world associates sexuality with being dumb.