‘thoughts on the fappening’ or ‘stop looking at pictures of my girlfriend’

Jennifer_Lawrence_by_Gage_Skidmore

im in love with jennifer lawrence.

there it is, ive said it out loud. officially my position on celebrity crushes is righteously cynical. they are pathetic on the side of devotee and cynical on the side of demigod. superfans waiting outside morning shows with placards confessing their love for a millionaire who sees them as nothing more than a droplet in their revenue stream are the acme of delusion. to believe you have some kind of dialogic connection to a carefully crafted two dimensional rendering is either symptomatic of an internal reward system gone amuck or a culture on the whole where celebrities themselves have become their own pantheon to whom adherents make their own displays of devotions and cast their secret prayers. either way, it’s the reserve of the sad and lonely.

that is of course until jennifer lawrence came on the scene. full on instacrush. as beautiful as she is, it was her easy charm in interviews that drew me in. she seemed like the girl next door under the bright lights of fame left with only her wits to reconcile the difference. the fact that she had filmed “house at the end of the street” in my hometown somehow added to an aire of star-crossed attainability. at a recent get together of friends i implored one attendee to regale me with his story of chauffeuring her around the city, a story he had at my request told many times. this retelling came with the addendum, “she actually kind of reminded me of [name of my ex-girlfriend]”. i felt like elaine finding out that she was just john f. kennedy jr.’s type. he was trying to hurt me, obviously. to suggest i had some glimmer of compatibility with this rarefied beauty was a too-cruel attempt at injury. it spurned visions of weekend getaways to the gananoque, just me and jen, joking how there couldn’t possibly by a thousand islands, salad dressing puns, etc. this is the level of self-delusion i allow myself. its romantic, ludicrous, and ultimately harmless, i tell myself.

it was for this reason i choose not to look at the hacked photos of her online: they would only serve to detract from this illusory relationship. for those photos to fit into the fantasy, i would have to believe that they were made specifically for me. and let’s be honest, this is the appeal. if you wanted to see pictures of naked women, it’s really not the hard. just google ‘boobs’. the real appeal of these photos is their private nature, their intended audience of one that has now been usurped by millions. many people have argued that they were an attempt to bring these celebrities down, to objectify them. i think it is almost the opposite, to make the 4chan plebs feel special. it is who you need to believe yourself to be for this fantasy to work that is the creepiest angle. the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy a good film in a cinema allows you to lose yourself in the narrative and maybe feel something. it is, at its best, an egoless communal experience that can feed the soul. that is the experience that great actors help give us by giving of themselves. the suspension of disbelief required while jerking off to stolen pictures of the same actor while a laptop over heats on your chest all the while on some level telling yourself these photos were made just for daddy seems like a markedly sadder experience. that’s the creepy part, that the real titillation is from the fantasy that she sent these photos you herself. imagining yourself with a dream girl is one thing, tacitly condoning the invasion of a stranger’s privacy to fuel it is another. i realise there are larger moral questions surrounding this even but that’s the one i feel is the most greasy. does privacy exist now only as a fetish?

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