moar funny pictures
I have been vaguely aware this week that a woman who has something to do with sports was videoed through a hole in the wall while she was showering and the video was posted on the Internet and became big news. I read the post at Little Miss Attila and the mention at The Other McCain, but I really didn’t care enough to look into it until the story was linked today at Little Miss Attila and I followed the link to Donald Douglas at American Power. Prof. Douglas did not post the video, but it appears he IS responsible for exploding the story with a post linking it last Sunday at his blog and an e-mail with the link that he sent around to fellow bloggers, which I probably received and ignored.
Well, dear Attila has posted about it again with a link to Prof. Douglas, and now I see what the fuss was about.
Here’s the overview:
Last Sunday, 7/19/09, Prof. Douglas found a link to a video by a peeping Tom shot through a hole in a hotel wall of ESPN sports reporter (pause to search for her name) — Erin Andrews. Douglas wrote a post about it, including the link and a photo of the fully clothed Erin Andrews, who does appear as if she is attractive at all stages of dress and undress. I’m just guessing here, frankly, because she is blonde, and attraction-wise, it’s like blondes are invisible to me. I know they reflect light and everything, which technically makes them visible, and I can tell they are there and don’t bump into them, but, still, chemistry-wise — nadda.
But even if Andrews were brunette, I doubt I’d have have checked out the video because, (1), ick!, (2), the police can handle the peeping Tom aspect of it, and (3), I don’t see the point in making men wrong for being men — just look at a little gay porn and you’ll see they objectify EVERYONE, women are in no way singled out. (I said that almost 20 years ago in D.C. when I spoke on a panel on erotica for Women in Film and Video and I swear, all three men in the audience elbowed the woman next to them like they were saying, “See! I told you so!”)
Douglas ALSO sent the link of the nude Erin Andrews video around in an e-mail — and by the way, “nude Erin Andrews video” is a hit-producing Google key phrase, so my describing it that way just made every hit-savvy blogger sneer at me for joining in the blog whoring. Then dear Smitty linked it on Rule 5 Sunday without checking to see whether it was offensive, which I believe is due to his trusting the source that sent it to him — a mistake I expect he won’t repeat.
Oh, I also should explain that “Rule 5” refers to dear Stacy McCain’s Five Rules in his post on “How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year.” Rule 5 states that you can obtain lots of hits by posting photos of pretty girls; providing variety in the tone of your posts, especially by including humor, the occasional celebrity story and news of the weird; including in your posts key phrases regarding sex because they draw organic Google traffic, see above, “nude Erin Andrews video”; and mocking feminists, who, I have to agree, are totalitarian liberals and therefore eminently mockable.
So, both Joy McCann, aka Little Miss Attila, AND Cassandra at Villainous Company, checked out the video linked in Douglas’s 7/19/09 post and wrote posts condemning him. (Update: “Checked out” can mean either “investigated” or “viewed,” or both. Little Miss Attila clarifies in a new post that she did not watch the video and says that she doubts that Cassandra watched it.)
I still have NOT seen the video and I plan NEVER to see it.
Anyway, what finally pulled me into the controversy was following Attila’s link to Douglas’s unrepentent post today in which he explains the results of his Rule 5 “experiment” and proclaims it a success due to the volume of traffic it attracted to his blog, American Power. He also is voluble on the hypocrisy of other conservative bloggers who post provocative photos of celebrities in Rule 5 linkarounds, the most notable of which is, naturally, posted at the blog of the originator of Rule 5, The Other McCain.
Now, regarding my own Rule 5 behavior, I don’t care to post Rule 5 photos. I asked for and received special dispensation from The Other McCain to participate in Rule 5 Sunday with chaste photos, which I think I’ve only done once when Stacy or Smitty linked a photo I had of Ronald Reagan fully clothed. I don’t remember if I sent in (for Rule 5 Sunday) the photo I use of Angie Harmon in the post I wrote in praise of her awe-inspiring courage in speaking out in favor of conservative principles and against Obama: “Angie Harmon proves she has the biggest pair in Hollywood.”
I also don’t remember if I sent in the only picture I have of a nude on my blog to date, which is a photo of a portrait of Bea Arthur nude from the waist up, which is hanging in the Tate Gallery in London. I do know I mentioned it to Stacy several days ago, and he promptly mentioned it in a post. I do not have a photo of nude Carrie Prejean — oops! blog whoring key phrase alert! — the photo I posted of Carrie Prejean is one I took myself at the National Organization for Marriage press conference in D.C. and she is fully clothed. (And my take on the photos of Carrie Prejean nude and Carrie Prejean in a bikini is that she should be fully clothed all the time.)
Now, “nude Bea Arthur” was not a picture and key phrase that I expected to generate a lot of traffic. However, until my Web host changed my blog’s URL without my understanding how much that was going to screw up my standing in Google for the pictures indexed from my blog, I was getting just over half of my daily traffic just from the nude Bea Arthur portrait and my Bea Arthur eulogy post, “Symbolism was my life.” (Changing the URL broke that and I had to link it from a 404 page — I’m sure I’m still getting nude Bea Arthur traffic, but it isn’t coming in with the post’s link any more so I can’t tell.)
By the way, I had several reasons for including the nude Bea Arthur portrait and I am not going to reveal all of them. But I will say that I would NOT have included it if it were a photo of Miss Arthur because that would have been more erotica than art — because it was a portrait, with the validation of hanging in the Tate, it is art. And as art, it did capture me. But I also will admit that I was trying my own little Rule 5 experiment to see what would happen, especially since I was using a picture of a woman in mid-life who was renowned far more for her intelligence and biting wit than her beauty. That just tickled me.
Also about the time that I launched my Bea Arthur Rule 5 experiment, I noticed that large volumes of traffic do not necessarily translate into profitability for political opinion blogs. This was a watershed moment in blogging for me. I stopped writing expressly to get traffic. And I stopped trying to link lots of other blogs in order to get traffic. I decided that if blogging would not directly bring me money that I should write for the joy of expressing my opinion and interacting with the people who find me and enjoy my blog.
As I watched my nude Bea Arthur traffic in my Sitemeter, I noticed it primarily came from foreign countries. I doubt it brought me repeat visitors.
Then I had a couple of Instalanches to posts in my campaign to fire David Letterman. These occurred right after I installed the plug-in that appears after each post, which suggests to readers that if they liked the post, they could “Buy me a coffee.” Well, several of the Instalanche visitors DID buy me a coffee, which I really appreciated and which taught me an important lesson: the traffic MOST worth attracting is targeted to your product and/or service. Prof. Reynolds’ readers are mostly conservative or libertarian, so traffic from Instapundit is targeted to enjoy what I have to offer.
It’s really the only kind of traffic that’s worth generating. That’s because I don’t just write for joy — I am a professional writer and I write for money.
That means I must do the work of building traffic targeted to my niche. THOSE are the readers who will keep coming back. THOSE are the readers who will express their appreciation of my work by buying me a coffee. THOSE are the readers who will buy my books when they are published. THOSE are the readers who will pay to hear me speak when I get to that point in my career. THOSE are the BEST readers to have!
So, I join Little Miss Attila and Cassandra at Villainous Company in scolding Donald Douglas for posting a link to the naughty video that was an atrocious violation in every way of a woman who was minding her own business. It is his Perez Hilton moment, and I would not mind seeing the same people who went after Perez Hilton take up their torches and pitchforks again in pursuit of Donald Douglas. It would only be fair and just. In fact, since Douglas is a social conservative vehemently opposed to homosexual equality on the grounds that it will destroy the social fabric but he is not opposed to violating innocent women and destroying their lives for profit on the grounds that it got him traffic and fame and higher status, I think what he did is several orders of magnitude more vile than Perez Hilton’s pithy characterizations of Carrie Prejean, which had the redeeming feature of being right on the money.
But I also object to Donald Douglas’s exploitation of the peeping Tom video because it is a poor business model to attract traffic that is NOT targeted to the purpose of your blog. And frankly, I think it will be the realization that not all traffic is created equal, and that Rule 5 traffic of the nude photo variety has little or no value in building targeted, repeat readership that will part with money in exchange for your product, will be what reduces episodes of this behavior when the revelation sinks in that the crime doesn’t pay.
Prof. Douglas also attacked Little Miss Attila for insufficient condemnation of Michael Jackson on the grounds that he believes Jackson was a child molester. When Jackson died on June 25, I also believed he was a child molester, and said so. However, shortly afterwards, Ian Halperin, a British tabloid reporter who had investigated Jackson and the child molestation story angle very thoroughly wrote that Jackson was gay, but not a child molester. I believe him and linked his story. I also think it is a judgment on the black community that a man of Jackson’s wealth and power could not bring himself to be true to himself and openly gay.
Update, 7/28/09: Thanks to Little Miss Attila I found that today Dan Riehl has taken Donald Douglas and Stacy McCain to school. Frankly, I wish he had taken Donald twice and left Stacy alone since it was Donald who had the intention to profit from a crime by destroying a woman’s life. This is galaxies apart from Stacy’s Rule 5. I don’t even want to scold Stacy. But I would like Donald Douglas to do time in prison. And I see the moral relativism of social conservatives at its worst when no one is calling for Donald Douglas’s head the way they were calling for Perez Hilton’s.
However, the silver lining I see in this is that Donald Douglas has revealed he has no conscience at all, so all his moral pronouncements against gay marriage and homosexual equality are exposed as springing from his totalitarian social conservatism, which has no connection with morals, but rather is founded in greed and lust for power. So at least we’ve cleared that up.
Personal note to Donald Douglas: Strunk and White’s Elements of Style homogenized 20th century writing. That is not a good thing. It ruined more writers than it helped. Those of us raised to diagram sentences and read Victorian literature with pleasure are able to read complex sentences with no trouble. Just so you know.