Friday, April 23, 2010

The Internet is for Porn

Well, OK, not really (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

But apparently the folks at the Securities and Exchange Commission think it is.

I woke up this morning -- as I always do -- to the local news on our ABC affiliate. I do this for many reasons, not the least of which is that Channel 5 has, at the moment, my favorite weather babe ... J.C. Monahan ... and it's somewhat more palatable to hear that it's going to snow, or rain for three days and flood my basement, from J.C. than it is to hear it from, say, grizzled old weatherman.

Hey, if you're going to get bad news, you might as well get it from someone who looks good. Right?

But I digress. After today's two-hour local news cast (which features so many spots of J.C. and her weather map I don't even count anymore), Good Morning America had a spot about how the watchdogs at the SEC -- you know, the people who are supposed to be making sure corporate pigs like Goldman Sachs and AIG aren't fleecing is all blind -- spend, in some cases, up to eight hours a day surfing the web for porn.

My first reaction to this was that I thought only the death and the leftfield wall at Fenway Park were the great equalizers. Little did I know that porn falls into that category too.

No matter how important, or indigent, we are in life, death makes worm food out of us all. As one friend put it to me once, we're in that box, and in the ground, for eternity. Our lives here are tantamount to a mere blink of an eye.

As for Fenway, all you have to do is mention the name Bucky (Bleeping) Dent. If a guy like him can hit one out of the yard, then you know what I mean about that park being the great equalizer.

But porn? Actually, I should have known. We're all hard wired the same way in the end. We are all slaves to our sexual stimulations, even if some of us are more stimulated than others.

We all have sexual needs, desires and fantasies, and we all have aspects of each that we'd just as soon nobody knows about.

All of which is why porn is a natural for the internet. Back in the good old days, when we all hid Playboy and Penthouse under our mattresses, we lived in fear that our sexually explicit material would find itself in the wrong hands (such as snoopy mothers).

My mother was a snoopy mother. And unduly paranoid, too. She once took the cover to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band down the basement, and parsed every lyric of every song for drug references. She came back upstairs, convinced she'd uncovered the key to some nefarious plot by the Beatles to get every kid in America hooked on drugs ... and damn near banned us from listening to the album, or them, ever again.

(I should add, she bought me the record for my birthday).

So you can imagine how my mother would have reacted had Forum Magazine popped up between the mattresses while she was changing the sheets. And we won't even get into what she'd have said, had she seen one of those disgusting periodicals, about any undefined stains on those sheets.

For the record, I was way too smart to import pornographic material into the Krause House -- or even on the Krause property.

Most people, when they think of the internet and porn, undoubtedly have this visual of a bunch of schieves in their sleeveless T shirts, pleasuring themselves while sitting in front of a computer in their parents' basements. I know that's the image I have.

And while I'm sure there plenty of them, and that they're doing what they do even as we speak, I guess the SEC circle jerk proves that porn has no bounds. It knows no class distinction. Doesn't matter if you're a Harvard lawyer or a hard core voyeur (gee, can I make a poem about that??). If you're hooked, you're hooked.

I work at a place where one of our top executives got caught downloading porn on his computer. Of course, he was pretty stupid. He supervised an office of mainly women, and his computer screen was situated in such a way that they could see the images reflected through the window in his office.

Someone complained (well, obviously!) and next thing you know, our executive was shown the door. And as a result, the company drew up this list of rules and regulations governing use of the internet more explicit, in its own way, than any of those letters you used to read in the Penthouse Forum. Of course, we all named this document after the poor soul whose weakness for the internet flesh cost him his job.

We are nothing if not twisted people ourselves!

Anyway, back to the SEC. I wish some of these guys could get dragged into court someday (who knows, maybe they will). I would love to hear some crusading attorney get one of them on the stand, and ask, "what were you people doing while Bernie Madoff was making Ponzi look like a Boy Scout? What were you people doing while AIG and Bear Stearns were driving themselves -- and the rest of us -- straight through the ground and halfway to hell?

"Well, your honor, we were busy. One of the guy downloaded the latest episode of 'Alien Space Fembots,' and it was just too good to pass up."

I can just see one of these guys thumbing through the latest porn catalogue (with one hand, of course) and then going into a meeting where they're charting statistics, and having his chart look like a parabola.

(For the math-challenged, a parabola, on a Cartesian graph, charts all the possible solutions to quadratic equations. They can, in many cases, resemble a well-proportioned male member.)

Of course, now, the double entendres will just come pouring out. Today, on the ABC website, there's a sidebar to the main story that asks, "How Big is the SEC's Porn Problem." Sort of reminds me of the time the Buffalo Sabres had a hockey player named Michael Peca. The Bruins were about to face Buffalo in the playoffs, and one of its reporters -- a female, no less -- wrote a story about him. Some Globie, and I'm convinced it was meant for in-house purposes only, wrote a headline that said, "Buffalo's Peca really big."

Alas, it got through ... and got into the paper the next day.

It also reminds me of that Year from Hell, when I worked in public relations for the company that is now known as Verizon. There was a whole list of expressions we could not use when we wrote press releases, and one of them was "enter the market." I, in my naivete, thought that was pretty innocuous, until it the urban connotation of the word "enter" was pointed out to me. Now, I wouldn't call myself a rube when it comes to this stuff by any stretch. But even I thought that was a bit too paranoid.

all of his only proves that when it comes to porn, and and prurient interests, we are all teenagers whose hormones still rage out of control.

Well, at least now we know why the economy tanked as badly as it did. All this time, we were led to believe it was Bill Clinton's fault (man, don't even go there ... can you just imagine? ... no, never mind ... the thought of that is just too gross, even for me). Or Barney Frank's. Or the head of AIG. Or General Motors.

Turns out it was none of the above. It was Debbie Does Dallas. It was Larry Flynt's fault. Or Hugh Heffner's (though to be honest, that stuff's pretty tame compared to what you can find on line if you really care to look).

And here thought, all this time, that Monica Lewinsky's dress was the only article of clothing floating around the American power structure that also served as the host for someone's incriminating DNA.

Thank God for Net Nanny, though, and other inter-office internet tracking devices. I'm sure that's how all these Wall Street Wankers were found out. Otherwise, we'd have to get Bulah Balbricker from Porky's to feret them out. That would have been a hoot.

So, in closing, I leave you with this ... perhaps the real theme song for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Enjoy it.

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