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Scandal and Secrets

            Recently, I’ve been thinking about secrets — about how they, sometimes, end up keeping us, instead of the other way around. We often guard our truths for unknown reasons, usually predicated on some kind of fear. Fear is a strange, but universal, motivator.

            So, imagine that you had a secret. You haven’t murdered anyone — it’s nothing that grave. It’s just…an omission. You have your reasons, such as they are. One might guess that it’s an issue of privacy. For instance, for the longest time, I didn’t post of picture of myself on the internet. I never used my name. I was more of a snarky asshole blogger then. But I was also private. That didn’t stop from wanting to talk about things, because that’s one of the awesome things about the world wide web: there are so many people out there who love the hell out of the same things you do.

            Granted, at the time, I was angsting over Buffy (and Angel), and a show that too few people watched (Once and Again — I’m still bitter that season three appears to be in DVD limbo). But, like most people, I had my reasons for not revealing all of myself. Did that mean I was less me? Did that, somehow, make me less genuine? Was a fraud simply because the handful of friends I found on the interwebs had never seen my face? In short: no.

            But this raises an interesting question, doesn’t it? If you withhold something on the internet, why do you do it? The why seems to matter, sometimes. It doesn’t make someone less who they are. After all, that which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet, Shakespeare. So, why, exactly would that matter?

            The great thing about the internet is that you can make a thousand connections. Some of my very best friends live in other countries. Some live in different states. I’ve had them to visit and/or I’ve been to visit them. When we first started talking, they only knew me as Ali. Now, we exchange Christmas cards. In any relationship, in the beginning, caution is called for. You don’t invite some guy you just met at a coffee shop over for Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t find a random stranger at the DMV, exchange small talk about a favorite book, and then ask them to accompany you to the doctor. You let people in gradually, if you’re smart.

            If you hadn’t already guessed, this whole is leading up to something I want to say about the whole @Scandal411 debacle. Because I’ve thought about it for a while, and I find it particularly ironic that a great deal of people are pissed about the revelation. Why? Because she works for ABC? Does that make 411 any less herself? I interacted with her quite a bit. I didn’t feel like I was being sold anything. I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend about something we both loved.

            It’s ironic that the thing that brought us together is a show, basically, about secrets. It’s about hiding pieces of ourselves and the danger of revelations. While we can sit around and root for Liv and Fitz, master secret-keepers, 411’s name makes it out into the world, and people grab torches and pitchforks.

            Everyone has a right to be a fan. Everyone has a right to love what they love. I don’t think that 411’s place of employment matters. I valued what she had to say. I valued the humor in which she said. I valued her ability to tell everyone to calm the fuck down, when it was warranted. So, in the absence of her: calm the fuck down. (I say that with love.)

            Olivia Pope shows up on a person’s worst day. I’ve often posed the question: imagine your worst fear, your biggest mistake, being dragged out into the light. Imagine your worst day. Imagine being judged by your secrets. We all have them. We are all flawed and imperfect. That doesn’t make us any less awesome. It doesn’t make us unworthy. It doesn’t make us any less period.

            So, you didn’t ask for my thoughts on the 411 debacle, but there they are. This week, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled Scandal television blogging. But I simply felt compelled to say something, since keeping silent about it just didn’t feel right.

UPDATE: Scandal411 wasn’t even an ABC employee folks. So, that’s that.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 29, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I don’t really know what this is about, but for those few times I do actually think about celebrities, I pity them for having their private lives spewed all over the net and news for everyone to see and judge. A lot of design concepts these days, actually, have to do with the last frontier of privacy: our own minds, and how long they will remain private. Our secrets, as you said, do not make us more or less of who we are… I think they are just part of who we are. The good thing is that everyone has ’em, so … judge not lest ye be judged type of deal. Anyway. Interesting thoughts, dear.

  2. October 31, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I agree I absolutely loved her out spoken recaps during season two

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