I’ve taken a moment to think about the gawker/Hulk Hogan verdict, and the much bigger message behind it. Here’s my take on the backstory…
If being gay means…demonstrating that actions have consequences, then I’m with Peter. I have experienced so much of this in the past five years, and it nearly make me sick up, as TEL would say. After a morally bankrupt act is committed, the refrain “that wasn’t the intent” , or “you’re being too sensitive” seems to follow in lock step. Thiel seems to have once again linked the intent and the impact such that the perp could not escape the consequences. And I love it.
If being gay means… “when you have, give”… then I want to be as gay as Peter. Call it the digital equivalent of noblesse oblige. He had the resources, and the creativity to find a way to have a court judge their actions, fair and square. As he properly said in his acknowledgement of backing Hulkster, if he didn’t do it, who would. So many others do not have the resources, the network, or the talent to do it, so he stepped up.
If being gay means…expecting journalists to serve public interests, then I want to be as gay as Peter. Journalism has become an incredible hack job, but I do not blame the journalists, I blame the audience. For not paying attention, for racing to the bottom of the food chain of intelligent writing, and for signaling to media execs that Kardashian behavior is in some way acceptable, and more is desired. It has been said that we get the leaders we deserve from apathy, so likewise the media.
If being gay means…expecting some degree of privacy for things outside the public interest, then I want to be as gay as Peter. When you read the gawker headline with the whole story it wreaks of an extortion piece that never got paid. It actually broke no news, served no public interest, and was barely read until few weeks ago when the comments came on fire. Not everything is meant to be shared with the public, unless the person owning the fact chooses to do so. Gawker did not own this. The ad revenue should be garnished from that page, and returned to the advertisers.
If being gay means…finding a creative way to deliver a message, then I want to be as gay as Peter. Think of the patience required waiting years for revenge. Of scouting out potential cases, and lawyers to intercede. Of complying with internecine legal standards in funding an action as a third party. And then, coup de grace, removing a claim that would have triggered the Gawker insurance policy to cover the costs, brilliant. Creative. Determined. Fantastic.
If being gay means…owning the actions and results, then I want to be as gay as Peter. When the verdict came down, Peter came forward and explained himself. He probably had years to craft his words, and they were powerful, meaningful, and inspirational to me and others like me. He didn’t hide one moment longer than he felt necessary.
If being gay means… willingness to do it again and again to prove the point is valid and the offense will not be tolerated, ever… then I want to be as gay as Peter. He dropped the bomb that this was not the only lawsuit of its kind that he had backed, and I don’t think anyone can afford to disbelieve him. A chill must be going down the spine of publishers and editors who suddenly must go back to asking old school journalism questions like, does this matter, and should we run this. It’s the same reason that beheadings aren’t news either. Let it be.
I don’t know Peter Thiel, and I don’t know if he is gay. Nor do I care. Reading Gawker doesn’t make me feel any more informed, aside from teaching me what a man he is. But if he is gay, and this is what it means, I want to be more like him. But straight.
~~Wow, you made it all the way down here! ~~~
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