A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
February 11th, 2011
By Tom Carter
Dumb and dumber applies to people who send partially or totally nude photos of themselves to other people by text message, through chat rooms, or on social media such as Facebook. It also applies to people who think they can get away with equally stupid behavior.
The latest and most famous idiot is Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY). He responded to a woman’s ad on Craigslist, telling her he was 39 years old, divorced, had one child, and was a lobbyist living on Capitol Hill in Washington. In fact, he’s 46, married, has one child, and is was a member of Congress. More than that, he was a rising member (no pun intended) among House Republicans and had a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. The only thing unusual about Lee’s case is that he resigned so quickly instead of trying to ride out the storm.
Lee definitely falls into the “dumber” category. In sending his photo, he seemed to forget that his face wasn’t exactly unknown. He also used his normal personal e-mail address, the one he uses on Facebook. Other well-known people have also proved themselves to be “dumber,” apparently believing that the people they sent messages and photos to wouldn’t say anything about it.
Message to the world — here are some things you have to think about before you give in to your hormonal baser urges:
Why do people keep getting themselves in this kind of trouble? Maybe Dr. Jim Taylor is better-suited to explain it, but I’ll hazard a couple of guesses.
First, some people are risk-takers; they thrive on living on the edge, risking it all, surviving by their wits and strength. They aren’t just philanderers — they drive too fast, engage in extreme sports, and just can’t avoid doing dangerous things. I’ve known quite a few among military pilots, usually better-than-average pilots who constantly operate right at the edge of the envelope even when they don’t have to. And guess what — the reason risks are thrilling to some people is because they can have catastrophic outcomes, such as loss of reputation and professional status, serious injury, and death.
Second, while the appeal of risk-taking may be a factor, some people are driven primarily by an inability to accept life as it is. Every time they achieve something, they’re no longer satisfied — they have to pursue something better than they’ve achieved no matter how good it may be. That applies, sadly, not only to their professional and recreational efforts but also to their families. It’s not that they want to destroy their marriages and wreck their children’s lives; they just don’t think about it until it’s too late.
There’s an old axiom that the worst thing a politician can do is get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy (that was the old days, when politicians were assumed to be male). It’s time to update the axiom. How about this: Keep your pants on … but if you can’t, don’t write about it, don’t take photos or videos, and don’t assume you’ll get away with it.
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