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Naked Harry

It's easy to believe you can trust your friends when you've had a drink and you're all having a good time. Easy to believe they share your sense of ethics and would not sell their pictures to the sleaziest press, even if you are naked.

The frog in this rose is also naked and wouldn't mind at all if the gardener uploaded this image to a blog, as long as owls and raccoons can't see him. So why do we get excited over a prince being naked? Or rather, how many of us besides the press, are excited?

The man is 27, good looking and rich.  He loves fun. The sight of a healthy naked body doesn't hurt anyone else, as long as its among a group of consenting adults. War, on the other hand, hurts millions.

Perhaps there is a Freudian statement about getting naked. Perhaps we all secretly long to reveal who we are, to be uncovered, undressed, natural. Perhaps Harry feels he is entitled to be himself, a regular guy, in the privacy of a rented room.

I have three adult children who have probably done things I will never know about, because they had a few drinks and felt safe and free for an evening or two.  If I was shown pictures of them naked and having fun, some years ago or even yesterday, I doubt I would lose any sleep over it.  However if they were brandishing a gun I would be very alarmed.

Publishing pictures on the front page of a newspaper does do harm because that is the intention: to humiliate and exploit. This story is about opportunism, to gain (money, superiority, smugness) at another's expense. All those who participate in promoting this image should be ashamed (except Hadley Freeman whose narrative, embedded within the context of the celebrity industrial complex, indicates the part we all play when we purchase the gossip), while so many other stories cry out to be told.  Stories such as children going hungry and governments slashing vital programs to the  most vulnerable. Interrogations of structural violence and injustice.

But then look at me grabbing a few crumbs of righteousness by writing this post even though I know finger wagging never works with anyone over the age of seven.


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