New Keepsakes

    Post-coital selfies should be the lead-up to a punch line. Instead they are the latest method expression from Generation Self-Immersion. It must be true. The article appeared in an Argentine newspaper illustrated with a pair of supine and sanguine Spaniards among ruffled sheets.

    “Yourselves immediately after doing the dirty” pictures are just the most recent reason why intelligence agencies overreaches shouldn’t disturb us. At least the alphabet bureaus can conceal themselves behind justifying their conduct defends America and thwarts her asymmetrical enemies.

    Frankly won’t the most committed civil libertarian agree awaking with one’s ass still attached to the rest of his or her body benefits anyone who’ll later complain about this infringement or that?

    When Kodak scientists and engineers developed cheap, easy-use cameras who among them foresaw such impulses to be memorized? What hath Kodak wrought?

    Are post-coital selfies the new extent of our general societal trend of endless exposure? Where and when did these start? Besides after foreplay and coitus with handy cameras.

    Could newspaper agony aunt columns have loosened the seals on what we once regarded as propriety? Rather than confide in our nearest and dearest who then might likely have tattled these secret matters through rumor and gossip, the birth of the advice column not only provided protective anonymity but also generalized dilemmas. Through them didn’t the community suddenly realize bad behaviors simply didn’t stop at the affected individuals’ walls but permeated each of ours?

    What family doesn’t have degenerate uncles or promiscuous sisters or frigid spouses or dope-addled in-laws? Or worse, of those penned in cube farms, which disposable colleagues don’t stagger beneath some nearly paralyzing anxiety or feelings of unnamed inadequacy?

    That through our common suffering not only could we avail ourselves towards finding remedies but also derive glee via strangers’ predicaments.

    Thanks to lowest common denominator television, the anguish afternoon audiences welcome are now amped interviews leading into ambushes. The premise had been for participants who’ve decided to reveal themselves in search of answers. Or better, satisfaction. Through these public catharses weren’t the affected offered opportunities to mine solutions? Yet invariably, unlike the faceless distance afforded newspaper columns, the mixture of proximity and grievance seldom fails combusting.  

    Resolutions arrive through brawls. Nonetheless at least the public is gratified though the answer sought is lost; the question altogether forgotten.

    To society’s detriment, aren’t we so easily distracted?  On the other hand, don’t producers and advertisers love that we’re so easily amused?

    Does the line between publicly acceptable and veiled by necessity even exist anymore? Really, what aspects of life aren’t available for perusal and perhaps eventual commoditization? Indeed, what led to the curtain being raised on the formerly cherished, that is what had been considered “private”?

    “Tell-all books” are misnomers. Most are wonderful examples of literature through allusion. Other than Pam Des Barres what other literary self-portraitist has committed such profound acts with our era’s bold-faced names to print? Okay. She also had plaster castings helping making her case. But still.

    Once, somewhere along our digital progression, intimate sessions recorded solely for those combinations involved were intercepted by creeping eyes and disseminated for financial gain. Doubtlessly these first intimate sphere intrusions produced mortification aplenty. Though as seen by the phenomenal returns, money, whether through settlements or gross percentage participations, mollifies a great deal of initial sincere embarrassment. 

   Why, haven’t a whole host of our otherwise truly talentless, so-called celebrities gained their fame by notoriety of sex on display? I don’t know whether it’s apocryphal or not but aren’t some managers of pretty, though pretty vacant, “talent” suggesting their meal tickets skip the dedicated route and bypass the diligent ahead of them through in flagrante conduct of the better lighted voyeuristic kind?  

   While afternoon delight beats work, isn’t sex staged for self-promotion quite unseemly? Even for libertines? And once the graphic parts have been rewound and paused enough, don’t we disparage the sort of people who hurl themselves into pop culture so cheaply? Who doesn’t find their desperate grasps for attention crass?

    Have standards become so base our society admires shamelessness? Shame, its cousin disgrace, both words little heard in today’s America. Must be all that understanding and forgiveness we’re enabling. Anyway let’s save “disgrace” for those professing rigid virtue yet get ensnared in louche circumstances. By the way who hasn’t noticed those claiming piety the loudest practice it less than the sinners they demean?

    At least sinners are honest enough to willingly admit transgression ahead of time. The virtuous always need being exposed before copping to the obvious.

    Yet post-coital selfies don’t concern action but aftermath. Our literature and films emphasize foreplay into climax for a good reason. Languor doesn’t lend itself to manageable description and portrayal. How does one properly transfer elation into ennui onto paper or screen? Isn’t it truly one of those contemplative sensations unique to us all? It is an isolated moment. One solidly fixed between our ears.

    So can post-coital selfies be acknowledged as the latest breach against taste? Having gaped at several, the expressions diffused remind of disappointed kids watching ice cream melt. Something has happened but without a caption (“Just finished busting Sally’s block! And boy is she glad!”), who knows the height from which the subject has plummeted?

    As achievements, these new candids are more akin to hunters mounted trophies. At least “accidentally leaked” sex vids contain easily followed “jam hotdog into doughnut hole repeatedly” narratives. Post-coital selfies demand raconteurs. Like the hunter or angler who needs to regale an audience to convey the taxidermy’s importance. Otherwise it’s just stuffed fauna or fish. The “how” achieving the result imbues meaning.

    It’s an easy enough an exercise to assay, pursuing and bagging the prize. But lovemaking? And while the whole tender struggle could’ve concluded anywhere between wonderful into exquisite, bringing down that buck or landing the big one elicits nowhere the amount of conflict as relating how one had been launched into ecstasy by a lover.

    Tough to exaggerate that with any jokey conviction; and tougher immortalize.

    What picture can prove past throes? Exactly. None.

    The article further confirms these particular selfies’ difficulties. A pull quote states: “The after-sex self-portrait is an almost perfect decoy; where nothing is shown and everything is imagined.”

    Problem is these days so many of us lack sufficient imagination.

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