Christ, are people still talking about Kate Moss inhaling half of Columbia's GDP on camera? I figured the whole thing was utterly inconsequential, but since it still seems to be going, it does give me a chance to wank on about our friend the polite fiction.
Recall that there are three important aspects to a polite fiction:
- Everybody knows it's true.
- Everybody knows everybody knows.
- Everybody pretends that 1 and 2 aren't true.
Remember the Mike Tyson ear-biting incident of a few years ago? Boxing is a "sport" that involves two grown adults deliberately attempting to bludgeon each other into unconsciousness; a sport where an acceptable tactic is to pummel your opponent's brows until you open a cut there, and then continue to pummel that cut until enough blood is running into their eyes that they can't see you clearly. And that's when you let them have it. And yet, provided the injuries are restricted to bruises and concussions and nice wholesome internal bleeding, it can safely be thought of as a noble art of strategy and grace, harking back to hallowed days of gladiatorial spectacle.
But to see one of the world's leading boxers perform such an act of animal savagery is to lose the ability to deny that this savagery was there along; that it is, in fact, inherent in the activity. But who bears the blunt of society's disquiet? Who gets the blame? Everyone in the world or Mike Tyson? Let's put it to a vote...
And so we come to today's "news". Everybody knows that models (along with most celebrities) are legendary coke fiends, everybody knows that everybody knows, and everybody ignores it and gets on with their own lives. Until Ms. Moss gets snapped snorting up the nose candy like she was powered by half a dozen miniature cyclones, and suddenly there goes plausible deniability. So who's the bad guy here? Everyone in the world or Kate Moss? Democracy, do your thing...
I mean, don't get me wrong here -- I shed no tears for a psychopathic rapist or the Typhoid Mary of anorexia, but in these particular instances it's clear that their vaguely controversial lapses are focused on with such intensity to avoid society's gaze turning upon itself. It's not that they did what they did, it's that they got caught, and in such a way that they couldn't be ignored.
You know, this may be the most pretentious thing I've ever written. Tell you what -- forget everything I just said and go read Ali Davis on the polite fiction instead. She talks about porn and junk.