Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dirty laundry - out on a line for the world to see, or hidden in your dryer?

So just taking a break from my busy weekend - today turned out to not be as busy as I thought anyway - I wanted to comment on something I've been following the last couple of weeks. I know the whole kafuffle about Tricia Walsh-Smith -- the playwright wife of theatre empresario Philip Smith -- is probably considered old news by now. But as a blogger myself, who noticed she just put up a second video, I have found this all interesting and decided to comment on it all.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Walsh-Smith is currently undergoing a nasty divorce with her husband. He is attempting to evict her from their Manhattan apartment, but in order to do so he needs to obtain grounds to file for divorce as well. Well, New York does not have 'no-fault' divorce provisions as Canada or many other states do (click 'no-fault' for a definition), so he'd have to prove cause for the divorce, and she claims he has none. Given her perceived treatment at his hands, she released this Youtube video. In this video, amongst other embarrassing information, she revealed that they'd had a literally sexless marriage during their time together, and yet she had discovered him to be in possession of porn videos, Viagra, and condoms, etc. Now legally speaking, first of all, this was a dumb move - beyond just how it makes her look, withheld sex is 'cause' for dissolution of marriage in NY. But beyond any of that, here are my personal thoughts:

I blog. Obviously, I am not entirely unfamiliar, or disenchanted, with the idea of discussing one's personal life on the internet. I find it easier than calling or emailing all my friends or whatever as new and exciting things happen in my life. But I also recognize that there is some level of seemliness and class. In the Facebook age, I think it's ridiculous to see statuses changing from 'in a relationship' to 'engaged' to 'single' to the ever-revealing 'it's complicated'; tons of blogs and websites have come out discussing child custody issues, slagging exes for that purpose etc. Now, where it's a safety issue and you are attempting to promote the cause of protecting your child from an endangering ex who abuses them or something (as a case I read about a year ago was), I get that. But if it's just for the purpose of causing embarrassment ... then that's BS. I don't get into every argument my husband and I might have here, or every tear I might shed, or whatever. Beyond which, also recognizing this is sticky legal ground. Slander, libel ... not to mention as a teacher, and now a prospective adoptive parent, there are confidentiality issues I need to recognize.

I dunno - talk about what you did this weekend, or your opinions on stuff going on in the world ... but respect the laws, and respect people and yourself, enough not to become vindictive and air your dirty laundry for the world to see. Because the world CAN see what you post online. If you wouldn't feel comfortable shouting about something at the top of your lungs in a crowded public space or building, you should not post about it online, in my opinion ... more or less. And I am NOT, as a writer or as a lefty politically, suggesting freedom of speech should be curtailed - this woman is well within her rights to make herself look like an idiot. I'm just advocating, as a blogger, for all of our own sakes, to blog responsibly. Because the only person harmed by this woman's idiocy, is herself.

Which I suppose begs the question, so why do I care? It's her business what nonsense she posts, just as it is my business what I go about saying here. And I guess in that sense I DON'T care in the tangible end of things ... I guess I just feel she gives those of us who use the internet as a forum to update and comment responsibly, a bad name. It is due to people like her that whenever I bring up my blog to my mother, she asks "And just what do you write in this blog anyway?" Because of course, with people like this out there, it MUST be every intimate detail of my life which should be kept to myself. So on that sense I guess I care - I just wanted to remind people, as I've had a reminder this week with this and a few other things going on in my life, to be careful what we say on here, and about whom - because anyone can read it. Do with that info what you might. ;) Also ... read blogs responsibly. My life not that interesting to you? *points up* There's the 'close' icon; Bye now! I for one will start following my own advice by not giving this psychotic idiot another single solitary character typed about her on my blog.

It's just an interesting subject in general though, the publicization of marriage/divorce/child custody. For more on that in general, check out this great NY Times article. And until next time, be well, be responsible. Cheers!

1 comment:

Alexandria said...

Very well said darling!!

I know with my blog, I do get personal BUT I don't get "dirty laundry" personal ... or at least I think I don't. I also don't use names. If I want to vent I call you, or Janie, or *gasps* my nana lol.

It's the same as Maury Povich. God. Who the hell wants all of North America to know that they're a friggin' whore? Seriously?? GRRRR!