Reading: “The Modernization of Magic,” from The Reconfiguration of Wealth
Honestly, if I shared the foresight, wherewithal and moral emptiness that Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman had/has….I would’ve followed the exact same scandalous and destructive path just to be as filthy fuckin’ rich as he is.
With a net worth of estimated at $100 million, Biderman embodies the successes of selling inherent vices that appeal to the common man, almost in the same exact fashion as the itinerant propagandists of the United States during the Victorian Era.
Be honest with yourself…
“I’m looking for someone other than my wife,
other than my wife. Other than my wi-ife.
Ashley Madison is r-iiiight!”
…That is one catchy jingle.
I’ll bet you a hypothetical buck that guitar is strumming through your brain right now. That catchy jingle, that I’m sure you’re singing to yourself by now… is the same carnivalesque sales technique used by James Whitcomb Riley and S.B. McCrillus. The hedonism of our own culture back then, was being appealed to by salesman. Propagandists who made empty (but intriguing) promises who also put on a show.
Ashley Madison is no different.
Carnivale is escapism. It is a fulfilled fantasy stemming from the plight of the average, under-stimulated man. This is not justification for their actions, but it is the manifestation of unfulfilled desires in a socially acceptable setting. Though it goes directly against our moral and religious dogma, no person will cast a stone at the man who buys and gets wasted off the “Magic Elixir” he purchased from the “doctor” who titles himself, “The Minister of Magic” at a Medical Exposition. It is the setting, and the culture for that matter, that allows man to feel like he can sip the forbidden elixir, or take part in tasting the forbidden fruit.
Society has provided the proper setting and developed the moral negligence that allows men to behave this way so freely.
Adultery in American society has been celebrated for years. A man who’s been married 3 different times is running for President, and one of American’s most captivating cultural icons, Marilyn Monroe, was sleeping with one of those Presidents, a Catholic for that matter.
(I didn’t even get into the Television/Film industry.)
(Question: How many shows/movies have you seen who’s plot partially revoloved around adultery? My Answer: Too many to count.)
America is the quintessential “Chapel on the Hill”, but it also houses the burnt city of Sodom, where folks of all creeds and classes engaged in sinful temptation of all forms. Ashley Madison is American duality at its finest.
Ashley Madison is a site exclusive to married men only. Marriage is a practice of Christianity.
Carnivale (de Venezia) was celebration for everyone (mostly Catholic). People (likely Christian) wore masks in complete anonymity as they engaged in sin. They gave in to their darker/unfulfilled desires during this time, because that was the time society dictated that it was acceptable to do so. And it’s still celebrated!
I’m not disgusted by Ashley Madison’s existence. In fact, I believe its perfectly appropriate for our time. If it’s not Ashley Madison doing then it would’ve been Madison Ashley instead.
Did you notice Ashley Madison actually utilizes Carnivale masks on their site?
It’s an homage to Carnivale de Venezia! It’s the idea of satisfying and giving in to our inner-most/shitty human desires without consequence. Now that it’s virtual, it only makes it that much easier. Carnivale is 1 click away.
As far as the ad goes…there’s a catchy jingle that’s entertaining. It’s light, feel good.
There’s solidarity. 1 man turns to 2 men. Those 2 men become a thousand.
There’s the promise of results without consequences — It’s Noel Biderman’s Magical Elixir, and the people involved are taking part in Magical Thinking. Biderman, fulfills those desires for these men, but he is only who profits from them.
“Peep Game.” – Tupac Shakur