So let's look at Gawker from what I assume was their underdog perspective. We have a climate in which, in their eyes, irrelevant celebrities will occasionally leak a sex video to get back on top. By spreading the video, they are simply partaking in the tired dance between a company seeking headlines and a celebrity pretending to be outraged over a leaked video. There might be a weak lawsuit here or there, but that's the price of admission for a game that both parties are playing.
Only Hulk wasn't actually playing a game, and Gawker interpreted that as him unfairly changing the rules. To them, Hulk had "promoted" the sex video by talking about it. And, being the clear victim of his whims, they fought back.
"We can be heroes
Just for one day"
How brave of you, Gawker, to hold strong in the face of insurmountable opposition. You're like Aragorn convincing Theoden to ride out at Helm's Deep.
See, what Gawker didn't factor in was that Gawker is fucking terrible. Their methods are terrible, and they are run by terrible people. The employees, most of whom I'm sure are decent people, are unfortunately bubbled in a culture in which Hulkamaniac's wang is their Watergate scandal. Even after all of the resounding legal backlash, they still claim to be bravely standing up to racist tyranny, like the Harriet Tubman of watching blowjobs. This lawsuit might demolish Gawker, but it shouldn't demolish the people Gawker employed. Because they aren't to blame.
Well, actually, they are to blame ... because, technically everyone is to blame.
At One Point, We Were ALL Of The Problem
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Society has evolved since 2008, the golden age of cynical fuck videos which saved us from $5,000 pirated Rob Lowe VHS tapes. This was when D-list stars like Tonya Harding made whoopee for cash, and the general consensus was that everyone was in on the joke.
Then something new happened ...
Thanks to the magic of phone hacking, A-list celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson suddenly became targets -- and the question of whether or not they wanted "publicity" or "money" fell apart. These were victims who fought back instead of smiling through it, and they made us question all those past occasions we laughed off. Suddenly this was a crime, and one that -- thanks to technology plowing ahead at a neck-snapping rate -- affected all of us. Suddenly, we were all Paris Hilton, living on a Paris Hilton planet like a drunk Twilight Zone episode.
No celebs here.
But none of this is a new problem. The worst realization here is that this has always been the case with these videos. From Pamela and Tommy's VHS tape being "hacked" from their personal safe to Hulk Hogan's friend vindictively recording him in secret, it's always been revenge porn.
We can talk all day about whether or not these celebrities made mistakes, but the change ultimately begins with us. We as a culture fed this machine by trivializing the pain it caused, and we now need to own up if we ever want to accept the solution -- which is obviously for everyone to film themselves fucking and leak it online so it's not a big deal anymore.
Post videos of yourself fornicating wildly on Dave's Twitter, and we can finally start building a new world. Special thanks to Lucy Randall Knipe for the GarbageHaus photos. And if you're interested in the sex goings-on of historical celebrities, do check out Napoleon's Rosebud on Amazon Kindle.
What do Chuck Norris, Liam Neeson in Taken, and the Dos Equis guy have in common? They're all losers compared to some of the actual badasses from history whom you know nothing about. Come out to the UCB Sunset for another LIVE podcast, April 9 at 7:00 p.m., where Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim, and more will get together for an epic competition to find out who was the most hardcore tough guy or tough gal unfairly relegated to the footnotes of history. Get your tickets here!
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