Review: Where the Wild Things Are

October 18, 2009

wild

FROM JASON’S MOVIE TICKET — I don’t want to be this guy, but I have to say it: The movie wasn’t really much like the book.

I mean, how could it be? The hard-copy version of Where the Wild Things Are is a whopping 10 sentences long. Let’s be honest: Author Maurice Sendak spoke more to us in pictures than words. But where the 1963 short children’s tale shows a young boy reveling in his imagination to “master his feelings,” the 2009 Spike Jonze adaptation is a ponderous ode to broken homes, loneliness, and the suburban blues. There’s no joyful escapism here — even the monsters have traded in their pure rumpus ways and toothy grins for emotional demons.

There are no answers, either. The troubling realities of Max’s anger and frustration, his fractured relationship with his sister, and his mother’s looming unemployment are all still waiting for him, no matter what personal discoveries he’s made by the end of Jonze’s retelling. We see our young Max wrestle to come to terms with his “growth, survival, change, and fury,” as Sendak puts it. But Jonze has no solution, no happy ending except for warm soup waiting at the dinner table.

This is heavy stuff — too heavy for the children who were packed into the theater when I saw the matinee Sunday. It was the first PG film I’ve seen in a while, and that rating didn’t help send signals to Grandma and Grandpa Midwestern America that this was no Pixar song-and-joke gig. The four- and five-year-olds expected My Pet Monster, not Being John Malkovich.

Misplaced marketing doesn’t mean the film was a failure. It just wasn’t the bedtime story we thought it was, full of color and comfort and joy.

Don’t let me sound like the flick’s a waste. It shines in many departments, not the least of which is the setting. Timing is just as important as location — and 90 percent of Where the Wild Things Are seems to take place in those waning moments during the last sun-drenched minutes of the day and dusk, just when the sun is losing its life. That’s when my imagination was always strongest as a boy, after all.

It’s clear that Jonze is attuned to that primal way kids think. He just gets childhood, or at least the kind I had — the version experienced by an outcast trying to understand the very adult situations all around him, and struggling to analyze context with no experience.

Let’s not overlook the acting. Eleven-year-old Max Records seemed like he’s had 20 years of acting experience and was able to show us a depth I didn’t expect from a child actor. James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, and the criminally-underrated Chris Cooper were so convincing as Wild Things that I forgot they were celebrities and simply accepted them as characters.

And then there’s the costuming. While it’s obvious the Wild Things are people in suits, what is dazzling is the range of emotions that the Jim Henson wizards manage to get from their faces (there is some CG overlay, too, but it all looks completely lifelike). They might as well be real creatures, raised in the East Village and coached by Shakespearean actors.

The dream-like soundtrack is what tied everything together, though. Without it, I might have tuned out early.

A couple of quick notes: To date, Where the Wild Things Are is ranked at 68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.5/10 on IMDB. It also grossed $32.5 million in the opening weekend, in part due to the two $4 tickets I purchased.

To close, let me just address the “debate” about whether the island of the monsters is real. In Sendak’s book, the forest grew out of Max’s imagination. In the movie, though, Max runs away. We never see him bump his head. There is a seamless transition through the nightmare city streets and backyards to the sailboat that carries Max away. We see him leave and return with no obvious trauma. I choose to think it’s real, in much the same way I choose to think Douglas Quaid really went to Mars.

That is all.


Mary… Poppins? Musical theater isn’t my thing.

July 25, 2009

poppinsFROM JASON’S LONG, SAD AFTERNOON — Andrew and I have often discussed our very different opinions on musical theater. I am not fond of it, while he tends to be a fan.

Two-and-a-half hours trapped today in a balcony seat affirmed why I eschew this particular medium. It’s the singing. And the dancing.

Please don’t misunderstand; both in small doses can be just fine. But the live version of Disney’s Mary Poppins can’t stand against the 1964 film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. On stage, the actors put so much weight into the song-and-dance routines that they miss out on what I love best about stories — the  characterization.

It was the wife’s idea — or maybe her revenge after I forced her to sit through Star Trek — to hit the State Theater on Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland. She’s a huge fan of children’s media as long as it’s ripped from a book and in no way contains transforming robots, laser-wielding terrorists, cat-men with magic swords, any manifestation of ninja (mutant or otherwise), or is any way related to either DC or Marvel. Also, science fiction in her eyes is bad, whilst magic is just peachy.

She loves the singing. And the dancing. Sigh.

She must also love being too far away from the action to see any facial acting. And she must love that the actors rush through spoken lines too quickly to get to sing-song ones. She must hate dramatic pauses, establishing shots, and all the dynamism that comes with camera-work. Film editing must be anathema.

But she sure liked the disturbing narcissism and cold shoulder-ing that Poppins embraced in her live role, which if IMDB is to believed is actually much closer to how the character acted in the source material by novelist P.L. Travers. In addition, there were homoerotic living statues, a scene where toys come to life (which was cut from the Disney film), and not a dancing penguin to be seen.

But that’s just the method of delivery. Make no bones about it, I’ve always loved the film version of Poppins, and couldn’t stop whistling the catchy Sherman Brothers songs all the way home. Chim-chim-char-oo indeed! Look, I’m just a guy who likes to drink beer and play video games. Musical theater crosses a line that can sometimes be masked on film. That’s all I’m saying.

Not everything about the theater performance was unbearable. The sets were amazing works of both engineering and art, with some very clever built-in special effects that made the production just as much a magic show as a story. Sometimes the wires were visible, but other times the ingenuity of the builders had me scratching my head and wondering where the trap doors and puppet actors could possibly be hidden, or whether they were using radio controls and servos to accomplish certain effects.

Matter of fact, I spent more time wondering trying to reverse engineer the set than I did paying attention to the actors. Or the singing. And the dancing.

My mind also wandered thematically as Bert mused about the self-reflexive nature of Mary Poppins’ appearance. Cyclism is a time-honored philosophical device… the Norse had their Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail, and Battlestar Galactica had its refrain of,  “All of this has happened before and will happen again.” Bert suggests in both the stage and screen versions that Poppins works in much the same way, and that this story is just one of many in which she’s involved herself.

Bert’s authority on that matter has always intrigued me. There’s never an explanation for how Poppins knows Bert, or from whence comes his narrative omniscience. I posit that either A) Mary was summoned as Bert’s nanny when he was a child or B) he’s a kindred magical spirit.

I’m glad the writers left the matter ambiguous. Can you imagine the same movie written today? The producers would insist, of course, of sapping the power out of the enigma by creating a concrete backstory for who Mary is, where she comes from, where she returns to. There would be an elaborate scene showing her origin. There might even be a montage showing her popping up in conspicuous places throughout history.

Also left unabashedly unexplained is the subtle romance between Mary and Bert… which Travers allegedly hated. The story goes that she made Walt Disney promise not to slip it into the script (yet there it is, underplayed and remaining a loose string to this day).

Word is that Travers didn’t like anything about the Disney version — hating it to the point of storming out of the premier. She had script approval on the film, but Walt laughed last by clinching final draft approval and giving a firm rejection to her attempted rewrites.

She also didn’t like the singing. And the dancing.

It didn’t matter. It was Disney’s most expensive film to date, but it was also the highest-grossing of the lot from 1965 to 1985. It raked in $102.5 million at the box office and won five Academy Awards.


You know you’re old when you realize The Goonies is full of faults

July 12, 2009

gooniesFROM JASON’S DVD COLLECTION — In many ways, I am still 10 years old. Just ask my wife. I still watch Transformers cartoons. I eat cereal with marshmallows. And I’m pretty sure girls have cooties.

But never have I felt further from 10 and closer to 30 than last night while watching The Goonies. A nice little patch of gerascophobia hit when I realized that the 1985 Richard Donner flick just wasn’t that good.

It was the first time in probably 15 years that I had watched it all the way through, and the very first time for the wife. I noticed very quickly that she was not laughing. Her eyes were glossing over. She was not caring.

I was embarrassed on behalf of the movie because I’d repressed all its nasty little faults. There were Sean Astin’s awkward moments talking to the skeleton of One-Eyed Willy. There was Kerri Green’s inability to deliver a convincing line. And there’s the disgustingly Jar Jar Binks-ish character of Sloth.

Watching as an adult, I couldn’t believe how long it took to get through the exposition and into the pirate tunnels where the real adventure happens. The Goonies isn’t about the impending foreclosure of Mikey’s home — it’s supposed to be about the booby traps and treasure maps, right?

There were also the wet child actors and their constant, cacophanous yelling back and forth. When they should have been biting their tongues to avoid detection by the murderous Fratellis, they were screaming like little girls. And when by modern movie standards they should have had slick wordplay and clever turns of phrase, they delivered childish little lines.

Or they just swore with sailors’ mouths and a surprising frequency for a PG-rated movie (especially when the new PG-13 rating had been invented the previous year, in response to other Steven Spielberg films like Jaws and Temple of Doom). Characters riff on the word “shit” 19 times, and Data spells it out once more in the final sequence. In hindsight, I can’t believe my tightly-strung, religious parents let me wear out the VHS copy we had (it might have been the television version).

“That was a waste,” the wife said when the credits rolled. I prodded her for some more explanation, and she said it was “too unbelievable” that a pirate ship would be moored off the Oregon coastline for 350 years — from 1632 to 1985 — without sinking from saltwater corrosion. That might happen in fantasy books, like Harry Potter, she said, but not in the real-world setting of The Goonies.

Of course, that’s why the rest of us liked the film as children. We wanted to believe that doubloons and pitfalls and Spanish galleys were awaiting us, just a stone’s-throw from our homes if only we looked hard enough and had the help of a secret map.

Apparently, thrill-seeking fans don’t share my wife’s concerns. The chamber of commerce in Astoria, Oregon, says the film continues to draw crowds to the Goonie House at 268 38th Street (now a private residence) and the old jail from which Jake Fratelli escaped.

The chamber has even produced an audio tour, available in MP3 format, highlighting not just The Goonies landmarks, but also filming locations around town for Kindergarten Cop, Short Circuit, Free Willy, and The Ring II.

You know, people always complain about remakes of films “raping” their childhood. But I think The Goonies would be an excellent candidate for an old cult classic to get a modern sensibility with updated cinematics and some better acting. Just roll with me, here. It could be good.


Midnight showing: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

April 25, 2009

wonka01

FROM JASON’S INDIE THEATER — There are very few movies my wife has the patience to sit through, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is her favorite.

The bright colors, the singing, and her obsession with all things Roald Dahl are enough to overcome the mild ADD that has her wiggling out of her seat during the movies I like. So she was like — and forgive me here — a kid in a candy store last night when the local $3 theater gave a midnight showing of the 1971 “children’s” movie.

The place was packed with the gangly and socially awkward denizens of the nearby Oberlin College, which made the experience fun. Dorm life being what it is, they were keyed in to every drug reference and sexual subtext thrown up on the screen. They sang along at all the right parts. How could we not join in?

They went bananas at all manner of phallic symbols — from the pumping pistons of the Everlasting Gobstopper machine to the ejaculatory tubas in the “car wash” scene (especially when Mrs. Teevee was shot in the face with a big wad of… “bubbles”).

There were huge laughs when Bill said, “You were born to be a Wonka-er,” because it ostensibly sounded similar to “wanker.” Everybody started rolling when 13-year-old Charlie insisted on buyinghis grandfather tobacco.

One loud-mouthed frosh in the front row bellowed, “WRONG!” when Mrs. Teevee identified Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” as Rachmaninoff. But for such a literate crowd, they sure were scratching their heads at the Oscar Wilde or Ogden Nash quotes. One girl didn’t get the Shakespearean origins of, “Where is fancy bred, in the heart or in the head,” and shouted, “What the hell?!”

And we were all a little uncomfortable together in the dark theater when watching how the on-screen adults acted toward the children. The threat of child molestation has profoundly changed the acceptable ways to touch kids in the past 30 years. When Slugworth (aka Wilkinson) would grab a child from behind and start whispering in his or her ear, it took an insidious tone. And even some comments by Willy seemed wildly unacceptable and inuendo-filled.  It’s easy to see why Johnny Depp took the Michael Jackson interpretation in the 2005 remake.

Next Saturday, the same theater is screening Labyrinth at midnight, with several more as-yet-unnamed cult classics to follow through the summer.

I’m eager to see whether the college kids will arrive at the same conclusions as The Greatest Movie Ever Podcast host Paul Chapman about the film — whether it’s all about a young girl’s escapist repression of childhood sexual abuse.

Won’t that be enlightening?

I’m glad for experiences like these. I mean, I have a 42-inch flatscreen plasma TV at home, so there’s nothing really pressing anymore about going out to the movies… that is, unless they offer something I can’t get at home. At least one cinema owner is trying to foster an actual movie-going experience instead of just collecting an outrageous sum to slap people in cramped seats.

The management didn’t get pissy at the kids for being boistrous. Nobody was upset at the singing, or yelling for anyone to be quiet. It was a communal experience, a kind of group enjoyment typically only available at a ball park. And it’s why I’ll be going back to the Apollo Theatre.

So if you made it this far, here’s a reward:


Good-bye Fruity Pebbles, hello Raisin Bran Crunch

March 1, 2009

FROM JASON’S CERAMIC BOWL — Count Chocula is a hack. Cap’n Crunch is all washed up. Lucky the Leprechaun is clearly a pedophile. And I’m pretty sure Tony the Tiger is dead.

The best cereal in the world doesn’t have a mascot. It has two scoops and a delicious, sugary coating that ensures crunchiness.

Now, I don’t often endorse commercial products, or even really care about them. But in-between keystrokes, I’m scooping oversized spoons of Raisin Bran Crunch into my mouth. I can’t stop. This is my third bowl. I am in love.

Where has this cereal been all my life? Think of all those years I wasted, suffering through soggy regular Raisin Bran as a teenager, pouring lumps of sugar into the bowl to try to offset the weak wheat flavor that no sun-ripened grapes could ever mask.

This is how I know I am an adult: when I was a child, cereal served as just a vehicle for enough sugar to fuel my hyperactivity and ensure early onset diabetes. I wanted puffed rice saturated in corn syrup, then coated with rainbow-hued dyes:

I wanted loops of something that was probably fried corn dipped in three unique artificial flavors that tasted really nothing at all like cherry, orange, and lemon:

I wanted what ostensibly were marshmallows cut to look like clovers, clowns, robots, Pac-Man, vampire bats, balloons, or ghosts:

I wanted crushed cornmeal seeped in brown sugar- and honey-flavoring and treated to keep away the Soggies during sea-faring missions:

These days, I’m looking for an actual meal. No more Crunchberries. No more Cookie Crisp. No more Honeycomb, Marshmallow Crispies, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Cereal, Smurfberries, Frankenberries, Honey Smacks, C-P30’s, Urkel-O’s, Cocoa Krispies, or Apple Jacks.

As an adult, it’s all about getting bran that tastes decent and has a satisfying crunch, sun-dried fruit, and some granola clusters. I salute you, Raisin Bran Crunch.


YouTube Cinema: DuckTales, Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)

January 31, 2008

“Did you ever hear of Atlantis? It was everybody’s favorite resort until Merlock couldn’t make any reservations. Then down she went! Poor Pompei. Mount Vesuvius would never had blown its top if Merlock hadn’t blown his!”

FROM JASON’S ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DAYS — I’m not sure I can explain to you kiddies just how important DuckTales was. For years, it was the anchor of The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour block of after-school cartoons that included The Gummy Bears, Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and a spin-off of the Aladdin movie.

To a pre-adolescent boy, these shows had everything that mattered: Swords, exploration, gadgets, villains who were evil for the sake of being evil, pirates (and air pirates), zombies, superheroes, supervillains, robots, curses, lasers, dungeons….

So when I stumbled on the 1990 DuckTales movie on YouTube, I had to sit and watch.

The first 20 minutes had everything I remembered that made the show great: Exotic traps, faux history (Collie Baba and his 40 thieves, anybody?), sumo-wrestling scorpions, pith helmets, and lushly-painted desert and pyramid scenes.

The rest was significantly meh as we stayed in Duckburg and dealt with the whole genie-in-the-lamp Pinocchio story and the be-careful-what-you-wish-for business.

The Plot (Such As It Is)

Real quick: Scrooge has been hunting his entire life for the lost treasure of Collie Baba. When he finally finds it, a shape-shifting wizard named Merlock swoops in and steals it.

Merlock doesn’t care about jewels; all he wants is the magic lamp containing a genie. Merlock has a magic talisman, which will allow him to force the genie to grant unlimited wishes — and giving him unlimited, unadulterated evil control over the entire world.

But Scrooge’s niece, Webby, filches the lamp and makes friends with the genie, who she calls Gene. Along with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, she starts making wishes, until Merlock comes to Duckburg to collect the lamp again.

Using his magic, he takes over Scrooge’s mansion, and the boys have to break back in and free Gene and the rest of the world from slavery. It’s almost the exact same plot as Disney’s Aladdin movie in 1992.

The Dire Consequences

There were rumors. Boy, were there ever rumors. Back in the pre-Internet days of 1990, that’s all we had to live by — that, and various hints in video game magazines.

The rumors said that Disney had lots of other DuckTales movies up Michael Eisner’s sleeves. The rumors were right.

Unfortunately, Disney, perhaps as the spiritual ancestor to FOX, decided to cancel those plans when Legend of the Lost Lamp only made $18 million at the box office. My parents paid good money for my little brother and I to see it, but apparently that wasn’t enough. The other movies were canned, as was a Rescue Rangers feature-length film (which I would bankroll today if I had the means).

DAMN YOU, WALT DISNEY COMPANY. DAMN YOU STRAIGHT TO HEEEEEELL!

The Geek Connections

If you’re a geek, you know everyone who had a hand in this movie. Even if it’s only by proxy, you know their work. You’ve seen their shows. Let me show you the way.

Alan Young, the voice of Scrooge, is better known as Mister Ed’s owner, Wilbur (“Gee, Wilbur!”) in the 1961 TV show. He’s also a bat-shit crazy Christian Scientist and is down with the Focus On the Family crowd. I can almost — almost! — forgive him, though, because he was also Haggis McMutton in the LucasArts game Curse of Monkey Island.

Russi Taylor, who voiced Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby, was also baby Gonzo on Muppet Babies and has been the voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986 — including in the RPG Kingdom Hearts.

Terry McGovern, AKA Launchpad McQuack, is also a Lucas-ite. His early films include THX-1138 and American Graffiti. In 1977, The Lucas hired him to do voice-overs for stormtroopers in A New Hope (“Close the blast doors!”).

The genie was voiced by flamboyant ’60s comedian Rip Taylor, known for crying on stage, doing Mofaz the Persian-type routines about his bad luck, and for his recent work with The Bloodhound Gang and Jackass.

The mack-daddy of them all — and if you don’t recognize the voice immediately then you are dead to me — is Christopher Lloyd as Merlock. You know him as Doc Brown from Back to the Future, Kruge in Star Trek III, the Rev. Jim from Taxi, and… god help us… as John Bigboote in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.

Oh, and about six dozen other shows, many of them crappy, including Amazing Stories, Cyberchase, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Addams Family, Suburban Commando, Angels In the Outfield, and Baby Geniuses. I have to admit that I love watching Christopher Lloyd. It’s a testament to his ability and personality that he can make such shit watchable.

I almost forgot. Frank Welker (Optimus Prime) did some voices in Legend of the Lost Lamp, too.


Even after all these years, news myths thrive

November 25, 2007

bostonnewspaper.gifFROM JASON’S SNAP-BRIM HAT AND TRENCH COAT — Seriously, folks. The first American newspaper, Public Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, was printed in Boston in 1690. You’d think 317 years would be long enough for people to figure out how this business works.

But no — those old misconceptions about non-existent laws that supposedly limit what may be published continue to prosper. Many still don’t understand exactly what it is that reporters do. And too many people out there still think they are entitled to absolute privacy, no matter what the circumstances.

I run into these misguided myths and attitudes of entitlement nearly every day in the course of my work as a journalist. They annoy me. Hopefully, these few points will enlighten the billions who read Quaedam every day:

1) “You can’t print that! It was off the record!”

reporter.pngThere is no such thing as this chimerical “record” that pop culture has created. But thanks to old noir films featuring grungy, stereotyped reporters with press cards in their hats, people believe that “on the record” and “off the record” are relevant and binding concepts.

The Deep Throat scenario from All the President’s Men has ingrained this fallacy into the minds of three generations. Woodward and Bernstein’s method was the gross exception that proved the rule.

True, we do use the term as an informal agreement of confidentiality, but the fact remains that the record has no legal bite. Stating that something is off the record does not necessarily make it so. It is up to the reporter’s discretion to decide whether to grant a self-imposed moratorium on information.

If ever we do accept a statement as off the record, it is in exchange for either better information or a favor. I’ve agreed to put irrelevant information off the record just to bank against a source I may need down the road.

The only negatives consequences of using of-the-record info are loss of reputation and potential loss of that source in the future. Sometimes those losses are acceptable if the trade-off is big enough.

Statements made in public are never off the record, though. I once had a police chief walk by me in a city council meeting, muttering under his breath that a council member was an idiot because he would not increase his police budget. I printed that the chief called the legislator an idiot in public, and the he was irate. He tried to claim the comment was off the record because he did not intend for it to be heard. Too bad.

2) “You’re not allowed to put my child’s name in the paper.”

There is no law against publishing the names, crimes, or other actions of juveniles. Newspapers typically volunteer to withhold the names of people under the age of 18 who are charged with a crime or sexually victimized.

This, however, is not an absolute, and is left open to the discretion of the editors and publishers. Often, children who are charged and tried as adults will be named. Young people who are hurt in accidents or by criminals may also be named.

Reporters do not need special permission from parents or guardians to print the names of children. In some cases, however, there may be special rules surrounding coverage of juvenile courts. As always, judges have the final say in how proceedings are covered. There is also an element of forgiveness on the part of newspapers — mine, for example, does not cover juvenile courts unless there is a compelling public interest.

I recently covered an incident in which a 16-year-old boy was accused of shooting his parents. His mother was killed almost instantly, and his father (who was shot in the face) survived after being hospitalized for a month. We thought it prudent to print the boy’s name when he was charged.

superman.png3) “Reporters are private investigators.”

I am not Clark Kent, nor am I Kal El. It is not my job to solve crimes or catch criminals. I do not track down leads about where your husband is sleeping these nights, unless your husband is a an on-duty police officer soliciting prostitutes instead of patrolling the streets.

If you don’t want it published, don’t call me. If you want someone to help you find order, call the police. If you want someone to help you find justice, call a lawyer.

Many callers to my office want an intermediary to help make their problems go away. That is not what reporters do. We take information and transform it so the masses care and understand an issue. Reporters are professional gossipers with social and financial agendas.

A couple once called me complaining that a city had violated a contract to build a road in front of their house (they allowed the city to build a water tower on their land in return).

I made inquiries at the mayor’s office to find whether the allegation was true, and the next day cement trucks rolled into said neighborhood to pour the road. Once they were gone, the couple called to tell me they didn’t want the story in the paper, and even mentioned legal action.

I laughed and ran the story. I didn’t put pressure on the government for their gain. I did it for mine.

4) “My paycheck is none of your business.”

Anyone can be elected to public offices in America — that’s the biggest advantage and most dire curse of a democratic republic.

Unfortunately, it means too many yokels with no understanding of civics or the law gain power. I deal all the time with backwoods office-holders who don’t understand public records and attempt to deny access. The big-time politicians also try to claim ignorance of the Freedom of Information Act and open meeting laws.

“Sunshine Laws” (like Ohio Revised Code section 149.43) make it very clear what are the rules of the game. Any document used in the course of conducting public business is a public document. That means e-mails, pay stubs, budgets, court papers, police reports, internal memos, personnel files — even Post-It Notes! — are open to purview.

Every last scrap is my business, with notable exceptions: Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and information related to security measures may be redacted.

A city auditor once refused to tell me to whom the government was loaning tax money. She said finances and loans were not the media’s concern. I quickly disabused her of that notion. She refused to comply with Ohio law several times (while I recorded her refusal), but reneged when I contacted county and state ethics authorities. I found out she was loaning thousands of dollars to business owners so they could fix their facilities.

5) “You ruined my life by putting that in the paper.”

No, I didn’t. You ruined your life by having sex with that high school principal on his desk during school hours. It was already over when that teenager walked in and saw you; all I did was tell the people who pay the principal how their tax money was misspent and their trust was violated.

There is an implied Constitutional right to privacy in the no-quarter clause of the Second Amendment, but that does not compel the media to help the accused or public figures save face. Once an individual gains a certain amount of notoriety, is given responsibility to uphold the public trust, or is charged with a crime (this is not an exhaustive list), they are subject to scrutiny.

The public’s right to know how its resources are handled and what events have or could compromise its safety outweigh the right to an individual’s privacy.