Sunday, 23 November 2014

Flash to the Future by Naomi Elana Zener

“Did you see the latest headline in Variety?” Marilyn breathed into Albert’s ear.

Albert rolled over, swatting Marilyn away.

“Albie, wake up. You just have to see this.”

“Why are you bugging me? Go wake up one of your ex-husbands,” Albert grumbled. “Go bother Joe or Arthur.”

“But, you’re the genius, I want to bug, Professor Einstein. I need your help to understand this.” 

Albert turned over to see the silhouette of Marilyn Monroe’s specter, partially covered by his sheets. “Did you sleep in my bed again? How many times do I have to tell you, I’m just not that into you?”

Marilyn sobbed breathlessly. “I don’t know what more I can do to win your brainy love. Maybe I should take naked pictures of myself and give them to you.”

“Marilyn, my love, you don’t need to take any pictures to show me your naked body. You’re lying naked on my bed.”

Albert, now fully awake, wiped the sleep from his eyes, grabbed his spectacles off his nightstand, and stared down at the Variety article on Marilyn’s iPad staring up at him. Contrary to popular thought, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory kept up technological evolutionary pace with that found on Earth. After all, once Steve Jobs crossed over into the afterlife, he brought with him his futurist innovative thinking. And, with God and Satan each able to procure anything imaginable, they supplied Jobs with every tool he needed to transform both the saintly and sinning sides of the Afterworld into Heaven and Hell 2.0.

“What don’t you understand?”

“Well, these starlets are complaining that the naked pictures they took were shared all over the world. I’d have killed for that kind of free publicity.”

Albert scanned the article. Had it not been for a personal tutorial from Jobs himself, Albert would’ve had no idea how to scroll through a document.

“No, these women’s phones and computers were hacked into, meaning they were broken into, and their pictures were stolen from both their mobile devices and the clouds in which they were stored.” 

“Like the clouds up here?” Marilyn purred. She sultrily draped herself across Albert’s bed, pouting her lips, and propping her chin in her hands, still hoping to seduce him. She couldn’t resist his big brain.

“Not quite m’dear. The cloud is not actually in the sky. It’s like a storage facility for electronic files of all kinds, including pictures.”

Marilyn stared at him blankly.

“Think of it like a photo album, but one that no one can see unless the owner shares the images, or someone breaks into it.”

“Ok, I get that part. What I don’t understand is why get so angry when they took naked photos of themselves in the first place. I was taught that if you don’t want people to see you naked, you don’t take naked pictures of yourself.”

“Marilyn, as a woman, you should know better. While yes, I agree that if you don’t want people to see your naked pictures, then the best practice is not to take them in the first place, but these women also had the right to privacy. Part of being a feminist is the right to do what you want with your own body aside from privacy concerns.”

“I know that—I’m the original feminist. I believe that every woman has the right to take naked pictures of herself. I posed naked in Playboy—I’m the great-grandmother of taking nude pictures paving the way for naked selfies. But, you take them for them to be seen by someone. I can still be a feminist and say that. I’m so tired of being told how to be a feminist or what it means.”

“Feminism aside, these women didn’t pose naked for a magazine. They took private pictures that weren’t supposed to be shared with anyone. Their right to privacy was violated. What’s worse is that some people are threatening to leak more private naked pictures of famous women who label themselves as feminist. That’s a total violation and it’s criminal!”

Marilyn paused.

“I see your point, and I agree with you, Albie, really I do.” Marilyn hung her head shamefully.  “That sort of thing did happen to me, too, but no one cared to fight to protect my rights back then. It’s wonderful that people want to help these women, but no matter where you store them, famous or not, someone’s going to find the photos, and when they do, they spread them like locusts. Non-famous people are so lucky. We don’t get a private life the way Farmer Brown does.”

“So then, you think it’s fair for these starlets’ breasts to be flaunted across the globe, but Farmer Brown’s penis has a greater right to privacy? “

Marilyn cocked her head back alluringly, pondering Albert’s position.

“Well, it’s all relative, I suppose.”

Albert laughed.

“I think everyone, famous or not, has the same right to privacy, especially when it comes to their bodies. But, why take naked photos at all, when there’s a chance that this new technology can be ‘hacked’ into, as you say?” Marilyn asked, waving her iPad around.

“And, what about ordinary women, who aren’t famous, who take naked pictures of themselves that are stolen and shared publicly?” Albert asked. “What if the shoe was on the other foot, and it was naked pictures of famous men?”

“I don’t want to see Farmer Brown’s penis or even pictures of his pigs, but I bet my bottom dollar that he’d still want to see my bare bosom and bottom, even if I wasn’t famous. If you’re a woman, famous or not, men will always want to see us naked, and try to use it against us. Sadly, the only way a woman can protect herself is not to take these photos in the first place. Speaking as a former starlet, I’m willing to bet that many of them aren’t really all that upset, especially the one who is famous for having a plus-sized tushie. I guess that’s why I’m so confused. You can’t pay for that kind of publicity, and in Hollywood, careers can be made by it. Therein lies the rub, Albie. Us women have to take it, accept that it comes with the territory and we have no right to expect the privacy enjoyed by ordinary women, but if the shoe was on the other foot, the men would be basking in the spotlight on their Woody Woodpeckers. Unless of course they have tiny penises.”

“Not every man is defined by the size of his gentials.”

Marilyn winked at him. “Some men are defined by the size of their brain.”

Albert winked back. “Well, if you’ve got it flaunt it.”

“Hey that’s my motto!” Marilyn sidled up to Albert, who hadn’t moved since Marilyn woke him.

“It seems to me that you’ve got a good handle on this and aren’t confused at all. Why did you really wake me up?”

“I need your help to solve a more interesting equation than your little E=MC2? It involves a lot of friction.”

Albert tilted his head, removed his spectacles, and used his sheet to clean them, as he contemplated Marilyn’s proposition.

“Well, as they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

© 2014. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.

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