[Cross-published at The Huffington Post ]
Today the AP reports the ACLU is arguing that all those adventuresome spirits who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy. Public Bathrooms! And this is the ACLU fighting on behalf of Sen. Larry Craig. Call me crazy--or just a politician: But it's not like this wacko news is coming from the Scientology Celebrity Centre or Dr. Phil. It's coming from the ACLU. (While I know the organization isn't officially a Democratic one, c'mon.) Larry Craig needs the ACLU's help? Who's steering the ship these days?
The last time I had sex in a public bathroom—be nice, and allow a humble writer this wet-and-wild, oh-so-sanitary dream—I had no belief that my act was private. That's why I had sex in the bathroom. It's the trill of the public space that drives me and my multiple random partners. I can't speak for Craig, though. As if trying to withdraw a guilty plea in a case like this isn't silly enough? I hardly think public sex is disorderly conduct as defined by the American legal system. It's straight-up disorderly but in the more attractive, entropic kind of way. Still, them's the rules in this here country.
The point concerns privacy. Privacy isn't provided where we need it most: in the HIPAA-protected halls of our finest hospitals as doctors and nurses and health workers speak patients' names and diagnoses aloud before they render it incredibly difficult for you to get your own records—all due to "privacy." When I log onto my e-mail account, I see adds related to the subjects I've written about; I know bots aren't human—though I do suspect they're more human than some of us. Still, it's nice to know there's no privacy in e-mail. Or snail mail: More than a few letters in the past few months have arrived at my home opened and clearly fondled. I know it's exciting to read about what I owe my dentist's office--or to see a paltry check from a low-paying magazine--if not to steal one!--but at least have the decency to seal the thing back up empty.
Furthermore, I can't so much as go somewhere without the GPS chip in
my cellphone—I bought it thinking it'd help me get somewhere quicker
and easier—telling some large governmental agency where I am. (I guess
it will save me if I go into the wild--but it will also
tell them when I'm in public bathrooms having my sex.)
Even this blog post will refer to an IP address that will let all of
you know I'm sitting on my couch in Southern California. Thankfully,
there's no record of what I'm watching on cable--wait, wrong again.
But fortunately, what I had for breakfast *is* private. It's my personal business if I should choose to eat three whole eggs and cheese when the men's magazine I write for tells me under my byline to eat egg whites. But if I buy those egg whites in a restaurant, where they take my credit card number—some still exist where they leave the full number on your receipt, as we all know—I've clearly given up my right to privacy.
And let me just tell you: sometimes I eat naughtier food than just three eggs. Sometimes I get fries. And sausage. And shakes. So why in [insert divine being here]'s name should a senator—or anyone—get a right to privacy in a bathroom where they have chosen to have sex? And why should the ACLU lobby on this person's behalf when he contrasts so clearly to the issues for which they used to stand?
I don't have the answers. But I will not stop asking the questions. Unlike Tom Cruise in his recent Scientology video, I don't "know." In fact, it seems I just know less and less every day. And I'm proud to admit that in public.