I’m Screwed: Thanks Ashley Madison.
Written by Anthony Godoy
The Verge ran a piece on the Ashley Madison data breach. Now that I may have fallen victim, I scan stories to see something relevant to me and my now possibly shattered life. Casey Newton seemed to have a pretty good handle on the fallout, but still, he missed how it affects me.
I’m not friends with many people who may have fallen victim, either, so I really have no one to turn to in commiseration, or as a possible roommate. So I’ve decided to sit in silence, alone, and polish my shame for all to see here in Medium.
First, I sympathize with befuddlement, and snigger at the many examples Casey points out in his piece. The many, except of course my own. He mentions how it will affect members of the military, where extramarital activities are not just discouraged, but met with harsh penalties that can put one behind bars, and even wipe out a 40-year career and all that comes with it. He mentions jobs reliant on some kind of morality clause that will come to a crashing end because of it. Then there’s looking forward, at those who may be applying for work only to be met with this.
Not to appear insensitive, but there’s the angle that has nothing to do with personal issues. The Cloud. I don’t use the Cloud for this very reason — it’s going to be hacked one day, and it’s going to end badly.
It also shakes the foundations of trust. Data breaches are “whatever . . .” these days, like shootings and Republicans embarrassing themselves and their party. They are just events glazed over with boredom and disinterest anymore. But then this, the infiltration of data designed from the theoretical and digital DNA up to be secure. Their tagline could have been “You’re secret is safe with us.” Maybe it was. You’d think I’d know.
Let’s not call Casey insensitive yet. With everything that could be written about this, let’s keep in mind the ADD-addled average reader and remember he had only so many words with which to delve into the topic. I’m not hurt personally by him. I’m just feeling zested by the bigger picture that I feel put me here, and by bigger picture, you’re all screaming that it was my own fault. And you’re right.
So let’s get on with it already.
Let’s first say I married up. She’s smarter than me, tougher, healthier, better looking and better suited for the environment we both are in — agency and creative. I mention this because you were wondering. Don’t lie.
She’s also European, which puts the vast majority of American men at a complete disadvantage. We’re raised to know American women, and we suck at that. That being said, how are we supposed to fare with the simplex persona that is the Euro? To make matters even worse, she was raised in a real communist era in a real, then, communist country, and if you think you know communism and its effect, you don’t know communism and its effect.
In my fumbling to find some middle ground in this marriage, I’ve come to find myself in the position of the nuclear deterrent, or, mutually assured destruction. Some of you will shake your heads and mumble, “Idiot.” Fair enough. But after you do, look up the compatibility of Aries and Cancer, and read. Thoroughly. Then, look up the compatibility according to the Chinese, Sheep and Ox, and read. You don’t even need to read carefully there.
Mutually assured destruction is the game that’s played sometimes, and it is sometimes not just the best play, but the most interesting. Now, I have no idea what apocalyptic end I can bring to her, though I’m sure it’s massive. But I do know what I am become, self destruction, and the fact that I’m willing to destroyer to such a degree, I believe, has the issue securely in my corner.
So let’s get on with it already.
Let’s stop short of calling me a trophy husband. But let’s do say that somewhere out there is a super model, or a hand model, or a cousin, or sister who has a piece of paper on her fridge door, with a silver star on it that is me, who would be happy to have me. Over for dinner or coffee or to fix something. So in my wife’s eyes it looks like, and the nuclear deterrent goes like, this: Piss me off chic, and I’m outta here. (And I’ve got Ashley Madison in my pocket.)
Until Ashley Madison completely screwed the pooch.
I’m the creative. Unfortunately, my wife is the data analyst and strategist and a few other ysts and gists, and if anyone can scrub data to find a needle in a stack of needles, it’s her. So you can probably already tell how this may play out: As soon as that data hit the interwebbernet, my wife may scrub through it, and not find a hint of me. My nuclear deterrent may be destroyed.
What. The. Hell.
I can’t blame Casey for not seeing the real issue here. I mean, what? He covers Silicon Valley. Pffft. Right? I can simply advise and mentor, and shower him with the kind of patience one would expect from the understanding type that is me, the bringer of mutually assured destruction.