[FOUNTAIN]Public craves celebrity dirt at heavy priceWhen Princess Diana was killed in a car crash near the Seine River in Paris in 1997, her brother, Earl Spencer, blamed the paparazzi for her death. Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Egyptian-born millionaire Dodi Al Fayed, were chased aggressively by paparazzi when they left a restaurant after dinner.
Mr. Spencer claimed that the driver must have speeded up in order to lose the paparazzi. However, autopsy results showed the driver was under influence of illegal substances and alcohol. Naturally, the paparazzi were found not guilty.
As Great Britain mourned the death of Princess Diana, the British criticized the aggressive paparazzi and lambasted people who find pleasure from peeking into other people’s personal lives.
People began to feel that the public, not just the paparazzi, was responsible for Princess Diana’s death because they enjoyed the photos of her private life. They also pitied the two young princes who lost their mother.
Recently, an amateur paparazzo took a photo of 20-year-old Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform. The prince was at a costume party, and one of the attendees there had taken a photo of him with a cell phone camera and sold it to a tabloid. The photo was instantly spread around the world via Internet. Even before the tabloid printed the photo, the Israeli government protested, and the royal family apologized. As camera phones meet the Internet, we are living in the age of IT voyeurism. Anyone can become a paparazzo, and everyone can dominate the media.
From a psychoanalytical point of view, voyeurism is natural. In the process of being potty trained from 1 to 3 years old, insecurity and stress can cause perversion.
Some experts say children can develop sneaky desires from 3 to 5 years old.
In the era of information technology, people can get infatuated with cyberspace and become addicted to the Internet.
The Sunday Telegraph pointed out that children, especially Japanese kids who play computer games from a very early age are in jeopardy. Korea, another IT powerhouse, is also at risk.
Recently, a report of highly personal information about celebrities has been circulated on the Internet. The Internet cannot be controlled and regulated. It’s best for a person to control their desire to peer into other people’s lives.
by Oh Byung-sang
The writer is the JoongAng Ilbo’s London correspondent.
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