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Scandals: What is a Scandal? ~ The ZUMBA Scandal
What is the Zumba-scandal all about?
A female entrepreneur was indicted on more than a hundred counts of criminal activities, including tax evasion, violation of privacy rights of individuals and operating a brothel. Her alleged partner in crime was arraigned of almost sixty misdemeanor counts, including promoting the illegal activities of a brothel and violation of privacy rights, taping brothel clients without their knowledge.
So what exactly is a scandal?
According to my dictionary a scandal is ‘a disgraceful event’.
Coming to mind is Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s opinion about the Truth: “The truth is hidden behind a smokescreen of opinions. Considered to be the truth today could be proved as fraud tomorrow.”
Surely this goes for scandals as well: “A scandal is hidden behind a smokescreen of opinions. Considered to be a scandal today could be proved tomorrow as not-at-all-a-scandal.” Just think of divorces and illegitimate children – until only a few decades ago they were disgusting scandals forcing religious ministers and all layman assistants to resign from their vocations; nowadays they are simply the order of the day, although still categorized as ‘sad and unfortunate turn of events’.
Is operating a brothel a scandal?
Let’s focus for a moment on brothels.
- Suppose this was a legal business, would it be a scandal to buy the services rendered?
- Suppose men (and women) were allowed to admit their need for those services rendered by brothels, just like people admit (and practice) their need to play rugby, tennis, squash, or to swim, sunbathe or sweat in a gym. Do we realize that all activities encourage the secretion of well-needed chemicals in our bodies and that we are in fact addicted to many of those chemicals? (Hallo adrenalin and serotonin junkies! At this stage of my life I prefer dopamine, secreted when I make love. But I am not operating a brothel, because I don’t want to make ‘loving’ my job as this will encourage the secession of other chemicals that may make me feel tired and miserable.)
- Suppose people were not born with an urge to seize and possess the objects they like/love?
- Suppose ADULTS were able to accept other ADULTS as free, independent individuals with distinctive likes and dislikes?
- Suppose lucidity reigned and scales of values were no longer necessary (sic Camus), would we be bothered when some of our fellowmen spend time in a brothel instead of chasing, hitting and kicking balls of all kinds?
Is using a toilet a scandal?
But then, through another pair of glasses we could compare visits to a brothel with visits to a toilet. Then we could say ‘eeuuwww!’. But could we call visits to the toilet a scandal? Is it not the most common human activity? Some people suffer constipation, or chronic diarrhea, relieving themselves discreetly or discourteously from malodorous gases twenty-four hours per day; others have dry bladders, others have wet bladders, they are all free to use the toilet whenever they want. (Please note, a toilet – a specific place meant for the specific purpose of relieving oneself of a specific need.) Do we regard those users of toilets as ‘animals’ or as ‘ungodly’? Not? Now why do we detest people relieving themselves of excessive body-production in a brothel?
(Oh boy, how could I forgot – seminal fluid contains potential LIFE! Maybe this is the scandal: killing potential Life… Oh boy! Then we are all disgraceful persons! (Ladies, throw away those birth control pills; Gentleman, throw away those rubber contraptions. Please, let’s stop being disgraceful and allow Life to come to Life.)
I remember walking through De Wallen, Amsterdam in 1999, shaken to the core. How many windmills have to hit a woman into a ‘profession’ like that, I pondered for exactly three and a half days. Then, all of a sudden, I remembered the pros and cons of being a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, a mechanic, and I realized that people have distinctive and unintelligible talents and aspirations and that Time and Opportunity are in fact forcing them into careers they may or may not enjoy.
So personally I don’t regard the running of a brothel or the using of its services as a scandal. Those who operate it are facing risks and challenges just like any other entrepreneur, and those who enjoy the services rendered have to cope with the consequential pros and cons just like any other consumer of goods and services.
BTW: Since I’ve grabbed the opportunity to flip through a couple of those notorious magazines freely available in Holland – they are illegal in my country - I also realized that those 'girls in the windows' are not any other Alices living next door;. They are able to do things most women refuse to do and therefore cannot do. (Just for the record, I will not even try competing with the most incompetent of them all, just like I would not try removing my friend’s septic appendix or any nonfunctional valves in my car's engine.)
"Cobbler, stick to your last!"
Is it a scandal to enrich oneself at the cost of someone else?
But let’s say a scandal is ‘enriching oneself at the cost of someone else’, then maybe we could say visiting a brothel is a scandal because we are spending money, time and energy at the cost of our financial and emotional dependents.
But if this is the case, we are also disgracing ourselves when we pay how-many-dollars just to spend how-many-hours cheering our favorite sportsmen while our dependents sit all alone at home waiting to be considered.
The fact that Judah, the son of Jacob, ‘came in unto’ a harlot who was in fact his clever daughter-in-law, Tamar, was not a scandal. (Genesis 38.) The scandal was that Judah did not obey the law stipulated in Deuteronomy 25:5: “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.”
This was the custom of those days; today we would call such a late husband’s brother a disgraceful bigamist.
Is tax evasion a scandal?
Yes, tax evasion is a disgraceful event – a scandal. We should render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. (And the unblemished objective of this rule is to make all people's lives on this planet save and comfortable.)
But now I remember the story of Abraham, (pronounced Avraham), the father of Judaism. He allegedly lived somewhere between 1976 BCE and 637 BCE in UR - an important Sumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia. He was supposed to sacrifice some of his best assets, in other words, pay his taxes, to the king of Ur. This king was seen as half human-half god, the son of Sin (who were in fact the moon) and a human mother. All kings and queens of that time were allegedly sons and daughters of gods, and therefor the followers of Jesus accepted him as the child of a virgin and the son of God without questioning the true possibility of the concept.
Sin (the moon) was the deity of the city Ur, because he provided light at night - the best time to travel with merchandise to inland cities through a desert victimized by the god Marduk (the wind) and swarms of caterpillars. Abraham was not a trader, but a stock-keeper. He didn't need Sin and had no reason to 'buy' Sin's blessings by sacrifice anything to him. He feared the power of Yahweh, who was another deity, punishing sinners with earthquakes and volcanoes. So Abraham refused to ‘pay his taxes’ to Sin and decided to follow the orders of Yahweh. “Leave Ur and trek to Canaan, the Promised Land!” And this was the beginning of modern religion.
A native of Ur rejecting Sin? A native of Ur refusing to render unto Sin (and his representatives on Earth) what was his? What a scandal! It was, In fact, a punishable offence.
In the same time-slot brothels were seen as the temples of the Gods and Goddesses of Love. Prostitutes were like nuns, devoted to their god/goddess. Visits to those brothels were seen as a religious activity.
The point iI want to make: Norms, beliefs and interpretations determine whether something is a scandal or not.
Could it be that our religious orientation determines what we consider to be scandals?
Religion developed during the ages. Today Jesus Christ is the only ‘survivor’ of the ancient half-god-half man concept. According to Christian religion all Christians are considered to be His ‘brothers and sisters’ to become just like him. Christians are therefor supposed to conquer their human nature in order to become ‘godly’. Created in the image of God - (Genesis 1:26 - And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness) - this is not supposed to be difficult. So why would we need the services rendered by a brothel? Or why would we chase balls of all sorts?
According to Exodus 20:5 Abraham's god was/is a jealous god, demanding undivided, loyal faithfulness.
Could this be the origin of our current believe that it is our right to demand undivided, loyal faithfulness from the man/woman we love? Believing that we were created in the image of God, why shall we deny our natural tendency to be jealous and possessive?
Fact is, humans are nothing more than glorified animals - in particular glorified primates - sharing the same primary urges: To live, to multiply, to die.” If we call ourselves Believers in God and in his image having the right to judge and condemn, why are we not able to practice the other qualities of God, such as his quality to rise on the evil and on the good and on the just and on the unjust? (Matthew 5:45.) And to love those who accept us for what we are.
"I Am that I Am" was the name God called Himself. Is this not what we call ourselves as well?
Anyway, being a philosopher all my life, questioning established customs, being in revolt against everything that seems to be senseless and unfair according to my personal perception of sensible and fair, THIS WAS MY THOUGHTS WHILE I read fpherj48’S synopsis of the Kennebunk, Maine, Zumba Scandal.
E. O. Wilson ~ "The essence of humanity's spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?"
The real shocking truth
“…. members of the quiet and lovely Kennebuck community, were at best shocked and at worse, mortified and disgusted…. Little did they know initially, that the very worst was yet to come. Numerous reliable sources announced the existence of the meticulous records kept by The Entrepreneur, filled with information in minute detail of every client, for every visit in 18 months. There exists a Client List that has been cleared by more than one Judge for publication. Every name and address of every client is to be published....yes, meaning printed in all things readable to anyone who cares to read it…”
I almost fell off my chair. Are we still living in ancient times where violators of the law have to be stoned in public? Though not with rocks, but with words and outspoken opinions printed on the pages of newspapers and magazines?
The general response of the community: "Every other criminal has their name listed in the papers, why should these criminals be any different? They don't deserve any special protection." The public has a right to know who these shameful men are!"
But wait a minute! Exactly what is the PURPOSE of punishing criminals by publishing their names in papers?
- Is it to please scandalmongers eager to find delight in the abasement of others?
- Is it to dump innocent wives, girlfriends and children into shock, disappointment and shame?
- Is it to demonstrate how law-offenders are to be stoned in public in a modern way?
- Is it to teach violators of the law a lesson or two they will never-ever forget?
- Or Is it to encourage people to protect themselves against sources of danger and misfortune
- and to compensate for losses suffered.
If the latter two is the purpose, then publishing the names of secondary offenders is not at all recommended.
To my relief there ARE people thinking that a little mercy would be in order. "I don't see why publishing their names is necessary. This will be very bad for these men." (Although the vast majority of those nurturing this thought are men. So why does women have a wish to see those men's heads on a platter. (Perhaps to be discussed in a separate hub.)
Appropriate punishment for secondary offenders
So what would be the appropriate punishment for those so-called disgraceful men who were for some reason or another compelled to buy the illegal services of a brothel?
What about giving each of them a fine – X amount to be paid for buying illegal services, but No Amount to be paid if turning state's evidence. (Maybe some of those poor men were the victims of hateful and incompetent partners. Then this sad event might as well be the perfect opportunity to start a new life, evidently in another town where scandalmongers can’t complicate their lives.)
for giving me an opportunity
to rant about
people and their doings :)
© Martie Coetser (October 2012)
Copyright :: All Rights Reserved
Registered :: 2012-10-27 18:31:08
Title :: Scandals: What is a Scandal? ~ The ZUMBA Scandal
Category :: Article Hub
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