Apr 18, 2016

MMMM # 535 The Peeping Author

  If you missed The New Yorker story based on a new book by Gay Talese, you can catch up with it HERE.

BUT before you do, realize it is the story of a man who bought a 22 room motel in Aurora, Colorado, installed special vents above the rooms, and spent decades watching his guests do everything  people do in motel rooms. Thus forewarned, go ahead if you want and read the excerpt of Talese's book in The New Yorker, but here are two small samples if what Talese has writen, using a detailed log book the motel owner kept:

The reason for purchasing this motel was to satisfy my voyeuristic tendencies and compelling interest in all phases of how people conduct their lives, both socially and sexually. . . . I did this purely out of my unlimited curiosity about people and not as just a deranged voyeur.

"...(Talese) asked Foos if he ever felt guilty about spying on his guests. While he admitted to constant fear of being found out, he was unwilling to concede that his activities in the attic brought harm to anyone. He said that he was indulging his curiosity within the boundaries of his own property, and, because his guests were unaware of his voyeurism, they were not affected by it. He reasoned, “There’s no invasion of privacy if no one complains.” Still, he took great pains to avoid discovery, and he worried that, were he caught, he could be charged with a crime." 

     Now, a media firestorm is underway asking if Talese had the right to take part in the voyeurism and keep it all a secret for decades. One commentary is in The Toronto Star:

"What’s impossible to understand is why Talese believes the gibberish of a Peeping Tom — more Penthouse Letters than Sociological Perspectives — has any value 36 years later. Which he must because Grove Press paid Foos to use his journals in the upcoming book."

  But the genie is out of the bottle now...and the book is being made into a movie by Steven Spielberg.
    "G.T. The XXXtraterestrial"?

The hotel is long gone, torn down. But this shot of Google Earth caught it briefly, and then the empty lot where it stood. A glitch of their archival video history feature I guess.

[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a regular feature of www.TimLennox.com

Established 2007

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