One recurring theme in punditry on the Internet is how it’s changing the nature of privacy now that people are putting so much formerly private information onto the Web, the most public place in the known universe. New York magazine mulled over what the trend means about the young’uns; the New York Times looked at its limits and how it could affect your job prospects; and Wired sniffed out how it could make you (as the tech entrepreneur you are) really, really rich.
There have also been a lot of celebrities exposed—literally or not; intentionally or not—via the Internet, from a presidential candidate calling an opponent’s dark-skinned volunteer “macaca” to brainless celebutantes showing off their lack of underwear to get attention.
Nothing, I’d argue, shows the perfect overlap of these two phenomena so well as this video clip of David Hasselhoff, drunk out of his mind, filmed, sprawled on his bathroom floor, by his young daughter, trying to get him to stop drinking.
At first the video’s kind of amusing—another one of the thousands of silly videos all over the Web, this one especially notable for the celebrity of the main player. But not far into the video you get the feeling of being thrust straight into the middle of a fraught, sad, and very dramatic situation. Reality TV would die to have the intimacy that all of these viewers (623,267, as of “press time”) share with Hasselhoff and his daughter, trying heroically to parent her father.
The Internet takes a step forward in revealing everyone to everyone.