James Poulos, feeling L.A.-noirish tonight, is not so sure that the Norks did the Sony hack, but he is sure that Tinseltown is scared to death because the place is a cesspit. Excerpt:

In fact, Hollywood has amassed so much undisclosed TMZ fodder that it’s willing to do whatever the North says. There is no margin for error, and no taking of chances. Spend enough time in the right/wrong circles here in L.A., and you’ll pick up a tabloid’s worth of sordid stories. Sometimes they’re open secrets. Sometimes they’re videos sitting on people’s phones. Almost always, they’re about the kind of behavior that ordinary Americans revile (or pretend to), but don’t really want to know about. Massive drugs. Massive prostitutes. Massive expenditures. All somehow sustained in a system that’s run by some of America’s most famous corporations—legitimate, law-abiding businesses, of course.

The Sony hack has revealed, above all, just how easy it is for this information to get out. Not just a drib or a drab, a gay rumor here and an orgy video there. Tons of it.
The Sony hack has revealed, above all, just how easy it is for this information to get out. Not just a drib or a drab, a gay rumor here and an orgy video there. Tons of it. There’s a remarkably delicate balance sustaining Hollywood’s conspiracy of silence around the gory details of its culture of excess. Once a tipping point is reached, a free-for-all will ensue.

For me, this is the epitome of mixed emotions. I would not mind one bit seeing those people hoisted on their high-and-mighty petards shamed for their bad behavior. But civilization depends hypocrisy, and the ability to count on certain secrets being kept. That’s hyperbolic, but only a bit. I do not need or want to read the e-mails of all the people I know. I don’t want to know who among the townspeople is cheating on his wife, who smokes crack, who is stealing from his boss, who secretly hates whom, and so forth. Nobody can live that way. A society without veils, without hypocrisy, is a society that is unfree.

And yet, if Hollywood’s filthy secrets leak, thanks to Pyongyang or a disgruntled insider, it will be indecent and scary … but I know myself well enough to know I’ll be clicking Gawker like everybody else, including you. Showtime at the Prytania!

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