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September 18, 2012

11:02
A.M.

ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Total Responses: 64

About the hosts

About the host

Alexandra Petri

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost, a lighter take on the news and issues of the day, and she contributes to the Post editorial page. Her work has appeared in venues such as The Huffington Post, The Week, Newsweek.com, Businessweek.com, Collegehumor, and The Harvard Crimson. She has appeared on Jeopardy!, Showbiz Tonight and Canadian radio, and she has performed at Boston's Comedy Studio and Comedy Connection. She would love to be on your TV show, radio show, Daily Show, HBO special, or to be an honored guest (or regular guest) at your Bar Mitzvah. She is the author of two books (unpublished, but contact her!), two screenplays, three plays, one musical, and one memoir (Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast.)

About the topic

Join us next Tuesday to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway.

Past ComPost Live Chats

Connect on Twitter: @PostLive | @petridishes
Q.

Alexandra Petri :

How's the 47 percent doing?

Er.

Q.

From Your Twitter Virtual Friends

That's OK, post an interesting photo on Twitter and then ask us not to ask you about it. We won't ask. We'll just continue our lives knowing that you only want to tease us with your interesting photographs and then not tell us anything about them. We know where we stand..
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha, that was from Antietam! There was a tent set up by, I think, the Park Service, where you could pose in period garb and get your picture taken in front of the Burnside Bridge.

So, er, that's what that was.

– September 18, 2012 11:03 AM
Q.

The Old Man, the Sea, and His Cat

I am impressed that one of the greatest writers of all times considered cats as "love spongers". The things I learn by following what you tell us to read.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Papa was a cat man, apparently.

– September 18, 2012 11:04 AM
Q.

Groucho was a Marxist

At least you are reading "Atlas Shrugged" and "50 Shades" at the same time. I made the mistake of reading Karl Marx and "50 Shades" at the same time. I dreamed I was running through a factory shouting "workers of the world, you have nothing to lose but your chains" and the workers shouted back "but we love our chains."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha! +10!

– September 18, 2012 11:04 AM
Q.

Papa was a cat man, apparently.

What's the story about the horde of six-toed cats that hang around his Florida home?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I didn't know they had six toes! What is the story?

– September 18, 2012 11:11 AM
Q.

Cats

Cat's are so entitled. 100% of cats are "love spongers" or more accurately 'love moochers." Also, they never clean their boxes and feel they deserve food and housing. Disgusting.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No, I disagree. At least 53 percent of cats bring you mice from time to time to indicate their independence and self-sufficiency. Yes, some of them are toy mice, but it's the thought, right?

– September 18, 2012 11:12 AM
Q.

The real story behind politics

So Romney picked Snooki over Honey Boo Boo. I think this was a mistake. Obama's lead in New Jersey is too strong, and conceding the Honey Boo Boo vote to Obama hurts him in crucial states like Florida.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's an interesting theory.

Then again, admitting to liking Honey Boo Boo anywhere might be a devastating blow of a sort as well.

– September 18, 2012 11:15 AM
Q.

Sh Shades of Grey Cats

Don't you love it when your cat brings you a live mouse and tortures it. There you are, trying to concentrate on reading "50 Shades", and there is your cat doing exactly what you are reading....
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, my favorite Shades-reading story was actually from Antietam, where, as a regimental band played a medley of minstrel songs, I noticed a woman rapt in an ebook of some sort. Curious, I crept closer.

You guessed it: 50 Shades Freed.

Who reads 50 Shades Freed to antebellum horn music?

This woman, I guess.

– September 18, 2012 11:18 AM
Q.

Just wondering

I loved your article on Fashion Week. I saw something totally amazing on New York One during Fashion Week (yes, the station lampooned in "How I Met Your Mother" that shows that even best friends of those on "New York One" don't even watch their friends on "New York One.") New York One sent an older guy to report on Fashion One. He interviewed one of the top designers and asked a question that I have never heard anyone ask before, yet is one of those first obvious questions to most guys: He asked why there is so much bother over showing dresses that will never be sold in any shops. The designer couldn't come up with an answer, so she answered what she knew, which was how many dresses she has. So, why so much bother over dresses that the public will never even have a chance to buy?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That is a good question!

I think because... fashion... trickle-down effect?

Perhaps, if there weren't these people making fusses over dresses that would never sell, there would be nothing to give us the vague sense that Burnt Umber and Pinstripes were in this fall. And without the vague sense that Burnt Umber and Pinstripes were in this fall, where would we be?

Must investigate further, as Rorschach says.

– September 18, 2012 11:22 AM
Q.

53% of cats bring you mice from time to time

Correction: 53% of cats bring you mice heads from time to time.

Q.

For Whom the Cat Collar Bells Toll

When you keep lots of cats together for a few generations, inbreeding occurs and you get cats with six toes. Next question, please.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Speaking of cat inbreeding--

Man, I wish I had something to say here, because that would be a wonderful segue.

Er.

I've been reading a lot of fairy tales lately, because I got shotgun -married to a copy of Grimm's Complete Tales at a Barnes and Noble, and I'd forgotten how riveting they were.

My favorite one recently, of which I'm still trying to figure out what the moral is, revolves around a sausage, a bird, and a mouse, who keep house together. The sausage does the cooking (I know, weird, right? But apparently it rolls around in the meal to give it added flavor), the bird gets the firewood, and the mouse sets the table (clearly, the mouse is the weak link in this partnership). One day, the bird runs into an old friend from college and somehow lets slip that he is living in a strange group house with a sausage and a mouse, and the bird's friend says he thinks the bird is doing more than its share of the work, and adds furthermore that the sausage and mouse are clearly just some more of those 47 percent freeloaders we've heard so much about. So the bird returns home and suggests they switch tasks.

It goes just about as well as you'd expect, which is to say that the sausage tries to get firewood and immediately is eaten by a passing dog. The mouse tries to roll around in the food to flavor it, and this kills it. And the bird, trying to fetch water to rescue the mouse from the fire with, falls down a well and dies.

So what's the moral? Never change the chore chart? If you're living in a bizarre group-house arrangement with a mouse and a sausage, don't tell your friends? Or what?

– September 18, 2012 11:31 AM
Q.

links to your stuff

can't we get them on this page? link to wapo blog please
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Here's the general blog link!

– September 18, 2012 11:33 AM
Q.

there would be nothing to give us the vague sense that Burnt Umber and Pinstripes were in this fall.

But it isn't the outlandish Paris designers who make those proclamations, is it? I thought it was people like Vogue magazine, who may attend the unwearable-clothing designer shows, but also have some real-world sense of what actual women wear.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That sounds more sensible. I had the vague idea that it was at these shows that they got the ideas behind these proclamations, but that could well be wrong!

– September 18, 2012 11:34 AM
Q.

Just for the record, for those confused by this...

Having your cat bring you a mouse head is normal. Having the mouse heads stuffed by a taxidermist and displaying them in your living room is not normal.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I really hope this has happened to you and you are speaking from personal experience.

– September 18, 2012 11:35 AM
Q.

Polydactyls

When you keep lots of cats together for a few generations, inbreeding occurs and you get cats with six toes. Next question, please. -- Not actually true. Being six-toed is actually a fairly common genetic abnormality for cats. Kind of like being tailless. More accurately, Hemingway adopted a polydactyl that spread it's abnormality along to the rest of the cats. By the way ^^^ this is why I'm still single.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, I at least appreciate your accuracy on the subject of cat polydactylism (is this a word? You seem as though you'd know)!

– September 18, 2012 11:37 AM
Q.

Groan Groan Groan

Isn't there another Grimm's Fairy Tale about a bird that eats a sausage? Wait, the moral of that one is that there is always a tern for the wurst.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I heard the one about the man who hated seabirds -- he left no tern unstoned.

– September 18, 2012 11:38 AM
Q.

Advice

Just some advice: If anyone ever asks you to go to there house to see their collection of stuffed mouse heads...Politely decline. I can not stress this enough.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

PSA

– September 18, 2012 11:40 AM
Q.

Grimm's Fairy Tales

It sounds like the moral of that story is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think, though, that a subsidiary moral of a great many fairy tales is "live in whatever bizarre-sounding household setup you deem proper, but for heaven's sake don't tell your parents or friends about it." Cases in point: this one, all the Eros/Psyche tales where you tell Mom that you are pretty sure you are sleeping with a very handsome man but just possibly maybe have never actually laid eyes on him -- but hey, the food's great!-- and then suddenly you're spilling hot candle wax everywhere and being forced to perform all kinds of challenging tasks.

– September 18, 2012 11:42 AM
Q.

Ermagerd...

Terrrnnnsss
A.
Alexandra Petri :

One good tern deserves another.

– September 18, 2012 11:43 AM
Q.

One Down, One to Go

Putting aside the current brouhaha over the Kate photos, do you think the royal-pregnancy watchers are anything like the panda-pregnancy watchers? Life as a royal doesn't seem that much different from life in a zoo.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I was going to say that there are fewer people in hats shaped like you lurking outside your enclosure with binoculars, but actually I'm not sure that's true.

– September 18, 2012 11:44 AM
Q.

Reverse-word joke time?

What's the difference between a rooster and a lawyer? The rooster clucks defiance and....
A.
Alexandra Petri :

The lawyer is an upstanding member of society!

*yes I see what you did there.

– September 18, 2012 11:47 AM
Q.

Mouse Heads

Mount them on pencils, so as to serve as a warning to the other mice to stay away from your house.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This chat seems oddly opinionated on the subject of what to do when life gives you mouse heads.

– September 18, 2012 11:47 AM
Q.

Not to go all serious on you but...

I find the paparazzi culture to be just disgusting, the stalking of people to capture intimate, private, or embarrassing moments for public consumption just is not defensible in my mind. But here is my question, how should I apportion the blame for the current situation? In my mind I end up putting more of it on the CONSUMERS of the product because no way the photographers would go to the risk and expense they do unless there was a market for it. Am I just being elitist? What if everyone stopped buying magazines promising pics of "baby bumps" and other non-stories?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

No, I concur. Then again I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who would say that paparazzi culture was great and non-harmful. 

There are a number of phenomena like this, where everyone can pretty much agree that it is terrible and devastating but we keep supporting it anyway because we like the things it gives us.

– September 18, 2012 11:52 AM
Q.

Ernie's Six-Toed Cats

If you go to Hemingway's house in Key West it is crawling with six-toed cats. About 40 of them. They are descendants of his six-toed cat that some ship's captain gave him.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I am learning so much!

– September 18, 2012 11:52 AM
Q.

I figured out how to fulfill my Chat Duty

Per the bottom of this page: "About the topic - Join us Tuesday to laugh, cry, and dish about the moments that amused you, shocked you, or caused you to yell things that frightened the other people on the subway." I plan on yelling "MOUSE HEADS ON PENCILS" on the Metro on my way home. Will that fulfill my duty as a chat participant? Thanks!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

VIDEO OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!

But yes, absolutely.

– September 18, 2012 11:53 AM
Q.

The rooster clucks defiance

It's called a Spoonerism, allegedly after a minister prone to such verbal gaffes.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I love Spoonerisms! As a kid, I liked to tell people that they were what the Reverend Spooner would have called shining wits.

– September 18, 2012 11:54 AM
Q.

Not the mice too!

"Mount them on pencils, so as to serve as a warning to the other mice to stay away from your house." I'm pretty sure this is how the troll population was decimated back in the day.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

– September 18, 2012 11:59 AM
Q.

Opposing view re Kate

Anyone in the British royal family should know that you never, EVER set foot outdoors in any state of (un)dress or disorder that you don't want photographed and published, no matter how far you think you could possibly be from a camera lens. Kate got what she deserved.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I believe Queen Elizabeth showers fully clothed.

– September 18, 2012 11:59 AM
Q.

Just wanted to say

That as a person also named Alexandra, I appreciated the discussion re: our names last time.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Huzzah! We're like brothers from another mother! Or, er, people of the same name from different parents!

– September 18, 2012 12:03 PM
Q.

Spooning you

"The Lord is s shoving leopard", declared the Reverend Spooner. Prior to this, I had thought Spoonerism was when an eating instrument jumped over the moon.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

"When the boys come back from France, we'll have the hags flung out!"

– September 18, 2012 12:04 PM
Q.

Got what she deserved?

I think you can say that a member of the Royal family might be well served to not appear outside in a state of undress, but I don't see any way Kate got "what she deserved." Blaming the victim here is rather unseemly. If you go outside with money in your pocket and get robbed, you didn't "deserve it." Good grief.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Kate certainly didn't deserve this; apologies if it sounded as though I was endorsing that line of thinking. She's in a position that is absolutely unimaginable for most humans, and she's been doing a stellar job, a far better job than most of us would, and whoever did this is a jerk. And if it really is true that she should expect never to be able to appear anywhere undressed outdoors from now on, what a sad state of affairs that is.

– September 18, 2012 12:09 PM
Q.

Grimm's Fairy Talking Points

That sausage-bird-mouse household may be odd, but at least everyone pitched in. I laud especially the work of the sausage, day after day, giving of itself to roll its flavor into the bland meal. No freeloaders here. I suggest there need to be three more completely useless house members added to stand in for the idle 47 percenters. Maybe a slug, a cat with 100 toes on each foot, and a robot version of Mitt Romney.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is quite the summation of the chat so far.

And, hey, the 100-toed cat and slug probably would contribute, and I'm sure RoboMitt would add to the household's efficiency...

– September 18, 2012 12:12 PM
Q.

Mouse Heads on Pencils

and then you can play the clip of the cat meow'ing the Game of Thrones theme that went around a few weeks ago for extra emphasis
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh, that was a great clip! And I don't even watch Game of Thrones, although I know who dies!

– September 18, 2012 12:13 PM
Q.

Opposing Views

I think it's become uber trendy these days to argue for argument's sake. You have to an utter moron to really believe that Kate Middleton is getting what she deserves. That or it's another puritanical American who thinks breasts are evil.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Well, just for argument's sake, let's say that all the people making these arguments actually believe what they're saying, and --

I'm sorry, this seems to be collapsing in on itself.

– September 18, 2012 12:14 PM
Q.

More Advice

A man goes to a psychiatrist and says "my girlfriend wanted me to come here because I like sausages." The shrink says "there's nothing wrong with that. I like sausages too." The man brightens up and says "well come to my house. I have THOUSANDS." So, if someone invites you to their house to see their collection of sausages.... politely decline as well.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

Lots of useful PSAs this week!

– September 18, 2012 12:15 PM
Q.

Kate did not get what she deserved

If you can't sunbathe topless in front of your husband then the next thing you know mice will be living with sausages.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And birds! You keep forgetting the birds!

– September 18, 2012 12:15 PM
Q.

My sister was bitten by a moose once.

To get in the obligatory Monty Python reference.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

+10!

– September 18, 2012 12:15 PM
Q.

they should have called me

I would have made a great member of British royalty. Whenever I am naked, no one wants to take my photograph.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

You're like Phyllis Diller, who once wore a peekaboo dress. Her husband peeked and booed.

– September 18, 2012 12:16 PM
Q.

More from Dr. Spooner

Announced the hymn as "From Iceland's Greasy Mountains" and asked a parishioner who was occupewing the wrong pie whether she would like him to sew her to another sheet.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Also, "Kinkering Kongs Their Titles Take," I think.

– September 18, 2012 12:17 PM
Q.

Breaking news

Romney is taking your advice and is refusing to say another word. Oh, and he's dyeing his hair red.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Yeergh.

– September 18, 2012 12:17 PM
Q.

That or it's another puritanical American who thinks breasts are evil.

But if it's Kate, or her in-laws, who are suing about the photos, aren't they the ones who think breasts are evil?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I thought the chatter was saying that the people who thought she had gotten what she deserved for so much as dreaming of going outdoors without her Vile Woman Appendages Covered were the ones who thought breasts were evil, not the people trying to stop the magazine exposure.

– September 18, 2012 12:24 PM
Q.

Poor analogy re Kate

Getting robbed when you go out with money IN your pocket is not a valid analogy to Kate being outdoors topless. A better analogy might be going out with large bills flowing out of your pockets and expecting no one to pick them up off the street and keep them, instead of giving them back. Kate is no "victim" here; she knew she was topless when she went outside, and that paps use incredibly long zoom lenses.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think, though, as Jen Chaney correctly observed, we do want to protect Kate because she has been so incredibly poised and put-together and polite and classy in a position that is extremely difficult, and this is clearly not a photo she thought would be taken, snapped by a photographer she did not see. Sure, she's a royal, she should never expect to be paparazzi-free. But still. So all the people insisting that suddenly It's All Her Fault! She Should Have Known are attracting pushback. After all, on every occasion when she's known she would be photographed, she's been poised and ready, and "careless" and "allowing large bills to flow out of your pockets" are not words typically associated with her. So to say that she "deserved" this feels wrong.

– September 18, 2012 12:34 PM
Q.

Just wondering

Are there any embarrassing photos of you in existence?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Besides the first ones that come up any time you Google me, when I was trying to make amends to Donald Hall, in which I am making a face like something that crawls out of a sewer late at night?

– September 18, 2012 12:35 PM
Q.

Evil Breasts?

I thought that was the bases of most adventure comic books.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

– September 18, 2012 12:35 PM
Q.

OP

Yes, I was indeed saying that members of the Royal family (or any other celebs) should never go outdoors topless or in any other state of deshabille they wouldn't want photographed and published. They DO have a good idea what topless/naked/otherwise embarrassing photos of themselves are worth in the free market, so they know better than to provide the opportunity.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is probably sage advice.

But.

We just accepted that some people should not be allowed to go outdoors in a non-photographable state. Are we all right being a society that demands that? Where if people do that -- especially people like Royals and Celebrity Kids, the Guiltless Celebrities Who Are There By No Fault Of Their Own, as opposed to the Desperate Fame Hungry Heidi Montag Types -- and get caught, it's their fault, not ours? I'm not sure I'm okay with that yet. Perhaps we could come up with some sort of Dream Act for people who arrived in celebrity-dom through no fault of their own at an early age and didn't have the chance to opt out. If you had the chance to opt out, I'd be more comfortable making that level of demand on privacy, although even then it's a bit galling.

– September 18, 2012 12:42 PM
Q.

I thought the chatter was saying ...

You're correct. That's exactly what I was saying. Just because Kate doesn't want to flaunt her boobs to the world does not mean she's puritanical.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Oh good!

– September 18, 2012 12:42 PM
Q.

It's not a Sex tape

I think people are confusing the Middleton photos something akin to making a sex tape. People who make sex tapes know they're being filmed. it's more like what happened to Erin Andrews.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think that's a closer analogy.

– September 18, 2012 12:43 PM
Q.

Re the analogy

No, the proper analogy would not be "going out" with money sticking out of your pockets, it would be walking in a PRIVATE home with no one allowed to be around, with money sticking out of your pockets. Big difference. MOUSE HEADS ON PENCILS!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think actually the correct analogy would be walking around a private home surrounded with mouse heads and sausages and 47 Shades of Gray, when --

Perhaps this chat is collapsing in on itself.

– September 18, 2012 12:44 PM
Q.

I'm not saying she got what she deserved but

surely she's aware of the existence of helicopters and of telephoto lenses by now?
A.
Alexandra Petri :

True, but even the best in the world don't get everything right all the time.

– September 18, 2012 12:46 PM
Q.

especially people like Royals and Celebrity Kids, the Guiltless Celebrities Who Are There By No Fault Of Their Own,

I'm sorry, this applies to Prince William, but not to Kate, who did actually volunteer for celebritydom. I loathe paparazzi, don't get me wrong, but Kate should have known this would happen.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

But it's a more complex package, yes? Marrying into royalty is a slightly less blatant trade-off equation than just signing up for fame.

Certainly she knew that all kinds of scrutiny were coming her way, and that she couldn't marry William without This Whole Royalty Thing, but she's handled it astonishingly well so far. So well that when this did happen, it's certainly pushed me to question the demands we're making rather than instantly shake my finger at her for failing to meet them. If she can't, maybe it's not as simple as the Should Have Known/She Deserved It camp makes it sound.

– September 18, 2012 12:51 PM
Q.

We assume they can see the photographers

The lengths the Paparazzi will go to get a photo and the technology they have is staggering. It's easy for Kate to think she had privacy because it was probably carefully chosen and was as discreet as possible. But they have technology that the CIA has for pete's sake. I bet you anything they were shocked that those photos were able to be taken. I'm sure that's very upsetting and troubling to them.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think this goes a good way towards framing the question: how much can you expect her to prepare for?

Is "Never Go Outside Ever Unless Fully Clothed Because CIA Technology" the level, or is there a level of "Gee It Seems Reasonable That We'd Be Unobserved" that we should try to carve out? There's no way you can be prepared for every unforeseen event that may or may not occur...

– September 18, 2012 12:53 PM
Q.

The morale of today's discussion

I go out totally naked holding onto wads of cash all the time, and no one bothers me. Maybe it's all the mouse heads hanging from me....
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Ha!

– September 18, 2012 12:54 PM
Q.

Erin Andrews

Erin was spied on when she was indoors, and by someone personally obsessed with her. Kate was outdoors, and photographed by someone planning to sell the pics for publication. All the difference in the world. Plus, Kate is most definitely NOT one of those "people who arrived in celebrity-dom through no fault of their own," because she freely chose to marry into the Royal Family.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is a good job of making the counter-case.

To sum up, the points of disagreement are:

-how much expectation of privacy should Kate reasonably have had?

-to what extent did she, joining the royal family, consent to all of this?

-is it reasonable to expect this level of constant discretion from her?

I might concede the first two. I'm not sure I'm willing to concede the third, for the simple reason that she has been the picture of class and decorum so far and if she can't do it, maybe we need to adjust the fishbowl expectations to fit actual human beings.

– September 18, 2012 12:59 PM
Q.

who did actually volunteer for celebritydom

How, by being born? He never chose the life. He never had the option to avoid this life. She did. She had the option not to be a royal. He was born a royal.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Another voice for the opposition to Part 2.

– September 18, 2012 1:00 PM
Q.

Your photo

I am missing your point about your photo with Donald Hall, unless it is that you look exactly like Barack Obama, which overall is not a bad look, but I guess it could freak out some guys on a blind date....
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I meant this one! Yeergh, was hoping not to link to that...

– September 18, 2012 1:04 PM
Q.

How, by being born? He never chose the life.

That's what I said. You completely misread my post. I was agreeing with Alex that Royals and Celebrity Kids don't choose the life, but that Kate did, by choosing to marry into Royalty. I also don't quite understand what Alex is looking for. Surely saying that Kate should have been more careful is not piling on and sneering She Got What She deserved. There's a spectrum here, not just the extreme ends.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Yes, I think you're in the reasonable middle Should Be More Careful zone, which is several shades shy of She Deserved It but several shades farther than No One Deserves This, which is where I'm drifting.

– September 18, 2012 1:06 PM
Q.

This obviously proves I'm unfit for royalty

It never occurred to me that any private citizen had a camera lens capable of picking out the detail on a nipple from 7 football fields away. I thought that kind of lechery was limited to military purposes.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

This is probably a good time to mention that I recently saw J. Edgar.

– September 18, 2012 1:07 PM
Q.

Erin Andrews - No Difference

Being outside doesn't mean you're out in public. Behind the hotel room door or behind the property gate - is still private property. It's the EXACT SAME THING!
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And another counter-argument.

(For those following the discussion by number, you two are disagreeing on (1) - reasonableness of expectation of privacy!)

– September 18, 2012 1:08 PM
Q.

Another voice for the opposition to Part 2.

I'm not saying Kate deserves this simply because she chose the life. I was just pointing out that William didn't volunteer and that she technically did. Doesn't mean she should be punished for the choice.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

I think we may actually be in agreement. Apologies for taking so long to notice! (As a sidenote, thank you all for going along with the axes of Kate!)

– September 18, 2012 1:10 PM
Q.

Kate

Yeesh people. Of course she had a reasonable expectation of privacy, at an enclosed, private estate in the middle of nowhere. The paps are greedy, self-absorbed privcay violaters.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And here's a strong view on 1.

– September 18, 2012 1:13 PM
Q.

More defense of Kate

From what I've seen and heard (and no, I didn't go looking for the pictures, but they are everywhere), she didn't "walk around topless." She was sunbathing by a pool on a VERY private estate and took her top off to avoid tan lines, as many, many women do. As far as she knew, there was no one around except her husband. This scum-dweller was on a distant road overlooking the estate with a CIA-grade zoom lens. I think even celebrities-- maybe especially celebrities-- are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy and the ability to retreat from public scrutiny for the occasional break. This was not a situation where a reasonable person would have expected to be photographed. Personally, my guess is that if it were entirely up to her she'd be willing to shrug the whole thing off and go on with her life. William and the Palace are reacting rather more forcefully because you have to think that being hounded by paparazzi is a PARTICULARLY TOUCHY SUBJECT for him. If they can make it costly for the press to print these photos, maybe they'll think twice about it. I, for one, an simply glad to see him stick up for his wife, rather than leave her hanging out to dry.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

After this case on 1 and 3, I think I'm going to have to wrap up, although we could well argue this all day!

Thank you all for a very vivid discussion.

– September 18, 2012 1:16 PM
Q.

So Who Actually Went to Look at the Photos?

I'm curious if those who think it's an invasion of her privacy opted not to look at the photos out of respect, of if they looked anyway. It would be pretty hypocritical, but at the same time its' human nature to want to look.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's a discussion for another day.

I haven't looked, but I can understand the impulse.

– September 18, 2012 1:17 PM
Q.

Kate Should Do A Topless Press Conference

She should just show up everywhere topless. Then no one will make a fuss about all of this anymore.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

That's certainly one solution.

– September 18, 2012 1:19 PM
Q.

In private while outdoors?

If a photographer with a telephoto lens is on public property -- in Kate's case, the photog was on a public road -- then it doesn't matter if Kate's on private or public property if she's outdoors.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

Here's another on 1.

– September 18, 2012 1:19 PM
Q.

The paps are greedy, self-absorbed privcay violaters.

I really wouldn't use the term "paps" in a case like this. I really wouldn't.
A.
Alexandra Petri :

And on that note...

Please keep reading the Compost, and feel free but unobligated to follow me on Twitter!

– September 18, 2012 1:19 PM
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