Sex, Lies and the Internet

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First of all, there was Severina, the Croatian pop star, and her raunchy sex tape that made its way onto CNN news and probably into every household in the Balkans. We were shocked, of course, but even more so, we were intrigued. We all watched the video. We all downloaded it, discussed it while having coffee, we heard all about it (and even saw it) on national television. Then, out of the blue, we were in for another shock, when it came to light that Aurelio Juri, a respectable politician, was in fact recruiting people for threesomes, and doing so using his employer’s mobile phone. Naturally, we all wanted to know everything about the swinging MP; we tuned in religiously every day to see and hear it being dissected on the evening news. Mr Juri was the talk of the town – well, he was, until the arrival of Ines Juranovic. Part-time Porn Stars Rade Serbedzija, now a internationally-known film star, once performed a popular song entitled Ne daj se, Ines, (Ines, don’t give in). In light of the recent controversy surrounding Ines Juranovic, it seems as though it were written with the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of the ex Miss Hawaiian Tropic. Not long ago, it seemed that young Ines had made it. She had won the title of Miss Hawaiian Tropic and was on her way to stardom, mingling with the rich and famous and appearing in magazines. But her triumph was short-lived. According to Rajko Horvatic, the licensee of the Slovenian competition, she left her LA hotel without permission two days before the Miss Tropic final and was, as a result, stripped of her crown. But that was nothing compared to what was to follow: at the beginning of this year, pictures were released featuring a naked Ms Juranovic in various stages of sexual intercourse with a man who was supposedly her ex-boyfriend. This triggered a sex scandal equal to that of Severina and Aurelio Juri, shaking the whole country, including the girl’s shocked parents. “But wait,” said Ines, “I was blackmailed into doing it by the photographer (Gregor Hvastja).” A few days and newspaper articles later, however, she admitted that that was a lie; a futile attempt to protect her reputation. She confessed that she was actually paid (very little in fact) and that she thought the photos would only be seen in America. That, however, did not stop us from downloading the pictures en masse. And now Mr Hvastja’s scrapbook has provided us with another titbit: images of a naked, second grade teacher, Sanja Skofic, featured, just like Ines, having sex in front of the camera in exchange for payment. Another scandal arose; and again we discussed it at length, talked about how the parents of Ms Skofic’s pupils had decided that she should continue to teach their kids, talked about how much she got paid and judgementally talked about her in general. Boundless Curiosity So what is it that makes us so interested in these controversies? It is understandable that provocative pictures of celebrities or people holding respectable positions (such as politicians and teachers) inflame our imagination. It is also understandable that in a small country such as Slovenia, such incidents will be more intensely scrutinized by the public. It is not understandable, however, that the local media feel the need to throw ethics to the wind, to wade in and discuss such controversies at length, thereby fuelling the public’s emotions even further and probably destroying lives in the process. Day after day of nothing other than reports of the “naughty teacher”; trivialities such as how she was getting on and her recent marriage were, of course, anything but newsworthy. Plastering controversial pictures on Internet news portals is not news. And what about the men in the pictures and videos? No one seems to care that they are also naked; that they too are shown having intercourse; that they too are real people with real lives and real names. But, so what – it is all about the women. Well, now that they will be forever branded porn stars by the public, all one can really say – bearing in mind all the girls in question – is: Ne daj se Ines!