On the Bright Side, At Least His Name Toobin Is On-Point for the Puns
In our increasingly Zoom-connected world, stories of videoconferencing mishaps, meeting interruptions and collaborative work debacles seem to spill out daily. One such story is getting a lot more attention than others, of course — the one about New Yorker writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin deciding, for some insane reason, that the middle of a work call was a good time to polish his pen, so to speak.
While some have defended Toobin and others have called for his firing and eternal banishment from television, Calico’s inclination is always to find the bright side — the silver lining to Toobin’s masturbatory Zoom-cloud, if you will.
Granted, it’s not easy to come up with a bright side to having your coworker suddenly and inexplicably start masturbating in plain sight, so Calico’s silver lining doesn’t have much to offer Toobin’s traumatized peers, his mortified family members or his understandably irritated employers.
Still, there are some people for whom Toobin’s tube tugging was a welcome sight. Who are these miscreants? What sort of lunatic thinks it’s good news for a journalist to humiliate himself and disgust his peers at the same time? Perhaps most importantly, would they pay for access to watch Toobin expose himself if the whole thing were repackaged as a live cam show? These and other questions are explored in Calico’s latest post: “On the Bright Side, His Name is On-Point for the Puns”
– Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn Movies For Discerning Viewers (and New Yorker readers).
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic and “shutdowns” associated with resulted in a massive number of people adopting, essentially, my lifestyle – that is, working remotely, only meeting with colleagues over Zoom or on conference calls, generally avoiding human contact when possible, etc. – I’ve been hearing tale of Zoom call mishaps.
Most of these videoconferencing mishaps fall into the category of funny and quite harmless, like someone’s boss not knowing how to undo using a potato as an avatar and having to complete the meeting in potato form.
Other mishaps are less…. or maybe should I say more… oh, to hell with it. We all know where I’m going with this: straight to erstwhile New Yorker writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
All Toobin Publicity Is Good Publici…. Hmm. Allow Me to Rephrase
However seriously you might take the news of Toobin exposing himself during a Zoom call, whether you think it was a mere “accident” or something earthshattering and unforgivable, I think we can all agree it sucks to be Jeffrey Toobin’s career, image, reputation and/or family member right now.
(I’m sure it also sucks to be Jeffrey Toobin himself right now, but I’m inclined to have more sympathy for the third parties and innocents involved who didn’t think it was a good idea to jerk off during a Zoom call with colleagues, whether or not those colleagues can see you jerking off.)
Outside of a few defenders, who aren’t really defending what Toobin did so much as they think the fact he didn’t intend to be seen doing it argues for leniency and sympathy, everyone is now dunking on Toobin. Shit, even OJ Simpson, the subject of a Toobin book and the figure at the center of the trial that more or less made Toobin’s career, has gotten in on the act.
Officially, Toobin’s career isn’t over yet – the New Yorker has only suspended him thus far, while CNN said he’s “asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue” and that they’ve granted him the requested leave.
For Some Reason, the ZZ Top Song “Toobsteak Boogie” is Stuck in My Head Right Now
On the bright side (for those of us who aren’t Toobin, his loved ones, his coworkers or his bosses, at least), there are some facts at play here which render this whole situation substantially easier to work with as a matter of comedy.
For starters, there’s his name, which is just so pun-friendly and inviting of bad wordplay, it’s as though he was set up by a satirist at birth for this all to happen, someday, some way.
The hashtags, memes and one-liners came fast and furious, soon after the news broke. There was, inevitably I suppose, #MeToobin and #ToobinZoom to name just a couple of the instantly-present hashtags. Others highlighted the fact that Toobin was playing the role of the courts in an election simulation and suggested maybe Toobin is a “method actor.” Others were short and sweet (well, OK, maybe not so ‘sweet’, but definitely short.)
Seriously, Though: Just DON’T WANK AT WORK. Is That So Much to Ask?
Since everyone seems to be offering their take on Toobin’s tugging, I suppose I should offer mine as well and not just serve up a bunch of jokes about it.
Some folks are arguing that the negative reaction people are having here is down to our collective problem with masturbation. As these Toobin defenders see it, people are all worked up because Toobin was masturbating, but they shouldn’t be upset, because masturbation is natural, common and no big deal.
While I agree that masturbation, in itself, is no big deal and not something people should feel ashamed about doing, exposing others to your masturbating without their consent isn’t the same thing as privately pleasuring yourself, or doing it while being watched by someone who willingly and unambiguously decided they wanted to watch you masturbate.
I do think it matters, as a question of law if nothing else, whether Toobin intended to be seen – but I don’t think it should matter much. No matter how you slice it, the guy decided to whip it out and have a wank during a work call – and that shit just can’t fly, no matter how much I think masturbation is a good, healthy, pleasurable thing to do in other contexts.
In the end, this isn’t about masturbation, it’s about masturbation at work. And no, I don’t think it matters that Toobin was working from home. The Zoom call was work, involving coworkers and colleagues and people simply shouldn’t masturbate at work (unless you’re a cam model and masturbating is part of your job, naturally). This is a notion I shouldn’t think would be hard to agree with, accept and practice, even for the horniest among us.
Should Toobin be fired by every organization currently associated with him? That’s their call, not mine. But I certainly think they’d be justified in doing so, it that’s what they decide to do.
Should his career be over, kaput, never to return from the grave? I don’t think so, simply because I think such punishment would exceed the severity of his offense. That said, I don’t think the people who are calling for his career to be over are entirely out of line, either.
You know what they say, Jeffrey: “If you can’t do the time…. Well then, for fuck’s sake double-check your Zoom settings before flogging the bishop during an election simulation.”
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