February 14, 2014
This summer, tech billionaire Sean Parker, better known as Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, got married. It was a lavish affair that involved outfitting himself, his bride, and all of the 300+ guests in Lord of the Rings-inspired attire and transforming a Big Sur hotel’s redwood-filled backyard into a fantastical forest sanctuary for the ceremony. People like to criticize weddings. People especially like to criticize costume-party weddings that involve famous people that result in the newlyweds paying a $2.5 million fine to Mother Earth/California regulators. So there’s been a lot written about the Parker nuptials in the weeks since the June 1 affair. And Parker is not happy about it.
Not content to let the story be pushed out of the news cycle by the NSA, Parker penned a 9,000+ word piece — that’s 20 pages single-spaced in Microsoft Word — for TechCrunch, defending his wedding, explaining his deep love of Tolkien and the redwoods, criticizing the press for mis-characterizing the damage done to the forest, and generally lamenting the state of journalism and privacy in the age of social media. The last bit is worth parsing for readers of these pages.
[B]logs attack you, do their damage, and then move on to their next target. Now, because of the permanence of the Internet and the ease of Google, these vicious online attacks leave behind a reputational stain that is very difficult to wash out.