In 2013 we hire detectives to investigate ourselves, in 2023?…

The actor Ashley Judd is an interesting character. Not only is she a Hollywood star, she is also married to the Scottish racing driver (with the Scottish name) Dario Franchitti and is dropping hints that she is about to contest the US Senate seat for Kentucky.

While it is mischievous to think of her imploring Dario to go ‘faster, faster’ while they are in their love shack, it is certainly bizarre to know that two weeks ago she engaged a private investigator… to examine her own past.

But this doesn’t seem as weird as it appears. US politics is now so riven with minutiae that any past transgression is likely to lead to a smear campaign by the opponent’s team; any glaring peccadillo would likely lead to defeat, why waste money and time?

I don’t know about you, but if I ever got the call to become a MP, there would be a pile of dirty washing as long as the Siegfried Line needing to be laundered; it wouldn’t happen. I’m SURE it’s the same for you, we know we wouldn’t need a private investigator, so we already know that Ashely Judd must be squeaky clean.

But in a generation’s time, the need for such examination will be effete because we are already investigating ourselves by our presence within technology and on social networks. Naturally, it all began with alcohol and drunken text messages that became drunken Tweets and will probably be drunken something else this time next year.

We are constantly censoring ourselves, whether it is deleting Tweets or adapting our Facebook Timelines to show a seamless and intelligent route from child to adult to parent to whatever. Our LinkedIn profiles show a wonderful portrayal of ourselves, backed up by wonderful recommendations of that wonderful portrayal by other wonderfully portrayed friends and contacts.

We don’t need to be investigated, we are doing it every day, cleansing our flawed lives retrospectively, creating a digital persona much different from the way it is… and that is so fundamentally boring. Our essence is our errata, our being is our bad experiences.

So if Ashley Judd’s investigators turn up something dodgy, perhaps she should just throw her hands up in the air and decide to not give a damn. She is what she is, maybe people prefer their representatives that way.

If she does (and if I was resident of Kentucky), I know I’d vote for her. We haven’t got long left of imperfections in the public domain, we may as well enjoy them while we can.

Monty (491 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.


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