"Lesbian Prison Gangs Waiting to Get Hands on Lindsay Lohan," reads Fox News' headline. "Everyone Will Want a Piece of Lindsay," reports The Sun. The bottom feeders went there: The imagined rape of a starlet has become a talking point.
I'm a fan of rubbernecking (this website is named for it, after all) but these stories—buttressed with photos of sexy, smoldering Lindsay in skintight dresses—are a bit too breathless on a topic that is unequivocally gross. The Sun snagged an interview with a smack-addicted prostitute for "graphic accounts" from the correctional facility where "bisexual Lindsay" will serve her term near the "clutches" of "lesbian gangs." Fox News mostly rehashes The Sun's story, but adds a description of "fearsome lesbian gangs desperate to get their hands on" the fallen starlet.
And yet both The Sun and Fox News recognize that the rape of Lindsay Lohan is just a tawdry fantasy:
Tamara added: "She'll be segregated from the general population […] I don't think they will actually be able to get to her, but you never know."
Only once have I witnessed the successful execution of a prison rape joke. It came from some undergrad at Dartmouth, who wrote about his brief stint in prison for the school newspaper. Alex Howe had received a prison sentence after a fraternity drinking night gone awry. He arrived at prison petrified that his preppy white ass was about to get majorly kicked:
I heard a chorus of shouts from the inmates all around me.
"Hey, it's the new guy! We're gonna gang-rape him!"
"It's a new guy! I'm gonna f*ck him in the asshole!"
"Hey! A new guy! I'm gonna make him give me a blowjob!"
I felt like I was contracting epilepsy. Clinging to the cliff of sanity, I looked to the short female guard—no help. Her expression read, "Oh, those boys!" I was done for.
Then came peals of surly laughter. Apparently, this was their idea of a joke. Jesus, I thought. My heart began to consider beating again. A joke. On the humor scale, I would place the experience somewhere between apartheid and being decapitated in a shipwreck. (The incalculably unsettling epilogue to this anecdote is that, over the course of the week, several other new inmates arrived, and the "Hey, new guy" "joke" was performed on none of them.)
Other than that, gleeful prose describing the imaginary rape of prisoners tends to be creepy, scary, and something only Fox News would do. What do you think, wise readers? Is prison rape ever funny, or is it like concentration camps and your baby sister's sex life, a perilous topic to be avoided at all costs during cocktail parties and open mic nights at the comedy club?
And what do we make of Time's newest gallery, "8 Celebs Too Pretty for Prison"? That's, um, weird.