Having visited the beautiful seaside villages in Southern Maine this past summer, hearing the news of the Zumba teacher who allegedly ran a prostitution business on the side and the scandal it has caused in the Kennebunks was disheartening. Our society feeds its voracious appetite for salacious news on the backs of good and decent people, who all too often get caught up in the dirty business of others (for example, all of the current and former students and faculty of Penn State). And now, once again, our 24/7 media cycle is revved up into a frenzy to bring us all of the Zumba news that is unfit to print.
Kennebunkport is a beautiful, quaint village and its people could not be more down-to-earth or friendlier. Although our trip was more of a gourmande adventure (we managed to spend most of our time eating and drinking our way up and down the coast), the area is pure small town Americana, and so are its people. And thus, the public’s curiosity with the Zumba teacher/prostitute and her Johns.
Our society is obsessed with the rich and famous and the downtrodden (the middle seems to not garner much attention). And when the spotlight shines on a sex scandal in a Mayberry-esque locale, those who think Judge Judy and Dr. Phil represent anything resembling a real Judge or a real…whatever kind of “Dr.” he claims to be, pull up their chairs and break out the popcorn.
So, what about the other 99.999+% of the people from the Kennebunks? They feel that they are under siege, and they feel that all the good they do is being lost amidst the prurient details. The truth is that among the lobster shacks and the tourist stores, the fishing boats and the iconic Bush compound on Walker’s Point, there also exists a seedier element. Which is the case in every village or town or city in America. And it is unfortunate that all of the beauty and good gets overlooked due to the overwhelming tidal wave of focus on the bad. I prefer to focus on the positive.