Scarlett Johansson and us

If you haven’t had a chance to pick up the November issue of Esquire yet, you owe it to yourself to do so.

On the inside pages, you’ll find the magazine’s usual features plus a look at its 2013 car awards (the unveiling of the 2014 Corvette is called the automotive event of the year, the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is the sport utility of the year and the 2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport is the car of the year) and discover its selections for the best restaurants of the year.

You will learn that Scarlett Johansson has been deemed this year’s Sexiest Woman Alive, a title she first won seven years ago. And, you can read about a poll conducted by the magazine and NBC News about the New American Center.

After this month’s style segment, you will reach Page 162 and see the headline “I am Anonymous.”

The subhead reads, “For better or worse, I can wreak havoc with your so-called ‘secrets,’ and when someone – you maybe – offends my sense of what is right and fair, I take it into my own hands to see that justice is done. Just look at what happened to the rapists in Steubenville and you will see what I, and Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden and thousands of others, are capable of.”

Thus begins John H. Richardson’s profile of Deric Lostutter, aka KYAnonymous, the Internet hacktivist who worked with the hacker known as BatCat to rock our community last Christmas Eve by turning the attention of, well, the world to what has become known as the Steubenville rape case.

Richardson offers an insightful look at Lostutter, beginning with his Winchester, Ky., home and the FBI raid there earlier this year. He explains that Lostutter, a product of a broken home, always had, according to his mother, an idealistic streak about women and has tried to stand up for those who he felt were being picked on. In fact, Richardson writes, Lostutter was looking to fight bullies and protect fair maidens through KnightSec.

Of course, there is the obligatory description of Steubenville as a “tough little Appalachian town outside Pittsburgh,” a reference to gambling and prostitution and a nod to Traci Lords and Dean Martin, as well as detailed description of the events from last December through the convictions in March.

Richardson’s piece is fair – to our community and Lostutter – pointing out that since the convictions of last March, “elite media outfits like The New Yorker have reviewed the story and criticized the bloggers and activists for getting things wrong.”

The story is told against the backdrop of the battle over information that is going on all around us, the federal government’s war against hackers and leakers and lessons learned and yet to be learned. Richardson might describe it best when he writes that Lostutter, who could face 10 years in jail if convicted for his actions, has discovered, “the difference between virtual acts and real-world consequences.”

It’s an interesting story, one that presents facts and detailed background, one that looks past the countless stories that have been told during the past year or so that have been based largely on emotion. It offers a good look at the workings of Anonymous.

It’s recommended reading for everyone in the Tri-State Area.

It’s in the latest edition of Esquire, the one with Scarlett Johansson on the cover.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)