Thursday, January 24, 2008

Having a Youtube Moment

First, a disclaimer: I don't watch Youtube.

I know what you're thinking: You lie.

No. I really don't. My computer still putts around on dial up, so unless I want to experience processing information in real time as if I have ADHD, I'm not going to link onto any video type material, no matter who sends it to me.

It's not that I've never seen Youtube. I've been at a friend's house and seen the One Semester of Spanish Spanish Love song --a great humor short if you've never seen it. I've driven home my kids friends and heard about Chad Vader in the Grocery store, and about the puppet versions of Harry Potter singing about Severus Snape.

My main problem with Youtube is the absence of a filter to prevent personal public assassination of an individual in the name of showmanship, put downs, cruelty, smugness, immaturity and indifference to causing humiliation. That, and having dial up, I can't see any of it.

You're thinking...so switch to broadband, cable, wireless, there are ways.

But you see, I know myself well enough to remember, I yell at phone service people who are indifferent to my pain. Appliance man, this means you.

I have been known to roll down my car window when someone took the parking place reserved for new mothers and pregnant women. As the guy sprinted towards the Radio Shack, I yelled "That's Funny, You don't look pregnant!"

Caught at the wrong moment --say during dinner time, after I've been on hold for fifteen minutes, or when pressed and stressed, I can be, and I'm sorry if my mother is reading this, rude.

As Youtube becomes more ubiquitous than it already is, I predict an increase in the percentage of women dressing up and wearing professional type makeup, as daily footage of our everyday becomes more and more posted on the internet. Maybe I should start dying my hair or at least brushing it. If' I'm caught today on TV, Mom will be calling. "Why didn't you at least get a haircut before you went off?"

"I was at the hair dresser's."
"Well, put on some lipstick if you're going to talk like that. It's Clinique bonus time, go in and get a pack."

The reason for all of this, is that in our area, a woman lost her temper and made an ill advised return phone call to a high school senior that had called her home to nag about a snow day. Her husband was/is superintendant of Fairfax schools. That rant in its ugly entirety has even been run on CNN.

While public humiliation is not exactly the modern day equivalent of feeding the Christians to the Lions, it is a public blood sport. People watch and participate in the feeding frenzy because it seems there's nothing wrong with a good public excoriation of another, as long as it appears that the person was deserving of such treatment. No one thinks they'd want to live in a society where scarlet letters are sewn on people's shirts, but having a trail of websites that reveal any and all past discrepancies and personal failures is pretty much the same thing.

What is never asked, is if that treatment was warranted, and that is because the answer would almost always be "No." And then if it were asked, People would shrug their shoulders and say "What can we do?"

We are going to have to as a society learn to manage our "God's Eye" viewpoint that can turn the most intimate and private of conversations into one of the most popularly downloaded clips of the day. We are going to have to remember that at any moment, we could be the one on candid camera, not just in syndication, but forever available, to us and our posterity. What we can do, is not watch. What we can do, is decide before we post, email, film or depict, would we want this done to us?

In the meantime, I'm going to buy some whitening toothpaste and some conditioner. If I'm going to be made infamous for my flaws, I want to look good for Mom.

P.S. and as if to punctuate this slightly serious post, I just discovered my daughter. Apparently, she tried on all the pull-ups to find the one she wanted while I was typing. There are thirteen discarded ones in the bathroom. On Youtube today...

6 comments:

Diesel said...

YouTube is the main reason I'm working so hard on my invisibility machine.

Anonymous said...

Yes, your mother is reading this-way to go, Rita! I did ( I confess) think the woman comedian was hysterical,who
sang the rant about her kids to the 1812 overture.
About the superintendent's wife. I would say she was having a bad day. Time to send her some chocolate.
Clinique......unless you cannot use brand names. Your Tex mex fan.

SherryTex said...

Thanks Mom.

Larramie said...

YouTube = the World, not just "Big Brother" is watching you!

Dotty said...

I also have love/hate feelings about Youtube. Although, Jake found some real funny stuff...how to be Ninja and how to be gansta are hilarious and there was a meld between Star Wars and Mony Python which... are our favorite movies joined...what's not to like there?
I still hold a cautious distance though. Oh, the Japanese human tetris game show is sooo funny--we love the Far East game shows b/c they are so different than ours---but they are game shows so it isn't as bad as watching people who don't know it.

coffee buzz said...

They should make Human Tetris into a real video game -- NES original of course

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