Friday, November 30, 2007

Reality?!

The Bag Lady was outraged the other day to see an article on the news about a 14-year old girl who hung a whippin’ on another girl while someone stood around and video-taped it! Not only did the person who taped it do nothing to help the girl who was being beaten, they then set it to music and posted it on U-Tube!! The Bag Lady saw portions of the video-tape, and simply cannot believe that the spectators would not put a stop to such a vicious attack.
Apparently, when the attack became public, the video was removed from U-Tube, and the attacker was apprehended and charged. Fat lot of good that did the girl who was attacked. She is now living with relatives else-where, attempting to put the episode behind her.
The Bag Lady is appalled not only by the violence that was apparent in the video, but also by the fact that it occurred in a small Canadian city, in an apparently middle-class atmosphere, and that the fight was over a boy! Sheesh, there’s plenty of them around, and not one of them is worth beating someone else up over.
Seriously, though, the fact that the beating occurred was bad enough, but setting it to music and posting it on the Internet? WTF is all that about? Have society’s values slipped so low that a 14-year old girl beating the tar out of another girl is considered entertainment? Having never been a fan of either boxing or wrestling, the Bag Lady fails to see how this can be the least bit interesting to watch.
The Bag Lady is perhaps a little old-fashioned, and in truth, doesn’t watch any of the so-called ‘Reality” television, so that may have something to do with her attitude about this attack. She supposes that the ‘Reality’ craze that has swept the nation may have a great deal to do with why so few of the younger generation saw anything at all wrong with video-taping a vicious beating, setting it to music, and posting it on the web. After all, that’s what has been happening on network television! She thinks perhaps younger people fail to understand that most of what the networks pass off as ‘Reality’ is in actuality, scripted, at least to a certain degree.
What do the rest of you think? Is the Bag Lady hopelessly old-fashioned? Has her life of isolation on the ranch taken her out of touch with ‘Reality’?

12 comments:

Leah J.Utas said...

I think it's symptomatic of our disconnection with one another. The beating didn't touch anyone emotionally and therefore was a bit of unreality rather than reality.
And thanks to TV, reality has no meaning whatsoever anymore.
Excellent post, Bag Lady.

Missicat said...

No, it's not just you...I live within spitting distance of D.C. and feel the same way. I have the old lady "head shake and tongue cluck" combo down to a science these days, especially after reading that story....

the Bag Lady said...

So what can we do about it? Is the violence becoming more prevalent, or is it just because we are hearing more about it?

Missicat said...

Good questions - I do believe violence has always existed, but it seems to be more random with no reason (if that makes sense) these days. I think some have become desensitized to an extent. What to do? How do we make these teens see that what they do does matter and does affect others? If only I could answer that.

Crabby McSlacker said...

For some reason, this doesn't shock me--there have always been violent and cruel people, and a sadistic streak in a lot of folks that makes them enjoy watching other people suffer. I hope they're still in the minority--I don't know if it's getting worse or not. I just think that now, with new technology, we're hearing about more of it.

(By saying it doesn't shock me I don't mean it's not horrible--just that it's horribleness doesn't surprise me in a world that is, and always has been, filled with horrors).

Hilary said...

Yup.. good post, Baggie. I have to agree with Crabby. There have always been schoolyard bullies, fights and gangs. There hasn't always been YouTube though. Up until now you might catch wind of a local schoolyard fight gone too far, but unless it resulted in death or severe injury, it's not likely to make news. Online videos travel very quickly and spawn copycat incidents. And on and on. I don't think that the majority of kids are any worse than of generations past... just more visible.

the Bag Lady said...

Too true, Crabby. There has always been a plentiful supply of cruelty down through the ages (gladiators, the pogroms, etc.), but in this supposedly enlightened era, it still saddens me to see this type of sadistic behaviour in such young people! It is the insensitivity of the on-lookers and, worse, to my way of thinking, the pubic humiliation suffered by that young girl when they set it to music and posted it on the Internet that bothers the Bag Lady the most.

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary, we posted simultaneously! Good point - the Bag Lady remembers being bullied in grade six by a girl who was older, and heavier (the Bag Lady was taller, but was much skinnier) and the terror she felt when threatened by that girl will always stay with her. (She can still to this day point out the location where the incident occurred!) So she tends to identify with the young girl who was beaten, even though the Bag Lady was lucky enough to have reasoned with her attacker and avoid being struck. And she is so very grateful that no-one was around to witness her humiliation. Of course, that also meant that no-one was around to help her, either, which makes her wonder how much more alone that girl felt -- all those people watching and no-one lifting a finger to help her.

bunnygirl said...

I'm with Crabby that this sort of thing has always been around but we just didn't previously have the technology to disseminate so easily.

In the supposedly gentler Victorian era, students use to beat each other and even beat their teachers, sometimes fatally.

But because there was no way to put this sort of thing out on the internet, there was much less likelihood of copycat behavior. Families and communities were better situated to establish norms and standards. In America, this was a fine thing if you were white and Protestant. Not so much for everyone else.

Once cameras became widespread, American Southerners would photograph lynchings and make the photos into postcards.

So yeah, violent behavior has always existed, and there has always been a fringe element ready to jump on the latest technology to show off what barbarians they really are.

I'm not sure how we can stop it, except to do our best to counteract it all with positive norms and by shaming those who would buy into the violence.

the Bag Lady said...

Hear, hear, Bunnygirl. Shame on those young people for doing nothing to help that girl, and shame on them for setting the beating to music and posting it on the web.
The Bag Lady wonders, though, has shame gone out of style? Is there still shame out there?

Reb said...

I don't think I can add anything to the discussion that hasn't already been said. Except that our "Young Offenders Act" does nothing to deter violence (or other criminal behaviour) in kids.

I too have the "head shake, tongue cluck" down pat and oh that makes me feel so old some days.

the Bag Lady said...

Hell, Reb - you think you feel old? Have you looked at the calendar lately? Count the days 'til the Bag Lady turns into an "Old Bag"!!