Sorry, I went to bed and missed the ensuing discussion regarding my post of the tazering policeman selfie. It seems that some people in the forum might have missed the point, though I did wonder at the time whether a lack of explanation on my part (I was in a hurry) might make it a bit of a challenge, so, my apologies for perhaps assuming too much and for any confusion that may have ensued as a result.
I would stress that there was no intention on my part to "Go Basement" on this and tut-tut or foam at the mouth about police brutality, or similar - the fact that it was a cop who was the actor was kinda coincidental, and police brutality is a sorry fact of life for a minority of police officers and a problem for their commanders to address, and something to which we have by now probably become desensitised anyway - so I generally would be disinclined to make passing comment about specific cases of police brutality in this forum (I don't find it funny in and of itself anyway) or anywhere else - e.g., The Basement.
No, what I was posting about is what seems to be a relatively new/emerging and growing phenomenon that is occurring in our society and which is largely enabled by the advent of telecomms and/or computerised "social networks"
(e.g., including live video streaming, Twitter, Facebook) combined with the possibilities of the smartphone or video camera and sometimes especially the selfie
features therein, resulting in something new
that seems to be at one and the same time so seriously vain, moronic and self-destructive in some way that it it beggars belief and it might actually be quite funny
and deserving of mockery
that a person would do that to themselves in the first place without apparently considering the potential consequences for themselves or how their behaviour might appear to others watching in critical judgement. To do that would seem to require a pathological conceit coupled with a complete absence of self-awareness.
What I would suggest we arguably need is a new award alongside The Darwin Award
- we could call it The Downhill Selfies Award
. In ski-ing, there is a really fun thing called "the downhill race", where gravity is your friend, and it seems to me that there's a similar race on - a race to the bottom
- to see who can do better (read as "be more vain/moronic/stupid") than (say) the more familiar stupid acts of publishing a Facebook selfie of yourself naked, or with the stolen goods from a night out thieving or robbing a bank, or posing for a selfie of yourself with a girl whilst you are two-timing your girlfriend
, or whilst staring down a glacier as though daring it to melt at a time when you should be at work in your office doing your job.
So, who is currently achieving real merit in this downhill race? Well, you can spot some easy recent achievers which totally eclipse the selfies described above (good as the latter may be):
- Tazering cop selfies: You've no doubt by now already been dazzled and entertained (if not shocked) by the originality and electrifying brilliance of the "shocking cop selfies" (from above). Give some credit to this guy for what he has achieved. It has raised the bar. Nobody could deny that this guy surely deserves everything he gets, including a Downhill Selfie Award.
- - but these next selfies must surely take the biscuit (or is it the BBQ sauce?) for sheer flambé audacity and opportunistic ingenuity in a viral trend which somehow seems may have jumped international territorial boundaries and which looks as though it might be now starting to infect professional state police forces worldwide as the trick catches on:
- BBQ cop selfies: Again, absolutely no tut-tutting from me about this - "Don't be afraid to see what you see", as POTUS Reagan so adroitly put it. Here we have two actors (who only coincidentally happen to be cops) who decide to publish 'human barbecue' selfies taken at the site of a tragic airplane crash in Shoreham (UK) - and they apparently used a hashtag #human barbecue, or something. Again, nobody could deny that these guys surely deserve everything they get, including a Downhill Selfie Award, for their actions - I mean, "give credit where credit is due", as my mother would say when she saw someone do something particularly stupid.
Is it coincidental that these two latest awards would have been earned by police officers? I think so. The circumstances are quite different in each case - e.g., it could well have been (say) firemen or passers-by in the second case, I suppose. Only time will tell, but some people (not me, you understand) might say that, if this is indeed a newly-emerging and growing trend in the police forces, then it could arguably be a good
thing, as it will inevitably lead to a raising of the bar for entry into the police force, in the shape of new entrance qualifications requirements for police recruits - possibly including (say) that of being photogenic
- but I couldn't possibly comment.But back to the Award itself:
I would be interested in some assistance regarding the Downhill Selfie Award
- Do I have the criteria for making the Award about right?
- How could the criteria be made more appropriate or specific?
- Should there be sub-categories for the Award, or what, and why?
- Do we give the Award posthumously in cases where the actor dies as a consequence, or is that more correctly a Darwin Award? I think it definitely is, and, furthermore, that death should be a factor that invalidates candidacy for the Downhill Selfie Award. Whilst the Award is a way of mocking the actor's surprisingly absurd behaviours, I personally do not feel that it would be at all nice to mock or derive pleasure from a candidate's death, and that to do so could be a sad reflection on ourselves.
Above all, please bear in mind that what I am talking about here is identifying and highlighting where we could give credit for new sources of surprising, original, and completely unintended mixtures of acute irony and/or black humour (in using selfie/camera technology), which aspects of humour have proven to be "healthy", insofar as they have helped us as a species to cope in relatively good-humoured fashion with some of the most horrendous atrocities of mankind in modern history.