Mostly harmless (corto) wrote,
Mostly harmless

The whole OC Bus Driver Yelling / Kid Grabs Video thing is a bit off-putting.
The issue is NOT the driver yelling… which is an assault under every definition of the word and I’m really surprised that the guy hasn’t been charged yet. No… the really disturbing part of this story is the way people have lined up as if there are two sides to the issue.
It started with the a radio Jock suggesting that it was somehow “wrong” for the kid who grabbed the video to put himself out there like that… and “why didn’t he try to help… instead of trying to ramp up his youtube hit count”.
That – all by itself – really got my blood boiling. As someone who has ended up in the hospital with lifelong injuries from stepping into a situation thinking I was going to “help” I have to say it’s really very short sighted of anyone to suggest that Mr. Video should have done something different. By the sound of it, the Bus driver was in a mood to put someone off his bus for getting in his face… and when the Transpo Police show up … they DO NOT LISTEN to the bus riders… they listen to the bus driver. Mr. Video has prol’y done the victimized passenger from the video more good by capturing the video than he could possibly have done by getting himself thrown off a bus, let alone get a “fist in his face” (bus driver quote).
The reference to Mr. Video’s “youtube hit count” is also very wrong headed and kinda pisses me off. The fact that it came from a journalist and again from a radio jock… is just really hypocritical. That way of thinking kind of invalidates the effort of journalists around the world in a single swipe. AND DO NOT start with “Mr. Video was a citizen not a journalist.” Because that is absolutely the sound you make while your head is stuck in the ground.
The abuses of power, authority, opportunity and wealth that have been going on all our lives … are finally being pushed into the cold light of day. Every body with a cell phone, let alone a cellphone camera, is a potential witness to these excesses. We are no longer slaves to what ever the news media corporations decide we want to know about… we get to grab the news raw, real, live and full of f-bombs and put it out there for all to see. This is fabulous!!! There are plenty of examples of how an average joe with a camera made all the difference in the world to the way “Power” has to prove itself… and I’ll start with the Zapruder film of JFK getting shot and end with the video (a few years ago) of an Ottawa cop bashing some girls head in on the hood of a car.
It is so old-school and pathetic to suggest that people capturing abuses of power with their cell phone cameras is a bad thing that it only makes you look like an idiot.
And that brings me to todays news item… I wake up the CBC reporting that the union is bitching about Mr. Video breaking some law by shooting video on a bus. Apparently there is a “law” that you can’t use a camera on a bus unless it’s only for personal use. Again… the abusers get all busy trying to make the people that catch them look bad.
Mr. Video shot video of an abusive man assaulting a younger, handicapped patron of a publically funded service… the fact that the abuser was a bus driver seems to have everyone trying to find someone to blame here except the damn bus driver. Mr. Video did the right thing by not getting involved and having his head caved in by an obviously angry authority figure who was already demonstrating his comfort with abusing his authority. It doesn’t matter if the driver was having a bad day… I don’t care if his whole family was killed the day before… He has no right what-so-ever to bring his anger to the execution of his job. If things are so bad… stay home and take one of your many union-won-sick-days-with-pay.

The bottom line is that society has changed. Boom. It’s done. There’s no going back… Pandora can close the box, but everything is out of that bad box… and it’s not getting back in. The old rules no longer apply and people have got to stop using them as excuses. We all have cameras now… so go ahead and abuse your power, authority or position… we’ll capture that video and we’ll post it for all to see. Now it’s up to society to admit that this is a new world order and if we’re going to get anywhere… we have got to accept that it’s no longer ok to break the law just because a cop isn’t looking. … Because we’re looking. We’re looking and we’re taking video of your sorry ass committing that crime. And if the authorities don’t punish you… well, the next steps will be people deciding that they have to bring the punishments themselves, and that cant be a good thing.

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