Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lights, Camera, Failure

     Company, here is the deal.  Let me take a minute and go ahead and give you a little piece of advice about life, because it is becoming more and more obvious to me that you need it.  I have come to recognize this all-abiding truth about life as we move into the 21st Century, and that truth is as follows:  There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     It's true.  Ask Michael Phelps.  He was doing what a large percentage of American twenty-somethingsdo when they are twenty-soemthings - smoking the reefer.  Now, I am not going to get into a debate with you about legal and moral implications of the whole thing, that is not the point.  The point here is that Mr. Phelps forgot the cardinal rule #1 above anything else that you need to remember especially when you are a celebrity: There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     Ask the teacher who recently got caught beating the daylights out of her 13-year-old student during class at a Houston charter school.  She went on Good Morning America today and was talking all about why it happened and whatnot, give reasons which sounded to me more like excuses, and of course she had her lawyer by her side.  For whatever reasons she did what she did it was wrong, but she forgot the golden rule.  See sometimes, back in the days of yore, you could drag a problem child out behind the woodshed and take the belt to them and you could probably get away with it.  But when there are a bunch of 13-year olds around with cell phones you have to remember the main piece of advice: There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     This is pretty much all the fault of the cell phone people.  When I was growing up, cameras were still big clunky things that were pretty tough to hide, because they had to be large enough to fit a VHS tape.  Not so much there days.  There are cameras everywhere.  Even the cheap ass freebie cell phones you get when you really only want something that makes phone calls have cameras on them these days.  And you want to know something else?  Everyone between the ages of 8 and 78 pretty much has a cell phone, and most of them know how to use the things.  Crazy teacher lady?  Nipped by a 13-year-old with a cell phone that took video.  VIDEO!  Michael Phelps?  Caught by a drunken college student with a cell phone.  Here is another thing to remember: no matter how drunk she is any twenty-something girl will still be able to figure out how to use her cell phone.  She could not be able to stand up or know who she is or who is groping her, but I would be willing to bet all of Nelbo's paycheck on the fact that she will be able to send a text message, make a drunk call, or take that picture of the D-list celebrity with his pants off.  Oh, just about every American twenty-something girl also has a camera in her purse too.  Remember: There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.
     Hey, guess what else people? Guess what else.  Every building has a security camera on it.  So if you do something on the sidewalk out in public, or in a dark alley, they are going to catch you somehow.  Somehow, someway.  It might be on a security camera six miles away on the airport control tower, but it's still going to see you.  Ask the dozens of people who walked by the dying good samaritan on the a New York City street last month.  Oh yeah.  The guy saw a woman getting mugged, stepped in, got stabbed, fell over bleeding on the sidewalk under, that's right, a security camera.  That camera saw dozens of people for hours walk by and do nothing.  One man even rolled the body over and saw the blood and rolled it back and walked away.  You could see the run rising on the tape and nobody did a thing, until finally police and fire care around.  You are always on camera, and even though you couldn't see any faces, those people know what they did and now we all do.  Good luck sleeping at night.  There is always somebody with a camera nearby and the wherewithal to operate it.  Just keep it in mind, Company.

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