It’s Rant Time. Everyone gather around. Take a break from gazing at the inimitable luster of masters.org and listen to me be mean-spirited for a moment. I’ll start by saying the death of film has brought on the birth of the picture no one wants to see.
“Hey you got a minute, I snapped 345 shots of Timmy eating his cereal this morning, just scroll through. It’s that button right there….”
I understand why this happens. People love their kids. They love their dogs, cats, friends, cars, and the guy in front of them at Wal-Mart wearing camouflage nut-huggers. So, they shoot pictures of these things with an unyielding frequency. Destination: Facebook. And, really that is the perfect spot for these types of things. You can get a laugh. You get people telling you how cute your kid is (incredibly satisfying I would imagine), and the pictures stay contained among whatever group of people you have cultivated. Hey, if someone is your “friend” they should know if you are the type of person who is going to post 23 picture galleries a week of their twin cats, “Chips and Salsa.” I would never get mad at a Facebook pic, or anything like that. The intentions, I hope, aren’t so narcissistic. My problem arises when this impulse to constantly have a camera on your kid mutates into something far less innocent.
I’m watching the news last night, hard to believe, right? But, I’m watching and they tease a segment about a 3-year old who got his wish to be Governor of New Jersey. My first thought is: odd wish. I mean, Jersey? But, seriously, I was thinking this was going to be some super political prodigy. A kid who had been drilled on the Constitution since birth and his parents made him memorize senate hearings, one of these precocious kids that learned sign language when they were 4 days old and speaks Mandarin in kindergarten. That isn’t what I ended up seeing, though. What I saw was a 3-year old having a temper tantrum in the backseat of a car, screaming, “I want to be Gov-uh-nuh.” Of course, one of his parents is filming the thing, egging him on, “What do you want to be?”
To this parent, I say, turn the camera off you insufferable a-hole. Your kid is not a prop to get you on TV, or to get you 1 million views on Youtube, or to meet the Governor of New Jersey. You see that kid screaming at the top of his lungs while you’re filming (and usually laughing)? He’s actually upset. The same thing happened with the kid who loved Michael Young of the Rangers. Apparently he flipped out when he heard Young might be traded. So, the natural thing to do for the parents is to recreate the scene on video. They get the kid all upset about Michael Young again, post the video, and the next thing you know they are in the Rangers dugout during Spring Training. Mission Accomplished!
It all seems so exploitative and mean-spirited. Oh, did your dog die today, baby? What are you going to do, cry about it? Go ahead and cry, baby. Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha…that’s it, throw in some screams, if we play this right someone will send us 30 Labradoodles. Maybe the President will give us his dog and we’ll get to go to the White House and if we’re lucky become a trending topic on Yahoo.
I can’t tell you how much I loathe these videos and the more they pop-up the more copycats there will be. It’s going to snowball right into a nightmare, and there is nothing I can do about it. So, ignore these videos if you can. Resist the urge. And, while you’re at it, maybe a few less pictures of the kid, when they grow up they probably won’t be interested in three hard drives full of the, “awkward years.”