Thursday, December 13, 2007

Naked Whining College Students, Donut Clerks, and Instant Celebrity

A few bits on instant celebrity in the world of social media:

* Being Overly Aware Is Not Good: You probably saw the item this week about the Dunkin' Donuts clerk in NJ who fought a robber so he'd "look good" in the inevitable YouTube video.

While bonking the robber in the head a few times with a metal tip cup may or may not have been the best course of action (the clerk didn't get hurt, though the robber got away with $290 in cash), choosing a self-defense strategy simply because you don't want to look bad on camera does not make for good long-term survival prospects. Though it might get you on a late night talk show. (Alas, we will never know, with the writer's strike and all.)

* Being Unaware Is Also Not Good: Via Obscurestore -- Tufts University has a Naked Quad Run, which is pretty much what you would expect (and similar to events at other schools).

The local paper ran a puff piece on it, and the web version features quotes, photos, and an embedded YouTube video: "Tufts Naked Run brings students together -- with a few injuries." Here's the video, which features rear nudity:



Judging by the article and video comments, there are a lot of whiny, indignant, and insulated college students who don't seem to understand that, just because you're on the grounds of a private university, doesn't mean that you're not still in public view (think "exposing yourself in a bar"), and thus fair game to journalists, citizen journalists, perverts, and perverted citizen journalists.

It's slightly puzzling, because this is supposed to be a generation raised on social media, instant fame, and content sharing. I can only guess that this charming naivete about privacy in public and the power of social video sharing comes from a stunning sense of self-entitlement, brought to you by the campus-wide, tuition-powered protective force field that surrounds many institutions of higher learning.

Anyway, in the comments, there's a lot of posturing about private property, dire warnings of potential under-18 nudity, a complaint about wikipedia plagiarism, and even some internet tough guy "smash your camera" talk, but it really just comes down to people being upset about having video of their pasty goose-fleshed buttocks wobbling around on the Web. To which the answer is simple: Don't go naked in public. Or at least wear a mask.

* Lastly, this week's Tom the Dancing Bug comic has another edition focusing on instant instant celebrity, followed by instant nostalgia (condensed version).

2 comments:

John-Paul said...

Haha. I remember this foul tradition (I'm Tufts '95). When I was young, a random cross-section of my classmates running around naked seemed like a great idea. Maybe I'll see that hot chick from the cafeteria/International Club/Shakespeare! Then I went and watched and it was a gaggle of flabby, pasty, shivering drama queens. Killed my libido for a whole week.

Tawnya said...

You know, it is amazing that people want privacy when THEY are in PUBLIC. NAKED. Sorry, but if you want privacy being naked don;t leave your house. Quit your whining and put your clothes back on and go home. Tawnya