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Surreality

June 8, 2015

The world has taken a turn for the surreal. And we’re stunned by it.

Remember an earlier post of ours, where we tried to comment delicately on the “Mattress Girl” matter? We expressed respect and admiration for her commitment to turning a negative in her life into something positive. But as we did that, we also noted the contradictions in her story and we couldn’t help feeling some concern. Something wasn’t right about her.

Now she has made a video that she asserts is “performance art” with a redeeming social message about campus sexual abuse.  In reality, her video is pornographic. You tune in thinking there’ll be some discussion of the issue and you see her performing fellatio.

Remember that Sen. Gillibrand brought this young woman to the State of the Union address. Remember that she’s been featured in numerous media outlets as a courageous figure.

All we can think of at a moment like this is: Where were her friends? Where were her parents? Was there no one close to her who could have told her that making this video was a bad idea?

Similarly, but not exactly, there’s the whole Jenner thing.  As students of how you build public awareness of a legitimate cause, we tried to raise concerns about the way this story might play out.  And exactly what we feared would happen is happening.

This isn’t contributing to acceptance for transgendered people. It has become a ridiculous spectacle.  Jenner in a white bathing suit. Jenner applying makeup, preening and posing in a way that is supposed to be alluring and sexy. Jenner giving vapid interviews about his fashion tastes.

This isn’t helping anyone to look beyond gender identity to a person’s true worth as an individual. This is nothing but narcissism.

Again, is there no one close to Jenner who can explain public perception?

Switch now to Governor Cuomo. And here we can be blunter because we’re dealing with someone who is surrounded by people whose job is to be mindful of public perception.

In this regard, what was the Governor trying to achieve by traveling to Dannemora? Presumably, it was to reassure people.

And how do you do that? Well, you do it by holding a news conference and saying that everything that can be done is being done. You talk about the manpower deployed in a manhunt. You ask people to be vigilant.

And that’s it. That’s all you do.

You don’t tour the prison and reenact the breakout. You don’t show the details of how they did it as an instruction to others. You don’t show their mocking leave-behind note – “Have a Nice Day.”

You don’t do any of that because you’re turning a regional story into sensational national news.

This should have been: “Two Inmates Escape from North Country Prison.”

Now it’s:  “Inmates’ Daring Shawshank Breakout.”

The actions by the Governor and his people go beyond simple bad judgment.

And this wasn’t a situation in which the Governor had no one to advise him, or got bad advice.

In fact, the Governor did what he did over the protests of corrections officials.  He overruled them.  Corrections officials didn’t want to turn the bad guys into celebrities. They didn’t want this media exposure. It was the Governor who insisted upon doing it. Albany reporters ought to check on that. If they do, they’ll get an earful.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 8, 2015 12:28 PM

    Sheriff Andy’s put up a ree-ward. Gosh, what he’ll do next? Maybe he’ll round up a posse. Git yer horses and yer dawgs fellers!

  2. June 8, 2015 1:15 PM

    Why intentionally use “his” for Jenner and not “her”

    • June 8, 2015 4:26 PM

      We’re not sure what we should do on this point. It was suggested to us that she is technically a he until final surgery. We mean no disrespect, however. If you wish to suggest that we amend our post, we would definitely consider doing so.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    June 8, 2015 1:32 PM

    Must relate this — I directed my daughter’s attention to the Mattress Girl months ago when it appeared as though her efforts were note worthy. And now? My daughter and her friends are going to see this “performance.” It’s sick.

  4. mark keister permalink
    June 8, 2015 2:35 PM

    “This is nothing but narcissism,” all. Andy being the lesser intellect of the bunch, harder to ignore tho.

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