Friday, September 03, 2010

Strange times we live in...

...when the Bad Guys become the Good Guys.

I'm not putting a link up to it, but by now you've probably at least heard about the "puppy tossing" video that's been all over the place. If not, to summarize: A young-ish looking blonde woman in what has apparently been identified as Bosnia is seen throwing a bucketful of newborn-looking live puppies into a river. Overhand, one at a time, with great force and having a big "wheeee!" laugh over it. Just... awful, awful stuff.

Anyway, no one knows precisely who she is (or who shot/uploaded the video) but that won't last - she's currently being "hunted down" by a worldwide network from users of the infamous message board 4Chan. You may recall that earlier in the month 4Chan turned it's hivemind-esque detective skills toward running down an attempted cat-killer, also caught-on-tape, in the UK... and succeeded - the woman in question was essentially harrassed straight into protective-custody.

Watching 4Chan transition from self-described "internet hate machine" to animal rights do-gooders has been... surreal, to say the least - it's like if S.P.E.C.T.E.R. suddenly turned their attention from World Conquest to World Hunger - especially because the methodology is so consistent: What's the difference between being a "civic-minded hero" and a "bully?" The choice of target. But, hey, they're gettin' the job done, after a fashion; and at least until the fun of being treated like cyber-superheroes wears off and they revert back to formula I'm not too uncomfortable with the idea of 4Chan as a force for good.

What's LESS easy to wrap my head around are feelings of respect - or, at least, non-hatred - for Michael Bay, who according to the DailyMail has ALSO joined this particular fight, offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the puppy-flinger's indentification.

So... now I have to like 4Chan and the director of "The Island?" Stupid human-capacity-for-redemption...

All kidding aside, I've actually heard quite a bit that Bay's redeeming feature is that he's a BIG animal lover and supporter of animal charities - he's supposed to have given his Bar Mitzvah money away to California animal shelters as a kid.

Well, alright. Fine. Michael, I guess you're a decent guy after all. Everything but "Bad Boys 2" is still terrible, though ;)

EDIT: Before anyone brings it up... NO, I don't in fact think it's at all "interesting," sad or somehow wrong to be more worked-up about stuff like this than it is about the people starving in Darfur or wherever the mass-suffering region du-jour is right now.

UPDATE: Apparently, they got her. 4Chan bags another one.


Rarer Monsters said...

As a devoted Densha Otoko fanboy I'm reluctant to be critical of mass-internet culture, but does becoming a vigilante mob really make 4chan the "Good Guys?" I mean, what happens when they mistakenly identify an innocent person and that person is victimized in the crossfire?

Yeah, I'm not an advocate of almost ridiculous levels of cruelty, but I'm not also a fan of "Videos Being Watched Now" replacing the justice system.

And I don't think anyone's ever said Michael Bay was a bad person, just an awful filmmaker. Although, in fairness to him, if someone paid me millions of dollars to do something I sucked at I'd do it.

Patrick said...

Cruelty to animals is one of those things that is impossible for most people to understand.

While not condoning the action, usually one can at least understand why a human kills another human (E.G. The OJ trial).

Torturing puppies though...what is the motive? What is this lady gaining by doing this?

I welcome anyone doing anything negative to the culprit, she has it coming.

Dav3 said...

Honestly I've never agreed with, or even understood, hatred of any director because their terrible movie was disproportionally successful.

As for the other thing, A: I've never heard of 4Chan, and B: I haven't seen the infamous video so I won't comment on it specifically.

I'll say this, I think any kind of outright animal abuse is absolutely awful and anyone who egages in it should be incarcerated somewhere for intense psychological study.

But yeah, Bob, there is something wrong with a society that gets worked up over an individual tossing a dozen puppies off a bridge but couldn't care less about a million people starving to death.

Hell, it bothers me more that a company is allowed, and able to, turn an enormous profit selling cigarettes when everybody agrees that they're toxic and of no benefit whatsoever.

Of course it's wrong to throw puppies off a bridge, but you can't really think it's okay that most people will try harder to stop this than they try to stop all the other man made horrors of the world.

I'd bet more people care about those puppies than who represents them in congress.

Doesn't that seem just a little bit peculiar?

Patrick said...

I can easily understand why someone would get more worked up over puppy abuse than people starving to death. Puppies are innocent, humans are not. Animals represent all the good humans have to offer, and none of the bad.

Dav3 said...

You're saying there's no such thing as an innocent person?

Kyle said...

I feel like we have stewardship over animals. The relationship between how animals and humans can be understood as the relationship between man and God (if you believe He exists)

God hold us in the palm of his hand like that woman holds those puppies.

It's the lopsidedness of the situation plus the total ability to improve/bless or destroy. No one blames the person who doesn't solve world hunger.

4chan has the unique ability to bring a new lopsided situation, where the woman is powerless in her disadvantage. We get to watch the justice/vengeance and we react to that depending on how we see it.

Kyle said...

Omit the "how" in the 2nd sentence. (Great move- starting off sounding like an idiot...)

tyra menendez said...

You make a movie, we see, say, five people die, and imply the deaths of hundreds more, with buildings being destroyed, possibly on a mass scale. Then comes a scene with a dog. If you kill the dog, it immediately becomes just that much more shocking.
"OMG, they killed teh dog!!!11" becomes a refrain, is reaction to the movie, even if it's only a second of film, surrounded by human death.
There's something deep within out psyches about seeing our pets die. Also, it's one of the early signs of a diseased mind: torturing and/or killing animals.
Someone who gets joy from killing animals would likely get joy from killing humans. So, if nothing else, it's a warning sign. Especially since modern society values empathy.
You can lay as many rationalizations as you like, the fact is, it evokes a gut reaction.

RestamSalucard said...

@tyra BOOMER WILL LIVE!!! (Nostalgia Critic Squeals)