The world has a new one!
A woman known days ago as the bus stop dancer has been identified as 35-year-old Ellie Cole.
Internet users have spread her around, laughing and mocking her situation, but she lucked out: She is getting a high out of her 15 minutes of fame--plus she just got a new job, landing a role in a local play.
The story is being offered up as a feel-good story with a happy ending, something we don't get often from the media. But what else is in play here..?
Go down this merry journey with me and see if you're still smiling at the end.
Ellie Cole was minding her own business--sure there is no expectation of privacy on a street--but the fact that surveillance video of the bus stop was somehow uploaded to Facebook, seemingly to make a fool out of this person expressing a little happiness--is interesting. I did locate an article explaining that a restaurant owner across the street was doing the filming.. I suppose he or she is the one that put the ABBA music overtop of the dancing..
Media isn't asking many questions about the moral appropriateness of an innocent person meandering through life and suddenly being made famous by a creepy person a distance away with a camera..
This reminds me of a couple things. First off, I tell anyone who emails me People of Walmart to stop emailing me them.. there may be some humor to watching sad human beings shop, but it's creepy that they are watched by others and photos are taken without their knowledge, uploaded to the net, and spread around the world like wildfire. Other sites similar to People of Walmart are popping up.. everyone wants to make a fool of someone else. Few photographs are taken of the cameraman in a mirror. Instead, it has become fashionable to mock unknowing innocent people shopping.. but where is a line drawn? Children? Elderly? MOCK EM ALL!
This also reminds me of something from the late 20th century. Years ago, the Late Show with David Letterman was forced to settle a lawsuit with Jane Bronstein, a then-fifty-five year old woman that Letterman would often show. There was footage of her at a tennis game sloppily eating a peach, and Letterman used that footage often on the show when it first went to CBS. At one point, Letterman put the video on the large Jumbotron in New York City of Bronstein eating the peach. It turned out that the woman Letterman was mocking had actually become disfigured by childhood polio and a thyroid conditions.
Fast forward to the year 2013, and it's now the world's newest game: Shame innocent people for acting themselves in public. The camera is always watching..
People lament the power of Big Brother--with his NSA spying and his FBI fusion centers collecting so much data that they probably don't even know what to do with it all.. While people fear Big Brother's power, what about the actions of the sheeple? Happily analyzing through hours of hidden camera footage for that just right person to ridicule... watching Earthcams from the comfort of their dark basements.. Setting up surveillance to watch neighbors. Hell, buying drones to patrol their homes! And yes, forwarding until their tired emails of people shopping at Walmart wearing colostomy bags and walking around with their shorts too low and an enlarged stomach hanging out.
This is what we have become.
The tale of Ellie Cole is being told by newscasters with a smile. It's the quirky story that they play after sports, a nice way to end the night, they think..
But I don't.
I think it's a creepy example of a surveillance state gone too far. And most of the time it's not the government doing a thing, it's We the People who apparently think we're so perfect that mocking others is the only form of entertainment that exists online..