Thursday, August 1, 2013

What you can say, and what you cannot say.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper used "the N word" (nigger, OK) in a fit of rage at a concert about two months ago.  The video of the slur came out yesterday and the Internet and other forms of media area worked-up over his poor choice of words.

Opinion is divided as to his intent or the manner in which he spoke the word.  Some would say alcohol played a part and others would say that alcohol was a fuel in the fire.  Either way, he said it and that seems to be the problem.

For those of us old enough to have been alive long enough to remember a world without cell phone video or YouTube links, the  incident is amazing.  Let's say, in 1985, this incident would have either gone unreported or have been reported with "word of mouth" testimony that could have been refuted by the defendant.

The youth of today is totally wired-in with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other forms of instant media, where they can post video of whatever stupid thing they are doing that they assume we are interested in seeing. Most of us view these updates with stifled yawns, unless the person on the other end is some form of celebrity - which is where Riley Cooper comes in.

He is some form of celebrity, having been burdened with the position of playing for a professional football team.  Had it been any of us schmucks in the general public, that video would have gone into the Cloud or wherever videos of unnecessary things are stored.

The sad part (for us and Riley) is that his so-called social prominence mandates that we know about his social foibles.  Otherwise, he could have said he likes to have sex with chickens or he enjoys the company of sheep and we wouldn't bat an eye because it isn't of consequence for social media sites to exploit.

Even though we have had this technology for several years, there are still people who do not realize that almost everything they do is either recordable or being recorded.  Cross the street against a green light and try to get away with it.  Pay for something with Canadian quarters, and your face is on Yahoo News.  Feel fortunate that your indiscretions aren't valid for public consumption.  Only after celebrities embarrass themselves is the video available for mass consumption.  Otherwise, it isn't interesting to anyone.

Wake up, white people.


junior alien said...

It is also interesting how relative "celebrity" is. I had no idea of course who ... is. So what he said was and is quite embarrassing, but who is he anyway?
On the other hand if I told you that Dieter Bohlen or Daniel Küblböck had said something weird again (which they haven't currently), the German tabloid press and most of the German speaking world would be giddy with excitement and outrage, but Americans would simply shrug their shoulders, because who are those two guys anyway?

Anthony said...

This local story has become somewhat of a national one here in the USA, even though most football fans wouldn't be able to pick Riley Cooper out of a police lineup.
Some of the talk has been that the Eagles should just cut him, with the argument that he isn't that good, so they should make an example out of him.
If he was a superstar, I know the feeling would be the opposite. Such is the state of modern sports in America.