January 21, 2011

"Last week, all humanity thrilled to the footage caught on a mall security camera of a walking-and-texting woman falling into a fountain."

"This week, the once-anonymous woman is doing an airing-of-grievances media blitz, complete with threats of legal action against those who made her hilarious klutziness an internet sensation."

Is there a cause of action for the invasion of privacy that takes place these days when someone catches something stupid that you do — in public — and puts it on YouTube? Hey, don't be stupid! The consequences are much higher today with the internet and viral video. It's a big deterrent. If the legal system turns that deterrent into a monetary gain, it will be incentivizing stupidity.

We need to learn how to live in the world as it is. When we're in public, we have a new dimension of visibility because of digital cameras and the internet. I've been thinking about the effect this is having on politics. Politicians have to watch every single thing they say. That's difficult.

Remember how one word uttered by George Allen destroyed him, because he foolishly thought he was speaking only to a small group and did not foresee how it would play on YouTube. Politicians will have to speak clearly, with a consistent message, and not something tailored to the particular group that they are speaking to at the moment. Obama was able to overcome his "bitter clingers" remark, which was specially designed to reach the hearts of wealthy San Franciscans. But it wasn't easy, and it still dogs him.

Heads up, everybody. Don't stare at the one thing that's right in front of your nose — whether it's your Blackberry or your biggest, wealthiest fans. Pay attention. There's a low wall just ahead, you're about to tumble into the fountain, and the internet is waiting to make you the next sensation.

46 comments:

Big Mike said...

The lady needs to develop her situational awareness. Maybe the next fountain will contain piranhas.

g2loq said...

Bush's fault ..

Scott M said...

We need to learn how to live in the world as it is. When we're in public, we have a new dimension of visibility because of digital cameras and the internet. I've been thinking about the effect this is having on politics. Politicians have to watch every single thing they say. That's difficult.

Please tell that to all of the cops, cop administrators, and cop unions that want to ban the filming of police that are doing police-schtuff in plain view, out in public. Much as the answer to bad speech isn't less speech, the answer to bad cops isn't less visibility of how bad cops do their jobs.

As far as the George Allen thing...one has to remember that a human's life and experience have a certain inertial quality. I dare say it is almost beyond the ability of the older politicians to really grasp concepts like "going viral". This is evident in quite a lot of different facets in politics and business.

peter hoh said...

Did anyone connect her name with this video before she spoke up?

From now on, however, anyone who googles her name will see the video.

It's the P.R. equivalent of walking into a pool while texting.

g2loq said...

mmm ...

READING, Pa. -- 69 News has learned the local woman who is now drawing national attention for her videotaped fall into a fountain at the Berkshire Mall appeared in court Thursday for a hearing on criminal charges that were filed against her in 2009.

Cathy Cruz Marrero, who appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday morning after granting her first TV interview to 69 News on Wednesday, is charged with five felony counts, including theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

She's due back in court April 21.

Police said Marrero, who used to work at Zales Jewelers at the Fairgrounds Square Mall in Muhlenberg Township, used the Zales credit account of someone she knows to make more than $4,000 in purchases without the account-holder's permission.

Marrero also used the same woman's Target credit account to buy more than $1,000 worth of merchandise, said police, who indicated in court documents that the purchases were made prior to August 2007.

Sheepman said...

Too bad she can't sue herself for invasion of privacy.

Lem said...

I was going to say Architects and Engineers could have considered and mitigated the absent minded pedestrian but at what cost.

Cluttering up the visual with a higher railing would have defeated its purpose.

This kind of thing is probably happening a lot more often off camera.

Robert Cook said...

I don't believe her. She reportedly works at the mall. She had to know where the fountain was and also that all public spaces in the mall were under video surveillance.

The person we see in the video is completely unidentifiable, so any undue public ridicule she feels she is victim to is due to her outing herself.

I think she either planned this with dubious intent or she opportunistically hopes to take advantage of her own public stupidity.

Lem said...

It's the P.R. equivalent of walking into a pool while texting.

It's the anti-Palin equivalent of attempting to disparage Palin by accusing her of desecrating the term blood libel..

Now a blood libel Google's Sarah Palin and the injustice that was done to her.

roesch-voltaire said...

Poor Palin always the victim, how dare anyone put her in the surveyor's crosshairs! And please do not let more Republicans think like Frum, because they would have run different candidates and won the Senate.

Scott M said...

roesch is posting, apparently, while walking into a fountain in a mall.

bgates said...

Hey, don't be stupid!

Writes the Obama voter.

Lem said...

I don't believe her. She reportedly works at the mall. She had to know where the fountain was..

Maybe this is a stereotype.. but aren't women drivers supposedly more directionally challenged than men?

Something about the way our brains are wired differently..

Leland said...

I suspect many companies have concerns about worker injuries due to slips, trips, and falls. Before, I could use the video as an example of someone doing something stupid. Now, I can make sure I also don't hire a stupid person. Thanks lady for self-identifying. You overpaid your lawyer, but that's not the first or last mistake I suspect you'll make.

g2loq said...

mmm ...
Here, her sista:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoSDxyTJz3I

Hope 'n Change

Original Mike said...

"Last week, all humanity ..."

Damn, I missed it.

Seems pretty simple to me. If it ocurrs in public, it's not private.

Original Mike said...

Hey, don't be stupid!

Writes the Obama voter.


OUCH.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If it ocurrs in public, it's not private.

That's why I never understood the whole privacy violation arguments about street cameras. You're walking on a public street, you have no privacy.

victoria said...

I am absolutely amazed that anyone would actually give her air time to vent her own personal foibles. Grow up, lady. No one cares.


Vicki from Pasadena

Mary Beth said...

Her lawsuit is over the security guards not coming to help her when she fell. She said they didn't go to check on her until 20 minutes later, after she had left the mall.

The guard who posted the video has been fired. I think he should have been promoted.

DADvocate said...

Did anyone connect her name with this video before she spoke up?

I didn't even know where the mall was. Damn funny though.

Andy Warhol said we'd all be famous for 15 minutes. He didn't say for what.

Clyde said...

Cruz Marrero is an idiot.

Not just for being an inattentive schlub and falling into a fountain, making herself an object lesson in how to beclown oneself, but also for being stupid enough to out herself. Now she's not just an anonymous fool. There's a name to go with it. And a punchline:

"Brings a whole new meaning to Cruzing the mall, doesn't it?"

*rimshot*

I hope that if she is stupid enough to file a lawsuit that the judge takes one look at the video, tells her she's an idiot and duns her for court costs for wasting the court's time.

Clyde said...

OMG! I agree with Vicki on something! Is this one of the signs of the Apocalypse? I guess we'll know if it starts raining frogs or something...

Leland said...

The guard who posted the video has been fired. I think he should have been promoted.

Whatever we think of the lady, she is still a customer of that mall. She may be a liability for potential tort, but she's still a customer. If the mall allows its employees to regularly ridicule the customers in public; that mall will soon have fewer customers. The security guard gave us a laugh, but he should be fired.

edutcher said...

Anyone who wants to cultivate situational awareness should be a pedestrian for a year, using nothing but public transportation for longer distances. You are always watching out for stuff.

Look at the way most people walk through a parking lot. An 18-wheeler could be bearing down on them, air horn blaring, and they wouldn't notice.



roesch-voltaire said...

Poor Palin always the victim, how dare anyone put her in the surveyor's crosshairs! And please do not let more Republicans think like Frum, because they would have run different candidates and won the Senate

Poor dear, he missed the thread.

Yes, how dare she sit there and defend herself when scurrilously attacked.

Smilin' Jack said...

The really stupid thing here is putting fountains in malls in the first place--she should sue them for that. On the rare occasions that I go to a mall it's only because I need something faster than Amazon can deliver it to my door. I want to get in and out as fast as possible--I don't need chlorine-stinking ponds and trees and hideous "sculptures" in my way. If I want to dodge pools of smelly stagnant water I can go to a swamp.

Moose said...

I like it how when you like someone, you characterize their objections to an attack as "defending themselves" but if its someone you don't like, its characterized as "playing the victim card".

Sort of like Sully saying he doesn't hate Palin - he just hates what she stands for.

Or something like that.

chickelit said...

When we're in public, we have a new dimension of visibility because of digital cameras and the internet.

Let's also not forget the role of inter-media analysis and critique. For example, the role of blogs in talking about televised media, or Twitter for talking about blogs etc. It's all fair game* as long as it's accurate and not just scurrilous.

_________
*NCA metaphor ("New Civility" Approved).

Maguro said...

I like it how when you like someone, you characterize their objections to an attack as "defending themselves" but if its someone you don't like, its characterized as "playing the victim card".

It really depends on the nature of the attack, does it not?

David said...

Also, if you dislike publicity about your stupidity, consider not bringing dubious lawsuits and then going on television to be interviewed.

Big Mike said...

@edutcher, that's okay. Their heirs can sue the trucker.

@Moose and roesh, you're postin gon the wrong thread. I think you guys need better situtional awareness.

edutcher said...

Mike, I've seen whole families like that. Who gets to sue then?

jayne_cobb said...

I actually live about three miles from the mall where this happened and those fountains are fairly loud.

If they were running, there is no way she wouldn't hear them.

Mary Beth said...

Whatever we think of the lady, she is still a customer of that mall.

She's an employee of a store in the mall. I don't understand the kind of person who would hire her when she had a history of credit card/identity theft.

The camera was far enough away that it would have been hard to identify who fell until she came forward with her lawsuit. I bet the mall got more traffic after the video. I can see people going to it over another mall just because they saw the video on YouTube or on TV.

MadisonMan said...

If they were running, there is no way she wouldn't hear them.

Ear buds.

Roman said...

The most dangerous thing in the world to be is stupid. It will get you eventually. People who drive around lighted, flashing train crossing gates and get hit by a train are another example.. Is there anything that could save them?

Original Mike said...

"Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid."

John Wayne

Moose said...

Really?

Clyde said...

"Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."

-- Robert A. Heinlein

Scott M said...

Was that Troopers Heinlein, or post-Number Of The Beast batshit Heinlein?

Michael said...

Of course the guard should have been promoted and the tape should be aired on all channels so that everyone can share in the humor.
Funniest of all is the incredible lack of humor of the texting person who believes that fucking over someone for laughing at her is OK. Were I this woman's boss I would happily fire her while laughing at the tape which I would be playing while I lowered the boom. Had she laughed it off with everyone else I would have given her a raise. I hope someone hires the fired guard immediately at a much higher rate of pay.

Revenant said...

If I fell into a fountain while texting and someone put the video of it on YouTube, I would forward the link to all my friends and family.

The humor value outweighs any embarrassment I might feel.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am absolutely amazed that anyone would actually give her air time to vent her own personal foibles. Grow up, lady. No one cares."

It gave them an excuse to show the video several more times, entertaining the audience without looking like they were just milking a trivial old story. Except they did.

cold pizza said...

There's a signpost up ahead. You're about to enter... the YouTube Zone. -cp

wv: leolden. aged lion.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Yeah. How dare we expect that security personnel conform to basic professional expectations.

The Crack Emcee said...

Politicians have to watch every single thing they say. That's difficult.

Only if you're a fuck up. I don't find myself apologizing much, or taking back what I say, because - wait for it - I'm not crazy.

Even if I do have apologize, I don't feel like it's some major imposition on my identity like most people who, apparently, would rather DIE than admit they're wrong.

The problem we have isn't recording devices trying to catch morons saying stupid shit but the fact we're electing morons, who think and say stupid shit, to office.

And people who can't even admit they were wrong after they put them there,...