Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Scarlet "Like" Button

Here's an unexpected twist to the socially-networked Nu-Perfect America: Facebook has made modern and digital the quaint Puritan practice of shunning and turned the whole country into colonial Boston.

VFTP readers, meet our latest 21st Century Hester Prynne. Her "A" stands for "Asshat", apparently.

"Oh, but she has a right to post photos that she knows others will find shameful and boorish* on her Facebook page!" Indeed she does. And people have a right to react however they feel like reacting, so long as they keep their hands to themselves.

I'm torn ten ways from Sunday about the whole thing, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't find it absolutely fascinating.


*Oddly, it seems that from inside her bubble, she had no clue that others would take offense at the picture. How insulated and provincial the East Coast cosmopolite so often is!

EDITED TO ADD: She was just trying to show what a rebel she was by mocking a sign that said "Silence and Respect"... without stopping to consider the larger context of where that sign was. It's the difference between lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign, and lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign in a pediatric lung cancer ward. One's rebellious, the other's reprehensible.

34 comments:

Woodman said...

Hunh. Yes, freedom to express.

Yes, I get the joke.

Yes, I'm also slightly offended. It's more of a grow-up and act your age sort of thing for me. She didn't so much tarnish anyone's honor as much as she just showed her ass.

Is it worth her job? No, but I'm not her boss. I wouldn't want to work with her, and maybe her boss knows there are enough people there that won't be able to work with her that it's not worth keeping her.

So, yeah, kind of like telling a Pollack joke at the company party only to find out that half the employees are of Polish extraction. You are going to pay for it.

DaveFla said...

Ten ways from Sunday: odd, isn't it, that perpetual adolescence is even remarkable today? Heartening to see that lots of folks are willing to play the 'adult' role in the somewhat infantile environs of FB, too? Disgusting when some of these insist on a ban/boycott? Plus ça change, neh? Please, forgive me my keen grasp of the obvious...

Firehand said...

Yeah, two different points here: one is her being so, insulated? out-of-touch with? so many that she truly didn't realize that such an act would really piss lots of people off.
The other, that a (supposed) adult would consider this behavior something to post and laugh about. Like some idiot wearing a 'eat pussy'-type shirt or wearing his pants like a prison bitch when taking his kids into a restaurant. Really? You don't see a slight problem with this?

Add in their horror that other people use THEIR freedom to speak to tell them what a moron they are, and it gets downright entertaining. In a 'I can see the crash about to happen' kind of way.

JohninMd.(help!) said...

Should she lose her job? Meh. that's up to her boss. Don't know what kinda asshat she is on the job. Should she be the subject of much finger-pointing and giggling behind her back, hell, to her FACE? Oh, hell, yes....make asshatery painful, maybe we'll get less of it.

Rustmeister said...

She's an asshole, and should be treated as such.

NAVIGATOR said...

RULE OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES APPLIES
WHEN BRAIN FUNCTION IS NOT ENGAGED

Anonymous said...

Having my father, mother, uncle, aunt and two good friends buried there, I'm less than thrilled at the way she exersised her right of free speech.

Gerry

Dale W said...

When I was on my senior trip to Washington, DC way back in 1983, I was accorded the honor of laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Before you do it, the Old Guard non-com in charge takes you into Arlington House and tells you how it is going to go down. Ours was a black gentleman about 5'-6" tall and about that thick. He took one look at me and my class mate, with our blue jeans and spiked hair and skinny ties (it was the time, what can I say) and reamed our ass about not having any respect for our country. Lou Gossett, Jr. could take some lessons from this guy. He scared the wee out of us "punks" and I have to say that left an indelible inprint on my psyche. The point being, perhaps she should have a "wood shed" moment with the senior non-comm. I'm sure he could argue the point more persuasively than anyone, given the opportunity.

or the 5000 haters out to get her could crap on her car, like the occupy idiots "who were protesting authority."

Whatever - welcome to the "new" democracy in action.

Borepatch said...

She's done the world a service. Now I know what to do with her resume should it ever cross my desk.

treefroggy said...

The term is MassHole. I'm surprised she wasn't shocked by the fact that there were guns there.

Tam said...

DanW,

"or the 5000 haters out to get her could crap on her car"

No, that would be a crime.

Suz said...

Wow! Actions have consequences? Who knew?

Murphy's Law said...

The call for firing her comes from the fact that she did it while on an official trip, representing her employer not just as an employee but as a supervisor. As such, even if she didn't mean to, she spoke in their name. Now if they validate her actions by keeping her on, then they have to claim ownership of them as well.

The First Amendment was written to protect political speech from government retribution or suppression. It's not a "you can't be offended" card that any idiot gets to flip out when they realize that they pissed off enough people to actually bring about a consequence.

Chris said...

My parents, grandparents, and two aunts are buried there, but I'm not "offended" so much by her behavior as I am disgusted by her parents, who must not have taught her that actions have consequences. Stupid snowflake, probably.

Bob said...

It's no different than those feral children in UK that urinate on war memorials or The Cenotaph. Parents are too busy or too apathetic themselves to teach their children proper manners and respect, and they certainly aren't learning any real history in school.

This ignoramus, if she was taught about the US Civil War at all, probably vaguely remembers it being about slavery and Lincoln freeing them, nothing more.

Is it so very wrong to wish for a picture of a Tomb Guard laying her out with a stroke from his rifle butt?

Robert Fowler said...

Bob said...
Is it so very wrong to wish for a picture of a Tomb Guard laying her out with a stroke from his rifle butt?

I'd pay for a copy of that video.

Kristophr said...

Murphey's Law:

Being an idiot is not a EEOC protected class, unless you have a note from a doctor saying you are mentally retarded.

Anyone who google's her name will see this photo.

She should be fired to avoid embarrassing her employer.

If she wants to get past this, she will probably need to legally change her name, and pretend her prior employer's do not exist.

Kristophr said...

Robert: the Tomb Guards would not do anything physically to her as long as she does not step past the fence.

If she did that, the guard would run to her position with rifle at port arms and YELL a polite request for her to not cross the fence.

I'm not sure what he would do if she didn't comply ... Ask Chris Byrne, since he was a part of that unit.

docjim505 said...

Tam - It's the difference between lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign, and lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign in a pediatric lung cancer ward. One's rebellious, the other's reprehensible.

I'm stealing this!

Dale W - [The Old Guard NCO] took one look at me and my class mate, with our blue jeans and spiked hair and skinny ties (it was the time, what can I say) and reamed our ass about not having any respect for our country... The point being, perhaps she should have a "wood shed" moment with the senior non-comm. I'm sure he could argue the point more persuasively than anyone, given the opportunity.

I think that we would all pay to see such a thing, and that it would be good for quite a few other people to see it, too.

Woodman said...

A "woodshed" moment would be totally wasted on this person.

She is the wronged party here, anyone yelling at her, or telling her she is wrong is just adding to the abuse she has to deal with. She will never internalize this unless something fundamentally changes in her world view.

Everything she is hearing now is coming through like the teachers on Peanuts.

A talk with a pissed off senior NCO would just prove to herself that these guys take themselves way too seriously and need to lighten up. It's not that big of a deal, what's the problem anyway, it was just a sign, it was just a joke. The establishment is all screwed up anyway. Maybe I should go back there and show them what a real protest is!

She might learn something later, but right now she's a victim.

Old NFO said...

Her 'haters' now number almost 18000...

Scott said...

I get the joke. I have photo somewhere of me pretending to climb a rock formation near the stairs that lead up to the top of Clingman's dome in Tennessee, right next a sign that reads "no climbing". At the time it seemed mildly witty and a touch whimsical.

There are, however, places where, if you are anything close to a well-adjusted human being, your wit and whimsy switch should automatically, without any conscious thought on your part, flip over to the OFF position immediately. That this girl lacks such a automatic reflex is bewildering to me.

Anonymous said...

Why are there two videos that autoplay on that Huffington Post page? And why can't I figure out how to stop them?

RabidAlien said...

I have no idea who this female (deleted the term "lady") is. Now I have no desire to find out. I agree with all of hte above comments, and especially the part about her actions reflecting on her employer. Continued employment assumes responsibility for her actions on the part of her employer, or at least approval thereof.

KM said...

Woodman noted: A "woodshed" moment would be totally wasted on this person.
She is the wronged party here


On the money.
Sadly, that is probably going to be the defense used in this case.

Our country....I weep for it.
Remember when sense used to be common?

Anonymous said...

"It's the difference between lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign, and lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign in a pediatric lung cancer ward. One's rebellious, the other's reprehensible."

There is a middle ground between being whimsically rebellious, and being physically harmful to those in the ward, and the girl in question was in that middle.

Woodman got it.

The bully's victims become bullies themselves. They rebel, becoming that which they rebel against as a means of rebuilding their egos. It's a never-ending cycle, and as Woodman said, taking her to the woodshed, while it may be satisfying, will reinforce her rebellious attitude, feed the darker aspects of her ego, and make the problem worse.

Pressure and intimidation are what got her to her pathetic state in the first place, so now you want to utterly break her? You want to replace genuine respect for fear that mimics respect. It’s an impossible situation isn’t it? Or is it? It depends on what you bring to the table.

Also; I am very, very thankful that I didn’t have internet when I was a kid. -- Lyle

NotClauswitz said...

Maybe she was trying to communicate her love of Kennedys, and get a rise out of Jack?
But the other bitter-bubble-clingers with whom she shares her small-small world seems to rise to her defense small-mindedly protective of their own.

Brigid said...

It's easy being a rebel when you're 30 years old and still living with your parents while working as a manager for a "non profit".

Tam said...

Wow, this post has been a real Rorschach test for commenters.

I say "I'm torn ten ways from Sunday" and it's amazing how many people think they know which one of those ten directions the largest piece of me went.

Especially you, Lyle. Take a bow, man, you earned it.

Ed said...

"It's the difference between lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign, and lighting up next to a "NO SMOKING" sign in a pediatric lung cancer ward. One's rebellious, the other's reprehensible."

And lighting up next to someone dispensing aviation gasoline can make you fly and at the same time be just as career limiting.

Brad K. said...

The value of a monument is what you take away from it.

It appears that she brought so much baggage to Arlington to the Cemetery, that she left with nothing worthwhile.

Her statement or actions are legally protected. For that matter, her employer's position, and that of future employers, hinge not on the act and the photo (and non-response), but on her ability to judge what is appropriate and in the best interests of her employer. As a janitor, you could assign her to the night shift and keep and eye on her; as a supervisor I would think this would be the straw that settled any question of her suitability for supervisory work.

Unfortunately for her, the Internet has a long memory. Every so often her employer is going to search on her name, as a sound business practice. And this kerfuffle is going to pop up. Her words, and especially the national attention and reporting, will influence the rest of her life.

As for haters and what not, I figure that if she doesn't work for me, I have no vested interest in what happens to her because of this YouTube moment. As an American, and veteran, I am disappointed in her expression of disrespect; it touches on what I consider basic humanity and reverence for the Cemetery, and on citizenship and acknowledging the roles the various heroes laid to rest there represent.

Blessed be, to all.

hektor said...

I hope she didn't wake anyone up. Could be a lot of explaining what we did with the place.

J.R.Shirley said...

Wrong venue to cut up.

Having spent over a year working at Fort Meyer, I don't have much respect for the Old Guard, or as I might call them, the "Pretend Infantry".

Patrick said...

Her actions are not automatically legally protected. The National Park Service went to court to stop a group of "midnight dancers" at the Lincoln Memorial. They basically got all dressed up and did ballroom dancing on site at night. It was not intended to be disrespectful, but the NPS said it was disruptive. So the dancers turned off the music and went "silent". NPS still said they were disruptive. Court action ensues and the dancers lost.

Disrespectful is legal. Disruptive is not. If the actions of Ms. Asshat are disruptive to the monument, her acts are not automatically 1A protected. Disruptive acts infringe on the rights of the rest of us to interact with the memorial as it was intended. That said, we're talking about acts that are caught in the making. Getting pissed about the photos after the fact is not disruptive. Standing next to her at the monument is.

Some here will surely argue the finer points and argue that such restrictions are an afront to something they hold dear (their own voices?), but the simple fact is I doubt a court would side with her if she claimed she should be able to carry on this way at a national monument due to the First Amendment.

These are academic points. She probably won't do it again. I just thought I'd add color to the idea that 1A is some kind of magic badge to let some people disrupt other people. Sometimes. Not always. In this case, there is plenty to suggest it would not be.

On a less academic note, actions have consequences. Hers is almost surely a Career Limiting Maneuver, even at Time/Life.

The wife and I were talking the other day about how shame seems to have left the building. We were talking specifically about child rearing - the idea out there that you must coddle kids to build their egos. Or something. We got friends who...well, you know what I was going to say. We call our kids out and make them ashamed of the bad things they do, rather than expect logical persuasion to rule their little minds. It worked on us growing up. We dropped some friends because their kids - who we've known since they were born - have turned into little bastards. Their parents - former good friends - wanted to know whey we don't hang out anymore. We told them. They were shamed. So much so that they started taking child-rearing seriously.

We need a little more shame in this world.