People are ridiculous.
We do and say stupid things on a regular basis.
I once thought it would be a really good idea to remove the ledges on my office windows with a high powered reciprocal saw.
In retrospect, not such a bright idea. Not bright at all. But no one got hurt, I was able to laugh at myself, and it made for some great blog fodder.
I’ve been seen on more than one occasion walking my kids to the bus stop wearing fuzzy polka-dot pajama pants and a “Who’s your Daddy?” t-shirt. And again, I was able to laugh at myself for doing so.
But in both of the above instances, I choose to share my pictures and my story here. I invited you to laugh. I gave you permission to laugh at me and to do so openly.
I have a confession to make. There are a few websites I used to frequent on a somewhat regular basis because they posted pictures of people looking ridiculous. It was sort of my guilty pleasure. It never occurred to me (because I never gave it much thought) that these pictures were being taken by strangers and submitted to these websites without the consent of the person or persons being photographed. It wasn’t until I heard a news story about one such website that I realized that a what I considered “harmless fun” wasn’t so harmless after all.
It seems a woman recognized a picture of her mother on the website and was quite upset. The website removed the picture, and will remove any such picture upon request, but thanks to search engines and the ability to download virtually any picture from the internet, they’re all still out there somewhere. Besides, the damage has already been done. Someone provided an opportunity for thousands of people to have a good, hearty laugh at someone else’s expense. Someone’s mother’s expense. I wonder how hard they would laugh if they were to find their picture displayed without their permission looking like a hot mess?
Oh, but that would never happen. Because they have more class than to go to Walmart dressed like a dirty pirate hooker.
Just not enough class not to laugh at someone else’s expense.
Editor’s Note: I don’t mean to imply that any website or television program which depicts people being funny unintentionally (whether it be by actions or by their outward appearance) is wrong. America’s Funniest Videos and Candid Camera did that successfully for years. But they did so with the permission of those who were the subjects of said videos. That’s vastly different from what’s happening now. When I find myself laughing at a picture of someone who probably wouldn’t laugh along with me, it shames me. It makes me feel like an anonymous bully. Because basically, that’s what I’ve become.