Scoot: Man kicks squirrel into Grand Canyon, did you see it?
by Scoot,posted Aug 4 2014 7:21PM
If a video goes viral – are those who watch it partly responsible for inspiring its content?
An Internet video of a man apparently kicking a squirrel off the edge into the Grand Canyon has gone viral. Grand Canyon Park officials are investigating to determine if the video is real or a hoax.
In the video – a shirtless man wearing a cowboy hat leaves a trail of food with the final piece of food on his shoe. When the squirrel gets on his shoe to get to the food – the man kicks the squirrel over the edge and into the Grand Canyon. Park officials are also looking for the man responsible – but say the chances of finding him a very slim.
If you haven’t heard about this video, will you try to find it to watch it? Will you share it with your friends with the caption, “You gotta see this!” Maybe you have already heard about the video – did you watch it and share it?
People continue to video outrageous – and sometimes dangerous – behavior to post with the hope of the video going viral. If we watch those videos – are we supporting the outrageous and dangerous behavior featured in the videos?
If the video of a man kicking a squirrel into the Grand Canyon is true – then the video was made and the squirrel kicked to his/her death with the expectation of an audience. By viewing the video and sharing it – is the audience actually participating?
Entertainment and even the news reflect the audiences. A video – as a medium – reflects its audience. Movies are made because of the expectation that people will watch movies – bizarre videos are made because people will watch and share and if the video goes viral the “actors” and “producers” gain their own form of celebrity status.
The viral video of a man kicking a squirrel into the Grand Canyon is a perfect way to explain the relationship between the medium and the audience.
There is condemnation of the news for presenting certain news stories – there is criticism of Hollywood for making certain movies – but in both cases isn’t it the audience that determines the content of news and entertainment? If viewers responded to hard news in the way they respond to sensational news – then there would be more hard news.
It is easy for the audience to blame the news, movies or any medium for the content that features violence – but if the medium reflects the audience then the individuals who make up the audience should recognize their contribution to the actual content.
Humans are innately fascinated with violence. That doesn’t mean all humans want bad things to happen – but it is in our nature to be intrigued by violence. If a violent act occurs – human nature will lead many to watch. But if a violent act is planned and carried out for the sake of attracting an audience – does not the audience bear some responsibility for the act?
If it was not expected to draw a mass audience – would the man have kicked the squirrel?