Archive | December, 2012

Royal Family Leaks, DJ’s, and Suicide

13 Dec

indexI have read one of the most disturbing and sad stories of the twenty-first century regarding the British Royal Family – or, rather, one of the nurses caring for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Kate was in the hospital for acute morning sickness when two Australian radio personalities called the hospital where Kate was being treated. These two radio personalities pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and were able to solicit information of some sort from a nurse. The nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, was a mother of two children and well respected by her peers.

Now, the nurse has committed suicide and the DJs are suspended. In a town that built the “shock jock,” we New Yorker’s are quite used to prankster DJs out to get a laugh from us. Unfortunately, sometime these laughs do come at the expense of others.

The internet is currently boiling over with news of this story. Some people are even saying that the Royal Family might be involved in this incident, that the nurse’s death was some sort of James Bondish style fake suicide to get revenge on the nurse for babbling too much information.

Of Course, this is not what really happened. We can speculate that the nurse might have been in a fragile mental state. It may forever remain unclear why she took her life. Perhaps the shame was just too much for her to bear inside of her heart.

Should we expect more from our radio DJ’s? Should these individuals try to take into account the feelings of others when setting up their comedy routines? Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. We enjoy these entertainers for shocking us, for doing the things that we are not capable or brave enough to do.

Then again, if this happened to me at my job and I fell for it, I would just be pissed at these DJs and want to kick their ass.

Shame On You, New York Post

12 Dec

untitledRecently, a photo of a man dying was published in the New York Post. It has come into question as to whether or not the photo should have been published at all. This brings a troubling question before us: the power of the press to do good versus the power of the press to exploit for profit?

Which is the case here? How do these lines get drawn. What is the right choice? How often do these questions need to be asked?
Who will determine when the questions are asked, the motivations examined, the good versus harm that will be done, and ultimately, who has the answers? How will this be possible? Should news outlets ask these questions when deciding to publish such a photograph?

In my opinion, yes, the questions should be asked by the journalists and editors planning to use them. It is important to question the motives and the value of the outcome should such a photo be published. The man in the photo dying is survived by people who love him. Is the public right to know really applicable here? What is gained from such sensationalism that will now be recorded and publically available for all those surviving the deceased man in the future? Very little is the only answer I can reach.

As a proponent of free speech and freedom of the press, I do not think that a little decorum would harm those principles. There is nothing wrong with respecting our fellow citizens of the world.

We can learn a great deal from one another’s struggles, and journalism is the first line of exposure we have to many outrageous, shocking, and deplorable circumstances being imposed on our fellow human beings. However, there can be maintained a
level of scrutiny that prevents blatant exploitation of tragedy for the purpose of making money.

Reconciliation Time

6 Dec

imagesoSara finally stopped being mad at me about the Great Foot Incident of 2012, and I think I can give most of the credit for this sudden sea change to online sales over the last week. Instead of going out to stores on the day after Thanksgiving, Sara spent the entire weekend shopping online for “great deals and even better steals,” she said.

It turns out that Sara is not the only one who thought there was no need to step into the madness of Black Friday. Black Friday shopping online spared her from getting really cold traveling around the city, for one thing. It also potentially kept her from being elbowed or assaulted in some other fashion by some crazed fellow shopper. She saw someone throw a punch or kick in an attempt to snatch the last Doggy Snuggy off of a shelf at a giant, discount superstore in Georgia on Black Friday a couple of years ago, so she has set her mind to avoiding the chaos from now on.

In an attempt to regain her good graces, I engaged as much as I possibly could with her regarding her shopping goals. At first, she was a little cold toward the idea of talking to me about anything at all, but with a little determination, consistency, and thoughtfulness, I was able to get her to open up to me. We stayed in New York City this year for Thanksgiving, so we had time alone for this to be possible.

On the giant dry erase board I use to map out ideas for work, we made four lists. The first list was a list for gifts to friends. The second was a list of family to buy gifts for. The third was a list of things that she’s needed and waited to buy so that she could get a Black Friday deal. The fourth list was a list of things that Sara wanted and has waited to buy on this shopper’s holiday.

This was a great way for us to bond. We discussed the pros and cons of gifts for each person on each list. We budgeted out perfectly the gift list so that when it came to shopping for herself, Sara was able to buy many of the things on her wants list and all of the things that were on her needs list. Isn’t love grand?