26 August 2009

There's an app for that

Of course, maybe there shouldn't be:


  1. Shadowfax,

    I am confused....are you posting this link to highlight how repulsive it is to make light of violence against women? Please tell me that you don't find this funny.


  2. Um, I work in an ER. Black humor is our stock in trade. I think it's a perfectly acceptable thing to laugh at the awful things in life.

    And for the record, there's no violence in this little vignette, except the male narrator's self-directed violence. It's is a amusing story of his descent into madness, though.

    And crazy-ass stalkers come in all genders, believe me, I know!

  3. I have no problem with black humor. I am a cancer patient and the chemo nurses crack me up more often than not. I enjoy that.

    But to me, this mock commercial just underscores the lax mentality toward violence against women in our society. And, no,there is no violence manifested, but his behavior is worrisome and certainly on the path toward extreme misconduct.
    Perhaps I am bothered by it because it comes on the heels of Chris Brown getting a slap on the wrist for publicly beating the crap out of his girlfriend. I am simply tired of the public making light of violence. And for pretending that a guy who is behaving inappropriately toward his ex girlfriend is simply pining after her. It's more than that. I know that YOU know that, but the fact that this is spreading across the internet as light-hearted humor makes me both queasy and fearful. Will advocates ever succeed at making the point that domestic violence (toward women or men) is a serious matter?

    But I do find it interesting that you focus on the male's perspective--his descent into madness--and I focus on the female "character" and how frightening it must be for her to be in this situation. Gender differences? Professional differences?


  4. Cassandra,

    To continue the male/female distinction... why do you immediately jump to violence? Violence is "behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill." The only physical force the fictional guy contemplated was a Harold & Maude style ending -- and the car ad implied he would fail at that too.

    Yes, violence against women is a real and serious issue, but just because someone has a hard time letting go doesn't make them violent. And not being able to let go is definitely not gender specific. Is this schmuck really any different than the main characters in Forgetting Sarah Marshall or High Fidelity? Sad, pathetic, possibly self-destructive... but not violent. (Or do you think those movies make light of violence against women too?)

    Meanwhile we're to understand that the woman has moved on, is now dating a doctor (ahem), and probably couldn't care less whether the poor schmuck drives off a cliff or not.

    Yes, maybe she was annoyed by him trying to pop up in her life when she didn't want him around, but that by itself isn't violence, and that also happens to us guys too.

  5. Oh my. What is portrayed here is most definitely violent. Violence against women (and yes against men, too) is manifested as control, stalking, etc., and then can definitely escalate into the physical part. One of the apps in the skit is called the "stalking" app! That is far from some guy just feeling sad and lonely after a break-up. And then he sought a lawyer app to get around a restraining order! Again the implication is that he was violating her in a very dangerous way. I find it appalling that it is viewed as just normal post break-up behavior a la Sarah Marshall. The character there did not pursue her, invade her privacy, harass her, etc.

    These behaviors in the mock commercial are worrisome and are part of a pattern of an empirically validated assessment of the "cycle of violence". Does every guy who resorts to these behaviors then go on to harm or kill his ex? No. But does every guy who has killed or harmed his ex have a history of doing these behaviors--all under the deluded sense that "he just wants her back"? Yes, many, many men do.

    The woman wasn't just annoyed with him...she filed a restraining order. And he wasn't just popping into her life--he was harrassing and violating her private life (e.g., using her password to find her info). I realize that this was meant to be a harmless, silly vignette, but to me it further underscores that people don't recognize some very serious warning signs about violence against women. In reality, this crap happens to thousands of women EVERY day. It is more than annoying--it is deadly.

  6. Did Cassandra watch the same video that I did? From her reaction, anyone would have thought that Shadowfax had posted a snuff film.

    I enjoyed Terminator but it doesn't mean that I don't appreciate that violence against robots is a serious issue.


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