Saturday, May 30, 2020

And... Action

The well-publicized behaviors of Amy Cooper and Officer Derek Chauvin strike me as odd. Not in the fact that they happened; that much is par for the course in the grand scheme of things. But in the sense that they didn't seem to realize that they were doing things, and being recorded doing them, that were more or less guaranteed to blow up in their faces once word got out. And, since they were being recorded, it was going to get out.

Perhaps I'm a bit too cognizant of the fact that just because one doesn't care, that doesn't mean that people aren't paying attention; I suspect that I'm too quick to ask myself how something would play in Peoria, as it were, even when it's something that I consider relatively (or absolutely) innocuous. And maybe that's what's at play here; it would never occur to me to engage in the sorts of behaviors that caught out Ms. Cooper and Officer Chauvin if I had any inking that I'd be performing for the cameras.

And these things do strike me as oddly performative in nature, which may be why they stand out for me. While I understand intellectually that they were heat-of-the-moment, when I watch them, I have to remind myself that it's not staged. That the act of performance, such as it were, was not deliberately intended as such.

In the end, it's harder than it should be, I think for me to see this as something that someone would just fall into. It seems strange to me that someone would openly note their intent to make a false report to the police or openly place someone at such grave risk of harm, while on camera, without that being somehow the whole point. It seems to be a situation in which someone is shouting "Hey! Look at me and what I'm doing!" and then is surprised when they find themselves the center of attention.

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