Thursday, February 26, 2015

Measuring Tape

There was an episode of The Simpsons in which Sideshow Bob was temporarily let out of jail so he could help the Springfield Police track the fiend who was attempting to kill Homer. Living among the Simpsons, he came outside to find Homer trying to trap the would-be murderer with an effigy of himself hanging in front of 742 Evergreen Terrace. But Homer flipped out and began assaulting the hanging dummy, leading Sideshow Bob to ask the rest of the family, "And none of this seems odd to you?"

"It's Sideshow Bob!"
Those words ring in my head ever since SB spoke them. And if you're paying attention, your head is shaking too at what people are up these days.

Let's go to the videotape!

For those who haven't noticed, everything is on video these days. So people's interactions with police out in public are most likely available for review from many surveillance cameras, and, soon, from cameras on the police themselves. Time after time, we see people whose account of some melee or fracas is shown to be at wild disparity with the reality that video provides.  So, the next time a delivery driver throws some fragile package 20 feet onto a porch, he or she should figure on being recorded...along with the sneak thief who darts onto the porch to rip off the package.

I make it a habit to wave wildly and do something flamboyant at the little smoky gray camera covers on the ceilings of banks and liquor stores. Might as well leave 'em smiling!

And the other day, a once-respected rabbi pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism. He had set up surreptitious video cameras to record women using the ritual bath at his synagogue.

And the other day, the proprietor of a string of bar/concert venues in our town was arrested for ALLEGEDLY installing video cameras in the ladies' room at one of his spots.

And there was the respected gynecologist from Johns Hopkins, one of the finest hospitals in the world, who was recording his examinations of hundreds - thousands! - of the private parts of his patients via the use of a video recording pen in his pocket.  He committed suicide when confronted with his enormous evil.

Now, you can ask any prostitute, or late-night radio call-in host. There is no limit to what people are into. There are probably millions of people who get a thrill from hidden-camera videos of others taking a bath or using the commode or being examined down there.

And so I ask the Rabbi or the night club guy, "None of this seems odd to you?"

It's a problem when some people's pleasure comes from misusing others.

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