But For Video: Gamble in the Ramble

There’s a lot of video taken by people who find themselves, or observe from a close distance, things they believe could turn out to be a problem. Few go viral. Most ultimately fall flat. Some don’t show what the person taking the video believes they show, an outrageous situation that could prove disastrous. But some catch fire.

Before getting to the “lessons,” consider that the origin of this video was that a woman was walking her dog off the leash. Leashes are required in Central Park and hard as it may be for some dog people to appreciate, not everyone is good with violating leash laws. But then, it’s also not the same as mugging old ladies. In the scheme of bad things that must be regulated, this barely registers. So the dog walker doesn’t come into this quite innocent, but hardly a mass murderer.

But her request that the guy taking the video stop isn’t within her “rights.” She can ask. He can say no. When you’re in public, people can record you. Contrary to the belief of many that their permission is required, whether legally or under some twisted grasp of “morality,” it’s not. You don’t have to like it but there is nothing, legally, you can do to stop someone from recording.

Whether this starts out as the new “Karen” meme, the entitled white woman who demands the world acquiesce to her will is debatable. Within the same construct of magical moral rights is the empowerment of women to decide, based on nothing more than their idiosyncratic feelings, whether a situation is threatening. If it feels threatening, then it is because that is “their truth.”

This is where people’s belief system runs head first into the wall of reason, even if they wriggle as hard as they can to pretend it doesn’t. Had the person taking the video not been black, would this have produced the same sense of “Karen”? Would she have been entirely justified in feeling threatened by a white man, or at least her dubious sense of threat not have raised hackles because the man wasn’t of an identity more oppressed than Karen?

What basis exists to distinguish an irrational feeling of threat that the white woman is entitled to feel and others will embrace, or at least not attack? Why are feelings all that matters when it comes to inventing reality under some circumstances but not others? Why does “her truth” prevail except when it doesn’t? If she has a right to feel safe, as so many vehemently claim she does, why not here?

When she calls 911, alleging that her life is being threatened by an African American man, she crosses the Karen Rubicon. At that point, her assertions to 911 are false. But this raises a different set of concerns that, a decade ago, would very likely have produced a different outcome than the cops come, ascertain that there was nothing to see here, and everybody went home for dinner.

Christian Cooper took the video. It was posted by his sister, Melody. It went viral and, had he not taken the video, had she not posted it, it’s quite likely that no one would know it happened and the outcome could have been very different. This was the rare video that was worth recording and publishing. Without it, the 911 operating would have known nothing beyond a woman calling 911 alleging that her life was being threatened by an African-American man.

There were no other witnesses. Her accusation was “credible,” as much as that misbegotten word carries any significance beyond those who grasp onto anything smacking of rational sounding words to justify their irrational beliefs. No, it was not an accusation of rape or sexual assault, but it could just as well have been. Woman accusing man. No witnesses. She said, he said.

Believe women?

But it’s not done yet. As Eliza Orlins, a public defender running for Manhattan District Attorney, explained, without the video this could have been any one of a thousand routine busts in the City.

What happens: White lady calls the cops on Black man. Cops believe her. He gets arrested and then arraigned. Outrageous bail gets set. His family cannot afford to buy his freedom. He gets sent to Rikers Island, where he sits for any number of days, months, or years.

Eventually the case resolves in some way–gets dismissed or he takes a plea to the charge or a lesser offense to get out because he’s threatened with doing serious time. Meanwhile, he’s potentially lost his job, his home, his children. Right now, it is even worse.

The only “hard” evidence in the case is an hysterical 911 call. From the video, we realize that the woman going hysterical wasn’t a reflection of increasingly threatening things happening around her to justify her hysteria, but just her hysteria. When the 911 tape is played in court, wrapped up in routine narrative, it sounds as if the situation has gone from inchoate threat to a perp about to plunge a knife into her chest.

While Eliza’s explanation is the more common scenario, it isn’t the only one. Cops, responding to the 911 call, approach with the understanding that the woman’s life is in danger and that the black guy is violent. The First Rule of Policing thus kicks in, and they approach a violent situation with trepidation, ready to see violence in any gesture, any resistance, and act upon it.

Of course, we know this was all wrong, an irrational threat felt by a Karen, a false report to 911, and an outcome where no one was beaten or killed, although the dog could well have been the victim given her choking the critter in her panic and fear. The cops didn’t arrest her for falsely reporting because that’s not done when a woman’s “truth” fails to match objective truth as that might dissuade women from complaining when threatened, and that’s not allowed either.

We know all this because there was video. Had there not been video, the “answers” might be very different, even though the facts are the facts regardless of whether we were able to watch them or not. But for video, all the insipid ideological mantras kick in and we believe with as much fervor as if we actually saw it happen, except we didn’t and have no clue. But for video.

40 thoughts on “But For Video: Gamble in the Ramble

  1. PML

    My only question is like most video’s of this type, what happened before he started to video?

    1. SHG Post author

      And by what magic do you plan to get an answer to your question? Real life doesn’t happen like a TV show.

      1. PML

        Thats my point. We have a partial video and everyone is condemning the lady in the video without the full story. Did he get nasty and say something to her that was inappropriate, who knows. Was the video edited, at this point we don’t know.

        But that hasn’t stopped anyone from trashing her now has it, including you.

        1. SHG Post author

          I address what happened in the video I see. You address the fantasy you don’t. I don’t trash her, but I don’t manufacture a delusion to excuse her either.

        2. David

          Your point wasn’t exactly hard to grasp, and it’s not that there aren’t circumstances where additional information is necessary to draw any inferences. This wasn’t one of them. Even if he was “nasty” to her before the video, it has no bearing on her telling 911 that her life was being threatened at that time.

          Be cautious, not stupid.

          1. B. McLeod

            By “life,” she probably meant her “universal scheme of things.” That was being threatened. I am sure her sense of aesthetics was left it tatters as well.

    2. Cowardly Anonymous

      Dive into the toxic swamp of the twitter thread, and you’ll learn that Bradley Cooper apparently carries dog treats just because some people don’t leash their dogs. According to the screen grab from his facebook page, he said “You do what you’re going to do. I’m going to do what I’m going to do and you won’t like it” as he pulled out the treats and called to the dog. That’s when she grabbed the dog’s collar and he started filming.

      Of course there’s more to the story.

      Should she “Central Park SWAT” him? Of course not.

      Should he try to give someone’s dog treats because they’re breaking a minor law? Nope, not that either.

      But for video … he’d still be a jerk and a provocateur.

        1. SHG Post author

          Wish you didn’t have shit for brains and thought before you posted garbage like this on my blawg.

      1. SHG Post author

        I’m going to post this comment, not because it’s not such a worthless piece of shit that it doesn’t deserve to be trashed, but because it offers an opportunity to make a point at your expense. First, good choice of handles for this comment, as opposed to the various other handles you use here. Second, his name isn’t Bradley, genius. Third, random twitterers is the sort of sound basis for reliable information that a genius like you would find worthy of spreading.

        On the one hand, there’s a video. On the other, there are assholes you like you whose very existence makes Darwin cry. And yet, even you get to live because stupid isn’t a crime.

        1. Miles

          Looks like you tapped into a vein of serious crazy. Notice how you speak to concepts while the idiots try to spin the details at the edges? Why you let idiot comment like this remains a mystery, as they only bring down the level of discourse to the lowest and stupidest possible.

          You can’t keep complaining about how bad the comments are if you post this crap.

        2. Cowardly Anonymous

          15 seconds of searching on Facebook found the guy (yeah, I’m an idiot for the brain fart on his name) and the transcript.
          I went too far with my attempt to answer your question, “How are we supposed to know what happened before the video?” mea culpa

          *Not Bradley Cooper*
          Link for your verification, not for posting
          https://www.facebook.com/christian.cooper1
          Central Park this morning: This woman’s dog is tearing through the plantings in the Ramble.
          ME: Ma’am, dogs in the Ramble have to be on the leash at all times. The sign is right there.
          HER: The dog runs are closed. He needs his exercise.
          ME: All you have to do is take him to the other side of the drive, outside the Ramble, and you can let him run off leash all you want.
          HER: It’s too dangerous.
          ME: Look, if you’re going to do what you want, I’m going to do what I want, but you’re not going to like it.
          HER: What’s that?
          ME (to the dog): Come here, puppy!
          HER: He won’t come to you.
          ME: We’ll see about that…
          I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence. I didn’t even get a chance to toss any treats to the pooch before Karen scrambled to grab the dog.
          HER: DON’T YOU TOUCH MY DOG!!!!!
          That’s when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn…

          1. SHG Post author

            Since that comes from him (and not randos on twitter), that’s a different story. Whether and how much it changes anything, I leave to others. It still doesn’t support the “he threatened my life,” but he isn’t pure either, assuming his telling of the story is accurate.

          2. Len

            All those words and you think that substantively changes anything? If not, why bother? So the guy hates dogs off leashes, and acts upon it. So what?

            1. PML

              The question then becomes is that what he truly said. He starts a confrontation, then tries to get his hands on the dog. Only after all that does he think, oh maybe I should start filming.

              A reasonable person would ask, what is he trying to accomplish here.

            2. SHG Post author

              And what part of that bears on her calling the cops to tell them he threatened her life?

              You’re just another delicate snowflake, but from the other pole. Now you’re done.

    3. MJZ

      Based on her reaction, one can only logically assume the man said, “I’m about to kill you and your dog” right before he started filming.

  2. DaveL

    Admit it: you took perverse pleasure in using the word “hysterical” and its cognates four times in the space of two sentences.

    1. Casual Lurker

      “Admit it: you took perverse pleasure in using the word ‘hysterical’ and its cognates four times in the space of two sentences.”

      At least he doesn’t have both an HR Dept. and a professional society telling him the word is now “verboten”.

  3. Paleo

    Well, the rest of the world is perfectly happy to trash her.

    She’s been doxxed by a Twitter mob, she has lost at least temporary custody of the dog, and she’s been suspended from her job while they investigate. Get a rope……..

    1. SHG Post author

      Mobs gonna mob. I studiously avoided any mention of her name or identifying information because it’s not about inflicting mob justice, but someone will comment here with the information and demand blood. The righteous always want to see blood.

      1. Anon

        The name of the woman comes from some rando on twitter who claimed he used to walk that dog and knew who she is. Of course, he could be lying through his teeth and completely full of shit, but that won’t stop the crazies from destroying her.

        We have a video and from there it goes down the rabbit hole. It’s bad enough that the mob on twitter falls down the rabbit hole. It seems worse that the flip side is showing up here. You have some seriously bad and stupid readers. You should consider why that is.

  4. Joe

    After reading all the comments all I have to say is three words to Karen and everyone, “My Head Hurts”

  5. Kathryn Kase

    How many of these videos will it take to constrain the application of the present-sense impression, excited utterance, and/or then-existing emotional, mental, or physical condition hearsay exceptions?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Is there any chance of “Karen” getting her just desserts and being charged for making a false report?

  7. Jeff

    Jesus Christ these comments.

    I get your point, and I apologize for all the times I was not quite on topic. It’s why I tend to stay silent most days (and fear of the SHG dressing-down that makes me feel like a child should I waver)

    Is the point lost, or that people get it but are too busy being outraged by these details this one time? I sincerely hope it’s the latter.

    1. SHG Post author

      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

      –Eleanor Roosevelt

      When someone feels their ox has been gored, they fight back, trying to harp on irrelevant or petty details while avoiding the idea. But it does tell you whose butt is sore and whether they move beyond it and focus on the ideas. It looks different when you see others doing it.

  8. B. McLeod

    “Social distancing” for bird people and dog people in the public parks needs to be at least 40 feet.

  9. Jake

    I officially feel sympathy for otherwise blameless women whose first name happens to be Karen.

  10. Paleo

    Looks like she lost her job, so we can all sleep tonight wrapped in the warmth of our collective woke virtue.

  11. Lovengs

    One day maybe you will understand how racism and sexism are intertwined. Victims of both routinely have their testimony dismissed, hence why black people need video. Unfortunately, due to the nature of rape, video evidence is rarely available.

    1. SHG Post author

      One day maybe you will understand how facts serve everyone, regardless of their identity. But it’s unlikely you will ever understand why reality matter more than ideology.

  12. F. Lee What's his Face

    What we have here is not a failure to communicate, but too much communication: mostly on the part of this Karen. Many of us guys have known Karenoviruses like this. Nervous Nellies, They call the cops, and you wake up in the hospital or the holding pen.

    Cops are not our favorite people, especially when they ignore protocol and then claim they feared for their petty little, armor-vested lives.

    Hey Karens out there, the more we see of people, the better we like dogs. (H.L. Mencken.)
    P.S., Bird-watchers R Us.

    The good news is: Nobody got stabbed, mugged, raped, assaulted, shot or killed. NYC/MANhattan is still the safest city in Amerika. Can Meanyapolis say the same?

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