It has been said– on the Internet, mind you – that those of us in our 50s are glad there was no Internet, YouTube or social media in our younger days.
Grateful because a lot of the dumb, embarrassing, stupid things we did way back when were never caught on film or video.
I can cite several examples in my own life, some of my own doing, some the result of my evil family.
There was the time I was in the back seat of my oldest brother’s car, heading to his home in Trail. We were outside Grand Forks when my brother pulled half of his car over the white line on the shoulder of the road – I was sitting in the back seat on the passenger side – and gleefully announced that I was now in the United States, which would have been my first-ever trip south of the border.
I was quite excited until Jackass, er, Jim, revealed he was pulling my leg.
At around the same age – and this is the first time I’ve ever confessed or publicly admitted this – I played Shirley Temple in a school play and had to sing Good Ship Lollipop. Complete with curly hair wig and lollipop.
I have written in this space before about winning the 1984 Mr. Quesnel pageant. There ARE photos of me in the old-fashioned bathing suit, and a newspaper write-up, but no video of me strutting my stuff in the skin-tight suit, drinking beer out of a gold pan or, dressed as Michael Jackson, lip-synching Billie Jean, complete with moonwalk – or a reasonable facsimile thereof – on the Billy Barker Days stage.
I bring this up because, like thousands of other people, I was appalled by a video making the rounds on social media.
It is a video of a topless man on a boat with some friends on what is believed to be a northern British Columbia lake.
They are approaching an obviously scared moose in the water, the moose trying to run from the boat.
Topless guy gets up to the side of the boat and jumps onto the back of the helpless moose, who then tries to hightail it out of the lake with the guy hanging on tight.
The guy is on the moose for a good 10 seconds on the video, encouraged by his buddies. One guy can be heard saying “this is the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen.”
Me? I was cheering for the moose to dump the guy.
Of course, somebody on the boat is filming all of this.
The video sparked outrage, as well as people supporting the maneuvre.
The moose matter is now under investigation. As I write this, the moose rider has not been identified. It’s not even clear if this even happened this year. It appears to have been shot at a lake near Fort Nelson.
What I’d like to know is why was this posted and by who?
If it was somebody on the boat, surely – SURELY – they had to have been aware of the potential outcry (we Canadians love our moose). Moose rider is now facing a substantial fine.
Did the guy film it, then post it to bust his friend? Was he the only one on the boat with a conscience?
Really, you can’t do anything nowadays without somebody whipping out their phone, filming it and splashing it all over social media.
To me, it’s an extreme form of bullying, the public outing of somebody doing something bad or incredibly embarrassing without knowing all of the details.
However many guys are on that boat, the moose incident – and they obviously should have left the moose alone – should have been just between them, now and forever. Instead, the whole world now knows about it.
For all we know, under normal circumstances, the guys on the boat could be the nicest guys in the world who made one really stupid decision. Financially, they haven’t yet paid the price for their actions but they are paying for it socially.