Curmie’s typically erudite and perceptive Comment of the Day below made me happy and sad at the same time. Happy, because it is the kind of superb commentary Ethics Alarms readers excel at producing, making the site unique in the blogosphere whether a significant numbers of people take advantage of the resource. Sad, because I should have authored its equivalent in the first place, and might have come closer if I were not forced daily into squeezing posts into randomly distributed periods during the day that I don’t have to devote to earning enough money to keep the Marshalls from a future living in a cardboard box in the woods.
Curmie’s analysis also alerted me to something I had missed in the video, the mysterious statement “Not again!” from one of the anchors. This reminded me of the just-created whale in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” hurtling to Earth through space (along with a pot of petunias) that similarly thinks, also inexplicably, “Oh no, not again!”
Here is Curmie’s Comment of the Day, a deft examination of humor, ethics and human nature, regarding the post, “Ethics Quiz: The Weather Lady’s Collapse”:
I find this one fascinating for a variety of reasons. One of those is that I no doubt had a different reaction to seeing the event under the headline “BREAKING: CBS LA Weather Forecaster collapses live on air.” So I can’t say how I would have responded had I simply been watching that news show.
Part of my response is also based on the initial movement, the slow bend forward toward the desk. That seemed almost choreographed, as if she was going to pound her head on the desk as some sort of statement on the imminent forecast, described by the co-anchor as “the calm before the storm.” It’s the slide out of the chair that changes the dynamic. That’s definitely unstaged.
More importantly, I’d read your statement that she’s recovering at home before I viewed the video. This takes us very close to the notion of aesthetic distance, that unspoken understanding that what we are watching isn’t actually happening. Hence, we don’t run for cover when the bad guy in a play or a movie appears with a gun and looks threatening, and we’re not confused when the actor who played Hamlet is miraculously alive to take a curtain call even though the character is dead. Or, in this case, that she suffered an episode, but is on her way to recovery.