Living

The one thing you should never see when you’re being physically assaulted.

I love a good action movie and I’ve even grown to tolerate, if not entirely appreciate, the art of the fight scene. Like many people, I’ll take movie violence over the real deal any day of the week because in real-life physical violence is ugly, and terrifying to witness.

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I love a good action movie and I’ve even grown to tolerate, if not entirely appreciate, the art of the fight scene. Like many people, I’ll take movie violence over the real deal any day of the week because in real-life physical violence is ugly, and terrifying to witness. A fight, whether it’s between two teenagers in a high school parking lot, or two raccoons going at one another in the alley, charges the air with a kind of dark energy that I’ll do anything to avoid. 

Well, almost anything. I’m not the kind of person (read: brave) who’s going to jump in and break up a fight. I’m a coward who’s frankly loath to intervene in a fight between my cat and dog for fear of getting scratched or bitten or both. But I have to say there’s one type of person I hope I never become and that’s the individual who decides to neither intervene in a fight nor flee in terror but instead to record the brutal attack on his or her phone. 

When did “record” become an acceptable moral response? 

Recording a beating has to be one of the creepiest human responses to the sight of another person getting hurt. But that’s exactly how an employee at a Baltimore McDonald’s responded when a fight broke out last week between two teenagers and a transgendered woman. (Reportedly the two women set upon the victim for using the ladies room. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.) 

The employee—who surely won’t be winning the Citizenship Award anytime soon—recorded the entire episode from start to finish and later felt the urge to post the clip on YouTube. He was fired shortly after.

So a belated Easter wish for us all. First, let’s hope we never find ourselves getting our butts kicked in a local McDonald’s by two wretched teenagers (though it’s unlikely in my case as I’m more of a Wendy’s girl). But if for some reason we do draw the short straw that day, here’s hoping we look up to see George Clooney standing in a shaft of white light and extending a helping hand in our time of need and not some yo-yo recording the incident with his phone.