Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mashup from the Stands

On YouTube there are a number of much-watched videos of people being tased by police -- including a particularly famous one of a UCLA student being tased in a library -- and a number of videos of fans running out onto playing fields during games. (Many of the fan-on-the-field videos feature exuberant displays of nudity.) Now video of a seventeen-year-old fan being tasered at a Phillies game is creating controversy about the use of this restraint technique by law enforcement. Numerous versions of the event shot by witnesses with video cameras are now posted on YouTube, although the television network cut away during the event.

What I find interesting from a rhetorical standpoint is the way that the event is perceived from the stands. Some versions seem to celebrate the event with spectatorial glee, while others emphasize the boos at an appalling abuse of police power. Compare these two hundred-thousand plus viewed examples to see.

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