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First it was the truth. Once held up to be the ultimate in any discussion or debate, the truth has been swiftly sidelined for anything that pretends to be entertaining, frightening or awesome. Want to hear the truth about our road network? No, no you don’t. You want to see a motorbike carrying seven people and a bucket of blancmange being hit by a biplane full of penguins. And there’s the other new paradigm: while peace and love were once hailed as aspirational goals, now it’s all about hitting someone in the face with a bat.
What’s this? Violence isn’t acceptable? Fine, just cast your mind back to United Airlines Flight 3411 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. We weren’t there and yet almost all of us have seen the footage because people watched it, went “Wow” and clicked on share. Some may have been sharing to say that smashing a doctor’s face into a metal-framed aeroplane chair is unacceptable practise from an international flight company. Some may have, but the majority were sharing it for (what is apparently known as) ‘bants’.
No claims are being made here to understand the thinking behind enjoying watching somebody get hurt, but amusement is had. Just cast a gaze over the pages of memes created in response to the airline incident. Not so long ago happy slapping was all the rage, shortly after the advent of a video facility on mobile phones. Is it possible that the public’s enjoyment of viewing physical pain and aggression comes from the happy slapper generation growing up and starting YouTube channels?
The only thing that can be drawn from this is how could the public’s lust for a return to gladiatorial behaviour benefit vaping?
Maybe you are a shop owner and you would like to increase your brand awareness in your locality, in which case get some CCTV in. Make sure it’s going to be able to record viewable footage. Now all you need to do is either stage a good punch up in your bricks and mortar or wait until you get broken into. The problem with the latter is that it’s unpredictable and there’s always the chance they will escape without major injuries unless you leave some decent bear traps lying around on the floor.
The local paper will love to publish the stills of Dwayne being helped out of the door by his best mate Gary, carrying his severed limb in his arms instead of your mods. Dwayne and Gary will love to see themselves in print, their mates down the local pub will laugh and the police station’s roof will explode with guffaws at the pair’s stupidity. Sit back and wait for the crowds to pour into the shop to see where it all took place. Standard business practise 0-1 Violence.
Or maybe you are a public health officer, tasked with reducing the rates of smoking in your county. “Oh what to do,” you ask yourself, “without decent funding from the government how on earth can I make this happen?”
Have you not been paying attention? Violence is now the solution. Load up a car with a bunch of other public health officials and cruise around town looking for smokers. One of you needs to record the ensuing events to act as a warning to other smokers. Pounce and use surprise to balance out your probable inability to offer up a decent scrap. “Want to smoke in our town, mister? Not anymore, bukko.” Thanks to violence you could have the first zero-rate smoking town in the country.
The worrying thing is that someone, somewhere was probably already giving this serious consideration.