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How Being Behind the Camera Can Rob Us of Our Humanity

“The Cameraman” is a cartoon retelling of a true story involving a bunch of first-graders and a camera craze that swept across the playground. It illustrates how being behind a camera can rob you of your humanity… even if the camera isn’t real.


 
 
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  • http://www.kahokarl.com Ka Ho Karl

    Ira Glass’ “This American Life” is a wonderful collection of stories. I just watched this very episode in its entirety a couple weeks back. Kudos for digging it up and sharing with everyone else!

  • http://twitter.com/malixe malixe

    You know, this strikes me as an example of sort of a pseudo-issue. The thing is, when kids get into fights with each other on the playground, other kids gather and watch. It’s what they do. That was always my experience growing up, anyway. There might be some concerned kid who would go run to find a teacher to break it up, but otherwise, they gather in a circle and watch, because they don’t get to see something like that very often.

    In other words, the kids these teachers describe, did pretty much what kids everywhere do. Maybe they used the cameras to hide behind as an excuse for ‘just watching’, but they did the same thing they would have done otherwise.

    It’s a cute little cartoon, and it made me think, or I wouldn’t be writing about it here, but what it ultimately made me think is that the cameras didn’t change anything about the nature of the children at all, and the teacher(s) drew a flawed conclusion based on the one thing that was different about it. That’s all.

  • Superphilman2

    I don’t think without the camera anyone would have stepped in to help anyway. Normally kids stand around in a circle chanting “Fight, Fight, Fight”

    Plus it was one of the kids without a camera that was fighting.

    the camera simply puts you into a spectator state of mind, but it doesn’t remove your humanity. If anything it heightens it, as it makes us more aware, and curious of the world around us.

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  • Guest

    Should Anderson Cooper drop the camera and start helping more people?

  • Noopies

    The cartoon is pointless. As what everyone else has said, the kids would have watched anyway. The camera did not ‘change their behavior’.

  • Pablo Suzuki

    dumbest thing ever.

  • http://twitter.com/AstDerek Cesar Garcia