Why everyone is an idiot

I’m partway into my second year of the creative communications program at Red River College, and I’m learning some really interesting things.

Sure, I’m learning a lot about video shooting, video editing and journalism (though if you’ve read many of my columns, you may question the quality of the journalism instruction I’ve received), but some of the most interesting things I’m learning are about human nature.

Majoring in media production, I’m spending a lot of time in the Exchange District with a video camera. I’ve come to realize that seeing someone with a video camera really brings out a side of people that they don’t regularly show the world.

Not everyone acts the same when they see a video camera, but some very distinct categories of people are becoming evident to me.

1.The Hams

For some people, being within 200 yards of a video camera makes it completely impossible for them to act like anything other than a monkey on meth. Once these people catch one glimpse of a video camera they’re right in front of it, waving their arms, screaming things like “Hi mom!” or “Look, mom, I’m on TV!”

Although I’m not going to show the videos I’m taking for my school assignments to their moms, I still think they’re idiots.

2. The Friendly Curious

Other people seem to think that carrying around a video camera is an indication that I want to talk to everyone I see about what I’m doing, and that I want their advice on what I’m doing, no matter how absolutely bat-shit crazy they happen to be.

For instance: “Hey, what are you filming? You should get a shot of me flexing my muscles! Wanna see me put three loonies up my nose? So, I guess you probably want me to help you edit this when you’re done, huh?”

Yes, random stranger, I want you to help me edit this. I’m sure that will end well.

These people are idiots, too.

3. The Old Perverts

I’m thankful that I get to do a lot of group work in my program, because working with female shooting partners has allowed me to encounter a whole new group of people.

These are guys who walk by while we’re filming and say something like: “Hey you should get her in the shot! And tell her to take off her top!” or “Hey, are you guys making a porno?”

My favourite thing about these guys is that, after they say these things (which usually offend me more than the girl I’m shooting with), they look at me for approval. Like I’m going to hear their filthy comments, see how uncomfortable they’ve made my partner and then give them a fucking high five or something.

These people are idiots, too.

I guess the main thing I’ve learned in school over the past couple years is that everyone is an idiot.

Wow. I’m starting to sound a lot like my grandpa. I guess he must have worked in video.

J. Williamez realizes that people might become creeped out when they see a dude with a mullet, moustache and video camera filming them at a distance. He assures you that his goal is purely educational.

Published in Volume 65, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 23, 2010)

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