I mean that, of course, in the most affectionate way possible. We're animals who have convinced ourselves to abide by rules that make us feel like we're better than the other animals in the world.
Of course we're better. We invented things like the car, the iPhone, and the camera. And it's the camera that inspired this post. Because some man is going around Seattle and shoving a camera in people's faces. He attests he's doing it as commentary on the surveillance state.
While that may be true I found his videos so fascinating for a different reason. It was like watching fish in a bowl or animals in the zoo. They didn't quite understand what was going on so their nature came out in full force. There's a certain honesty that comes from being taken off guard. Watch what I mean below:
See that? There's something about the way a camera dehumanizes people but also magnifies their personality. He's just a guy holding a camera and not saying anything, but that makes the subjects so much more interesting.
When he walks into the back of a Taco Bell there's a certain cinematic quality that made me feel like I was watching a dream. It was too good to be real. The employees cared so little and merely let him observe as though nothing was wrong. He was the fly on the wall we've all aspired to be from time to time. It was calm.
But there's also the opposite reaction. People so put off by a camera in their face that they lash out at it. They attack. Which is very confusing because everyone seems to feel so comfortable around all the other cameras in their lives. What is is about this camera that's so different? Why is it when a camera catches someone off guard, at their most vulnerable and human, people won't accept it? This guy isn't asking anything from these people but they make him out to be this horrible monster. (Well, unless they work at Taco Bell. Those people don't give a single fuck.)
I don't know why certain people react so poorly to this type of filming. I don't even know how I would react if I suddenly had a camera jammed in my face. What I do know is that I like this video because it got me to ask those questions about myself. And see humans as animals.