Responsible citizens recognize there are some forms of human conduct which clearly fall beneath the standards of a civilized society. We can, just by hearing about certain despicable acts, condemn them and think ill of the perpetrators. We use our intellect to conclude there should be punishment and shame delivered to those committing the acts.
But we shift into a whole new level of criticism, disdain and emotion when we are shown actual photographic evidence of the evil we have judged. We speak here of the Ray Rice Video phenomenon, of course, and how we shifted from a mindset of ‘that is unacceptable conduct for which he should be punished’ to a mindset of ‘we should ostracize this guy from polite society and shun him as a pariah everywhere he may tread’ when we saw the video.
Hence, Rice loses job, endorsements, his fan base, and every positive status he might have attained when “The Video” became public. A public dialogue arises that ensures he will always be associated with wrongdoing, and be the object of scorn and disapproval wherever he goes.
And now, gentle readers, you must be advised that we have our own Charbonneau equivalent of the Ray Rice Video. The French Prairie Muckraker has obtained, utilizing my vast network of confidential sources, a video that could result in the same damage to a Charbonneau resident that the Rice Video caused him.
For the moment, at least, I must describe the contents with some generality, and I will not even state the sex of the main actor or specific details about the other video participant, for that would tend to give away the actual identity of our resident. But the evil-doer must heed this warning–no second chances.
An innocent resident happened to leave his new Go Pro Video Camera on the wall of his patio pointed to his front yard. He mistakenly left it on after a tryout on his rose bushes. This is what it recorded: Along came a resident with a pet dog on a leash.
A Charbonneau dog–you know the type–sniffing and exploring and pausing right on the lawn being videoed to do his daily business in prolonged and rather plentiful fashion. And the owner? That person came to the site, bent over to examine closely the deposit on the lawn, and proceeded to lead the dog away without any attempt at a cleanup. The video is clear and sharp, and it might be that the owner can be heard merrily whistling “Dixie” as he or she departs. And it might be that the most humiliating picture on the video will be a clear shot of what will come to be known as “The Bend-Over.” If posted on YouTube, it will have 5,000,000 hits within twenty-four hours.
So, dear dog walker, here is my offer: You swear on the stack of Life magazines in your garage never to let this happen again, and for a month, post yourself outside your house every day armed with a dozen plastic bags and offer to pick up for every passing Fido. If you do, the video gets filed with my tax returns, never to be seen again. Otherwise, the video goes public and you will never again play a round with the Men’s Club or the Niners or be able to use the library of unreadable books in the Clubhouse. You will think Ray Rice got off easy.
The FPM does believe in second chances and the ability to redeem oneself–with the possible exception of Dick Cheney. There are limits.