Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My thoughts on "David after Dentist"

It's not that bad . . .


Oh, you need more information than that?


How's this?

Still need more?

Well, all right! Here is the full story.


Last week I was taking a brief Slate break at work and happened on the blog opinions of people either outraged by or simply amused by the video I linked to above. "David after dentist" is taken by a father who is chronicling the aftermath of his son, David, soon after a visit to the dentist. While there is not a lot of context in the short video, it seems evident that the young man had just completed some oral surgery (stitches are mentioned). The humor being aimed at in the video is watching the young boy struggle out of the weird anesthesia fog post surgery.

The outrage from some camps portray the father as exploiting his son for video-based yuks. (Maybe he hoped he'd score cash on America's Funniest Home Videos?) Or maybe he simply was a fervent proponent of the Web 2.0 social compulsion to document everything and anything with our portable digital devices. 

I, being an acolyte in this Web 2.o environment, felt I had some reason to chime in on the discussion. (You can search for "David after dentist" on YouTube to find any number of musical remixes of the original video.) I am not skilled to do any of that, so I'll just say this:

I have posted videos of my own children on the Internet. I'll admit that after reading the commentary (but before watching the video) that I hesitated in my own evaluation of my actions. Was I improperly taking advantage of my kids? Should I be more cautious or more thoughtful?

Then I watched . . . and I really don't know what is so bad. 

I don't think the video is as damaging as some might have led me to believe. I really thought that the dad behind the camera was laughing throughout while his son suffered obvious, visible pain. But David was simply a bit disoriented and the dad didn't seem (to me) to be callously ignoring his son's needs. 

Perhaps he shouldn't have made the film in the first place? Or more specifically, perhaps he shouldn't have made it public?

I tend to act as if no one but my family and friends (despite my best efforts) will ever find my own videos in the enormous wash of the Internet's daily tide of minutiae. But, David's dad wasn't likely to be a mover and shaker in the vlogging world. So, maybe someday something of mine will actually strike an unexpected chord and become a meme.

Until then, I guess I'll record and post judiciously. Maybe if something of mine goes viral, I'll be forced to rethink my position.

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