Dear Clay Duke Surveillance Tape,

For those who don’t know who/what you are, you are surveillance camera footage from a school board conference room in Panama, Florida, in which a mentally disturbed man named Clay Duke enters the room, spray-paints a “V for Vendetta” symbol on the wall, pulls a gun, and proceeds to take aim and fire at the sitting members of the town’s school board before killing himself. Oh, and you are EVERYWHERE today. Like, Paul Scheer posted you on his blog for God’s sake. Paul Scheer! From F/X’s The League! I’m writing you today to ask you a question: why? What is the point of people posting and watching you? Why are you so unavoidable, you creep?

At this point, it should be clear to most people that we live in an over-crowded world collapsing upon itself. There are too many people here, and a lot of them are sick. It’s sad when you think about it. Is that why you are so busy today, Clay Duke Surveillance Tape? Do you somehow make people feel better about the nightmare of life by rubbing their face right in it? Or is your meaning much less…meaningful? Perhaps it is just that people like to see horror written on the faces of others in an unimaginable moment of existential crisis because it makes their cubicle that much more tolerable, at least between now and lunch. I suppose some people might argue that you are “news,” but let’s be honest, Clay Duke Surveillance Tape, you are NOT news. News is a short, tragic description of your contents. News is a quiet and respectful account of the sadness that transpired. You are sadness/horror/nightmare porno, that is what you are. Here comes the pizza delivery guy, and he’s got a giant death wish.

But there are some of us, Clay Duke Surveillance Tape, who say no. We say no to you. We won’t even post a link to a place where people might find you. They are welcome to look it up, but as they do, they will be forced to consider why, exactly, they find that necessary. There are some of us who do not think it is being a Moral Scold to simply suggest that the world could do with a little less sadness/horror/nightmare porno. Things are hard enough out here. They are scary and confusing enough. You’re not helping.

Cut it out?

A Human Being

Comments (184)
  1. “Just doin my thang” – Clay Duke Surveillance Tape

    • Hi I know it’s lame to reply to the first comment just to make a comment visible, but I thought it was important to let people know that no one was hurt except the gunman. It’s still tragic, but not the absolute horror story I thought it would be from Gabe’s post. Maybe I shouldn’t give the media the benefit of the doubt, but maybe that’s why they’re playing the video so much? Because all of the school board members survived such a horrible situation?

  2. When I heard about this I thought lovable Clark Duke was mixed in something bad.

    I’m glad to hear that’s not the case.

    • me too!

    • me too!!!

    • He was. It was called “Hot Tub Time Machine”.

    • As someone who has seen Kick-Ass and someone who has a job that involves providing care to people who are ill and injured, sometimes because of sick people doing violent things, I’d like to say that I hate that douchebag kid, but I’d rather see his douchebag face everywhere than have people getting cheap thrills from watching a video of a sick man do violent things to others and himself.

    • to anyone who has seen the movie Sex Drive on a random Wednesday Night on one of those Encore movie channels – are we really supposed to believe that Clark Duke is some kind of chick magnet dream boat?
      and yes, as I watched this wretched movie that featured Seth Green as an Amish car mechanic and a Fall Out Boy (the band, not Milhouse) cameo, this was my biggest gripe.

      to anyone who hasn’t seen this movie. don’t. its the holidays, go easy on yourself.

  3. Really well-said. Nothing witty from me right now.

  4. I’m glad you’re not into snuff films Gabe no joko

  5. This is why I love Videogum–it’s the blog that has the sense to stay out of the loop sometimes.

    • A wise man once said that it is an oasis of hope in the barf desert that is the internet.

    • Personally, I’m glad Videogum, a place that provides us with videos of cats in trees and salsa-dancing dogs, keeps itself grounded with a few seriousgum posts every once in a while. Helps us stay grounded, too. Some of these stories are awful, sure, but it’s reassuring to have a place on the Internet where we can discuss them intelligently, civilly, and sans flaming. Bravo, Gabe. Bravo, Monsters.

      • How is posting a thumbnail from the video and directing people where to see it (Paul Sheer’s blog) considered “staying out of the loop”? It seems that every time Gabe posts one of these high and mighty posts, all the monsters run out to pat Gabe and themselves on the back for being so much more sophisticated than the average blogger/commenter, respectively. Gabe even went as far as to tweet that he was refusing to watch the video, which is the equivalent of someone bragging about how they don’t own a TV. It is just so obnoxious.

        Downvote away, but I’m just so tired of the groupthink in these comments.

        • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • This is a horrible comment. It is not funny, it adds nothing to the discussion, it is just you being the Internet Big Man in defense of your wife. Do that in real life. Here, try to add something. Or fuck off.

            This was directed at teacherman and his oh shut up comment, in case that becomes not obvious after I press the Submit Comment button.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • He also mentioned it’s “All over the news” — meaning you likely have already seen it.

          And as for someone who works in local news, as an editor, I was forced to watch this video. Then I was to edit it so that it dissolves back to the beginning before he pulls the gun out. THAT is how you make this surveillance video a news story.

          To further comment on the news aspect: the news aims to be as real as can be, if it was possible, all news stories would have the crime on tape. Except that isn’t really possible (most of the time, see video in question [or don't]) so we typically get “crime scene” video after the fact, or I also saw video of people getting wheeled out of this school board meeting on stretchers.

          (if you skip my post just read this)
          But this video really is terrifying! It has audio! It’s actually NOT EVEN SURVEILLANCE. From what I heard it’s from a news crews camera that he had set up and LEFT inside as he ran outside to save HIS LIFE. SO you actually hear the gun firing, I (because I’m an editor and have seen a lot of shit) even scrubbed over the video to watch the reactions on the people who didn’t get shot. It’s terrifying! Yet, as a typical American, I guess, I’m drawn to tragedy. It’s perplexing, it doesn’t make sense, it’s a mystery. What did David Lynch say about a mystery? WHO KNOWS.

        • I’m with you, I didn’t even know about the video, and I think was better off not knowing, it’s like someone showing me a door and saying, “This door is bad, I’m not gonna open it and if you open it I will look down on you forever from moral high-ground”

          Or something like that.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Baby Friday – I don’t confuse like interests with groupthink. I’ve got a ton of people I have similar opinions to, they’re called my friends. But here it’s different. Here, it’s what Gabe says, goes. If you don’t like it, then you get piled on in the comments (Thanks, Teacherman!) and downvoted until you either agree with the almighty Gabe or find another corner of the internet. Or you’re Steve Winwood.

            I don’t see this as thoughtful commentary on the state of news-information, and even if I did, when did Videogum become a place for such things?? I had honestly not heard of this video/story until Gabe REFUSED to watch it on Twitter and followed up with this huge commentary on how he was so much better than all the heathens who might have watched it or reposted it. And you monsters followed suit.

            If this was, as you say, thoughtful commentary on the state of news-information, why include a massive photo of the tragedy above the fold?? He’s exploiting the tragedy for pageviews just like all the people who (supposedly) posted the actual video. Only this has that added touch of condescension so that all of the internet-intellectuals that spend all day posting here can feel like they’re actually doing something meaningful.

          • I do think Mr. Nukem has a point though, Baby Friday. He questions your approving comment about the blog being out of the loop, when it’s actually right in it, informing its readership of the same event that every other news source or blog is informing theirs. Yes, Gabe is taking a very unique approach by refusing to show the video, but in the end he’s still in the loop.

            Gabe also gave thoughtful commentary on the events and that is commendable. But it seems like he (as well as many of the commenters) is making the assumption that posting a gruesome video marginalizes the suffering shown in it, and I don’t think it’s a fair one to make. He’s taking a stand and basically saying “I’m not showing you this video, this blog is better than that.” And I think it’s fair to ask, “Why is this blog better for not showing the video?” I don’t frequent many blogs but I’m not so pessimistic to think the internet is rife of people who would play Yakkety Sax as a deranged man shoots up a school board meeting.

            Also, I don’t mean to get all 1984gum on you, but groupthink isn’t actually among the words used in the novel (or the newspeak dictionary mentioned in it). Though it sounds like it does and it’s a common misconception.

          • I don’t know, I’ve seen posts where people disagree with Gabe, and where people call him out on bullshit. So I don’t think that everyone who reads this blog automatically agrees with him–you’ve got upvotes! People agree with you on this very issue!

            Yeah, I do think it’s disgusting that someone would watch this video. And no, I don’t think posting an AP wire picture is the same as posting a video of a man shooting and killing himself himself. Would you have responded the same way if he had written the exact statement above, but without the picture?

            As someone said in these comments, we feel good about the fact that most of us agree that a man shooting himself is not entertainment. It’s one of the reasons why I like the Monsters I like, and why they like me. And the fact that I post here is in no way related to the meaningful contributions I make to the world–you’re not telling me anything I don’t know. For someone who is calling people out for being high and mighty, you’re being a little high and mighty.

          • What is this, I think that addressing the issue by saying, “This is a thing that is happening, and this is how I feel about it” is better in some ways than being “above it” by quietly ignoring it. I think the story here is more the reaction that the internet is having to it than presenting the video itself. And I referred to Orwell precisely because “groupthink” is associated with 1984, not necessarily because it was in it. But I appreciate the nice way you corrected me (very sincerely, no sarcasmo).

          • Ugh, I’m going to need more puppies.

          • Baby Friday – the big problem here is that you’re criticizing a video you haven’t taken the time to watch. The video doesn’t show him shooting himself, you don’t even hear it. The video has no blood or gore or death in it whatsoever. It definitely is a hard video to watch and is in no way funny or entertaining, but it’s surprisingly fascinating to see how the board members reacted to the very surreal reality that was playing out before them. It really had my mind going in a million directions as to how I would react if I were in the same situation, and I think that is what is at the core of my (and i’m guessing, others’) fascination with this clip.

            Posting this clip is not the equivalent of some 4chan idiot posting pointless gore/death video. And I’m sticking to it.

        • I got to this thread late, having spent the morning getting my MacBook looked at (Groupthink alert, Mr. Nukem!), and it’s doubtful that Baby Friday will come back and see this, but I’m bored at work and am will defend her (and Gabe) anyway. Nukem, no one comes here to feel superior. Our .GIF obsession should’ve clued you in to that. The trampoline accidents should’ve been the second clue. C’mon. Monsters have chosen Videogum because it is a reasonable and kind place. Certainly, there are some elements of competition within the Monster community, but it is a supportive forum above all else. For you to suggest elitism or masturbatory co-dependence misses the point entirely- and if you honestly feel this to be true, you haven’t spent enough time here. I don’t think the post was high and mighty. The fact that this video is circulating the interwebs is sad. It’s sad because some, if not many, of the people watching and sharing this video derive pleasure from doing so. Saw is a popular film franchise. I Spit On Your Grave, a film about gang rape and torture, was produced on two separate occasions. It’s an unfortunate part of our culture. When Gabe saw the video was circulating, he was reminded of this and saddened. He wrote about it because that is what he is paid to do. Is it fair to assume that you, at some point or another, have felt strongly about something, and then shared those strong feelings? The post was met with general agreement because… his stance is generally agreeable. I don’t think there was a haughtiness on display anywhere; people here are smart enough to know that self-deprecation is the best defense. If you really think Gabe and us Monsters are lazy, self-righteous pseudo-intellectuals, why on Earth would you waste your time interacting here? Also, it’s not a great idea, rhetorically, to condescend while condemning condescension (which I’m doing right now?…). In closing, don’t be mean to Baby Friday.

    • Videogum: The Sense And Decency to Stay Out of The Loop

      …now everybody share this on facebook so you can win a gift card.

  6. I think we need a Cute Animal Images Parade in this post.

  7. This is why I don’t like to leave Videogum. It’s scary out there. I’m starting to be reminded of the part in one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books with Wonko The Sane, who puts the whole Universe in an asylum ad refers to his home as “Outside The Asylum”. Videogum is outside, and thoughtful Gabe, our own Wonko The Sane, is doing to his darn best to put the whole of the rest of the Internet into a mental institution, where it belongs, with all us Monsters crowded around him, wondering how anybody manages to live outside without going mad.

    • Doesn’t anyone around here remember when Gabe posted a shitload of Youtube links to horrible tragedies like a mom shooting her son in the head at a gun range, etc? He got some flak for that, and maybe rightfully so, but c’mon. The hipocrisy around here is getting so deep you need a shovel.

      Videogum is not designed to be your own private security blanket. Some of you babies should go back and check the archives before opening your baby mouths.

      • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

        • To recap – anyone who disagrees with your bullshit isn’t welcome ’round these parts. Gotcha.

          And you guys are always patting each other on the backs about what a happy “community” you’ve built here. Cadre, perhaps – or clique, maybe – but community? Not even close.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Thanks for the lecture, lesigh. Really appreciate the name-calling as well. Very community-minded of you. The most telling (and the only really relevant) part of your post was “don’t be mean to Baby Friday”. That speaks volumes about the prevailing nature of “debate” on this site. “Genuflect to the proper people or get swarmed” seems to be the take-away lesson here.

            Well fuck that. My issue was never with Gabe’s posts, either. They’re the whole point of VG, after all, and it’s disheartening and more than a little nauseating to see so much thread-jacking and glad-handing courtesy of the same gang of culprits over and over. You ask me why I come here? It’s pretty obvious: to watch amusing videos and read Gabe’s reactions and thoughts. I sure as hell don’t come here to be preached to, that’s for damn sure.

            The funny thing is, Baby Friday took it upon herself to respond to something that wasn’t even directed at her. If I’d wanted to call her out personally, believe me, But I guess the hive mentality kicked in and she went on the offensive. Anyway, I don’t need to justify my right to visit VG to her or anybody else. It’s just a shame that it’s come to this.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Some of us understand what you’re saying, Spazmo. And we’re also quite concerned about Baby Friday’s zeal on this issue.

    • I agree with you in spirit, but if we start elevating Gabe to the level of Wonko The Sane, I think that automatically puts us Inside The Asylum.

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. Whenever I read news stories like this, it’s always such a letdown to hear that the perp killed himself. The satisfying (sort of) end to the story would be for the evil villain to be brought to justice, where he must suffer for his sins. Instead he gets off with the easy penance of death. Damn you, Panama City School Board shooter! And that goes for you too, Columbine killers, Virginia Tech gunman, and Hitler!

  10. “This has potential.” -Steven Hirsch

  11. I would “like” this on Facebook, but don’t want to give Clay Duke Surveillance Tape any more attention than it’s already getting.

  12. I’d just like to make a side note: V for Vendetta was a great book, but a shitty movie.

  13. Bing is on our side in our effort to not watch this video!
    Thanks Bing!

  14. You make some good points Gabe, but sometimes these things are reported on because money. That’s why TV news will play as much of the tape as the FCC will let them show, and why links to it are everywhere online. I realize you aren’t scolding a specific outlet, which is probably you showing that you recognize this fact, but i felt like saying it regardless.

    • This is certainly true, and I understand a media company’s need to consider the bottom line, but they can just cover Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds’ break-up for another 48 hours instead of broadcasting a SNUFF FILM.

      • A snuff film???? Did you watch it?

        • I have not watched it. From the descriptions in this post and its comments it seemed like death was captured on film and then broadcast for shock value. Is that not what actually happens? Can someone clarify for me?

          • No, there was nothing of the sort. The actual “violent” bit was when he aimed at the guy (the thumbnail picture) and then shot a couple bullets around, missing everyone. You see him get shot in the leg, although there is no blood, or anything. Then the camera cuts out.

            I didn’t “take pleasure” in watching it, and I certainly didn’t find it funny. But yeah, it’s definitely not a snuff film.

          • I appreciate the response, latte monster!

  15. I watch The Today Show every morning. I don’t know why, but my working theory is I did something horrible, HORRIBLE, in a past life and this is my penance.

    I bring this up because they showed this clip over and over and over while talking to some of the school board members who survived. Listen, this is a horrible event of some note, so it should be shown on a reputable news source, but since NBC shows The Today Show in the mornings, they have to show it there.

    My point is right after they had this clip, they cut to something insipid like Al Roker talking about how cold it it outside (is it really?) and then teased an upcoming interview with Stiller and Deniro about Little Fockers.

    My point is that in the newscycle, tragic events like this get compartmentalized along with nonsense and ultimately, the effect is the audience just ingests these horrible things without the proper context.

    Sorry, to go off on a rant, but this has bothered me all day.

    • Yes! The 24 hour newscycle has become so prominent in our society that there has to be new all the time and it takes away so much of the actual importance of news. What annoys me most about this is that all news is made to be equally important. “Humanitarian crisis in Sudan, but first we catch up with Taylor Swift. We also have footage of the Middle East peace treatment and Bobby Flay has some great tips for grilling fish”. Because everything is on the same playing field, all news items are given the same importance, with it should not have.

      We do not need news every single waking moment. Only real news, please.

    • i thought i was the only one who watches the today show every morning for no explicable reason. i missed this today, though! hooray!

  16. God damn it. I am crying so much. Why are humans so sick?

  17. Awesome. This is going to be hanging over my head all day. Help me out, Mayer Hawthorne!

  18. I can understand when something disturbing gets leaked to youtube or wherever and people make a conscious choice to look for it and click play – but repeating disturbing clips on morning news shows? It’s just wrong.

    Scratch that. I don’t get any of it. Exploiting the devastation of other people is really crappy.

  19. Could not agree more. I’m going out of my way to avoid this today, and I don’t feel like that should be MY responsibility.

  20. Times like these I am so, so, so glad that pretty much my only connection to current culture is Videogum.

  21. My fingers are trembling with sadness. Sadness for the board members who were shot at, sadness for the person whose mental illness was so profound it brought him to this point, sadness for his wife who will have to live her life trying to understand how this happened.

    I am trembling with anger as well. Anger that somewhere someone is making a .gif of this. Anger that somewhere a producer is making the business decision to run the video again. Anger that depression and despair and suicide are entertainment.

    But I don’t just feel sadness and anger. There is something hopeful that I feel too. More specifically, I feel joy that there are people like you all out there who feel as I do. That I am not alone in trying to manage a world of sorrow that offers no explanation. That I am not the only one who believes that it is still possible to give a shit about other people.

    What I am saying is this: You all are good people and I am glad I know you. Thank you for helping me get through the days. We may not always win, but we don’t lose alone.

    • Mans, what do you think of Gabe making that sad don draper and the Vietnamese girl burned alive by bombs collage from a while back? How is that different from somebody making a gif about this? Are you the hypocrite now dog?

      • Very well put Steve Winwood. I know that probable sounds condescending, and you’re probably thinking “who the hell is this idiot?”, but I mean it. I can honestly say that I laughed at that Don Draper-Vietnam collage back then, and I have no way of justifying how this instance would be any different. I guess it may have to do with me not being alive during Vietnam and subsequently feeling disconnected from it, but I think that for someone to joke about this Florida guy today would probably be wrong on many levels. I can’t say I wouldn’t snicker at a joke made, say, several months later, though. I guess I (and several other people) am a horrible human being, but I certainly am not the one committing these crimes.

        I guess you can equate it to Police and Gallows humor? In the end, it is definitely something interesting you pointed out about several people (including myself). I was pretty gung-ho about everyone critiscizing this news coverage, but then I read what you said and am seriously having my doubts now -about several things.

    • My insides are trembling with embarrassment over how seriously you take yourself.

      • Duke Nukem, don’t take this as a hostile downvoting, groupthink attack, because it isn’t.

        One thing that Mans is not is sanctimonious. Another is self-important. I think this was an example of someone actually trying to express vulnerable emotions, which may seem trite or overbearing to someone not in that mindset. It’s how it comes out. A sad fact of our culture is that genuine expressions of emotion now seem maudlin and gross – even talking about it, I know I sound maudlin right now, I don’t care, it’s how I feel – because they are so often abused for tearjerkers and sentimental bullshit. So we all get jaded. But just keep the idea in mind that sincerity is possible and not something to look down upon.

      • Dear Duke Nukem:

        Sometimes I feel the same way about myself. Sometimes I am embarrassed about the things I write and say. Napoleon Complex is right, I am just trying to be honest about how I feel, but I know how I sound sometimes, that I can be overbearing, preachy and treacly. Yet it is how I feel. I can’t moderate or mediate my emotional experience and I think it is important to be open.

        I had a very strong reaction to this story for personal reasons and I said how I felt. I am no more wrong for feeling that way than you are for feeling the way you do about me.



        • but you didnt have a strong reaction to gabe making fun of a vietnamese girl burned alive by bombs? way to walk that moral tight rope over a pit of hypocrisy

          • keep fucking that chicken.

          • It was napalm, Steve Winwood. Not that it matters.

            Also, that poor dead horse is tired of being beaten [the chicken is tired of being fucked.]

          • you guys really can’t respond can you? you posit all this sanctimonious horse shit about how sensitive you are and how the world should be “nicer” but have no rationalization for when you feel like laughing at the suffering of innocents

          • I don’t know if you remember this, but I did not find the Sad Don Draper Agent Orange picture funny at all, and said as much in the comments, and got into the most humongous argument with Backwaxer who will never live it down.

            So, maybe you should shut the fuck up? I dunno. It’s a thought. Sleep on it.

          • Steve,

            On the surface, the Vietnamese girl picture and this video seem on about the same level, when in actuality they are not for many reasons. For one, the Vietnamese girl has transcended what it was a picture of and now becomes more of a placeholder for an emotion. When people see that, they may remember what it is a picture of but, especially amongst younger people, it holds no meaning other than “sad” or “tragedy.” It’s easier to distance yourself from the emotional impact the picture’s contents may have when you haven’t experienced it. This is much the same as how WWII had become romanticized, just the same as the Civil War or, hell, the middle ages have been romanticized. Also, there’s a quick point to be made that the Vietnamese picture took place in Vietnam, someplace that people here in the US don;t necessarily resonate with.

            This event the post describes is immediately and completely the opposite of the Vietnamese picture. This took place on American soil. Yesterday, for all intents. Not during war, during a normal random day of the week. This strikes much more resonance with people for all the reasons the Vietnamese picture doesn’t.

            My point being, go tell a 9/11 joke in Vietnam, then tell a 9/11 joke in NYC. Tell me where you might be beaten to death.

            Yours forever,

          • Wait, I’m confused. I thought I fixed that sad Don Draper post that everyone did not like-

      • steve actually makes a good point here, but not as an attack on mans, but countering duke nukem’s earlier argument about people never disagreeing with gabe. people CLEARLY disagreed with gabe on the sad don draper bit and he even went as far as to apologize (sort of) for it.

        but regardless, relax duke nukem. i was half with you earlier but now you’re just attacking mans for reasons i can’t fathom. are you defending the other blogs posting it, attacking gabe for his “high and mighty” stance, or attacking the monsters for agreeing with him?

        further, your initial post was way more antagonistic than it needed to be to prove your point. that’s why you got downvoted. not for your opinion, but the way you made your opinion by attacking a) gabe and b) anyone who agrees with gabe. instead of “i disagree and here’s why” it was “gabe is dumb and you’re all dumb for agreeing with him.” i like being a videogum monster because we usually have a degree of civility here not often found in other forums and generally treat each other with respect even when we disagree with each other. please keep that in mind.

        probably too sincerely,
        -my ironic mustache

        • tl;dr

          J.K.!!!!! LOL!!!

        • Well said.

        • I’m attacking the entire Videogum community for transforming from a fun, writer’s room type atmosphere to a fucking library filled with a bunch of oversensitive psuedo-intellectuals who feel the need to constantly debate the meaning of “racist” or ‘funny” or “offensive”. JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

          • And by proxy, that’s attacking Gabe, because he’s always like “THIS IS RACIST” and everyone is like “THAT’S THE MOST RACIST THING I’VE EVER SEEN” and now he’s like “POSTING THIS VIDEO IS OFFENSIVE” now all you are like “THIS VIDEO IS SO OFFENSIVE I’M TREMBLING WITH SADNESS”

          • AND I don’t mean to give libraries a bad name…replace “library” with “a college dorm’s TV room” or “high school chapter of amnesty international meeting”

          • Now that I’m done laughing hysterically at your characterization of the Videogum community as “transforming from a fun, writer’s room type atmosphere (hahaha, WHAT?) to a fucking library filled with oversensitive psuedo-intellectuals [sic.]“, I just have to say, what on Earth are you talking about? I’ve been reading Videgum since its inception, and I don’t ever recall a “writer’s room type atmosphere” (LOL every time) in the comments section.

            Actually, you know what? Don’t bother answering, because I truly do not give a shit. I just think it’s hilarious that you’re trying to put us down for being “psuedo-intellectuals [sic.]” and then you talk about early Videogum as a “writer’s room type atmosphere” (LOL, again, because I just cannot get enough).

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          • Don’t you have strippers to shoot, Duke Nukem? Go do that.

          • Funny people trying to one-up one eachother = writer’s room type environment to me. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it? I’m not as clever as you, Arcade Fire Username.

            And yeah, I mixed up the U and the E, I misspelled one word. That’s really all you can get me on?

          • @mtnsbeyondmtns this comment is so good and I didn’t even read @dukenukems original comment ( I knew what was good for me and ran out of the Saloon a while back).

          • “Funny people trying to one-up one eachother”

            Now that’s a grammatical fuck up that’s worth making fun of.

            This is the last time I drink 4loko with lunch.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • You see, Baby Friday, that is why I keep coming back. 95% percent of the time these comments are great. Really great when compared to somewhere like Brooklyn Vegan or AV Club, but god dammit, a couple people here just take some shit way too seriously. Not that a man opening fire upon a group of people isn’t something that should be taken seriously, but you can take something seriously without being condescending, y’know?

            It’s the snake eating its own head, I’m bitching about how the comment threads dissolve into idiotic moral arguments and in turn, get into an idiotic moral argument in the comments.

            And don’t assume because I don’t post 50+ times a day that I haven’t been here for a while. I’m not just a troll popping up to stir up shit. I love it here!

          • i’ll reiterate my “relax, duke nukem” comment and call it good.

            relax, duke nukem.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  22. I saw this on the news as I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, and all it just made me feel shitty and sad. They showed the guy’s facebook page, with the stupid V for Vendetta avatar, and I’m sure people out there find the whole thing hilarious, and I’ve kind of been avoiding reading about it online because I know I’ll feel even worse. There’s just so much built in for trolling about this situation, I can imagine exactly how it will play out and I don’t want anything to do with that.

    • I honestly don’t think the majority of people who watch this find anything amusing about this video. I think that’s an incredibly cynical view. I believe that most people find it horrifying and just questioned how they themselves would react if placed in this exact situation. Stop blowing everything up into a reason why people are so horrible. It’s really just used as a way to make yourself feel better for being “so above it”.

  23. I’ve managed to not hear about this all day. then I went to videogum and learned all about it.

    Thanks Gabe!

    • Pretty Much what happened to me too. Still have yet to seek it out past this website, which is ironic on so many levels.

  24. “There are some of us who do not think it is being a Moral Scold to simply suggest that the world could do with a little less sadness/horror/nightmare porno. Things are hard enough out here. They are scary and confusing enough.”

    This is the exact reason I’ve refused to listen to or watch the video for “Whip My Hair.”

  25. I actually have yet to see this on any of the sites I frequent. Didn’t show up on Salon, and they are pretty good at talking about shit like this. I thought for sure it would be on Digg. Nope. No one I know has posted it on Facebook either, which is a surprise because I know some pretty misanthropic people.

    Oh, wait. There it is on Slate’s front page as a ‘trending topic’. Oh good, it says (VIDEO) real big.

  26. I’m with Duke Nukem. Granted, he started losing his temper a bit and each point he tried to make was made less successfully than the one before, but I agree with him on one point. This place has become a MASSIVE FUCKING CIRCLE JERK. I started commentating to show my support for Steve Winwood, and then quit commentating regularly because Steve Winwood didn’t like me as much as I liked him (I wish that wasn’t a true story). But I got over it! Really!

    *gently caresses the portrait of Steve Winwood on his monitor, the one with the speech bubble saying “You rock, Krakatoa! No homo!”*

    But anyway, what I liked about Steve was that he interrupted the self-congratulation of the monsters. I know that, up-thread, Baby Friday complained about the over-use of “back-patting” as a phrase today, but even though I stopped commentating I’ve remained a regular reader, mainly for the comments, and this back-patting has been bugging me a LOT lately. Because as bad as it was when Steve Winwood first came on the scene, it’s a lot worse now. I realize that this place is an oasis in an internet desert of flatulent despair, but come on. Just let it be what it is without the constant, “We are so goddamn great and we have to all remain on the same page to remain great! OMG, our world is so fragile!” The best way to keep this place great is not with in-jokes so obscure that everyone who doesn’t go into chat feels left out. That is only making this pace a low-hanging fruit for the trolls. The BEST way is to try to be as funny as possible, or as insightful as possible, or as weird as possible, or as real as possible…. Just be whatever you are as MUCH as possible and THAT will scare away anyone who’s not able to rise to the same level. I think that’s what Duke Nukem meant when he talked about a writer’s room atmosphere. It still exists sometimes but everything’s gotten too comfortable.

    I’m probably alone here, but I for one welcome the Facebook hordes. This place needs new blood. Maybe it won’t be better blood, but at least it will unsettle things and maybe force you all to step up your game.

    I may agree with Duke Nukem on his non-status-quo policy, but I do not agree with his anti-Mans policy. Sure, Mans can overstate his point occasionally but his heart is so obviously in the right place. I mean, come on. He’s Mans.

    I do agree with Duke Nukem’s anti-Teacherman policy though. “Oh shut up”? Seriously? And no-one calls him out on the lameness of that? Steve Winwood, why do you lay dormant when the very earth writhes and groans in your absence?

    • Well said, Krakatoa.

      And to answer your Steve question- he hasn’t been laying dormant, he’s been commenting up a storm lately. Unfortunately his new material isn’t really cutting it for me personally.

      First they came for the animated gifs, and I said nothing. Then they all joined V for Videogum, and I said nothing. Then everyone became self-congratulatory, and I said nothing. Then I ate a sandwich, because it’s the internet.

      • Also, I have no idea what any of this arguing has to do with anything, and I want to stress I am happy people have become friends through videogum. That’s awesome. As far as Gabe’s non-post post about this guy that sparked Duke Nukem’s initial harshness, I did not like Duke’s harshness, I didn’t know about this “news” until I read the post and have since watched the video on Paul Scheer’s blog no-less (I am uninformed, or just-the-right-amount-of-informed?, no, I’m uninformed), and in the end it’s been just another day.

        But if there ever was a post for Monsters to call each other out and cry foul and air grievances because we’re all oh so sensitive, I’m glad it’s going on here, because if this was going on in a post about something entertaining and funny? Oho-ho, I would be PISSED.

        But I’m not.

    • Nicely put, KiWS, but I don’t subscribe to your circle-jerk analogy. The phenomena we’re witnessing tolerates no such accommodation or egalitarianism.

      I’m with you – there needs to be more freewheeling candor and less alienating cronyism around here. Sadly, few of the worst offenders will ever appreciate our collective beef, at least no more than the cuckoo regrets the nest she pilfers, or the locust grieves the ravaged crop, which is to say not at all.

    • The world is a vampire.

  27. Let me take a crack at this: The re-contextualization of media for use in an internet meme is absurd (i.e. the Sad Don Draper/Vietnam photo). Some people like absurdist humor, some don’t. Media is a ding an sich, but not the actual thing or event it represents or records; it’s a copy. It may elicit emotion on part of the viewer, but also allows a safe space from the cause that gives rise to the emotion in the first place. The irony being that people who experience trauma often become disconnected from their own emotions and feel nothing at all within the moment.
    In time, the Clay Duke Tape may also be re-appropriated out of context for the purposes of clarifying absurdity. Right now, it’s sad because it is being shown as a spectacle with no differentiation from how entertainment media is shown as spectacle. The passage of time also creates a safe space, and yes, we may be proven sanctimonious hypocrites in the future if someone does something to this video that makes us laugh, but for now I think most of us are processing our emotions much like when we first saw the un-photoshopped Vietnam photo; what I’m trying to say is…too soon.

  28. This is not videogum.

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