Cruelty Gone Viral

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It's a reason NOT to purchase Pepsi products. In fact, as a protest against the basesness and cruelty of this practical joke, I urge all clear-thinking people to specifically boycott Pepsi products until there is a formal apology for this assault on our common humanity.

In the video, race-car driver Jeff Gordon dupes an unsuspecting used car salesman into thinking Gordon is a geek who does not know much about cars - only to take him on a five minute drive of terror; it has no doubt evoked laughs in the 2.95 million people who have already viewed the film on YouTube, but when the dust clears - we have to ask ourselves: what are we laughing at ?

At the discomfort and terror of the salesman? A laugh expressing our tension, as if we were the salesman ? 

Or is our laugh instead a sadistic laugh of Gordon and the people at Pepsi who so cruelly abused this man during the prank? 

Back in the 1960's, many of us remember Candid Camera.  I submit to you that the difference between CC and the Pepsi prank is not just a difference in degree, but in kind.  

See for yourself.  First, the Pepsi prank, which I call "Cruelty Gone Viral", and then the Flying Phonebooth of CC of the early 1960's.


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Guest Tuesday, 20 February 2018