This video (strong content warning), showing yet another beating in a McDonald’s, has been up on Drudge all day. It’s cell phone video of a beating — two women beat a third, while the manager of the restaurant makes a show of trying to help but ends up standing around uselessly. The beating goes on for several minutes, and toward the end, the women administering it attempt to drag their victim out into the parking lot. Meanwhile, the victim is bleeding and begins to have a seizure. Not knowing anything about any of the people involved, it’s impossible to say from the video if the beating triggered the seizure or if the victim has a history of having such episodes. Either way, the fact that the assailants repeatedly kick the victim, drag her around and then attempted to drag her out into the parking lot leads to reasonable speculation that they intended to murder her. What sparked the incident is at this point unknown.
That this video exists at all says quite a bit about where we are as a culture. The videographer does nothing at all to help the victim in any way. He just records the beating on his cell phone. The videographer not only passively records the scene, but later uploads it to the internet. What is his motivation for doing that? When the police are en route (who called them?), he warns the attackers to leave. He never tells them to stop the beating, but does warn them to get out before the police arrive. Oh, he does tell the assailants that their victim is bleeding and having a seizure. The manager reveals himself to be a useless lump. A fourth woman’s intervention is the only thing that slows the attackers down. The men in this video are, simply, not men.
In Ed Driscoll’s post about England yesterday, actor John Cleese laments the slide of his country from a middle class culture to a “yob culture.” What are we to make of this culture, in which assaults occur in public spaces in our cities (this video is said to have been captured in Baltimore, otherwise known as Charm City) and bystanders merely record and upload them to the internet? Appearances can be deceiving, but this particular incident appears to have a strong racial component (we don’t know what started the attack in the first place; the video begins with the assault in progress). We, or some of us, seem to have moved beyond any thought of defending others, or of the criminal justice implications of our own actions. There seems to be a vibrant yob culture and a parasitic voyeur culture taking hold in our cities.
We can debate the debt ceiling and other macro issues all day; meanwhile, we’re rotting away from within.
Update: More here and here. The Mickey D’s is in Baltimore County. The man who shot the video says the victim is a man who was cross dressing and tried to enter the women’s bathroom, and that’s what started the fight.
Update: Just to clarify the previous update, the videographer (for lack of a better word for him at the moment) is claiming the victim is a cross dressing man. That’s what the previous update says. His claim hasn’t been verified by anyone else.