Editorial: Disgusting videos show pervasive disrespect
Have people always been this disgusting?
In our cameras-everywhere internet age, we seem to be assailed with a lot of things no one wants to know.
Not just the “how-is-the-sausage-made” kind of thing. No, this isn’t about incidental disgust — the unpleasantness that happens and we turn away because, hey, we love hot dogs and really don’t want someone to ruin them for us.
But recently, the things that have come to light are things we should know about.
Like the woman who licked Blue Bell ice cream in a grocery store and put it back in the freezer. Or the guy who spit in a jug of iced tea in another. Kids spitting in soda bottles before sticking them back in a cooler.
And just when you think it can’t get any worse, a woman steps up to the plate to take her swing at gross behavior in the West Mifflin Walmart.
Grace Brown, 20, of Whitehall turned herself in to police Tuesday after surveillance video was released showing a woman urinating into bins of potatoes at the Walmart days earlier. She was charged with open lewdness, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
That gagging sound you hear is the collective response of everyone who read this story.
The sick feeling in the pit of your stomach is the certainty that someone in the not-too-distant future is going to hear this story, crack their knuckles and find an even more disgusting way to one-up it.
It’s tempting to blame this on the internet and the Generation Z hunger for notoriety, even the infamous kind.
After all, a lot of the footage that gets released was taped for the purpose of YouTube or Instagram or TikTok fame. It was done deliberately and published strategically. Like the Wendy’s employee in Florida who took a bath in the restaurant’s kitchen sink.
But just as often, it’s not a prank. Like the potato incident, it’s caught-on-camera bad behavior that the perpetrator would probably prefer hadn’t been observed.
On purpose or inadvertent, the videos document one growing trend. It’s a fundamental lack of respect — for society or property, for other individuals or even for self.
It would be great to put that genie back in the bottle. But someone probably spit in it.