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February 22, 2007

Public Shaming: Guy Breaks Up With Girlfriend On Valentine's Day In Front Of Crowd of 1,000, With Fuck-Off Acapella Chorus -- And Then It Gets Difficult To Watch
On Further Thought: Probably A Staged Stunt

Michael sends this, telling me I don't have to hat-tip, he just wants my take.

I got nothing. I'll toss out the obligatory cover-my-ass speculation that this is performance art of a particuarly cringe-inducing kind. But I really don't think so.

20 years from now we may look back on this as the day the Internet became the primary vehicle for vengeance through public mortification.

Will that result in better world or a worse one? Depends, I guess, on whom you sympathize with here -- the cheating girl, or the cheated-on guy who put on his own Jerry Springer show.

I don't know. Why should a wronged party be expected to suffer in silent dignity, which may reflect well on them, but also abets the bad actor?

Will this cause a whole new genre of videos to flood YouTube, resulting in the technological resurrection of the stocks and public flogging?

It's all horrible. Life sucks.

Interview with the spurned lover here:

Sketchy: Actually, I'm wondering about the punk'd angle more now. He contacted the 1000 people through an open declaration in Facebook he was going to do this, and his girlfriend didn't find out? His explanation from this -- "Some people just pride themselves on not using Facebook" -- seems pretty lame, and he has no good answer when his interviewer asks didn't any of her friends see this on Facebook, either?



It's Better Than This: Woman Stabs Boyfriend Over Disappointing Sex.

Sheer personal interest compels me to condemn this sort of savage sexual vigilantism in the strongest terms possible.

What the fuck? Did I wake up in the middle of Nazi Germany?

Thanks to Village Idiot for that.


More Viral Marketing?: Michael speculates it's performance art to promote the singers featured in the clip. They sure do get their names mentioned a lot.

I suppose that's possible... but is anyone really going to go see the Loreleis because they were featured on a popular YouTube fake-drama clip?

Then again, maybe this is just the teaser for a viral marketing campaign for some product or service to be named in the sequel. Or maybe just a viral marketing campaign for the viral marketing company itself.

More Reason For Suspicion: The guy and girl seem like they come from different social classes, making it seem less likely that they'd be an item.

And the girl calls the guy gay, but doesn't go for other, more obvious put-downs regarding his sexual abilities. Why not? True or not, why not ruin this guy's vengeance party by announcing to millions of people he's got a needle dick?

Seems like she left her best pitches in the bullpen while this guy was jerking them into the cheap seats.


Rights? If it's viral marketing, though, wouldn't they have to secure the rights to the Dixie Chicks' song? Have the Dixie Chicks fallen so far they have to rent their songs out to shock-stunt outfits?


Bullshit: Okay, I'm back with my initial suspicion, just too contrived. I don't think viral marketing; I just think a nice little scam put together by some performance arts types.

Just a little too convenient that the chick hangs around for this, and a little too convenient that the guy also had sex with her roommate (a late-in-the-show plot twist).


Movie Promotion?: Looking around for upcoming jilted-lover movies now. A blog by the spurned wife "Emily," featuring photos of mortifying billboards shaming her straying husband, turned out to just be a promotion for Court TV show.


Story On the Clip: Although many who witnessed it thought it seemed "too scripted," this media story on it can't prove that. The names of the principles are given, and seem to both be college students, neither in the performing arts. At least, "Ryan" is a history major at Chapel Hill, with no mention of a minor in "Internet Punking."

And Mindy is ID'd as poli sci major at North Carolina State, with an interest in entering politics at some point. I'd say she's off to a pretty decent start -- she's got the name ID, she's cool under fire, and she's morally flexible.

Was it live ... or was it just a stunt for YouTube? A one-time college couple say their melodramatic Valentine's Day breakup -- complete with singers, hundreds of spectators and a profanity-laced tirade -- was real. Those who were there say it all seemed a little too staged.

Still, there's no question it's an Internet hit.

"It really wasn't supposed to be like this," said Mindy Moorman, the girlfriend who got dumped. "The fact that it's gotten so big is quite comical to us."

The various videos of Moorman's hostile breakup with University of North Carolina senior Ryan Burke have been watched more than 300,000 times as of Wednesday -- making it one of the most popular clips on YouTube.com in recent weeks.

Burke said Wednesday he invited Moorman, a sophomore at nearby North Carolina State University and his girlfriend of four months, to join him at a popular gathering spot on the UNC Chapel Hill campus for a "surprise." It was not only Valentine's Day, but Moorman's birthday. The couple had plans for a dinner date that night.

Hundreds of students and several photographers were waiting for the couple on campus after Burke promised "a bad public breakup" on the Web site facebook.com: "You don't want to watch, but you can't look away."

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posted by Ace at 12:58 AM

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