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"How to be awkward."
November 17, 2013 2:51 PM   Subscribe

The best of Jerome Jarre, a hilarious young Frenchman who delights in singing on subways, violating personal boundaries, and grinning like a loon on Vine. Previously on MetaFilter.
posted by Rory Marinich (46 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. Hilarious would not be a word I would use to describe this guy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:55 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Non, merci.
posted by modernnomad at 2:58 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dislike this young man and wish him ill.
posted by elizardbits at 3:02 PM on November 17, 2013 [12 favorites]


If this is the best of the web then I'm going to have a lot more time freed up soon.
posted by bquarters at 3:02 PM on November 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


I learned something interesting about context here. The Cher/picnic clip at 0:05 in this video also appeared in the broader Vine compilation posted a few months ago (still-working copy here), and I laughed very hard when I saw it there. Seeing it now among this dude's other antics, I just find it annoying.
posted by eugenen at 3:05 PM on November 17, 2013


This is a person with whom I do not want to share air.
posted by Mizu at 3:07 PM on November 17, 2013


This is the social version of happy slapping, isn't it.
posted by postcommunism at 3:15 PM on November 17, 2013


Christ, what an asshole.

(He needs to get that cavity in his right molar worked on.)
posted by glhaynes at 3:17 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


ugh...just ugh
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:24 PM on November 17, 2013


How does he avoid getting the shit kicked out of him, and having his phone stomped to bits, when he pulls these stunts?
posted by plastic_animals at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2013


Some of these are all the more pleasurable for the sheer joy of not having to experience these antics in person.
That said I could only take about 2 minutes of laughing and wincing.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 3:29 PM on November 17, 2013


People are probably too startled/irritated to react badly, or he is just not posting the videos in which he gets smacked, I guess.

A few years back some idiot kid ran up to me on the street and screamed in my face and then tried to take a photo of what I assume he assumed would be a hilarious reaction, but instead I punched him in the throat because that is how I react when being assaulted. When he freaked out loudly about being "attacked for no reason" by me, a nearby policeman who had presumably seen the entire thing told him to GTFO. It was very satisfying.
posted by elizardbits at 3:30 PM on November 17, 2013 [24 favorites]


The only funny bit I saw there before I got bored was when he was running ahead of the jogger and taking a selfie of him acting like he was being chased. The rest of them I was waiting for someone to bludgeon him.
posted by planetesimal at 3:34 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awful.

Is violating personal boundaries something that Kids These Days think is funny and/or cool?
posted by graphnerd at 3:36 PM on November 17, 2013


> Is violating personal boundaries something that Kids These Days think is funny and/or cool?

To be fair, kids have been doing it for decades as far as I've seen, and probably even before my time. The thing now is that they can cast a broader net for their encouragement.
posted by planetesimal at 3:39 PM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Anyone who "delights in violating personal boundaries" better stay the fuck away from me or I'll give him cause to consider other ways one's personal boundaries can be violated. Ways he might not find quite so fucking hilarious.
posted by Decani at 3:40 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would like to meet that girl on the train at 0:33. That is all.
posted by chavenet at 3:48 PM on November 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


This man's breaking of social boundaries is reprehensible. I agree with everyone above that the only truly reasonable response to this obnoxious awkwardness would be to physically assault and harm the man. It's the only civilized response he will understand! He should punched in the throat! He should be taught a lesson! He should be thrown from a plane! He should be flown to space and dropped into the void!

TOUCH MY HAND OR FACE, WILL HE!? I THINK NOT!
posted by sendai sleep master at 3:49 PM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I hate "hilarious", "edgy" shit that basically boils down to "Hey guys, look at me! I'm chaotic neutral!".

It partially drives me crazy because it's just not fair; the "cool" way to act is as if it's hilarious and you are in on the joke and totally get it and I hate when people are pressured, in any way, to act like a violation of their boundaries is acceptable.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 3:50 PM on November 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


My sarcasm aside, I honestly do not thing this guy is trying to be edgy. His whole shtick gives me the vibe that he is, earnestly, trying to get people to smile and recognize how our social boundaries are kind of absurd (see the earlier thread on male affection/touching).

That being said, for reasons that Mrs. Pterodactyl expressed quite well, his execution is flawed because it utilizes a mechanism that leaves the other party with a kind of dichotomous choice on how to react to his well meaning pranks.

So, yeah, I get the dislike due to his execution and the fact that he did not put much thought into this BUT I frankly believe that the level of ire in this thread is somewhat disproportionate to his wrong doings.
posted by sendai sleep master at 3:57 PM on November 17, 2013


So, yeah, I get the dislike due to his execution and the fact that he did not put much thought into this BUT I frankly believe that the level of ire in this thread is somewhat disproportionate to his wrong doings.

Crossing people's boundaries (especially their physical boundaries) is an aggressive move, I'm not surprised that people react to that with anger.

It's also maddening to have someone do something aggressive, and then try to mock/humiliate you into "going along with it." They're escalating the aggression *while* denying you any socially acceptable way to stop it or even to express your anger over it.

His actions aren't *so* aggressive that I personally think a punch in the throat is a proportionate response, but uuuuuugh I understand the anger.

Personally, I'd say, "Where are your parents, you need some attention." Because seriously, confirming your existence, random dude in my proximity, is not my job.
posted by rue72 at 4:08 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


yo man sorry that my terrified defensive reaction to being assaulted by a dude a full foot taller than me in the middle of the street is somehow upsetting to you
posted by elizardbits at 4:09 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


That being said, for reasons that Mrs. Pterodactyl expressed quite well, his execution is flawed because it utilizes a mechanism that leaves the other party with a kind of dichotomous choice on how to react to his well meaning pranks.

Well, you know, me being on the streets does not imply that I have given my consent to being forced to participate in some random idiot's improv street theater.
posted by sukeban at 4:11 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


His whole shtick gives me the vibe that he is, earnestly, trying to get people to smile and recognize how our social boundaries are kind of absurd (see the earlier thread on male affection/touching).

His schtick is shit. Sorry, it's not "absurd" to expect that strangers won't grab me on the subway. The thread about male affection was about physical contact between friends, which is obviously a different thing.

This could be interesting if we got to compare the same situations with a person of color doing to public touching. Cops would be called so fast.
posted by serif at 4:14 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


I like this guy. If he came up to me on the street and pulled this shit, I would probably punch him square in the jaw and knock out several of his teeth. And I have a feeling that he would not stop cackling maniacally, even as the blood spurted from his mouth and his legs gave out under him. And he would thank me for expressing myself, no matter what my feelings are. And he would keep smiling that awful, hideous, ever-present smile.

Better than any horror movie or punk music, this. He's incredibly subversive. He subverts all sorts of things that everyone here believes should never be subverted. They're probably right, but it's still interesting.
posted by koeselitz at 4:17 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


The throat is tempting but I think I'd use the classic approach.
posted by mannequito at 4:25 PM on November 17, 2013


Better than any horror movie or punk music, this. He's incredibly subversive. He subverts all sorts of things that everyone here believes should never be subverted. They're probably right, but it's still interesting.

But people "subvert" this stuff *all the time.*

In everyday life, people do these exact things he's doing (getting too close physically, saying bizarrely intimate things, using social control as a way to get people to "regulate" their emotions, shouting people down), and more.

Personally, I find it *more* subversive to actually honor people's boundaries, and treat others as equals with rights over their own bodies. That goes against virtually all of history.
posted by rue72 at 4:59 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


A simple but very sincere "Fuck Off" would be my response.
posted by islander at 5:08 PM on November 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jack Vale is an arguably kind of amusing Angeleno who delights in violating personal boundaries, specifically by pretending to fart on people.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2013


he's not that funny, but i do find it terribly sad how people here can be so aggressive about the idea that someone else might "get too close" to them. I can't imagine being so defensive and alienated without feeling at least a little cowardly and ashamed, but it seems to be a point of pride for people on this thread.
posted by silence at 5:20 PM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't really like strangers "getting too close" to me, because the last two who did were 1) trying to grope me and 2) trying to take a photo of my body up close. This is different from friendly touching/hugging/whatever. When a guy is doing something weird and inappropriate toward me in public I get an immediate sense of dread that he's going to pull something threatening and I won't be able to get rid of him, and my "I am about to be assaulted or harassed" bells go off. It's scary, not in a fun haunted house way. If someone jumps out of the bushes at me it's maybe annoying but I could see how it would be fun-scary Vine or YouTube fodder. People touching you for no reason is like I-feel-no-bodily-integrity scary, which makes people either lash out violently or crawl up inside themselves to die.

So as lighthearted as this stuff is I always think of the people who do it as privileged little shits. I say this as someone who has been in the car with someone who went "coneing."
posted by stoneandstar at 5:30 PM on November 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anyway though there is a line between self-defense and getting needlessly defensive, but I'd imagine that on a subconscious level a lot of people think this is needlessly defensive because it's a clean-looking young white kid doing it.
posted by stoneandstar at 5:32 PM on November 17, 2013


he's not that funny, but i do find it terribly sad how people here can be so aggressive about the idea that someone else might "get too close" to them. I can't imagine being so defensive and alienated without feeling at least a little cowardly and ashamed, but it seems to be a point of pride for people on this thread.

It's my body and I don't really appreciate people touching it or implying that they might touch it without my permission. Telling people that they should feel "cowardly" or "ashamed" for wanting to maintain control of who touches their bodies creates a really problematic atmosphere.

It's (seriously! Not sarcasm!) awesome for you that you "can't imagine being so defensive and alienated" but what this likely means is that you feel safe/non-threatened, either physically or socially, at least most of the time. I'm very happy for you! I wish everyone felt that way! Unfortunately, many people don't and it'd be kind of awesome if we could maybe not call people cowardly if they are defensive about being touched against their will.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:40 PM on November 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, you know, me being on the streets does not imply that I have given my consent to being forced to participate in some random idiot's improv street theater.

Huh. I thought it was pretty much exactly that.
posted by sutt at 6:16 PM on November 17, 2013


He reminds me of all the shmucks in high school who would pull anti-social pranks or just be shittily weird to people and then claim it was a "psychological experiment."

Hopefully he will learn to channel his desire to whatever it is he's doing in ways that aren't going to end up with him sans a few teeth when he points a camera in the face of the wrong person.
posted by griphus at 6:17 PM on November 17, 2013


Huh. I thought it was pretty much exactly that.

Thank you for illustrating the problem.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:21 PM on November 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also I hope he is currently being scouted by ever Annoying Clipboard People charity organization who really, desperately want him to work for them.
posted by griphus at 6:21 PM on November 17, 2013


young

Yep.

Frenchman

Apparently.

who delights in singing on subways,

Yep.

violating personal boundaries,

Oui.

and grinning like a loon on Vine.

Obviously.

hilarious

Nope.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:29 PM on November 17, 2013


It's a very tired routine that has been done for ages: surprising the unsuspecting. Where this falls flat is that his "surprises" aren't funny in themselves; they're just obnoxious. It's one thing for a man in a giant pigeon suit to run after you when you're feeding actual pigeons; what is grabbing some stranger's hand or singing loudly and badly on the subway? The reactions of others to this stuff is supposed to be the joke, but he constantly puts himself front and center as the object of attention.

If people witness such behavior and find themselves growing angry I'm not at all surprised. This falls short of comedy and lands face-first in "Asshole Records Self Being An Asshole To Strangers, Lazily."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:31 PM on November 17, 2013


Thank you for illustrating the problem.

Maybe not.
posted by sutt at 7:09 PM on November 17, 2013


This is like an internet-age Andy Kaufman but French and much much worse.
posted by faceattack at 8:16 PM on November 17, 2013


First thing that came to mind for me was that group of Aussie teens linked on mefi a few months ago, the 'pranksters' who really just seem to run around getting in people's faces and being general assholes.
posted by mannequito at 8:30 PM on November 17, 2013


Quel petit con !
posted by nicolin at 2:18 AM on November 18, 2013


Some of these are very very funny and some of them are mean or dumb. I think that's the problem of working in a medium like Vine rather than a professionally shot video like Jackass or Billy On The Street. Where people play along and say hilarious shit back its great, especially the homeless dude yelling "I HOPE IT RAINS MOTHERFUCKER". Where his whole point is like "CHECK OUT THIS LADY WITH A MUSTACHE" or "I SCREAMED ON A PLANE" its falls flat but fuck it you gotta post it anyway. Looks like he's moving more into absurdity, sexing up squirrels and eating vomit. I look forward to more stuff like that.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2013


Much in the same way that while I find the aghast overreaction in this thread to screetching street pranksters pretty unfortunate, I can't help but crack up at the image of elizardbits karate chopping a wannabe Johnny Knoxville in the trachea.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:36 PM on November 18, 2013


it is better if you imagine me as my profile picture though
posted by elizardbits at 2:02 PM on November 18, 2013


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