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January 11, 2011 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Ever get the feeling you're being watched? Maybe you're just Paranoid.

Previous installments: 1, 2, 3.
posted by Potomac Avenue (57 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I always feel like....
posted by hippybear at 11:22 AM on January 11, 2011


Holy cow, that is obnoxious and brilliant. I wouldn't know what to do if someone was doing that to me.
posted by nevercalm at 11:22 AM on January 11, 2011


I don't like people who scare people.
posted by The Toad at 11:23 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


... I think I will be the only person who doesn't find this funny, but more disturbing than anything. He's joking, and that's great and all, but to think that someone is watching you and relating information about you to someone else, who I would assume to have malevolent intentions, is just... Well, it's terrifying, or at least it would be for me.
posted by lauratheexplorer at 11:25 AM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


... I think I will be the only person who doesn't find this funny

I don't want to frighten you, but you are not alone.
posted by chavenet at 11:27 AM on January 11, 2011 [10 favorites]


Relax... You're quite safe here....
posted by hippybear at 11:28 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't know what to do if someone was doing that to me.

I think I would probably start with "Excuse me, but what the Hell are you doing?" and then there would be more swearing.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:28 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not paranoia. These poor women (only women as far as I watched) are correctly identifying that someone is watching them and reporting on their activities. Total asshole.
posted by Babblesort at 11:28 AM on January 11, 2011 [13 favorites]


Imagine you have a creepy stalker ex and someone does this to you. SO FUNNY!
posted by The Toad at 11:30 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This would be more righteous if he were following around people who loudly talk on their cellphones and commenting on their conversations.
posted by interrobang at 11:30 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I dunno, doing this could be pretty cool...

"Yeah, I'm standing right next to the police car. Yeah, he's inside. There's a bunch of ladies pointing at him. He seems kind of shocked that his actions have consequences. Yeah, yeah. I don't know for sure, but I think this is irony... OK, hold on, I'll ask...."

"He doesn't want to talk to me."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:30 AM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Any shitbird who did this to me or Mrs. RKS or any of the little RKSs would have a boot up their ass. And it probably would be Mrs. RKS's.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:31 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a good prank. I wonder if he debriefed them afterward. I hope so.
posted by eugenen at 11:35 AM on January 11, 2011


I think it's the denial when he's called on it at the end of the video that kills it for me. If you're going to be ballsy and prank people in public, be ballsy and fess up to it when confronted.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:39 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Yes, officer, that's right, he's stalking me in the supermarket and acting strangely. You'll be here immediately, great, thank you so much."

Or more sensibly, point him out to the store manager who has way more experience in getting creeps out of the store.
posted by mdoar at 11:40 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would "Can I Help You Find Something" his ass right out the door.

He just went to the top of my list of in-store assholes. #3 is still the jerk who has a loud oblivious conversation on his or her cell phone while still expecting me to take care of his or her purchase, while dropped down to #2 are the group of jerks who pick a crowded aisle in my store to park their carts in and have a nice long, loud conversation. Hey, I don't go to your place of business to socialize with my friends; don't you do it here.
posted by Curious Artificer at 11:42 AM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ever feel the need to inflict psychological terrorism on total strangers? Maybe you're just Sociopathic.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:43 AM on January 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


His delivery is really funny and he has good comic timing, but the whole concept seems a bit too creepy. I laughed at the beginning, but once I started processing the possible implications from the viewpoint of the prank subject it became less funny. And the creepiness is ramped up when you realize it's all women. Sometimes I miss the days when I thought everything was funny I didn't look at the world with a grown-up's responsible eye.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:45 AM on January 11, 2011


The reaction of the teenagers lounging on beanbags liberated from the shelves (presumably shopping with their parents & bored to exhaustion) is actually terrific.

From "previous installments" #1.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:46 AM on January 11, 2011


attention!! MATHOWIE is watching YOU!!! signed his dad.
posted by tustinrick at 11:47 AM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm sure the results would be much funnier if instead of targeting a bunch of housewives in a department show he tried it in a biker bar.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:48 AM on January 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is so not funny.

But it is. No, seriously, not funny.

Ok, just a little.

No, how would you feel if you got creeped out like this? NOT FUNNY.

tee hee

This reminds me of the prank I never pulled whereby I just walk around in public talking on my bluetooth headset, which is not paired with a cellphone. Or you just talk talk talk talk talk on your headset, then casually remove it and put it in your pocket, but continue to hold the conversation. Yeah, that's funnier.

But this? This is not funny. Well just a little. But it's not.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 11:51 AM on January 11, 2011


I like in the third one when he asks about the gladiolas and then says, "Yes. Yes. Gladiolas. Mhm. Right. Gladiolas, peas, milk - fat free? is that fat free? Yeah, fat free, lactose free..." That's a lot less creepy and still really weird.
posted by papayaninja at 12:05 PM on January 11, 2011


I was really hoping this was just a link to the Black Sabbath song. I would have thought it the best/worst FPP ever.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:05 PM on January 11, 2011


... I think I will be the only person who doesn't find this funny

I don't want to frighten you, but you are not alone.


Indeed. I am so far on the "not funny" side of the judgment of this video that "funny" appears as a tiny blip on the distant coast of Attemped Punk'd-ish Humor.

(With a nod to Bucky B. Katt.)
posted by fuse theorem at 12:06 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I chuckled at "left, right, left, right..." But where I grew up if someone pulled a stunt like that, they would get curb stomped by rednecks entirely unsympathetic to the artist's plight. Each encounter was unsettling to watch, and I found my own inner redneck coming to the surface.

Technically funny. But you could make a snuff flick where the ending was a punch line to an elaborate joke, too. Having all the elements of humor doesn't funny make.
posted by Xoebe at 12:34 PM on January 11, 2011


This would be really, really funny to me if the targets weren't all older people who clearly don't appreciate it on any level.

I mean, I laughed at the first dramatic chord. It was really well put together.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:45 PM on January 11, 2011


Excellent execution of what unfortunately began as, and remains, a really bad idea.
posted by rusty at 1:26 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, the privileges of a white male. If, say, a browner individual such as me were to try this, we'd have to deal with, um, different consequences.

In any case, I really hope he debriefed these people, because otherwise this is cruel, especially considering who he's targeting in the 4th video (the one above the break).
posted by spiderskull at 1:36 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think I will be the only person who doesn't find this funny,

Don't be silly, this is Metafilter, which seems to be full of people who don't like being told something is funny.
posted by smackfu at 2:25 PM on January 11, 2011


A store is not a public space. You do have an expectation of privacy, and what this guy is doing is harassment. It's also spineless. Go try your little ha-ha in a strip club and see how long your face stays intact.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't really see how it would be different if he was doing it in a real public space, like a street.
posted by smackfu at 2:41 PM on January 11, 2011


A good prank needs to clearly stimulate constructive thought, amusingly reframe the mundane for all involved, and/or provide a glimpse at a 'pronoiac' sense of extraordinary possibility for a subject who can appreciate it, especially if a prank is devised to remain unresolved. Methodically creating psychological disturbance with no mutual gain is simply sociopathic.
posted by methinks at 2:51 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


prank?
here is a prank.
posted by clavdivs at 3:05 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


C, WAA.
posted by Decani at 4:00 PM on January 11, 2011


You know, when I was 16, in the Sixties, a friend and I would photograph license plates just to get a reaction or make people think or something. I have no idea what the fuck we were thinking. But apparently this must be a strange cultural brain virus or something: making people paranoid on purpose. I do not understand it. I suppose we were just doing the equivalent of what my brother did: do a driveby on peoples' mailboxes with a baseball bat. Psychological vandalism. So all those above who peg this prank as cruel are right. So is the dude who invoked white privilege. Try doing this in a turban!
posted by kozad at 4:09 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a little off-topic, but I'm compelled to note that the jackvalefilms youtube channel also boasts a remarkable collection of farting-in-public prank videos. Over 100 of them, easy. That's some true ultimate dedication to craft.
posted by flechsig at 4:49 PM on January 11, 2011


Not really a fan of this kind of comedy. I put it in the same class as this. I suppose if you look at it as a slightly twisted breaching experiment you could find it interesting. I just feel bad for people who are minding their own business, doing nothing wrong, and get singled out like this.
posted by Ritchie at 4:52 PM on January 11, 2011


I'm pretty sure a good many of the shoppers were thinking what I would be thinking: that the guy was part of store security. Kinda prickly, but not too menacing.

If he did this on the crosstown bus, however...
posted by jeremy b at 5:07 PM on January 11, 2011


Yeah, this guy needs to work on the distinction between "prankster" and "A-hole." Just as we need to work on the distinction between Metafilter and Fark.
posted by eritain at 5:45 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just learned that the background vocals in the Paranoid song posted by hippybear were performed by Michael Jackson. Also, I would freak out in the video, I am naturally paranoid.
posted by bquarters at 6:49 PM on January 11, 2011


I wouldn't know what to do if someone was doing that to me.

I do. And then I'd finally be able to answer that nagging science question: would the cell tower still be able to detect a signal from there?
posted by Twang at 7:33 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


guy is a wanker. The best prank i ever was part of, though a not first mover was against the Vice President of the United States. Oh, it was legal and everyone had a laugh.

your going bullshit right:)
heh

posted by clavdivs at 8:27 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


His prank fails when the targets are people who would rightly feel vulnerable if stalked in a public space. That's more than being an asshole. That's being a pussy.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:01 PM on January 11, 2011


Its good that its online. Sooner or later the tables will be turned.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 10:23 PM on January 11, 2011


I do agree. this was "jive". not cool.
Perhaps one should have the prank fit the subject matter, for instance anything. Well, how do you do that. One should be up front with the reason of said prank to even to risk the subject matter calling the cops and that’s not good.
A theme is good. Wry is always safe. The object, a prank, is to be fooled or be the fool fooled is better, because the question of first mover becomes even clearer and this is what could be called the inverted Newhart maneuver. The referent should be clear but opaque which is kind of weird. thought and inspiration is also handy.
posted by clavdivs at 10:28 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you look at this guys previous videos, this is is a new gag for him - he's been doing fart jokes for the last 150 or so videos. That's right, this dude has done over a hundred videos of making farting sounds in public places. It has to be a world record or something.
posted by Brent Parker at 10:34 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to watch all of these, but I viewed 4 and a little bit of 3, and he seems to be getting better.

I've experienced the feeling that someone in public was talking about me, and then felt dumb when I realized it was just a coincidence. Being able to willfully generate that self-doubt really is funny. The problem is that most of the time he isn't generating doubt because he isn't being subtle or tactful enough. If you don't generate doubt, you just look like a punk or a security guard. You don't want to make people annoyed at you, you want to make them second-guess themselves.

Sometimes he comes much closer to that and that's kind of funny. Instead of making four videos he should have left most of this on the cutting room floor and shared several of the best. Otherwise I think this would have been more enjoyable if it had been executed by someone with more ability to pull it off. "Offensive humor" is always just another name for a botched job on potentially funny subject matter.
posted by dgaicun at 11:20 PM on January 11, 2011


And the creepiness is ramped up when you realize it's all women.

No they're not.
posted by dobbs at 11:25 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh i should clarify, former Vice President of the United States.
all legal all open and HAHA.
no investigation and thats the magic.
gee golly willierkins these days call for clarity in comedy
posted by clavdivs at 11:27 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


My problem with this is the lack of subtlety. I liked the one where he just walked by and said she put the thing back on the second shelf and she's got bread in her cart. And that was it. It's just enough so that maybe he got caught accidentally rather than clearly trying to get caught. Then you follow that same woman home you describe her to a friend and maybe have that friend take lots of pictures of her while she's picking her kids up from school. Then maybe you put an envelope in her newspaper in the morning with a folded letter that says "SQUIRE 14 there's been an incident proceed with caution". Then maybe you get a laser pointer and shine it through her window on her husband's head and light off an m-80.
posted by I Foody at 6:22 AM on January 12, 2011


okay, i found it funny.
i think i'm a bad person.
On the other hand, I hate shopping so much that if I were actually creeped out by this, it would make the shopping experience more entertaining.
But it does make me sad that some person who might fear that their hearing is going or senility is advancing would be PTSD'd by this
posted by angrycat at 8:20 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The total lack of Friend Computer and Alpha Complex made this entirely disappointing.
posted by Shepherd at 8:54 AM on January 12, 2011


Most younger men would have beat the crap out of him. He has a good sense for who to stay away from.
posted by naplesyellow at 10:04 AM on January 12, 2011


I would kick him in the balls!
(now that's funny.)
posted by QueerAngel28 at 11:08 AM on January 12, 2011


The people's reaction is not paranoia but suspicion.
posted by semmi at 6:52 PM on January 12, 2011


I guess I'm a horrible person because I quite enjoyed this Trolling of the Old People.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:58 PM on January 12, 2011


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