Monday, February 23, 2009

Kalashnikovs and Kids...

A recent article in Le Post tells the story of a surveillant (someone who supervises, usually exams) at a lycée (high school) in Nimes who has been fired for his personal videos that are circulating the internet.

32-year old Julien Combe has been fired one month in on a 3-year contract with the school after the administration deemed his homemade videos circulating on the internet to be violence-inciting and incompatible with his role at the school. Many of his videos talk about his Marxist, atheist, and pro-revolution beliefs.

Apparently the video that caught the school's attention was the one where he complains about the noise coming from the street during the Nimes Feria, and says that he is going to get his old friend the Kalashnikov to silence the noisemakers. The video then goes on to show him don a black face mask, get the gun and some dynamite out, go out of sight of his webcam and all the viewer then hears is the sound of automatic gun fire and people screaming. Very realistic, although he does later say in court in his defense that the gun in the video was fake. Nice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for personal rights for freedom of expression, but I have to say I agree with the establishment on this one. This actual makes me feel a bit sick. After all the gun violence at schools in recent years, surely this type of video can only be considered to be in bad taste. I know I probably sound naive; there are probably thousands of videos out there exactly like this, but I suppose it's because this one was made by someone who lives 2 hours away from me that it touches a nerve.

The internet is such a powerful thing, and I think we learn more and more each day exactly how powerful it is. Who is to say that the opinions I express here should be any more tolerable than those of someone who jokes about firing an automatic weapon on a crowd of innocent people? Why should the freedom of expression I enjoy be denied to someone just because they prefer to talk about atheism?

I guess the main difference is that there is no precedent of someone who writes a French lifestyle blog going on to kill innocent children in a school, but it has only been about 1 month since the last maker of homemade violent videos attacked a nursery in Belgium.

Does that mean everyone who makes video sketches about guns is a psycho? Probably not. And who is to say that just because I find it distasteful, other people don't? I'm just trying to understand why or how anyone who works with kids could think that making a video featuring an automatic weapon could be vaguely clever or funny...

4 comments:

Dedene said...

Creepy. France is becoming one large US banlieue. How sad.

Melissaand3boys said...

That is extremely creepy. I would definitely be concerned about someone who create something so vile. To even think it is pretty scary, let alone put it out there for others to see.

La Mom said...

Wow, I agree with you on this one too. If I were a parent and had seen that video, I would have been afraid to send my kid to that school.

A Work In Progress.. said...

While this is very creepy, I also find myself asking just how much interaction le surveillant has with the students. He did have a contract, and his behavior on the job should take precedent over his personal beliefs. If he disagreed with the school on something I doubt he would have been able to break the contract without repercussions.