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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ramifications

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about the two DJ's involved in the 'prank' that went so tragically wrong last week.  Actually, I was thinking more about what I was like when young and eager. When I 'had the world by the balls' -- so to speak...

The case of the two DJs from Australia is so graphic -- so sure were they of their success and future careers one moment and so broken the next. I can remember having that intoxicating feeling that nothing could or would ever stand in the way of my success in whatever endeavour I was exploring at the time.

So I do identify with their youth and to some extent the quandary in which they find themselves. The problem is we can so easily forget when we are young that the universe does not revolve around us -- that there are other people in the equations of our lives.

In their interview I was touched by their obvious chagrin and despair. But I was also surprised by the seeming lack of understanding about the cause of their predicament. Prank telephone calls made thousands of miles away to people you don't know about information that is none of your business. Did it not occur to anyone that the people on the other end of the phone could lose their jobs -- or receive severe reprimands?

The story is now already 'yesterday's news'. But the ramifications are no less severe for the people whose lives are irreversibly changed. Which is another indictment of our society's capacity to indulge in the salacious, the embarrassing with eagerness, greedily soaking up the information, reacting and then becoming bored with the nitty-gritty of detail. And in the meantime, lives are shattered and hearts are broken.

41 comments:

  1. This is all so true, Broad, and like you I think it is more the fault of our celebrity-obsessed culture than of two thoughtless but not malicious young people, eager for a scoop to further their careers. If there wasn't such a ready market for such material, no-one would do these things. The same is true of the phone-hacking scandal. Intrusive 'news' sells papers and boosts audiences.

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    1. And then sooner or later the choice of a free press! What is to me most disturbing is that it would seem that this is considered part of the job -- taped, presented to the station's legal team...

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  2. I find absolutely nothing with which I would disagree.
    I have found that there is very little on popular radio I can relate with. I will listen to straight news... sometimes, otherwise it's the local NPR station playing an eclectic selection of modern and popular music.
    I feel bad for those young folks and what they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. Perhaps they will find a way to make amends. I am really sorry for the family of the nurse.
    Overall, the media that's become so obsessed with the lives of the famous have created the scenario where this happened.

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    1. I don't listen to this type of radio either -- I like my classical radio station and 5 minutes of news on the hour! I too feel sorry for the young people remembering how callous I could be from time to time and living to regret it. Fortunately for me there was never a tragic outcome I had to try to live with...

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  3. Good post and oh so true. the two comment above have said it all. Keep well Diane

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  4. I've nothing more to all. I listened to the tragedy discussed on BBC radio anda BBC "presenter" called this a "wind up" call, both new terms to me. I think, as aggregious as the original call was the great number of times it was replayed.

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    1. In Britain we only heard the beginning of the call and since the nurses death I haven't heard it replayed at all.

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  5. I feel so sorry for all the people involved and totally agree with everything you've said and the comments as well.

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    1. Thanks for your input, Molly. Much appreciated.

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  6. It was a tragedy. I don't think these people are criminals but they deserve to lose their jobs and the station should be severely fined so this doesn't happen again.

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    1. The difficulty is that it was part of their job to do this kind of thing -- approval was sought and given! My understanding is that this is very common practice in Australia.

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  7. It was a sad event. If the poor woman had not taken her own life, we wouldn't have been talking about this at all. I wish she had had a better support situation.

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    1. Yes -- and hopefully the other nurse involved is receiving the support she needs.

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  8. If there is even anyone to blame, then I would only accuse society as a whole. And, perhaps it is society and our culture that is to blame for the lack of help extended to anyone in a precarious and depressed situation. Not a couple of young pranksters. They only seem to be one more casualty in this whole mess.

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    1. Very wise words Rubye Jack. I totally agree.

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  9. Of course those two failed to think through sufficiently the possible outcome of their "prank" but could anybody have suspected that it might lead to somebody's death? How many times have all of us done something with unexpected results because we had committed the same "offence", ie failed to think through the possible outcome. In any case, my understanding is that the call was recorded and approved for broadcasting by somebody higher up the chain of command. If any heads should roll, that is where the action should start.

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    1. The 'buck' rarely stops where it should...

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  10. Invito - Italy
    Io sono brasiliano.
    Dedicato alla lettura di qui, e da visitare.
    Ho un blog molto semplice. Ti invito a farmi visita, e, se possibile seguire insieme per loro e con loro. Mi è sempre piaciuto scrivere, esporre e condividere le mie idee con le persone, a prescindere dalla classe sociale, credo religioso, l'orientamento sessuale, o, di Razza.
    Per me, ciò che il nostro interesse è lo scambio di idee, e, pensieri.
    'm non nello spazio Grullo mio, ti aspettano.
    Confessare, che sto seguendo il tuo blog.
    Forza, pace, gioia e amicizia
    Auguri Brasileiras.
    www.josemariacosta.com


    Invitation - Inglês
    I'm Brazilian.
    Spent reading here, and visit.
    I have a very simple blog. I'm inviting you to visit me, and if possible follow together for them and with them. I always liked to write, expose and share my ideas with people, regardless of class Social, Religious Creed, the Sexual Orientation, or, of Ethnicity.
    To me, what will interest is our exchange of ideas, and, thoughts.
    'm there in my space Simpleton, waiting for you.
    Confess, that I am following your blog.
    Strength, Peace, Joy and Friendship
    Greetings Brasileiras.
    www.josemariacosta.com

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  11. Dear Broad, you've said it all. And so well. Thank you for putting into words the muddled thoughts I've had about this story. Peace.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Dee...

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  12. What was the management of their radio station thinking of not to put an immediate damper on it?

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  13. You have expressed my feelings so very well. Yes, we do stupid things when we are young, but in addition, these two used the power of being on the air to play a prank on someone they didn't know. They were in fact using their professional positions to do this. And they are not little kids prank-calling. I thought there was an age limit for that, like 12, maybe. And as this shows, we never know how fragile the person on the receiving end may be. A very sad situation one can only hope a lesson has been learned.

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    1. I sure do hope that 'lessons have been learned'...

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  14. Hi Mate, As an Australian I was mortified by that Prank call. I do feel it was in bad taste and also that respect has gone out of the window with many young ones today. I was glad they gave humble apologies, although I recognized what they were saying had been rehearsed, probably by their radio studio. This may sound hard.... but as a professional I read body language and I felt although they were sad to have caused a predicament they were also feeling the pangs of possible unemployment if they messed up again. As an R.N. I put myself in the OTHER nurses shoes. It is a total no no to give information about a patient over the phone, UNLESS a patient nominates one person who can receive that information. However, if you imagined that person on the other end as a member of the royal family or possibly the Queen herself, you would feel obligated to tell. Perhaps this particular nurse had been bullied at that hospital and was told off for leaking what she shouldn't have?? All this is very possible and could have contributed. Its a sad case all around. I pray in the end that people THINK before intruding on another's personal business.

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    1. Indeed, the press has been reporting that in notes that she left she complained about the lack of support from the hospital... Thanks for your input, Mary. It's good to hear from an Australian about this.

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  15. I can add nothing to the discussion that hasn't already been said. It is tragic that the woman killed herself, but I still have sympathy for the Australians facing unintended consequences of their prank call. I'm tired of Kate's pregnancy and we've got months and months to go!

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    1. Yes months to go -- and then years after that!

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  16. I'm extremely sad for the woman who ended her life over this insulting intrusion. I'm appalled that these young people on radio didn't have the sense to understand the invasion of privacy in which they were engaging. And I cannot believe that their producer let them even try it.

    I agree with Rubye Jack on this one. (As I usually do.) What have we come to, really?

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  18. Sad all around. Seemed more-or-less innocent fun to the folks on one end of the phone, but deadly serious (truly so, unfortunately) to the person on the other end. Your point about our society going from one salacious story to the next, without much of a glance backwards, is a good one, though. The story that tars someone plays on the front page. The retraction will be at the bottom of page 42.

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    1. Oh I do agree with you -- I find it so unfair when papers make mistakes on the front page and hide their retractions where few are likely to see them.

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    ReplyDelete
  20. I spent days just thinking about this and how people fine it funny to play with other people's lives. We dehumanize others so much that we can't ever put ourselves in their shoes. we are truly disgusting. It is such a shame. Thank you for writing about it. I am glad at least some of us care :)

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!