I was thinking today about an episode of Frasier, where our lovable Dr. Crane is annoyed by being the butt of repeated impoliteness. The last straw breaks the camel’s back as a table he had been waiting for at a café is taken by a man who just arrived. Frasier loses it, decides to give him an “etiquette lesson” and physically throws him out.
The moral of the story becomes clear later, as his show’s listeners hear of his “heroic” act and teach others “etiquette lessons” of their own, answering inconsiderateness with more and more violent acts. Frasier appeals for calm, having learned his lesson that fighting fire with fire doesn’t work.
Claude Landry clearly hasn’t seen that episode, or he wouldn’t be whoring this YouTube video to the media. In it, he spots a man emptying his car’s ashtray onto the sidewalk, grabs a handful of it and throws it in the driver’s lap.
Now, the story has been picked up by CTV, CBC and The Gazette (who are still unable to link to YouTube videos in their stories), skyrocketing its exposure to over 35,000 views. According to CTV, the video even got the mayor’s blessing (this according to his brother Marcel — I guess CTV is unable to get quotes from the mayor himself). Since when is assault something that is encouraged by politicians? Did it come in a package deal with the new pro-racist agenda of the Quebec election campaign?
I’m not saying I’m perfect. Just yesterday on my way home, I got one of my buttons pushed as some inconsiderate kid tried to get on the bus without waiting in line. I nudged my way in front of him, pushing him back lightly in the process. I thought it was a bad-ass move, but I don’t consider myself a hero for it.
None of the mainstream press is making this point yet, and the blogosphere (well, the four posts I’ve found so far) is split. Basil is on my side. Dave is not. Neither is Mark. Or Grame. What’s your take?
UPDATE: Dave has a lengthy reply to my post on his blog.