I know it’s like totally a conspiracy or whatever, but your voluntarily chosen behaviour really does have consequences. In the real world. For other people. You know, those people who you expect to respect you and take responsibility for you while you refuse to acknowledge or respect their rights or safety.
Cycling through red lights is particularly stupid, and threatens the safety of pedestrians. Cyclists are threatened by car drivers and feel weak, but this no justification for them behaving in a similarly arrogant and threatening manner to pedestrians who are even weaker. You know, like the Jewish people of Europe being persecuted by Nazi Germany, then Israel evicting Palestinians from their homes and herding them into ghettos. How like metaphorically ironic is that?
So I’m pleased to see that the Victorian Police are going to focus on cyclists who ride through red lights and not wearing helmets. Which brings me to a related topic – the stupidity of showing people doing illegal things on television, particularly in documentaries. I watched the doco on Melbourne restaurant Lentil as Anything via Youtube recently (playlist), and was aghast at what I saw.
First, the behaviour and attitude of founder Shanaka. He appears to be a sociopath. Consider his indifference to the complete mess he made of his business, and his carelessness about endangering the livelihoods of staff and suppliers by failing to pay them, in relation to the common symptoms of antisocial personality disorder:
- Persistent lying or stealing
- Superficial charm
- Apparent lack of remorse or empathy; inability to care about hurting others
- Impulsivity and/or recklessness
- Lack of realistic, long-term goals — an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals
- Tendency to violate the boundaries and rights of others
- Persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social rules, obligations, and norms
Shanaka has all of these and more. Lentil as Anything complain on their website that the doco was too negative; I think it was amazingly positive and Shanaka’s failings should have resulted in numerous legal proceedings, not least for his negligence as an employer.
Lentil As Anything had no say in the final production of the documentary on sbs… It is unfortunate that such a priceless occasion was spent focusing on our financial status and the emotions of some staff… What sbs has achieved is a misrepresentation and often gross fabrication…
Absurdly, they also state that:
Perhaps they could swallow their ridiculous hypocrisy and practice what they preach – take responsibility for your legal obligations as an employer and pay your staff, honour your debts and pay your suppliers, and meet your corporate responsibilities and don’t trade while insolvent.
Second, consider two scenes from the doco. In one, Shanaka is cycling through the streets of Melbourne without wearing a helmet. He is responsible for choosing to behave that way, but the filmmakers and SBS are responsible for showing us this image. It’s a small crime perhaps, that is likely to harm no one else, but head injuries cost taxpayers lots of money in health care. Not wearing a helmet represents indifference to the public health system and Australian taxpayers.
A still image from The Naked Lentil, episode 1
What kind of idiot filmmaker chooses to show their subjects breaking the law? This may incriminate the subject of their work. Why aren’t they trained to consider the legality of what they record? Having worked at the Australian Film Television and Radio School for two years, I can answer that by saying the precious darlings educated there are rarely held to account for anything lest it cramp their precious creativity.
While the director may not care, the producer should know better. They’re responsible for legal issues. What about the SBS commissioning people? Don’t they have guidelines on this? And the SBS legal people? What were they thinking? The whole lot of them should be prosecuted for the same offence as Shanaka. Their negligence is unconscionable.
Then there’s the scene of the chef driving while talking on his mobile phone. This is a much more serious crime because it has the potential to make a murderer of a moron. And no one else should have to share the roads with someone so selfish and stupid. He should lose his licence immediately for at least a year. No excuses. No pity. Ditto the producer and the SBS commissioning and legal people.
A still image from The Naked Lentil, episode 2
And the Police should inform Immigration of the issue. He doesn’t deserve to receive permanent residency if he refuses to demonstrate his willingness to obey the law of the country he wants to live in. You have to earn it and I call this snubbing it. These people appear indifferent to their obligations and responsbilities as residents and citizens of Australia. We don’t need them.