On Thanksgiving the TV producer Elan Gale was on a plane. A woman behind him was being rude to the flight attendants, and Elan began live tweeting the whole thing. It’s all storified here:
The majority of his Twitter followers applauded his decision to repeatedly tell Diane to eat his dick, even though she was wearing a surgical mask and might have been really sick.
He was delighted and wrote a tumblr about it. In it he sounded - as someone tweeted me - as sincere as a Miss World contestant:
"Let me just say this: What started off as an annoyance became a pleasure because of you people. Seriously. More than anything. I love you …A lot of people have been really nice to me and called me a hero today. It’s really fun to hear but it’s not true. Our troops are heroes. Fire fighters and policemen are heroes. Doctors and teachers are heroes. Flight attendants and pilots and waiters and baristas…It’s OUR job to tell every Diane to shut up. It’s OUR duty to put the Diane’s of the world in their place. We outnumber them.”
Then the backlash began. People called him a vile hipster twat. (I agreed with those people, although Elan and I had a DMd conversation in which he came over as nice). He went from being a shamer to a shamee at lightening speed. Now he’s basically confessed that Diane never actually existed.
For the past two years I’ve been writing a book about public shaming. It’s still not finished, but a couple of weeks ago I gave a short speech about it at the Mumsnet festival in London. Here’s a video of it. The You Tube screenshot handily reveals what I would look like if I was Hitler.
It’s my first animated video! (Not animated by me, thankfully) but the wonderful Scott Coello
Meet me in Toronto: November 8-10
Paxman vs Brand. Full Interview. Brand is very eloquent and compelling. Recommended viewing!
Susan Sontag, As Consciousness Is Harnessed To Flesh.