Two holier-than-thou cowards win one for the good guys.
As you watch the hugely viral video attributed to the Surprise Shower Guys of Allentown, Pennsylvania, what’s your assessment of the people being sprayed with revenge water? I bet you’re glad to be dry, for one, but you’re probably happy you’re not in their shoes for other reasons as well. Folks urinating in backstreet doorways must be in pretty bad shape, right? They’re probably not good people.
In fact, from the handy voiceover provided by the video’s creators, we know they’re not. Apparently, we know how “these people” think and talk, too: they’re the “animals” we’re always hearing about. And here they are, in their native habitat – an alley.
Look, at first I laughed too. But after the fifth or sixth spray, my gut told me there was something wrong here, and it starts with the arrogance conveyed by the video’s creators. Their camera looks down on people seeking a lousy 40 seconds of relief, and with their belittling, racist voiceovers, they clearly do too. But how many of them – and us – are really above peeing in an alley when the need arises?
Why would we clap and cheer as people are humiliated and bullied, as the hose spray follows them and ultimately turns them away? Is this video supposed to make us think like “we” scored one for the good guys? ‘Cause it feels more like an excuse to mock people who are different – and in many cases less privileged. Or like a coupla’ sanctimonious cowards hiding behind law and order rhetoric.
Don’t get me wrong: there’s no question that having to sign for a delivery while being hit with nose-sucking wafts of stale urine is awful. But so is the the militarization of urban space, an exclusionary society whose architects design benches that can’t be slept on, toilet-less commercial districts, and business plazas made difficult to enter for meanderers, unfamiliars, and of course, the poor. So is a world in which the wealthy close the door behind them, leaving the rest of us out here in our “native habitat.” But more and more, that seems to be the world we live in. I’m sure it’s just me, but I’ve damn well seen enough of the world getting off on the humiliation of black people – security camera footage especially.
I’m also biased ‘cause I’ve pissed in loading docks, alleyways, and door stoops. I’ve been royally shit-faced doing it, other times sober, and sometimes even ashamed. And the next time I find myself ready to explode and whip out the tap in the Gap, I’ll probably do it again. And I’ve got $20 that says the guys behind the video have done the exact same thing on other people’s delivery doors, the pious hypocrites.
The rightness or wrongness of public urination is moot: of course it’s not morally wrong, except perhaps to some scowling stroller pusher walking by. It isn’t evil. It’s inconsiderate, yes, and selfish too, but when you’re dizzy with piss panic and you finally find three square feet of hidden brick, who cares? Just don’t get all high ‘n mighty (or racist) when stating your views on the matter because we all live in a glass house.
I’ve decided the Surprise Shower guys are generally a couple of dickless, mid-level jock-tyrants who think their needs are more important than others’. But nothing makes ‘em bigger A-holes than editing into the video their swaggering, bigoted voiceovers of how them poor black folk talk. By the end of the clip I was daydreaming of these chicken-shit Musketeers being chased by a wave of hog farm poop foam, or even better, confronted by some of their victims. Hope it’s on camera when their teeth get kicked in – in that very same alley.