ON THE TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS September 15, 2014 # 506 Next…”You’re on Candid Camera!”
After further review…”Smile, you’re on Candid Camera” was one of the world’s best-known phrases for a couple of generations. The show started in 1947 with Candid Camera on the radio (look it up, kids) and segued to television for the reminder of its long life on the air. Its premise was simple: a concealed camera filmed ordinary people confronted with outlandish challenges to their wits and patience, until creator/host Allen Funt made a sudden appearance and delivered his signature line. Viewers feasted on the guilty pleasure of other people’s embarrassment for close to 30 years!
That formerly hidden camera is now everywhere capturing everything. Allen Funt’s son Peter still manages the Candid Camera brand, but that iconic lens has long since given way to the millions of digital recording devices found everywhere, from the smartphone (is “smart” the best modifier to use?) to the ubiquitous security devices found anywhere a screw can be driven. However, no one’s gonna pop-up with that “smile” line. A camera in the elevator was the location of the now-infamous video portraying Ray Rice’s felonious battery on his fiancé Janay (now his wife). It has aired more frequently than a Geico commercial, and it shows a gruesome attack.
I will never understand how any male (of presumed superior size and strength) can willfully, physically assault a female. I was raised in an environment that emphasized respect for all women, starting with my mother. What she stood for (and similarly what she would not “stand-for”) was valued by my very athletic, masculine, yet gentle, father. The example of their loving and supportive relationship was all the education I needed. We were fortunate in my family.
A significant portion of today’s society apparently had no such healthy models to learn from; but decent behavior can be learned — and it’s never too late. Violence surrounds us, both in the real world and in the entertainment worlds, but it can be mitigated through heightened awareness. To that end, the Rice video can serve a valuable purpose: it’s a cold, sharp look at the true face of domestic violence. That video can also play a pivotal role in how professional athletes can help educate the public about decency. It’s easy to understand why peace officers find “the call” to investigating domestic disturbances to be among their most chilling encounters. Civility should not be a luxury in our culture. It is the responsibility of each of us to make civility commonplace.
Will you do your part to help others understand the values of a positive home environment?
Jim’s new book “101 Best of TunneySide of Sports” has several examples of civility.