Would you freak out if one of your co-workers posted a You Tube video referencing the brutal massacre of Amish school girls in a down economy, after a round of layoffs when morale is only creeping up to just tolerable? I’m not sure if freak out is the right word. Disturbed maybe. But when you’re working in an industry where employees have to establish an anonymous blog to keep each other updated about pending layoffs (last year and the year before that but nothing so far this year) anything is cause for concern. But I’m not sure if a recent video posted by a Dallas Morning News employee (it’s not clear if he is a current or former employee) is cause for scandal. It’s not quite the ‘Up in the Air’ freak out moment rumors have made it out to be in my biased blogger opinion. Hell, I’d be scared if what was posted anonymously on the DMN cuts blog, said in bars or whispered in cubicles last year made its way to You Tube. A lot of us would have been facing restraining orders!
But when when this video surfaced last week it caught the attention of some folks at 508 Young Street and myself. The video makes repeated references the 2006 Amish school shooting the subject of which will be featured in the Lifetime movie “Amish Grace” this weekend. In the video, pop ups detail the scene in 2006 including the way the girls were shot “execution style”. Jelly Honk’s lyrics include a ranting melody of ‘no more, no more, no more’ and ‘drop your guns, drop your guns, drop your guns’. The lyrics reference both violence and forgiveness and the video is dedicated to, “the children of Nickel Mines whose bravery in their final hour changed my life forever, inspiring faith against fear.” So do you freak out watching a video like this if it’s your co-worker or cubicle mate or call artistic freedom and file it away in ‘things I never knew about that guy’ and move on? Are we being over dramatic? HOH: the House of Honk has several videos that feature his talents with a guitar and harmonica. I actually like his style, but nowadays every body has that little niggling doubt in their mind: is this the mentally disturbed student who’ll freak out and blast us all to heaven? or is she the wacknut professor who’ll kill us if she doesn’t make tenure? or the condiment client who’ll shoot me and my son over money?
Normally, we all might laugh off a video like this but these aren’t normal times. And scenes from Up in the Air, where employees swiped all the items off desks, cried, got angry and threatened to commit suicide after being laid off by George Clooney and Anna Kendrick’s characters, only highlighted the problem. Lots of people were angry, frustrated, depressed, drunk and possibly thinking maniacal thoughts about their bosses when the layoff went down April 7 on Young Street last year. And not just the people who were laid off. But no one acted out any violent fantasies. And I’m not going to go into the security at the building but I understand why employees might be concerned. Why anyone might be concerned really. But before go casting aspersions, give a You Tube artist his due. Sometimes a music video is just that: music. Feelings, emotions that are especially poignant now. Rock on House of Honk! But be careful what you post.