juldea: (hold me!)
[personal profile] juldea
90 second video. I really don't want to say too much about this, because the message is strongest if you go into it blank. It doesn't take up a lot of your time. Sound is not necessary for the message, though apparently the song used is powerful for some people.



Video shows a busy pedestrian intersection of a Swiss city. A person in a teddy bear suit stands still as pedestrians wander by, staring. Eventually the bear begins to open his arms at passers-by, as if asking for a hug. After several refusals, a young male happily steps up to hug the bear. A montage follows of people from all walks of life hugging this massive teddy bear in their city street. The bear even pats several dogs that are brought to him. At the end of the video, the person in the bear suit removes the head of the suit to show he is a man with facial traits that suggest mental disability. As he stares challengingly into the camera, the text "Do we need to disguise ourselves to get closer?" is shown, followed by the text, "Get closer." The view flips to a rear view of the man walking away from the camera and shows the text "Pro Infirmis. We make handicaps disappear."

I have said to a few people how I have ended up in a job field I didn't really expect to--accessible education--but I really, really am pleased with the extra skills and experience I'm getting in a facet of the world I really didn't interact with much before. I recognize the lengths that I still need to go in facing my own accessibility discrimination, and this video really hits home to me. I cried for pretty much the second half of it after figuring out what was going on (I knew going into it that it was about disability awareness, so it was easy to figure out.)

on 14 Oct 2011 03:18 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] occultatio.livejournal.com
I, uh, didn't find that particularly powerful, because I spent most of the video being creeped out by the giant cartoony bear, and wondering, "what ulterior motive does the person in the suit have for wanting a lot of hugs?" I thought it was going to be a child safety PSA or something with a twist ending.

Let's not go into what that says about my assumptions.

on 14 Oct 2011 03:26 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] juldea.livejournal.com
Actually, a LOT of the YouTube comments mention pedobear. :P

Hm. Maybe I'm wrong about how powerful it becomes when seen blank, since I didn't go into it that way?

on 14 Oct 2011 03:27 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] occultatio.livejournal.com
Well, Alexa spent the whole video going "awwww," so I guess you're 1 for 2 in our house.

on 14 Oct 2011 11:59 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] redfishie.livejournal.com
I had the same...ehh...pedobear reaction..."Why is there a giant plush bear in that street for no apparent reason?" etc.

on 14 Oct 2011 16:55 (UTC)
swashbucklr: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] swashbucklr
I think one unfortunate aspect of our culture is that many things that have once seemed innocent have been stripped of that nature. Perhaps it's an aspect of the "culture of fear" that creates this reaction. Certainly, a lack of trust and community reinforces it. I also think a lot of the darker corners of the internet embrace this kind of destruction of innocence with a "creeper" mentality that disturbs me somewhat, and thus the "pedobear" comments on Youtube.

Personally, I liked the ad. I like almost anything where the message is about overcoming barriers to trust and closeness, really.

Except Evangelion. I can't stand that anime. :P

re: Music

on 14 Oct 2011 03:44 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] etherial.livejournal.com
I <3 Band of Horses.

on 14 Oct 2011 03:51 (UTC)
ext_267559: (Us)
Posted by [identity profile] mr-teem.livejournal.com
Hee! I recognized it as soon as his arms started moving: it's an autohug! [livejournal.com profile] citabria has one.

on 14 Oct 2011 03:55 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rigel.livejournal.com
Wow.

on 14 Oct 2011 10:17 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] corwyn-ap.livejournal.com
Nice.

on 14 Oct 2011 14:52 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kestrell.livejournal.com
On the subject of going into something totally blank, I don't hink that is possible, and i's definitely difficult in our meida-saturated age where people get very used to making judgements about media before they ever experience it. Just knowing you, I was assuming this would have something to do with performance and, because Alexx recommended it to me, I knew it wouldn't involve abuse of women or children, or creepy sexual predators. Can I ask how you found this video? I'm just curious because of course the setting in which you first heard of it would give you some hint of the content.

On the content: pretty cool use of performance to illustrate a message that PWD try to communicate on a daily basis. Recently, I was trying to figure out specifically why I view my undergrad time at UMass Boston as so horrible, and what I realized was that, aside form professors who told me explicitly or implicitly that they didn't want me in their class, other students wouldn't talk to me. I mean, there were about half a dozen other students who would talk to me during the entire two years, bu tin most of my classes, and on the bus, and in the halls, other students ignored me. If they were passing out class handouts, they would just skip me. If I asked if a seat was taken, they would ignore me. If I went to the burser or registration, the workers would pretend they weren't there. That's why I say the social isolation of disability can be a lot worse than the physical stuff that a person just deals with.

Last comment: you are an awesome describer! Not as awesome as Alexx, of course *grin* but I would definitely give you the Kestrell stamp of approval. Also, the video did not activate for me, despite my clicking on the link--this is why I often include the URL when I post links to media.

on 17 Oct 2011 20:48 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] juldea.livejournal.com
I found the video on Tumblr, following the site The Daily What. The direct URL to their posting is http://thedailywh.at/2011/10/13/psa-of-the-day-28/.

I totally get what you mean about being unable to go in blank. If I could go back, I'd try to set people up more to expect the right tone of message, since I could do that without spoiling the actual reveal of the video.

Thanks for the compliment on my description!

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