As far as I’m aware, a prank is a form of practical joke which is funny because the recipient was put into a strange/weird/outrageous situation. I’ve watched plenty of prank videos on the internet and found many of them to be hilarious.
Lately though, the definition of prank seems to have changed by a load of morons who use it as an excuse for acting inappropriately or performing a criminal act against a stranger in public. Apparently, they think yelling out “it was a prank,” works as a pathetic form of defence whilst somebody rightfully loses their shit and tries to knock the persons teeth out for being a shitty human being.
In the competition to score the most views on YouTube, modern pranks seem to have become nothing more than a competition to see who can do the most offensive, awkward and criminal act without having the crap belted out of them.
I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking that I need to lighten up. The truth is that I have a great sense of humour and can definitely appreciate a good prank. Coming from a radio background, I’ve done some stupid shit in my time and pulled off some elaborate pranks, however they were always stupid, harmless and nowhere near criminal. The difference is that the pranks we pulled on radio were done with the sole intention of being funny and entertaining, not to be as offensive and cringe-worthy as possible.
Sexual harassment isn’t a prank
I’m a guy and last time I checked, woman don’t appreciate sexual harassment.
In one video, a guy walks down the street and engages random woman in conversation before pinching their bum and blaming it on a passer by. Um sorry, that isn’t a prank, it is sexual harassment and it isn’t funny. Despite getting over a million views, the video caused quite a backlash, and rightly so, because it’s fucking disgusting.
In another video, two guys who walk past random women and literally sweep them off their feet. What if it wasn’t a “prank” but somebody was actually picking them up to kidnap them? I’m sure that’s a thought which went through the mind of each of these poor girls. I’m sure that fear went through the mind of every single girl, and that is just not on. I didn’t laugh once. The only way the video would have been funny is if one of the girls pulled out a taser and hit the guy right in the eyeball.
Now I’m the first person to call somebody out for being overly politically correct. But there’s a difference between being stupidity politically correct and being downright offensive and degrading, the same way as there’s a difference between doing an actual prank and committing a borderline criminal act against somebody.
Would the reaction have been the same if instead of attractive, clean, young guys, it was dirty, smelly, homeless men doing the same thing? I doubt it, I think there would be uproar. How are these girls supposed to act when they know they are about to be put on YouTube for everyone to see. Most of the girls in the video try to politely brush them off with a nervous giggle and even an awkward thanks. But just because they laughed it off, doesn’t mean that they liked it.
If somebody did that to my fiancée in the street, I know exactly how she would react. She would try to brush it off as a joke at the time. I also know how personally violated she would feel afterwards, how long it would play on her mind, and how long it would take her to get over those feelings.
The simple fact of the matter is that this kind of “prank” isn’t funny. It plays upon the vulnerability of women as males display dominant behaviour over them for their own amusement. In short, it targets their fears and treats them as objects. I bet they wouldn’t try grabbing another guys dick as he walked past because there is a high probability that they would cop a punch square in the face.
What about the possibility of trauma? If a person has previously been a victim of sexual abuse or comes from an abusive relationship, it could have terrible consequences for the target of the so-called prank. Whilst one simple act may not cause this reaction in the majority of women, these “pranksters” don’t know the background of any of their targets or how this one act could increase their ongoing fear of men and poor self worth.
A criminal act isn’t a prank
It isn’t just women being targeted though. Although the men aren’t targeted sexually, these so-called “pranksters” do target a certain demographic in their video as they seek a specific kind of reaction.
Take this guy who asks to use a persons phone then runs off with it. Or these dumbasess, who walk past people using their mobile phones, snatch them out of their hands, then run off. When people move to beat the shit out of him he yells that it’s a prank and seems surprised. Sorry again but taking a strangers mobile phone isn’t a prank either, it is theft and regardless of whether the phone is given back or not, I would react the same way as the victims act here.
Then there is the guy who pretends to steal petrol from peoples cars but was actually just pouring water into a bucket. I hate to break it to you, but regardless of whether you are committing a crime or just pretending to commit a crime, neither could be classed as a prank.
Oh, and this guy who pretends to steal a car then seems surprised that the person turned his face into a human punching bag and called the cops who locked him up. How the hell do you “pretend” to steal a strangers car then call it a prank then and expect to not get arrested you fucking idiot? Would you pretend to shoot somebody on the street and yell out “it was a prank” when the cops show up and drop a clip full of bullets in your stupid ass without a second thought?
When enough is enough
These idiots lack the mental capacity to know when to stop which means, sooner rather than later, one of them is going to do the wrong thing to the wrong person and get themselves killed. When this happens, you would think it would serve as a wake-up call to other so-called YouTube “pranksters”, but in the never-ending battle for views, I doubt it will make the slightest bit of difference.