This story was all over the wire services Wednesday morning. I have to think website operators have been answering calls and filling orders all day as a result.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A video company paid homeless men $50 to be filmed while scantily clad women punched, kicked and whipped them, according to a lawsuit filed this month in a Florida court.
Lawyers for two homeless men said the website www.shefights.net sells videos on the internet of the so-called “beatdowns,” starting at $2.99 for a two-minute “sparring session” clip and increasing in price to $33.99 for a 33 minute clip of two women beating a man.
The lawsuit contends the beatings violate a state hate crimes law that specifically protects the homeless and that the producers are exploiting the poverty of transients for whom any cash is hard to come by.
“What type of society would allow this to happen?” said Neil Chonin, the lawyer for the homeless men. “This company preyed on people who are desperate.” — Miami Hurled
Not everybody is upset by this development. For example, when I find myself seated next to Claude Gonatz at a Rotary meeting, I hear an entirely different perspective. Gonatz, it turns out, is a Tallahassee-based ‘Pub fundraiser.
“Here you have a perfect example of what the Governor has been urging since his campaign,” he says, enthisiastically. “Here are homeless people getting creative about earning a living rather than just lining up for handouts.”
Creative, alright. Think they were holding ‘Will Get Whipped For Food’ signs?
“My guess is they were probably approached by the company owners and offered gainful employment. Nobody kidnapped them and forced them; in fact, some freely admit they worked multiple days, and were paid accordingly.”
Careerists. I got it. You also heard that some of these homeless are mentally ill and disabled? And that some are veterans with PTSD?
“Of course. They probably figured out that with the Governor’s proposed budget cuts to Florida veterans’ and disability services, they needed to take charge of their own lives and find a revenue source. That’s how incentives are supposed to work.”
So you figure Gov Dickwithears takes this news as affirming his Put Florida to Work initiative. Shefights.net is a positive contribution to the economy and culture.
“Absolutely. It’s film, right? Here’s an example of the arts flourishing without taxpayer subsidies. Here are unemployed disabled people earning their keep — gaining self esteem! And here are employers reaching out to underserved populations. It’s wonderful!”
Right up there with pill-dispensing pain med clinics. Can’t wait for some entrepreneur to set up dwarftoss.net and bumfighting.com. And the next Michael Vick.
“See, that’s just how the liberals distort things. You’re always trying to make victims out of everybody, then looking for ways to take hard-working taxpayers’ money to pay them off and buy their votes. Disgusting. I don’t even recognize the America you’ve reduced us to.”
Gotta admit your perspective is, um, unique.
Gonatz chuckles. “Maybe it is right now, but I promise you, it’s only the beginning, and you’ll see innovative changes just like this all over, not only here in Florida, but nationwide. This is the future, my friend. Your Governor is a pioneer. You should be honored you’ve got a front row seat for a show just starting.” Wiping his mouth with a flourish, he departs to floss his teeth.
Lunch at Rotary is rarely an epicurean treat, but I have to admit that after speaking to Claude Gonatz, everything tastes a little but worse than usual.