When I wrote, yesterday, about the short film that had gone viral on the net over the past couple of days... You know, the one about twenty strangers kissing one another, I wondered if, perhaps I was being a tad cynical...
It turns out I wasn’t being quite cynical enough.
Those twenty people might have been strangers. I don’t know whether they knew each other or not. They might even have been kissing for the first time. I don’t know wether they rehearsed or whether the whole thing was improvised on the spot.
They were, as it turns out, actors, employed to make a film advertising the clothes they were wearing.
I hope that Tatia Pilieva had enough integrity to at least technically keep her word when she made the statement: We asked twenty strangers to kiss for the first time.
I suppose she does.
But it’s difficult to believe someone that we perceive to be a deceiver when she has pulled the wool over our eyes by appealing to the romantic in us.
This sort of thing actually breeds cynicism.
Yesterday, I thought I was being cynical when I posed some questions about this short film, but there was doubt. Today, Tatia Pilieva has made me a cynic, because the next time I find myself charmed by something I’m bound to wonder who’s pulling the strings.
The same must be true for a great many other people.
And for what?
To sell clothes!
Well, the actors got a pay day out of it, and a snog.
Some of us got duped.
I wonder whether anyone will sell any clothes on the back of it.
Tatia Pilieva might have made a name for herself. She has certainly earned fifteen minutes of fame. And, obviously, she earned a fee. I’m not sure whether she’s earned what amounts to an increase in reputation, though. I certainly wonder whether she’s earned any respect. She hasn’t earned mine.
Don’t we feel manipulated?
Don’t we dislike her for that?
I do, and I was ambivalent about the film to begin with.
What about all those people who were charmed by the film? What about all those people who posted it on their FaceBook pages? who cooed over it? What about all those people who actually thought about kissing a stranger? What about them? What about the romantics? How cheated must they feel? And don’t they have a right?
Yes, they bloody well do.
Those people were used to promote a product. They weren’t given a choice, because they were totally unaware that’s what they were doing. Those people’s social networking spaces were used as free ad space. Their feelings were used as endorsements for products they hadn’t tried or tested and had not chosen to endorse.
That shows a huge lack of respect on the part of the people advertising the clothes and on the part of the film maker.
Those are the very people that deserve the most respect, because they are the innocents among us.
I’d like to remind those extraordinary people that kissing is still wonderful, that a first kiss can still hold some magic.
|No kissing, no clothes, no make-up:
a zero exploitation photo
I’d like to remind them that kissing a perfect stranger probably isn’t a terribly good idea, and that a first kiss should be a private, personal experience, not a spectator sport.
I hope all those lovely romantics will go on kissing people. I hope they’ll find someone wonderful to share a first kiss with, and then a second, a hundredth, a thousandth.
I don’t know how many kisses I’ve shared with the husband, but I do know that in my fourth decade of adoring him there’s still magic to be found in his embrace and the meeting of our lips.
You just can’t exploit that shit.
You just can’t.
It refuses to be exploited.