When “15 minutes of fame” changes lives.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey
This week Mark and Patricia McCloskey became famous. Like many others in recent months they came to fame when unplanned videos of their behavior went viral.
Standing in front of their palatial home they brandished weapons at protestors who were making their way through McCloskey’s exclusive neighborhood. Their behavior and interactions with the protestors set them up for scrutiny and ridicule from the masses.
The McCloskey’s were instantly tagged as arrogant, privileged and clueless. People made fun of everything from how they looked, to how their house looked, to how they dressed and what they said. They were ridiculed for pointing their guns directly at the protesters and each other.
National media outlets and individuals instantly started digging through the McCloskey’s background. Within hours information on their education, work, home, political donations, legal cases and family were widely available.
“Karen” is the slang name defined as an obnoxious, angry, entitled, and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors.
Videos of different facemask Karens in CostCo, Trader Joes, Starbucks and a Commissioners meeting in Palm Beach County, Florida have been circulating social media. None of the women in the video clips show their Karen in a positive light. The behavior shown by the women in the videos shows they have earned the Karen designation. Their identities and backgrounds also became public.
White Power in Florida
Even President Trump got wrapped up the process of building 15 minutes of fame for a regular person. The President forwarded a video clip of a golf cart parade where one of the participants proudly proclaimed “white power” to the camera. The president deleted the post after push back.
The man in the video was quickly identified as a retired firefighter and as a result of the video his former employer the Miami Dade Fire Rescue issued a statement that distanced the organization from the man.
Consequences of Fame
The fallout from 15 Minutes of Fame can be substantial. One example is the “Karen in Central Park” who called police on a black professor that asked her to put a leash on her dog in a bird watching area. The video of her emotional call to the police gained national notoriety and led to her losing her job and for a while her dog. While her victim has forgiven her actions she will be forever brought up as the woman who created a racial hoax.