Archive for October 22nd 2017

Tragedy obliterates comedy and lays a jagged landscape for podcasters to navigate as shows are judged in the context of the moment and not the context of the moment they were recorded. A misinterpreted posting of a show can become a viral social media wrecking ball. Readily Random's Larry Roberts and The Safety Doc David Perrodin dissect the awkward dance of tragedy and comedy in the podcasting medium and how to lessen one's chances of appearing insensitive to events that beg the question, "How can you laugh at a time like this?" UNLUCKY TIMING & HORRIFIC CONTEXT. Hours before the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas shooting that claimed 59 lives and injured hundreds, Dr. Perrodin released a podcast interview of Katie Pechon of Cajun Navy Relief. The show’s keel was the goodness that unites Americans in times of tragedy (per natural disasters). Suddenly, this positive, uplifting show was seemingly misplaced in the shattered landscape of contemporary America digesting the new “record” of murders by a gunman. Dr. Perrodin recalled that roughly a week after the 9/11/01 attacks, America’s top comedians delivered a special tribute comedy show that they collectively prefaced by admitting their native craft felt awkward to demonstrate in such a twisted, smoldering aftermath that ended thousands of lives. Yet, comedy is human – and humanity is giving and caring and sharing and knowing that laughter isn’t a tarp over pain, but perhaps a temporary diversion or a way to arrange thoughts to a perspective that helps restore a torus, or sense or a ‘new’ “normal” to one’s life. PROMOTING A POSITIVE STORY HOURS AFTER THE VEGAS SHOOTING – HOW? Larry suggested that shows released proximal to sentinel tragedies could be edited to include a brief acknowledgement of the event. In some instances, he notes that it might be best just to bury the episode. David admitted that he throttled back his promotion of the Cajun Navy interview after the Vegas shooting – a decision he grapples with to this day. WHY GUESTS LAUGH WHEN PRESENTING TRAGIC PERSONAL STORIES? It’s bio science. Researchers have found there is some evidence that strong negative feelings may provoke positive expressions; for example nervous laughter appears when people are confronted with a difficult or frightening situation, and smiles have been found by other psychologists to occur during extreme sadness. Larry Roberts shared how some of his guests who have recovered from drug addictions and horrible life events inject laughter or humor into their narratives. From a surface analysis, this might give the incorrect impression that the person is not serious about their story. In fact, the oddly-placed laughter is evidence that the person is anxious and seeking a way to feel more comfortable about expressing tragic thoughts. WISCONSIN VOLCANO, LARRY’S INKED PHONE & GER’S SPEECH. Larry and David share personal stories of humor before the social media era – guaranteed jocularity to wrap up a very thought-provoking show! FOLLOW. DR. PERRODIN: On Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to “The Safety Doc” YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to discussion thread comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com Learn more about Larry Roberts and the Readily Random Podcast at www.readilyrandom.com

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Dr. Perrodin explains how mass media irresponsibly portrayed the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas massacre as an act of evil that any of us could encounter, in any location, at any moment. In addition, false articles defeated algorithm “truth” filters, journalism was sacrificed for short-term ratings, the collective public anxiety rocketed with no efforts to point out the counter-balance of “good” occurring in the country (such as thousands of Cajun Navy Relief workers still helping people devastated by last month’s hurricanes); and persons of authorities were manipulated by eager reporters asked leading questions. The tragedy preyed upon the insatiable thirst of people to learn what happened and why it happened - and the latter will be rhetoric or pundits’ proclamations as truth is revealed, as best as possible, months later following an exhaustive forensic study. MEDIA MESS. Leading social media sites struggled to parse authentic stories from fabricated stories. As we rely more on algorithms and bots and less on humans, this flurry of “questionably verified news” is what we will always deal with in such an event. News sites want clicks and people will grasp at any information. Dr. Perrodin advises everyone to listen to the police information present at the scene for the most reliable information. LOCAL NEWS SPIN. David expresses his perspective of local news TV quickly interviewing school administrators and police officers about how they would have (A) responded to this incident had it happened “here”, (B) How they train for such incidents, and (C) Advice for the audience. These are leading questions and aim to accomplish, what Dr. Perrodin refers to as “Projected Benchmarking”, or forcing people to imagine that the situation and context of the Vegas shooting could happen at any location at any moment. It’s actually quite simple to pull off this illusion as people are primed to want to express that they are prepared (whatever that means as sentinel events are unpredictable and nonlinear). Massive assumptions are made about the incident and preliminary reports are vetted. Rhetoric is unchecked. WHAT’S WRONG WITH ASKING HOW YOU WOULD HANDLE THE INCIDENT IF IT HAPPENED HERE? In US, approximately 100 people a day are killed in car crashes, yet we only talk about “sentinel” events - and only other comparable shooting of this nature was Texas Clock Tower massacre on 1966. We so readily are willing to overlook that each event is bound to context, situation and time. ADVICE ARTICLES ARE GENERIC & USELESS. Advice is universal when recited by the news talking head or the police. Telling someone to always run during an active shooter event is not sound advice as one could run directly into the line of fire, especially at night amongst 22,000 people…and what if there are multiple shooters? DR. PERRODIN HAS CONFIDENCE IN THESE NEWS SOURCES. He encourages people to obtain information from Wikinews, Reuters or Trunews.com. David also discourages the tendency to follow the clickbait headings dealing with motives. FOLLOW. DR. PERRODIN: On Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to “The Safety Doc” YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to discussion thread comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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When we think of rescuers, our thoughts default to police, fire and EMS. However, another group, much less formal, has been significantly involved in natural disaster rescue efforts across the southern US, primarily Louisiana and Texas, for the past decade. That assembly is referred to as the “Cajun Navy” and identifies ad-hoc volunteer groups comprising private boat owners who assist in search and rescue efforts. These groups were formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and reactivated following the 2016 Louisiana floods and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. WHAT IS CAJUN NAVY RELIEF? Katie Pechon, Administration & Public Information Officer for Cajun Navy Relief, explains to Dr. Perrodin that the “Cajun Navy” is now a blanket term for variants of the original group assembled after Katrina. This splintering of sub-organizations has introduced representation issues and efforts are underway to unify the group and to acknowledge the primary incident command structure. The core, verified organization is Cajun Navy Relief and it is a not-for-profit 501c that works alongside traditional government units, such as fire departments or National Guard. Yet, the role of the “Cajun Navy”, as a collective response system, is not sanctioned by the government and the function of the Cajun Navy, exactly how it operates, how it dispatches, and how it is sustained, remains hazy to those not directly involved with the group. SOCIAL MEDIA RESCUES. Zello, a company with just 14 employees, had its free “Walkie-Talkie” app become an integral communication tool between responders and people in need. Facebook Messenger was monitored by Katie, and others to create “tickets” to orderly dispatch literally thousands of volunteer rescue missions. REGULATING THE CAJUN NAVY. Ironically, a few legislative bills surfaced in 2016 that would have imposed regulations, such as mandated training and licensing fees, upon this volunteer group. With a smile, Katie stated such acts would be fruitless as the CNR rescuers would respond to those in need and act in the best interest of people over compliance with seemingly frivolous laws. She added that the CNR interfaced efficiently, and was fully embraced by, Texas government officials as Hurricane Harvey hammered the state. The pressing need appears to be ensuring that imposters are scrubbed from response situations. DOING MORE THAN YOU THINK. The YouTube version of this episode includes behind-the-scenes photos of Cajun Navy Relief prying blackened drywall from homes, loading helicopters and comforting tired, grief-stricken people. I was surprised to learn that CNR members are still re-building homes in Louisiana damaged in a flood nearly a year ago! The CNR scales up quickly as a rescue group and then remains, sometimes for months, to sustain recovery projects. This is funded from donations or paid from the wallets of volunteers. SUPPORTING CAJUN NAVY RELIEF. I support grassroots rescue organizations that rapidly scale to meet the dynamic context and situation at hand. This type of “all hands on deck” mentality makes America strong and capitalizes upon the tacit knowledge, kindness and grit of those giving of their time, talents and resources to support rescue efforts - be it a crew in a boat or persons monitoring social media posts for help. To volunteer or donate, visit cajunnavyrelief.com FOLLOW. DR. PERRODIN: On Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to “The Safety Doc” YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts RSS feed. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com David will respond to discussion thread comments & emails. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests and do not reflect positions of The 405 Media or supporters of “The Safety Doc Podcast”. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. Email David: thesafetydoc@gmail.com

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