Ethics Question of the Day: What Do You Do With an Ice Patch Outside Your Window?

Fix it, or film it?

Image Inavan Hateren/Shutterstock
Inavan Hateren/Shutterstock

It's hard to say what the British ultrarealist filmmaker PCarver333 was thinking as he or she made Duke Street Hazard, the wordless, eight-minute video that has been seen almost 800,000 times this week.

It is a short film, but one that raises important questions about cities and the people who inhabit them. Do pedestrians have free will? If so, what gives us such punishing self-confidence? Are British people -- the film is shot in Norwich -- somehow different than others in this regard?

Is it wrong to surreptitiously film someone falling down? What about two dozen people falling down? Is it wrong to watch?

Is watching someone slip on a patch of ice funnier the first, second, or 40th time?

I'll let you decide:

H/T Laughing Squid.

Top image: Shutterstock/Inavan Hateren.

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.