JP: The father in this story is clearly not a bad man. Why did you choose to make the punishment for his “crimes” so steep?
Casey Pycior: The short answer is that it felt authentic to me. But I suppose the larger issue here is that I was thinking how we often do things we regret—sometimes immediately, sometimes the next morning, sometimes many years later—but that most of us are lucky enough not to have been “caught” on video doing the regrettable thing. The father in this story isn’t one of the lucky ones. For the foreseeable future, he’ll be defined in the public eye by this one act. If this were real, there’d probably be a #thebananaguy (or something more clever) making its way across the internet within minutes of it happening, and we’d all take our turn judging and ridiculing him for his behavior. We seem to be at a place in our society where it’s as if we crave this kind of thing because we are so quick to pounce. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be consequences for our actions (even if they are misinterpreted, as is the case here), nor am I saying that we shouldn’t judge someone based on one incident (clearly there are examples where the single event is egregious enough to warrant the judgment)…I’m not sure what I’m saying, exactly…it’s like a person isn’t allowed to make a mistake any more, at least not publicly, without risking his/her character and reputation. This is something I’m both fascinated with and disturbed by. I can’t imagine what life must be like for someone who makes their living in the public sphere, always hyper-vigilant for the next possible misstep.
Maybe I’m completely wrong, and #thebananaguy would make the rounds for a couple days before being replaced by the next one.