Update: According to a press release from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the girl in the video known as "Sharkeisha" has been charged with Assault with Bodily Injury as a result of the video. She was taken into custody on this class A misdemeanor Thursday morning and is being held by the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department. Video taping assaults is clearly not a good idea.
People on the Internet love videos of other people getting hurt, punched and kicked, whether it be intentional or otherwise. They also love videos of black people being sassy (ask Antoine Dodson or Sweet Brown). And they really love sharks (Sharknado anyone?). Put them all together and you might have the most talked about T-shirt in ThinkGeek.com history (it would probably also have a wolf, a light saber and a unicorn), or an Internet meme spawned by a sucker-punching girl from Houston with a funny-sounding name.
The cell phone video, which spread virally after it was posted on WorldStarHipHop.com, of a teen named Sharkeisha punching another teen, allegedly over a boy, shows Sharkeisha sucker punching 17-year-old Shamichael Manuel and then beating and kicking her repeatedly outside an apartment complex on Mills Road. The two reportedly were friends who both attended Cypress Creek High School. Manuel, interviewed by KHOU, said the now-viral video of the beat down is increasing the humiliation she feels, not surprisingly.
The scene is as dumb as it is unfortunate. Sharkeisha (it is spelled Sharkeysha in the KHOU report, but because it spread online as the former, we'll go with that for our purposes), 16, is clearly being a punk and fights over boys (or girls) are often the most ridiculous, outside of a stabbing over a parking space at a Walmart on Black Friday.
What makes me most uncomfortable, however, is how quickly it spread and the reasons behind it. First of all, it should be noted that the video is NOT funny. Unless you think it is hilarious when some jackass hauls off and clocks you one in the side of the face when you aren't looking, my guess is you shouldn't be laughing when it is someone else.
Certainly, plenty of us have chuckled if not all-out died laughing over videos of people running into things, falling down, etc. Johnny Knoxville and his moron friends made millions off of their pranks turned into lowbrow movie features. But, many of those were self inflicted or accidents. This was a person deliberately and violently turning on another person, viciously attacking her repeatedly before being stopped.
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Second, these are two girls. I know that girl fights have been celebrated from porn to Seinfeld, but the real thing is only cringe-inducing and not the slightest bit sexy.
But all of this I could excuse as the kind of childish giggling all too common when a running back is said to have "penetrated" the line of scrimmage. Droll. What is most annoying is the fact that it was her name that clearly propelled this into the viral stratosphere. Yes, Sharkeisha sounds like a collaboration between BET, the SyFy Network and Tyler Perry. We get it. But, it's a person's name -- allegedly a combination of her father (Sharma) and her mother (Keisha). To be fair, I'm not sure I understand how the parents couldn't see that putting "shark" in their daughter's name might be prohibitive, but people name their kids Frodo and ESPN, so what do I know.
Still, the video is of an asshole and she is being glorified (by some) because her name is funny sounding. The hashtag #sharkeisha blew up Twitter after the video was posted and her name has turned into a million moderately funny (in certain cases) meme-like Photoshopped images.
Look, Internet, I get that you collectively have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old nerd boy who has never seen a girl naked (in person) and who spends his time debating Kirk versus Picard and playing World of Warcraft with your online "friends," but let's try to have a modicum of decency when it comes to stuff like this. Next time you want to think this is funny, go down to your basement and smack your face against the wall hard. If you thought that felt good, then, by all means, laugh all you want. Otherwise, leave it for what it is, a jerk sucker punching a former friend over a guy who probably isn't worth it.