The Center for an Informed America

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June 20, 2013

Before proceeding fearlessly onward, I have a link here to an absolutely must-see video. Entitled Stu Seagall Strategic Operations Video Business Card, it is another video featuring the work of crisis actors for training purposes. It is though much more revealing than the previous video I linked to, so go and watch about the first three minutes of it. I’ll wait right here until you get back. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpIkY24xmKQ

Now that’s some pretty realistic fake gore, don’t you think? Way better than the low-budget affair we saw in Boston. But then again, there was considerably more time available to prep the fake victims in the Seagall video. The Boston victims didn’t have that luxury, which is undoubtedly why what we mostly got in lieu of realistic wounds was lots of ripped clothing and fake blood.

I’m sure you also noticed how easy it apparently is to create realistic looking explosions that are completely harmless even to those standing right next to them. But what you may not have noticed is that there is something markedly different about the fakery in the video and the fakery on the streets of Boston. Go back and watch those first few minutes again and pay close attention to how the actors respond to the sudden and unexpected loss of a limb.

As the video stresses, the goal is “hyper realism.” And the people putting these simulations together have experienced the real thing and know what they are doing. Which means that, as it turns out, people don’t really react well to having a limb blown off. They tend to writhe around in so much pain and fear that it takes several people to physically restrain them so that their wounds can be tended to.

As the Navy corpsman in the video points out, “The actors have been playing the role – not just laying there.” The role, you see, requires more than “just laying there.” And yet every one of our Boston victims did exactly that. None of them “play[ed] the role.” Which raises the obvious question: who cast this Jeff Bauman character? I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a stiffer performance (though to be fair, I do generally try to avoid any films starring Keanu Reeves).

The next seven images in the chronological sequence are the ones covering the 48 seconds during which Krystle Campbell was famously photographed. We’ve seen them before but for the sake of continuity and to see what we might have missed the first time around, let’s run through them once again. This first one, as will be recalled, features Dr. Levine waving to his fans while the blond EMT passes by he and Dr. Panter. The second is one of Tang’s patented cutaway shots.

In this next image, the red jacket guy, who is reportedly Kevin Corcoran, continues to work feverishly on his wife, Celeste Corcoran. Kev still has on his ball cap. Does that seem odd to you? It does to me. Have you ever worn a ball cap on a windy day? This bomb supposedly exploded with enough force to blow legs clean off and to reduce clothing to ribbons, but it didn’t blow the cap off Kev’s head. He must have had a chinstrap on that thing. Just below and slightly to the right of Kev, emerging from the haze, is a kid! Where the hell did he come from?! I guess he’s part of our cast now so we’re going to need a name for him, so I’m going to go with Li’l Jeff, even though he is actually supposed to be Noah Gregory. Another newbie to keep an eye on is the guy in the red shirt and loafers strolling onto the scene to the lower left. And the Dick Cheney-looking guy in black who is near the signpost, in front of the curiously emotional police couple. He came on the scene a few frames back. The dark hoody guy we’ve been following, now in the background just to the left of center, is supposed to be Michael Gross, husband of victim Nicole Gross. They allegedly got separated in the blast and he has been searching for her. Being that there are so many victims and so much ground to cover, he’s been having a really tough time. Also, he has a pretty serious head injury that might be causing some disorientation. You might not be able to see his head injury, but he has one. So does Li’l Jeff. I know that these are true facts because I read them in newspaper articles.

In the next image it is almost time for Campbell’s big photo-op, which apparently required a closed set. Mr. Loafers in the red shirt is taking care of that while Michael, in the upper left corner, continues to search in vain for Nicole. Dr. Panter and others are prepping Mery for her gurney ride. Let’s pause here for just a moment to think about just how completely ridiculous that is: consider that, as we know from earlier images, Mery is lying right next to Jeff Bauman. Literally, right next to him. Yet none of the responders in that area seems to think it at all odd that he is being completely ignored while the two-legged gal is being cared for. Meanwhile, Cheney and pink vest are closely monitoring the Campbell photo-op.

Tang next cuts away to give us two rather pointless frames, neither of which is really worth commenting on other than to note that a lot of people seem to be concerned with tearing shit down that would normally have remained up for the rest of the day.

Returning now to the scene of the crime, we see that Mr. Loafers is wandering around in the foreground, as is Michael, who is still having no luck finding Nicole. Pink vest and Cheney are still hovering over Campbell, though no medical personnel seem to be too concerned about her. The bloody old lady in the lower left portion of the image is now on her feet and apparently able to stand on her bloody legs! At the rear of the victims’ circle, next to the blond EMT who now has her back to us, yet another guy is stripping off his belt to donate to the Save Celeste Corcoran Project. That makes three belts for Celeste and none for Jeff. The Scream Queen in the brown sweatshirt is still pointlessly loitering around, Carlos and Dr. Panter are heroically rescuing Jeff, and Mery Daniel is loaded onto the gurney and ready to roll. She is the only victim we will see being prepped for transport.

 Tang cuts away once again in the next image, giving us yet another pointless … wait a minute! Holy shit! There is a guy with a black backpack running from the scene at the bottom of the image! Someone needs to stop that guy! Does the FBI know about this? He’s obviously a terrorist of some sort.

We next get the kind of poorly framed shot that Tang seems to like to use when there is something going on in the other half of the victims’ circle that we aren’t supposed to see. We can though see that Mr. Loafers appears to be the new director, Carlos is working very hard to save Jeff Bauman, and the sweatshirt gal still won’t leave the scene. Meanwhile, one responder continues to crouch down and hold on tightly to Li’l Jeff, which is, quite frankly, starting to get a little creepy.

This next shot is an endlessly fascinating one, primarily because we just happen to have the exact same scene captured at almost precisely the same moment in time from the reverse angle. Look at the positions, posture, etc. of all the key characters and you will see that these two images were captured just a split-second apart. And lo and behold! Look who’s back on the scene! I do believe it is our old friend Running Man, standing right next to the pink vested mourner-for-hire! I have no idea where he’s just come from though. At one time I thought he had taken a place among the prone victims, but I am no longer very confident in that conclusion. So I really have no clue where he’s been, but I’m very happy to see that he is back in time for the coming wrap party.   From the reverse angle, we can see that there aren’t very many apparent victims left, though all three Jeffs – Original Jeff, Other Jeff, and Li’l Jeff – are still there. We can’t actually see Original Jeff because the douchebag in the orange jacket is in the way, but we can see that Carlos is (not) leading the charge to rescue him. From Tang’s perspective, we see that Dr. Levine is, naturally enough, standing idly by while observing Running Man and pink vest, unaware that Campbell is dying just a couple feet in front of him. The director remains on the set, Kev is still working on saving Celeste, and the sweatshirt gal might finally be punching out for the day.   Guess how long it’s been, by the way, since Tang last showed us this scene? If you guessed 58 seconds, then pick any of the stuffed animals from the bottom shelf. Considering that the total elapsed time since detonation is just over four minutes, a minute is an extraordinarily long time to cut away from the action.

Tang next gives us his favorite partial view of the scene. Some shirtless dude is trying to get his hands on baby Jeff, but Li’l Jeff’s savior doesn’t want to give him up. A cop might finally be telling Mr. Loafers to get the fuck out of the way, Kev is still working away, and Carlos is placing a whoopee cushion in a wheelchair, but not in Jeff’s wheelchair, which hasn’t arrived yet.

In the next image, Dr. Levine is calling signals while Dr. Panter prepares to hike the ball. The shirtless guy is getting more aggressive in his attempts to abduct Li’l Jeff and Mr. Loafers has decided to hang around a bit longer. So too has the brown sweatshirt gal, who is now actually attempting to help someone, though I have no idea who because there were no victims in that area initially (upper left). Meanwhile, Running Man and pink vest continue to hover over Campbell. In the bonus image, we can see that Running Man and pink vest seem to be pretty chummy. We can also see the back of Li’l Jeff’s head (right behind Carlos), where his injury is supposed to be.

The next image in the series confused me at first because our favorite photographer can clearly be seen to the far left, just beyond the railing, snapping a photo that I thought he had already taken. But as it turns out, he captured two completely different images staged around the same victim. On his first trip over there, about two minutes after the blast, the main ‘responder’ on the scene was a civilian in a black cap and red shirt, as can be seen in the first image below. A few minutes later, when the photographer returned, there was a new ‘responder’ on the scene, this one in a blue cap.

           

The first image our fearless photographer captured appeared to show a man grieving over a presumably dead victim. Or maybe just an overly friendly stranger trying to help out. The image was the basis of a social media post that someone attempted to turn viral. The boyfriend, needless to say, has apparently invented a teleportation device of some kind that enabled him to arrive on the scene just two minutes after the first blast. Amazingly, he’s already found his significant other while Michael, who was already on the scene, is still looking for his.

Within a few minutes though, the distraught boyfriend had gotten over his loss and moved on, and the victim, identified as Sydney Corcoran, had come back from the dead. I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but someone should probably think about shooting her in the head before she starts eating her rescuers. Also, father-of-the-year Kevin Corcoran should probably take a break from tying belts around his wife and at least check in on his daughter. She was, after all, dead just a few minutes ago.

Returning now to the Tang sequence of images, we find that the scene is quickly becoming a total clusterfuck, and it will soon get even worse. Most of the people on the scene – including the firemen, the national guard troops, most of the police, and pretty much all of the civilians, have no real business being there and would only be hindering any real rescue operations.   Shirtless guy and the other guy have now agreed to a topless wrestling match to determine who gets to keep Li’l Jeff. Running Man is still on the scene keeping an eye on Campbell and he has now been joined by Mr. Loafers. And Carlos and Dr. Panter are still prepping Jeff for his star-making wheelchair ride.

Moving in closer, we see Dr. Levine chatting it up with the firemen while numerous non-medical personnel continue to hover over Campbell’s location. Mr. Loafers though has grown bored with that and is wandering away. Shirtless guy has lost the wrestling match and failed to gain control over Li’l Jeff. Meanwhile, Carlos is being handed some mysterious blue object and it looks as though Jeff’s wheelchair has now arrived, so it’s probably about time to cut away again.

As expected, Tang cuts off our view of Jeff undergoing the final preparations for his ride into the history books. There isn’t much to say about this image other than that the guy in the foreground seems to be aware of Tang’s camera.

That’s all for this edition except for this one final image, because I don’t want to leave you all to worry over the fate of Li’l Jeff. According to one report, “[Li’l Jeff] had been struck by shrapnel in the back of his head, where he now has a bald patch, and straight to the bone on his right leg, where he has a long scar that he has dubbed the ‘swordfish.’” He sure looked cute though taking a wheelchair ride out of there, just like Original Jeff and Other Jeff. It would have been nice though if the footrest hadn’t been digging into his ouchie. Didn’t any of the fake responders in Boston know how to use those things correctly? http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/16/18986893-boston-marathon-victim-still-fighting-to-keep-leg-months-after-bombing-i-could-not-have-it-tomorrow?lite

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