Monday, July 6, 2009

Flashpoint for Paparazzi Targets

"Celebrity Shielding Flashgun Handbag Defeats Paparazzi"
Wired (July 6, 2009)

"Beating up your paparazzi stalkers is so last century. The modern celeb might instead turn to non-contact (and non-litigious) means of protection, simultaneously spoiling the paparazzo's pictures and destroying their parasitic, leach-like livelihood.

"Adam Harvey's Anti-Paparazzi Clutch Bag is extraordinarily simple. It is a slave flash, an extra-bright LED light with a light detector. When it sees the flashgun pop on the photographer's camera it fires a burst of its own, right back in the moron's face and lens, flaring out the picture and in theory erasing the defender’s face...."

This article very briefly describes an ingenious solution to an issue which many people in public positions face.

A few points, though: I'm pretty sure that the author meant "leech-like", rather than "leach-like".

A leech is a
  • (noun)
    "carnivorous or bloodsucking aquatic or terrestrial worms typically having a sucker at each end"
  • "...follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the host) in hope of gain or advantage"
    Princeton's (WordNet)
Leach is
  • (noun)
    "the process of leaching" or
  • (verb) "cause (a liquid) to leach or percolate"
    (more at (Princeton's WordNet)
In context, the second definition of "leech" seems more appropriate than "the process of leaching".

The reference to a generic paparazzi as a "moron" is open, I think, to debate. I'm quite sure that the author was not referring to the annoying reporter as the city that's to the west of Buenos Aires in Argentina. That leaves the other commonly-used meaning of "moron:"
  • "a person of subnormal intelligence"
    (Princeton's WordNet)
Although I think it's arguable that paparazzi are ethically challenged, I've encountered no indication that their intellectual capacities are, as a group, significantly below the 50th percentile.

Aside from that, though, the article is an entertaining look at how people can thwart those annoying reporters without hurting them.

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