So, this guy named Jack Vale has a YouTube channel where he does pranks and then films them. His latest? Walking his wife around... on a leash... in public. Which I have very mixed feelings about. Here, watch it:
Obviously, it's a joke. But there's something really... dirty going on here (and I don't mean in a sexual way, although obviously those undertones are there, too). The monkey backpack leash? The way that group of people at the table at first questions the couple's behavior but then becomes complicit? I don't know. I wasn't really laughing, even though that was clearly the goal of the video.
It's not that I think that Vale's actually some kind of controlling misogynist that treats his wife badly, but the whole video just makes me uncomfortable. Of course, that was clearly at least part of Vale's intention, but it's not like this video was part of some larger social commentary of sexism or marriage or gender roles...i t was just a prank, it had no obvious goals other than to rack up YouTube views and make people laugh.
Feel free to call me uptight and humorless, but I've never been a big fan of humor that uses shock value just for the sake of shock value, so I think this particular prank is pretty cheap and just... weird. Maybe I'd feel less creeped out if Vale had included a disclaimer saying he let everyone in the video know they were being pranked afterwards (so they weren't worrying about the mental and physical health of his wife, maybe?!). Or any disclaimer, really? Any kind of statement pointing to the fact that Vale knows his prank is riiiiight on the border of comedy and something very offensive? Disclaimers are good, guys. They're politically correct and legally safe and also give concerned people who have the tendency to get their panties in a twist (like me!) peace of mind. I'm sure plenty of y'all will say I'm overreacting, but I just can't shake the skeeve I get from this video and I don't think that's the reaction Vale wants from one of his pranks.
The video ends as Vale is fake belittling his wife for drinking water without his permission. Aaaaaaaand scene. From start to beginning, I'm confused. The only thing I know for sure about what I just watched is that Vale's wife is a hell of a good sport.
Photo: Jack Vale's Instagram