HAPPY SLAPPING - SADIST OR NOT
People believe that comedies and spoofs are part of our lives. That is why television shows like Candid Camera & its localized derivatives like MTV Bakra are popular all around the world. The "Candid Camera" pranks usually don't hurt the victims physically.
The current most alarming craze in UK is "happy slapping" and here is how the prank goes: teenagers look out for unsuspecting targets – mostly people minding their own business on buses or streets – and slap them in the face as hard as they can whilst a friend films it with their mobile phone. In the worst cases it goes beyond slapping to punches and kicks, or even - in one case - setting a sleeping drunk alight.
I first came to know about it from Shapir last November. See the comments on his post where pragmatism collides with sadism. Yes I would prefer this word. Sadism is the practice of intentionally inflicting pain or sensation upon another human being. And I see no reason why some people should endorse these. A commenter said "I think its the funniest thing coming out of England in a long time". Blame the Mr. Hyde in us. Otherwise why do we love laughing at the sight of somebody falling or getting beaten?
David B. of Gene Expressions talks about the ethnical aspect of this phenomenon:
I suspect that this is another case (like crack, gangsta rap, and 'hoodies') where a fashion has started among young blacks and spread throughout the underclass of feral teenage scum.