Well, possums, we were afraid it would eventually come to this. It's time to bring in Oliver Stone.
Several readers have brought these to our attention, and so we are posting them. These were originally created by DjLexxy of Television Without Pity.
These stills from Wednesday night's broadcast purportedly show that after Marcel stormed off, having survived the attempt on his maidenhead (of hair), Elia Aboumrad (apparently seen in the right-hand corner of the photographs) still had all of her hair.
If true (and we have no basis for a finding of fact, but these pictures are nonetheless pretty compelling), it would mean that the jolly Elia and Ilan Hall shaved their heads only after the assault and battery of Marcel took place. What this means in terms of chronology and responsibility we leave entirely to you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
However, it does raise some interesting issues.
A friend of ours said that the incident, and Elia giggling, and then her shaved head, reminded him of Pfc. Lynndie England, the grinning female soldier photographed holding Iraqi prisoners on leashes at the Abu Ghraib prison.
We certainly wouldn't go that far--it's ludicrous and trivializing to speak of the two events in the same breath. But we thought that our friend was nonetheless on to something, the way both incidents revealed and reveled in the impulse not only to humiliate and dehumanize an opponent, but to record it. (If we remember rightly, Susan Sontag had some provocative things to say about this in her books On Photography and Regarding the Pain of Others.)
To our way of thinking, if any of the participants had felt remorseful about what they did, or even guilty, or afraid of the consequences, they would simply have deleted or erased the footage from the video recorder, instead of continuing to record their antics. (After all, the Abu Ghraib perpetrators were caught only because they were stupid and shameless enough not only to photograph the entire thing but to disseminate the photographs.)
On her Bravo blog, the show's executive producer wrote, "We allowed the chefs to have a camera because one of them had asked for one because it was their last night and they wanted to mess around and have some fun. I think we all expected them to film themselves doing impressions of Tom and Padma and some of the producers (that's what usually happens and it makes for fun extra content for the Bravo website)."
Well, if "fun extra content for the Bravo website" is what they're looking for, why not post the video in its entirety on the Bravo website? Let everyone watch just what happened.